GrandPause: The fundamental deception of Satan is the lie that obedience can never bring happiness. R. C. Sproul
Only one of the Ten Commandments comes with a promise attached to it: “Honor your father and mother so that you may live long in the land.” God must give some unique importance to this seemingly inconspicuous command to attach a promise to it.
We just celebrated Mother’s Day last week as part of the commandment to honor our mothers and fathers. With Father’s Day just around the corner, I want to encourage all my readers to get involved in the Honor Your Father campaign being promoted in churches across America as a way to begin putting into practice this command of God.
There are more than enough examples of fatherless homes in our land today. Sadly, fatherlessness is a huge problem. I know that for some of you, the idea of honoring your father when he wasn’t much of a father can seem unrealistic—if not too much to ask. But I want to challenge that thinking in light of what God’s Word teaches us—something He takes very seriously.
GrandPause: Her children arise and call her blessed;
her husband also, and he praises her.
Peter was diagnosed with a deadly form of cancer and told he would not live out the year. As a dad of three young girls, the news was devastating. Lost in a fog of depression, his wife decided to arrange a trip to the mountains to cheer him up. She chose a place she knew would be special to him—a place with a lake like a mirror at the base of a forested and snowcapped mountain. The Forest Service built a cabin there that could be reserved, but there was a one-year wait list. She signed him up anyway.
When she told him what she had done, it only deepened his depression. “Everything there is so permanent,” he told her. “The mountain, the forest, the lake—but not me. One year from now I won’t be here.”
But Peter was wrong. A year later the mountain, the lake and the forest was gone. It all disappeared in the eruption of Mount St. Helens on Mothers’ Day, 1980. And Peter…? Well, the granted him many years of life after that.
Why this story other than it happened on Mothers’ Day? Because it serves as a reminder to me of the relentless love of a wife and mother that is more enduring than all the Mount St. Helens of our world. It is why we celebrate today this cherished gift God gave us—MOTHERS. There are few greater examples of sacrifice, unconditional love and perseverance than that of faithful, godly mothers and grandmothers.
Alongside mothers in particular, women in general—whether mothers, sisters, daughters, aunts—fill our lives with love and sparkle that we men dare not take for granted. I know that there are women for whom Mothers’ Day is an unpleasant reminder that they are not mothers when they so desperately want to be.
Trey is flunking almost all of his classes and will likely not graduate from high school this year. It’s interesting to hear his excuses: my teachers didn’t tell me what I needed to do to get my grades up to where I could graduate; I turned in most of my homework assignments—it’s not my fault they don’t have them; The school doesn’t take into account all the other things I have to do at school. How am I supposed to keep up with it all?
Trey has decided he is a victim. He is guided by his circumstances and there is nothing he can do about. His decision to be the victim, not the victor, will lead to a pre-determined destination, and it won’t be a good one. That brings us to our final D in this series on successful grandparenting.
#3: It Comes Down to DECISIONS
Michael Decalvo was running in a marathon race a number of years ago. When he came to a certain point in the race he noticed that several of the runners were heading off in a particular direction that he knew was the correct course direction. He tried to warn the runners that they were heading the wrong way, but they wouldn’t listen and even mocked him for suggesting that he knew better than they.
Though everyone crossed the finish line, in the end many of the runners were disqualified because they did not listen to Michael and ran off the designated course. When asked about it, Michael shrugged and said, “They thought it was funny that I would choose the direction I did. But now guess who’s laughing?”
We may know the destination we want to reach, but if we go the wrong direction to get there, we miss the mark. Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth and the life. No man comes to the Father but by me.” The fact is… Direction (our second D) determines Destination.