Exodus 20:12 Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live for a long time in the land the Lord your God is giving you.
The fifth of Moses’ ten commandments is the only commandment with a promise and the only commandment solely affirming a positive action. All other commandments are don’ts. We therefore often misunderstand “don’t dishonor your parents”. This is nice, but the commandment explicitly calls us to openly honor our parents – without precondition of them being godly etc.
Well, I must push myself to do something new here 😉
My parents brought me life. This is reason alone to honor them, but they also taught me to become a godly person and brought about my second birth as a spiritual person. They value relationship with God over serving religious expectations. They were pastors in the Salvation Army – a church strongly focused on social restoration. They provided me with a safe and caring family home. We didn’t have much, but we had each other. We holidayed twice a year in our caravan and even had a transfer to Australia during my high school years. This was an incredibly enriching environment to grow up in.
My dad (David John Clark) is an amazing bible teacher. I’ve grown up hearing him preach two sermons a week, covering the entire biblical history, holiness and purity, end times etc. He held the balance in many different churches, typically unifying 90% of the congregation with 5% pulling at either end of the scale. In one church he was too radical with his fancy new worship songs and in another he was too traditional, insisting on including hymns in worship. During a period when churches competed in their divisions, he nurtured healthy relationships with Evangelical, Pentecostal, Anglican and Catholic leaders without prejudice. As a teenager, dad spent hours each week driving me to volleyball games, band practices and concerts. These were good bonding times, modelling how to connect with our heavenly father. Today, mum and dad live 1,000km away, but are always delighted when I finally call. Me and dad have great theological discussions. He provides a safe place where I can test and refine my theories. He continually encourages me to minister to people in the way God has equipped me – particularly where he struggles to understand it. Dad’s currently working tirelessly to bring justice to a man imprisoned because of a vindictive ex-wife. He’s spent years researching the various trial transcripts and seeking those who would fight some severe corruption in our legal system. This corruption has incarcerated a man according to the recovered memory of one person, who was found to be lying in court, but this was well hidden from the jury by baffling them with unfounded emotionalism.
My mum (Myrtle Ann Clark) is a very humble woman, who avoids the limelight. It’s hard to express her significance in words – it’s more the warmth of her mumliness that is so significant. She tirelessly supports dad and us kids. She’s the one who does all the work while projecting the glory on others. I love spending time with her – particularly going shopping. She always delights in my cooking and encourages me in everything I do. From my mum, I have learned humility and perseverance in service. She is the oldest of eight kids and very much the matriarch of her family, providing warmth and guidance to her siblings. She’s the one who builds up the relationships, particularly within our family. She’s always fondly telling us about all these distant relatives, some whom I’ve met. She exemplifies the cliché of women’s emotional strength and nurturing relationships.
My parents relate warmly of their parents and grandparents, exemplifying “Honour yer ma & pa” and because of this continue in a long, fulfilled, prosperous and blessed life.
Thank you for allowing me to honor my mum and dad. Please do likewise.
With much love