Hi friends, I am thrilled to introduce my friend Joan to you today. I met Joan at the gym over three years ago. She was my trainer. As the training took place, we found out we are both believers. In time, not only did my muscles get a workout but so did my heart and soul for Christ. Joan is a go-getter gal who loves health, fitness and our Savior. She is not shy to share. It is my honor and privilege to welcome my friend, Joan to Casual Conversations.
How To Live Out The “5th Commandment”
Do you remember 1973? Here are a few of the headlines that America was experiencing.
The World Trade Center opens in New York.
VP Spiro Agnew resigns. Gerald Ford becomes VP.
The Godfather wins Oscar for Best Picture.
Secretariat wins the Triple Crown.
The AP Athlete of the year is O.J. Simpson.
The event that I remember the most in 1973 was watching my father walk out the door and away from his parental responsibilities. I was 10 years old and I remember that day clearly
Funny, the memories that run through your mind while you are standing in a funeral home looking down at the person that nearly shattered your life. In October of 2001, after years of ill health, Dad died in his sleep. When I received the phone call late that Tuesday night, I had no regret for words never spoken or actions never taken.
When dad walked out the door, he left my mother with five of eight children still at home. 23 years of marriage had ended. She was 43 years old. The strong, secure walls that surrounded my life were crumbling like Jericho.
The evening that Dad walked out, Mom found me sitting on her bed sobbing. I remember the faint light from her vanity mirror illuminating the room as she held me on her lap, rocking me back and forth stroking my hair saying, “We will be alright, we will be alright.” 41 years later, the memory still brings a tear to my eyes.
She fervently prayed. Her mother fervently prayed. She taught us to fervently pray.
Remember, this was the early 70’s. Divorce was not commonplace. It was a shameful status. I was labeled as being from a ‘broken home’ and therefore I was not an acceptable playmate for most of my friends. There were few support groups for mom, no ‘dead beat dad’ laws, and very little outside help.
But that is when God does His greatest work! When all seems lost…God shows Himself to be the God of resurrection power!
We grew up Catholic, so I believed in God and at the age of 22, I rededicated my life to Jesus Christ and began to study the Bible in earnest. Many years later, after I became a wife and mother, I studied the Ten Commandments. In Exodus 20:12, the 5th commandment tells us to “Honor your mother and father that you might have long days in the land which the LORD God is giving you.” It is the only commandment with a promise.
“Honor my father? How can I honor my father?” I asked God repeatedly. “I don’t even like him or love him.” Honor does not mean love or respect. Honor is to have a proper attitude towards your father and mother. It is how one chooses to respond and behave towards another person.
Love and respect are emotional responses.
Honor is an action taken that can be devoid of emotions.
I had to learn how to have a proper attitude towards Dad.
For me, honor took the form of acts of kindness. I did not want my bad attitude to be a legacy that I inadvertently passed down to my children. I consciously chose to honor my dad by sending him pictures of the children, faxing their report cards and various awards and visiting him when I would travel home. Periodically I would ask God if there were other ways to show honor to Dad. Those few things seemed to please God, and that was my only concern, bringing glory to God through my obedience.
On the day of his funeral I stood looking at my once handsome, ever-prideful father and I had no regrets. I honored him just as God had commanded in His Word and as He impressed upon me to fulfill.
I tell this story to every person I know who struggles with honoring their parent(s). Everyone must find his or her own way to show ‘honor.’ Once the weight of the heavy yoke of trying to love and respect a person whom they neither love nor respect is lifted, they can begin to develop a new type of relationship. The fifth commandment does not say love or respect thy mother and father. God knew ‘honor’ had an eternal value. With God’s help and guidance, they come to find their own ‘honor code’.
Like any tragedy thrust upon us, we can choose to let it make us better or make us bitter. It does not need to ruin your life. I have chosen to be better and to use my pain and experience to help others who are suffering from the ravages of divorce.
If we let Him, God will use all our grief, our brokenness, and our wounded spirit to bring Glory to Him. Romans 8:28 says, “All things work together for good for those who love God and are called according to His purpose.” God is doing just that. He is using me to help children of divorce understand and work through and be blessed by Exodus 20:12. That is God’s great purpose for my life. And I am honored to be called according to His purpose.
After a 12 year drug addiction, which was a direct result of my way of coping with the effects of my parent’s divorce, God delivered me. I make it my mission to help other children of divorce, no matter their age to overcome the damage. As a medical fitness director, I use nutrition, exercise and the Word of God to help people heal from the inside out.
If I can be of any help to you or somone you know, contact me at email@example.com.
Hey my friends, next week I am going to share what I have been up to this week and announce June's giveaway. It is going to be a fun goodie.
As always, God loves you so much. You are His gals, and He enjoys you. Look for Him in all your life walk. He is next to you with His hand towards you. Grab ahold and go on an adventure with our Love.