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Godly Family Relationships

(Proverbs 4:1-5; 6:20-22; 10:1; 22:6; 31:10-12,26-28)

Lesson 13 -- third quarter 1998
August 30, 1998

by Mark Roth
© Copyright 1998, Christian Light Publications

Live it up! That's what the world wants to do. And that's what many Christian youth (and often their elders as well) would like to do. Life is for living, you know, so live it up! For many, living it up means the abdication of restraint, responsibility and submission. Living it up has somewhat become synonymous with a special six-letter word: freedom. And that word has attained a definition which in popular parlance goes, "Do your own thing."

In reality, that is living it down. Think about it.

So let's turn things right side up! Let's see how to really live it up! To the world and the natural mind it will seem upside down. But remember that the world and the natural mind have a hopelessly skewed perspective, so what can they tell us about spiritual reality?!

How shall we then live (it up)?

Give diligent attention. Listen to what your parents have to say. Tune in their verbal messages, yes. But also tune in their life message. Wherein their life and doctrine line up with the Scriptures, hearken! "Let thine heart retain my words" encompasses significantly more than remembering those words. It means hang on to them, hold them in high value, don't give them up for anything. Be a faithful child. Be a strong bridge. Retain for the next generation what you have received from the previous generation. Behold a primary function of a strong family!

Obey and submit. Knowing the truth, live it. Knowing your parents wishes and rules, live by them. Surrender your will to the authority and direction of your folks. Rules may be old fashioned, but so is happiness and joy! Obedience may seem awfully restrictive and narrow, but so is the gate to everlasting life! As your train chugs along through life, observe two cardinal rules: "Stay on the rails, no matter what!" and "Always stop for a red flag waving!"

That is, if you want to live (it up): "Let thine heart retain my words: keep my commandments, and live." No wonder those who attempt to live it up through "liberty" and license, fail.

Call that a current perspective on today's lesson. Now I'd like you to consider a perspective for a little farther down the tracks: Honor your parents when you are old(er). In our younger years it seems we all go through a certain stage during which our parents suffer honor deprivation. They strike us as a liability and burden, which is really quite amazing given the fact we still depend on them. But for most, that stage passes and parental stock rises again. Tragically, though, there exists the propensity for traveling through that same stage again...in our later years...when you would think we would know better.

Parents are left set at home alone. Or they are taken into the homes of their children...only to be dishonored and disrespected in various ways. Or else they are shipped off to a nursing home. Or else they are cut off from our families because we are so busy. Or their counsel is not sought because we now have a lot of experience and maturity of our own.

Young person, endeavor now to develop and maintain godly attitudes toward your parents. Ask God to show you their value, and then hold them in proper regard. It just may be you will be old(er) sometime--then you will reap a harvest of what you are sowing now!

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