Friday, July 20, 2012

How Are You Treating Your Parents?

The Grandfather’s Table and the Little Echo of the Wooden Bowl

By Abraham Israel

The one story that made a great impact during my later stage of my primary school days was a story named as 'Wooden Bowl'. As this was one of my English lesson, my teacher gave this story to be written by heart in all test. I used to keep repeating it many times in the evening and morning that Mom still say about it to remind me of those days.

As we read this story, may God help us to learn truth that will make a impact in our life and the life of our children.

A frail old man went to live with his son, daughter-in-law, and four-year old grandson. The old man’s hands trembled, his eyesight was blurred, and his step faltered. The family ate together at the table, but the elderly grandfather’s shaky hands and failing sight made eating difficult. Peas rolled off his spoon onto the floor. When he grasped the glass, milk spilled on the tablecloth.

The son and daughter-in-law became irritated with the mess. “We must do something about Grandfather,” said the son. “I’ve had enough of his spilled milk, noisy eating, and food on the floor.” Therefore, the husband and wife set a small table in the corner.

There, Grandfather ate alone while the rest of the family enjoyed dinner. Since grandfather had broken a dish or two, his food was served in a wooden bowl. When the family glanced in Grandfather’ s direction, sometimes he had a tear in his eye as he sat alone. Still, the only words the couple had for him were sharp admonitions when he dropped a fork or spilled food.

The four-year-old watched it all in silence. One evening before supper, the father noticed his son playing with wood scraps on the floor. He asked the child sweetly, “What are you making?”

Just as sweetly, the boy responded, “Oh, I am making a little bowl for you and Mama to eat your food in when I grow up.” The four-year-old smiled and went back to work.

The words so struck the parents that they were speechless. Then tears started to stream down their cheeks. Though no word was spoken, both knew what must be done.

That evening the husband took Grandfather’s hand and gently led him back to the family table. For the remainder of his days, he ate every meal with the family. And for some reason, neither husband nor wife seemed to care any longer when a fork was dropped, milk spilled, or the tablecloth soiled.

What can we learn from this story? What bad attitude we show towards our parents, our children will see it and repeat it in the later stage of their life, which will recursively become a curse down the generational line if we do not repent of it by humbling ourselves to get cleansed by our confession to God through the blood of Jesus and receive the grace of God to overcome such impatient attitude towards our parents in their old age
(1 John 1:7, 9; Heb 9:14).

God cannot be deceived, He will make us reap exactly the things we sow in our parents life
(Gal 6:7). If we patiently honor them in their old age by showing a good attitude towards their weakness, the same things God will make us receive through our children which will bless us to live in great satisfaction in our old age.

Recently I heard of a certain believer in our Church who has heard the gospel and has been coming to the Church for nearly two decades, I was told that he angrily spoke to his mother who is in her early nineties saying, 'Why are you giving us problems by not dying soon? Die and go!' First of all I cannot understand how a believer who has heard the word of God for such a long time could speak such words of curse towards his mother? I was deeply greived about it. I pray such people might really be saved if they are not or check themselves whether they are saved as Apostle Paul says
(2 Cor 13:5), because even unbelievers show some kind of concern towards their parents (1 Cor 5:1). Every saved person cannot continue with such attitude without remorse in their heart for exhibiting such ungodly values and wishing evil upon their own parents.

The word of God says,
"Listen to your father who begot you, and do not despise your mother when she is old." (Prov 23:22). God was so angry about disrespecting one's father or mother that he had said in the Old Testament Law, "For everyone who curses his father or his mother shall surely be put to death. He has cursed his father or his mother. His blood shall be upon him." (Lev 20:9). In fact, for those who are cursing their father or mother, God has promised to cut out their lamps which is the divine revelation of His word that gives spiritual sanity and life to them, and also has spoken to throw them in to utter darkness of hell if they are in case not really saved by Jesus (Prov 20:20). Do you realize how serious God is when it comes to honoring one's parents? Some of the religious and coveteous people who made a traditional law to break supporting the financial support of the sons and daughters to their father and mother in order to receive money for themselves and the temple buisness in the first century have been rebuked by Jesus for their open rebellion against the word of God and hypocrisy of thier evil hidden life (Mark 7:10-13). When some one says that they fear God and are saved, they must be honoring their old age parents and elders (Lev 19:32). Infact Paul the apostle goes on to say that if any believer does not provide for his relatives, and especially for members of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever (1 Tim 5:8).

But the good news is, God has told that He will give a long life to those who honor their parents spiritually, emotionally, socially, physically and financially, and also they will be given a financially prosperous life (Deut 5:16). The other day, my mum was dropping some tumblers down. Young as I am, suddenly I raised my voice to ask her what was happening in the kitchen. Then mum told that she dropped a couple of tumblers again and again, then immediately I lowered my voice to reassuringly say to my mum that it was not a problem because she is becoming older and then I offered to come and help if she needed anything more. We should learn to encourage more and more our parents as they get older and come to understand that they are becoming more dependant on us as they are becoming like babies again before God takes them to His kingdom forever (1 Tim 5:1; Matt 18:3). God has promised that He will not forsake His sons and daughters when they physically become weak and old with gray hairs, but has promised to carry and save them till their very end (Isa 46:3-4). We should learn to live faithfuly like our God and surely we will become what we believe to be!

The good thing we have seen in this story is the repentant mother and father who changed their wrong attitude once they have learned the lesson through their little child. Peace, joy and righteousness of the kingdom of God gets restored in the house of the repentant, but evil will stay in the house of the unrepentant person. Every true believer in Jesus Christ will repent of such wrong attitudes when God shows it to them and will live a blessed life of satisfaction the rest of their lives. When we allow the love of God to rule in our hearts, automatically Christ will be the master of our whole family, who will hear, see and rule with His heavenly Presence and make us prosperous and joyful in Him forever. Where Christ rules, old people will be cared with much concern and care. May God help us all to live lovingly towards our parents.

"Treat your parents the way you want to be treated when you are old, because when you are old that is the way you will be treated by your children." — Abraham Israel

Much Blessings....


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