At the church, the series of messages these days revolve around the Ten Commandments. Most people will say that they already know the Ten Commandments and there is no need to review or to study it, but I do believe that we must always study God's Word every now and then for us to be reminded of what God can do to our lives and what God wants us to do in order to live according to His will.
The first four commandments are about God (#1- You shall have no other gods before me; #2- Do not make carved images; #3- Do not take the name of the Lord in vain; #4- Remember the Sabbath) and the fifth commandment is "Honor your father and your mother". The Lord made this as the fifth commandment because the parents are His representatives in our lives. This is also the first commandment with a promise (Ephesians 6:1-3).
Sadly, these days, a lot of people do not honor their parents anymore. I have been hearing and reading a lot of stories about children mistreating their parents, not giving respect, or harboring anger towards their parents.
The fifth commandment struck me too. Since I'm a single parent, I know for sure that there is something lacking on my child's wholeness. The Lord has reminded me to talk about this to my son especially his feelings towards his daddy. I was so shocked to know that he is harboring anger towards his father. I understand where his anger comes from because he is an abandoned child. He really didn't feel the love of a father to him (note: he knows who his daddy is, but sadly, the daddy doesn't want to really want to be a father to him). I must also say that I also contributed on his anger towards his daddy because I was angry at his daddy then. It is also hard to explain to my son that his daddy loves him because in the first place he didn't feel it.
When I told my son that he needs to forgive his daddy, he said he doesn't want to. Somehow I got hurt because I taught my son to harbor anger towards his father. I reminded him about the fifth commandment and he asked me how can he honor his father because his daddy didn't honor us in the first place. He kept on asking me why he needs to forgive his daddy. I said that the Lord commanded us to do so and God has forgiven our sins too. During our conversation, I can really feel his pain for being fatherless and his longing to have a father. I really tried my best to assure him that a lot of people love him and he can even rely on to God to be his father. I said that he doesn't need to immediately forgive his daddy but he has to constantly pray to God to help him forgive his daddy in due time.
We ended our conversation with a prayer. Both of us prayed. I thanked the Lord for reminding me about the fifth commandment and I also thanked Him for giving me a chance to explain it to my son as early as now. If I delayed this a bit further, I believe that it'll be harder for my son to forgive his father and may do rebellious acts on me.
For single parents like me, let us teach our children to honor the absent parent. There is no need to love them (loving is a decision, not a feeling), but keep the respect and forgive them for the mistakes their absent parent did. Teach our children to live a life according to God's will so that the Lord will continuously bless them.