Friday, July 23, 2010

Honoring others

This week's Torah portion dealt with Deut. 3:23-7:11. It has to do with the Shema (Hear, O Israel, the Lord is your G-d, Adonai is one....") but also with the 10 Words or Commandments. The fifth commandment is the one our commentary took up. For those who can't remember what the 5th commandment is, it says to "Honor your father and your mother, as the LORD your God has commanded you, that your days may be prolonged and that it may go well with you on the land which the LORD your God gives you. (Deuteronomy 5:16)"

The commentary goes on to state the obvious....that today's society teaches our kids that it's more important to be 'cool' and disrespect your parents. I know that while I was still teaching in the public schools, I was horrified to see how many kids (even elementary kids!!!) would back talk and sass their parents. I was reprimanded more than once for stepping in and telling a student that it was disrespectful to talk to their parents that way! (Oh well, the parents were shocked, and grateful, but the principal felt I'd stepped over my 'bounds' while silently agreeing with me.)  As this world seems to be hurtling faster and faster to some kind of explosion or perhaps a glorious reappearing, it seems our children are getting worse and worse about not knowing how to honor their parents. It just breaks my heart to see the disrespect shown parents. Even by many in MY generation!!!!! (and we're older than dirt, let me tell ya!!!!!!) Which reminds me, that even though you're grown, does not mean you get a free pass on this one!!! Many times, showing respect for an aging or chronically ill parent is even more difficult, but we're called to do it! After all, without parents, we wouldn't be here.....think about that a minute. Ok, back to the gist of this......

But this does not have to be so. There's an easy fix. If parents will respect each other (I know that's tough in this world of instant divorce and step families, but it CAN be done!!!!) and show that respect in front of the children, it would go miles in teaching our kids how to act. I know Dodi is INCREDIBLE about not allowing Little Critter to diss me. And I in return will put a stop to disrespect towards Dodi in a heartbeat! Not that we 'jump and bash' Little Critter....but we will not allow disrespect. We also crack down on disrespect to any adult!!!! Several of his little friends were shocked when we wouldn't allow them to call us by our first names.
"Why ever not?!?!" , they asked us. We told them that it was a form of respect and that as they got older, and had to deal with bosses and co workers, it would stand them in good stead. These kinds of manners would help them get ahead, be treated better than others, and give them far more friends. They were surprised. Now, these are 9-11 year olds. Why were we having to teach this idea to them?????Because parents had not. Shame on those parents. We can no longer expect our kids to learn manners in school, or one hour of church. As parents, it's our responsibility and DUTY to teach our children. Can we demand honor and respect? Of course not. If we treat them like dirt, they of course will have no respect for us. But if we treat them as the amazing gift from YHVH that they are, teaching them to honor and respect us will be fairly easy. And if they can honor and respect us, it's easy to honor and respect others....and if that happens, well, the blessings WILL flow to them! YHVH promised. So let's be sure we're teaching our kids HOW to honor others...not just with words, but with actions. And while we're teaching our children, let's not forget all those children in our sphere of influence. If each of us teach our children, and 3 of their friends, we could easily make a major difference in the attitudes of this world. What an amazing idea! So as you contemplate my ideas here, and ask Papa to show you His truth, don't forget to look for the blessings He's given you. You'll find them gathered around your table, living in your house and taking flight from your nest. Be sure you thank Him for them.....they are truly an amazing blessing. Now teach them well. Shabbat Shalom, Spitfire

10 comments:

楊儀卉 said...

人若賺得全世界,賠上自己的靈魂,有什麼益處?.......................................................

Hadassah said...

Bravo for being so blunt! In my generation it is practically unheard of to be respectful to parents. It makes me so sad to think of it. I was taught by example of how to speak to others. I hate to open a bag of worms here but what do you think of "honoring your mother and father" when the mother and father verbally attack and disown the child? The only thing that I can think of is a verse in Psalms that speaks of Abba taking over the role of mother and father. I'll have to find that. I ask only because I know like me there are other Torah observant people in the same or simular situations.

Spitfire said...

My darling Sweetheart. You've opened no bag of worms here. I perhaps was not clear enough....parents are more than just people who gave birth to you. Parents are the folks that teach you. Little Critter is adopted. He will never be able to honor his birth parents. We don't even know who his birth father is! But Dodi and I have had him since his birth....we've taught him, loved him, held him, scolded and cried with him. Who should he honor? Us. His birth parents gave him life, then walked out of his life. If your parents have walked out of your life, then yes, Abba will be your parents. Or, He'll send someone else to fill that spot. Perhaps a couple you know who will teach you, love you, hold you, scold you and cry with you....So even though I used the word parents, in each situation, that could be a little different. In my case, I had several "mothers". My biological mother is still alive, and I do my best to honor her. But there were several other 'mothers' who filled in the spots my mother couldn't fill. So I honored them while they were living....and have been blessed in ways you can hardly believe because of it. So you honor your elders (parents or substitutes)and He'll honor the desire of your heart. You are a jewel! I'm proud to call you friend. Shalom.

Spitfire said...

Here's the translation from Yangyi Hui:

Man if he gains the whole world and lose his own soul, what benefits?


Ynagyi Hui, if a man loses his soul, there is NO benefit to gaining the whole world. That's why we believe in Yeshua (Jesus)....without Him there is no benefit to being Torah observant. He is the only way to Abba. Thank you for your comment. Shalom

鄭信弘 said...

quite touching~~~thx for sharing............................................................

Most Rev. Gregori said...

Off Topic: Just to let you know, my mom passed this morning at 10:30 a.m.

It was a very peaceful passing.

Most Rev. Gregori said...

My Grandmother passed the following on to my mother, and my mother passed it on to each of her five children:

"What ever you do that hurts your parents, your children will do twice to you."

I passed that on to my sons because it is really worth thinking about.

Spitfire said...

Cheng Wang Zhen has left a new comment on your post "Honoring others":

Your blog very nice yeah, I wish you happy Oh! Look forward to your updates!

Spitfire said...

Zhang Hong-Shuiyu has left a new comment on your post "Honoring others":

Maturity is the ability to adapt to life in the vague.

Spitfire said...

House of Tang Ming has left a new comment on your post "Honoring others":

Carl. Sanders Park: "Unless there is first a dream, or else be out." Encourage each other!