Monday, October 23, 2017

Well Said: Duties toward parents

I remember when I first read the book of Sirach. I really love the practicality of the advice to fathers never to have a lattice going past their daughter's second floor bedroom. You're just begging for trouble!

I've also never forgotten the advice below, especially the part about honoring your father even if his mind fails in old age ... it shows that humans are the same then as now and we all need those reminders as we go through life. And it spells out just what that the commandment to honor your father and mother really means.

I remember when I realized that commandment actually comes before "thou shalt not kill" which tells you just how important honoring your father and mother is in God's eyes. Kind of blew my mind and helped keep my priorities straight.
Listen to me, your father, O children;
act accordingly, that you may be kept in safety.

For the Lord honors a father above his children,
and he confirms a mother’s right over her children.

Those who honor their father atone for sins,
and those who respect their mother are like those who lay up treasure.

Those who honor their father will have joy in their own children,
and when they pray they will be heard.
The glory of one’s father is one’s own glory,
and it is a disgrace for children not to respect their mother.

My child, help your father in his old age,
and do not grieve him as long as he lives;

even if his mind fails, be patient with him;
because you have all your faculties do not despise him.

For kindness to a father will not be forgotten,
and will be credited to you against your sins;

in the day of your distress it will be remembered in your favor;
like frost in fair weather, your sins will melt away.

Whoever forsakes a father is like a blasphemer,
and whoever angers a mother is cursed by the Lord.
Sirach, 3:1-5, 11-16

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