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Honor Your Father and Mother

September 17, 2014

“When I was a boy of fourteen, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be twenty-one, I was astonished at how much he had learned in seven years.”   –  Mark Twain

Sometimes it’s hard to tell your story, but you just know you have to say it. Even if no one reads this, I think I have to write it if for no other reason than to come to terms with my own faults and failures. I wasted a good 25 years of my life kind of angry with my dad. We still have our disagreements now and then, but what a difference when you figure out your parents are human! I don’t know that I grasped that at all as a child.

Early childhood placed me in Perth, New York. One of the tiniest towns you’ll ever see. Dad was pastor at Perth Bible Church and my mom the ideal pastor’s wife. The church had 65 members when my parents went there in a town of less than 2,000. In his final year there we actually had a service with 2,259 people in attendance, and there were about 1,000 members. Being in an atmosphere like that had to be unreal, and definitely the result of God’s touch. However, when that’s all you know in the first 9 years of your life, I don’t know where in the world you go from there? I didn’t know what a superstar was, but I assure you, I placed my parents, and especially my dad, in superstar status. He wouldn’t like that, I know.

We moved to Michigan for a few years and then on to New Jersey. We were all of the sudden living in populous areas. Mom deservedly gets credit for raising us at home, but somewhere along the way, I kind of quit thinking of dad as a star. That wouldn’t have bothered him, I don’t think, but I also quit giving him the proper respect. I also lost my love for what God had done for me. I had that childlike faith the Bible talks about when I was a child. When I hit the teen years, church kind of became a ritual, or even a game to me.

The past twenty-one years I have been here in North Carolina. My parents are here now too, after living in Florida for a dozen years. I am, I think, finally trying not to unfairly demand perfection of my dad. I know I gave him way too much credit for the miracle that was Perth Bible Church. I understand that God wants ordinary men so God’s power can be shown off. I don’t mean to call my dad ordinary in a negative way. I’m simply trying to convey how he was used mightily because he was pointing the way to Jesus!

We still do things that get underneath each others’ skin from time to time, I know. There are times he gets frustrated with the faces I make or my response to a request. The silly part of that is, I’m pretty sure I get that from him. That being said, I am so thankful to know my parents love me. I am very thankful for their hearts of servitude and hospitality that I try to display myself. I’m hoping even at this ripe old age of 44, God still has ways I can serve Him now. Part of that will require I learn to say yes to both Him and the parents He’s given me. Mom, Dad, I love you!

Exodus 20:12

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  1. This was a good post, George. Sometimes we write things that maybe aren’t life changing to others, but it helps the reader connect and view the writer as a real person. Hearing about your childhood here is important for us to empathize with you in later posts. I felt you did a great job opening up that door of trust and vulnerability 🙂 thank you!

  2. Thank you Trisha. I felt like I didn’t point to Christ enough, but He knows my heart. I’m working at this gratitude thing, and I certainly appreciate your encouragement!

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