Welcome to DAY 26 of our online Bible study on Ephesians!
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Read: Ephesians 6:1-4
I’ll never really know how deeply my rebellion hurt my parents. They never saw it coming. And neither did I. Which I know sounds strange since rebellion is a willful choice. But while it’s true no one forced me to have an affair, betray my marriage, or choose divorce, I honestly never intended to hurt them.
But how could it not hurt them? I had ignited a huge bomb with a countdown inevitably set for zero. Why didn’t I realize I’d set a bomb ticking? Maybe it was my laser-focused selfishness, or being in denial that my decisions would effect anyone but me. But whether I realized it or not didn’t matter. The countdown couldn’t be stopped. Zero came. The bomb exploded. And the inadvertent shrapnel and debris pierced my parents with wounds so deep, it would take many years for them to eventually heal.
I’d always been their perfect child. Not perfect in the sense of PERFECT, but relatively compliant, eager to please and overachieving — with some perfectionistic tendencies thrown in along the way. I’m guessing by the time I was twenty-five they figured they’d done a good job — not with any arrogance or pride, just in the sense that they could relax and enjoy a calm confidence and breathe a sigh of relief that parenting would be downhill from here.
I’d followed all the rules, earned stellar grades, and acquired what seemed like the picture-perfect-picket-fence life.
Until the day the bomb went off. That day, everything changed.
So much of what they’d known about me and the life I’d been living, just simply obliterated. In one moment, with one split-second blast came the news that I’d disobeyed God and dishonored them as parents — having made a complete mess of my life. Who could blame them for their shock? For their pain? For not knowing what to do with me?
Those years after the explosion were excruciating — not just to live through the pain I’d caused my own self, but also to live with myself for hurting and dishonoring my parents and my God. There I sat all alone, left to sift through the debris all around me. This moment I could have never imagined — how the selfishness and denial brought me temporary gain, but also such devastating loss.
And yet it was there, in that place, God’s mercy found even me, and in His mercy my heart turned toward Him.
I softened to wisdom and guidance. And in time, my parents extended grace to me too.
“Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. Honor your father and mother — which is the first commandment with a promise — so that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth.” (Ephesians 6:1-3)
There’s been much healing in the sixteen years since.
Deep wounds have closed, yet scars still remain. And that’s the thing, obedience and honor are for our good, not to restrict our freedom or fun. To obey and honor our parents and our God, protect and preserve the contentment of our hearts as we travel through this life — that our life would go well. They minimize our pain and save us from scars. And it’s God’s beautiful promise.
In this life we will have pain and wounds and scars. But how much less they would be if we choose to obey and honor, both our parents and our God. I’ve learned the hard way and have the scars to prove it’s true.
~ Diving Deeper ~
Do you see God’s commands as His way
of protecting and preserving the contentment of your heart?