“Worldwide abuses of all kinds have been experienced in many families, during these very trying Covid-19 pandemic times. So, there are real pains in these families – where parents and children are locked-down together uncomfortably. ……..the Fifth Commandment:is to “honor . . . father and mother” (Exod. 20:12; Eph. 6:1-3). This should be so, even if a parent has done dishonorable things to us.”
HONORING FATHER AND MOTHER – Pr. Stephen Patrick Achillah.
International Mothers’ and Fathers’ Days are annually celebrated in May and June, respectively. These events bring to our memories either expressions of deep appreciation for the very good parents we’ve had, or expressions of deep forgiveness for the very bad parents we’ve had. Between these extreme expressions are numerous others of a mild kind. But the non-negotiable bottom line for every believer in Christ, is to obey the Fifth Commandment: to “honor . . . father and mother” (Exod. 20:12; Eph. 6:1-3). This should be so, even if a parent has done dishonorable things to us.
There is a boy who was rescued as a baby from a latrine: having been dumped there by his mother. Some of us also recall Tele-Evangelist Joyce Meyer’s testimony of deep hurt, shame and dishonor, when her own father sexually abused her many times. But she forgave him, cared for him in his old age, and influenced him for heaven. It takes a real death to self to be able to do that. And by the grace of God, it can be done! Such testimonies can give hope to many people who have experienced parental abuses and battering – broken both at heart and in body.
Worldwide abuses of all kinds have been experienced in many families, during these very trying Covid-19 pandemic times. So, there are real pains in these families – where parents and children are locked-down together uncomfortably.
While parents are to be honored, they should also live honorably. Here in Uganda, we know that even before Covid-19, we’ve had many social evils in good measure that result from such poor parenting. In 2017, the following were some worrying statistics concerning the failures of fathers in Uganda. 10% of fathers were unaware of the existence of children they had fathered! 40% of fathers were aware of the existence of children they had fathered, but either ignored them, or were not involved in their lives! 45% of fathers had limited involvement in the lives of their children. And only 5% of fathers were actively involved – in good ways – in the lives of their children. For now, we can only imagine the percentages of evil and poor motherhood. My humble guess is that these percentages are less worrying.
It is with that family decadence in mind that the Government of Uganda made the years 2017 to 2020 YEARS OF THE FAMILY. The need for this emphasis has come again forcefully at the tail end of this set period. Our prayer should be that fathers and mothers should purpose to be role models to the young generation: in all purity, faithfulness, ethics, integrity, diligence, positive attitudes, and positive character development.
We pray that God forgives our failures as parents. And may He also forgive the failures of young people – to give their parents due honor. Meanwhile, we celebrate fathers and mothers who are making such positive contributions in our church and nation. May God indeed bless them, and add to their number.