There is one commandment in the decalogue with a promise - "Honour your father and your mother." Note that there is no mention of the worthiness of the particular parent to receive that honour. It is due simply because they have been given parental responsibility by God.
Today, however, more and more people are in the position of not having both parents - for one reason or another - and any celebration of the family can be very painful. This pain can work two ways, as many parents grieve on such days for lost children (either in childbirth or at an early age), for rebellious children, or even children that they were never able to have. We need to be constantly aware of the pains and needs of those around us as we gather for such occasions.
When we turn to the
teaching of Jesus, we find some hope and comfort. Jesus' view of the family
was different from the way we view it today. The important family was not
the nuclear family, but
the family of God's people who together do the will of God. In this family we should know the hope and comfort of loving brothers and sisters, and of a loving heavenly parent. Jesus answered his own question, "Who are my mother and my brothers?" by saying, "Whoever does God's will is my brother and sister and mother." (Mark 3:33-34) Indeed, Jesus pointed out that we become part of a much larger family of God's people by following him,- often at the risk of looking like a bad family member. (Read Mark 10:29-31)
As God's family, we show the care of God to one another. It is here that the true values of family should be modelled, that others who come in may join us in celebration of the family. This is then reflected and reinforced in our own homes.
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