I HAVE THREE PARENTS
Observe the commandment of your father, and do not forsake the teaching of your mother. Bind them continually on your heart. When you walk, they will guide you; when you sleep, they will watch over you; when you awake, they will talk to you. Proverbs 6:20-22
I have three parents; the father and mother I was born to and my Heavenly Father. Of the three, my Heavenly Father takes priority.
Solomon advises me to observe the ways of my father and mother. If a trait is godly, then I am to observe it and bind myself to it. The problem is, without intention to do otherwise, I will naturally embrace all their ways. I walk their paths by default. Is that a good thing? Only if I embrace the good and discard the bad. I must love God more than I love the ways of my parents!
My father, now in heaven, was a man with a huge heart for God. He counseled, taught the scriptures, walked out his faith beautifully and, in the process, was revered for his wisdom. He lived in a small New England town where he is still talked about with reverence by those who knew him. As I remember him, I hold his good traits close to my heart and they guide me. But at the same time, I discard the bad. My dad was consumed with worry and was driven to avoid criticism at all costs. I inherited these tendencies and lived crippled by them for many years. It wasn’t until I severed my attachment to his sinful ways that I was free to follow my Father in heaven.
My mother, now in heaven, was a woman who had compassion for the widows, the poor, and the hurting. She sat at the bedside of many of our towns’ forgotten as they breathed their last. In their senior years, she cooked for them, took them on errands, and listened to them by the hour as they sat in our kitchen. As I remember her, I embrace her heart for those less fortunate but at the same time, I disown her weaknesses. She bore her own pain in private, choosing to sit in a nearby field during a particularly dark period of her life, begging God to die. Day after day, she was uncommunicative. When I’m hurting, it can be instinctive for me to withdraw. I choose instead to follow Jesus who was quick to tell a few close to Him of His struggles. He’s taught me to bear my burdens to a few safe people.
I must always be sifting. May no ungodly thing, even though familial, control me. I submit my choices to a Father who is faithful to help me decide what to keep and what to throw away.
My father and mother were once sacred, so much so that I clung to all their traits. Lord, because of Your instruction, I’m choosey. If they remind me of You, I embrace it. It not, I let it go. Continue to give me wisdom and courage to walk as Your daughter. In Jesus’ name, Amen