January 10,2017/I’m Just Like My Mother…except When I’m Like My Father

LimiMuch as scientists like to remind us about genes and DNA, the best way to get a rise out of someone is to compare them to one of their parents. Somehow, the phrase, “You’re just like your mother” or “You’re just like your father” throw all of us into a tizzy.

Humans don’t like to be compared to their parents. After all, THEY are the ones who made all those ‘mistakes’ and laws for us growing up. We are assured that ‘we’ will do much better when we are in their position. It is in every one of us to rebel to authority…and you can’t get much more ‘authority’ than dealing with a parent (unless it is a judge or a cop!)

At my age, I have realized that I have my mother’s type A personality. I could win an Olympic medal in worry. I have done better dealing with worry as I get older, but there is always this faint voice going, “What if..?” in the back of my mind. Of course, I have also inherited my mother’s love for music and art. My mother had a serious artistic bent. She also suffered from an early marriage with a man who hit her…ONCE. She left the marriage immediately and escaped to a beach in Florida for a brief spell. I like to say that my mother was an original feminist. She taught me at a young age the importance of giving 99% trust to a husband–but keep some money in MY name and a 1% view of healthy suspicion to listen to the small voice inside if I felt there was something wrong.

I inherited a healthy financial outlook from my father who graduated high school during the Great Depression. He viewed desperate men selling apples on street corners in order to support families. He was quick to teach me that the value of a house was worth ONLY what you received by living in it. “A $200,000 house today could be worth $5,000 tomorrow…so don’t go taking out a loan or mortgage on ‘anticipation.'”

Dad saw the world we live in now in the mirror. “When you eliminate the rule of law, you have anarchy–and that means the end of civilized behavior.” He made it clear that I had the right to take a stand for what I believed in…as long as I didn’t expect HIM to pay the bill. I had no ‘rights’ when I was on his dime. If I had a ‘beef’ with the way things were at our hourse, he’d help me move.

Obviously, I had wonderful parents. Even long before they were gone,  I had enough sense to realize that! They loved, cared, protected, and gave me the tools so that I could survive on my own while allowing me to carve my own ideals and principles.

I understand why God instructed us in Exodus 20:12-Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long upon the land which the Lord your God is giving you.

Parents have walked this earth longer than we have…so they have seen and experienced a lot more than we have. We should honor them for their wisdom and experience. There are some aspects of some parental attitudes that we might be well to avoid. No one wants to honor behavior that is abhorrent such as abuse, theft, etc. But I don’t think God expects us to ‘honor’ parents that exhibt those attributes…I think he wants us to learn from their mistakes.

God expects us to honor and respect that which is good and learn from the mistakes of that which is bad. Some may have bad parents. They may wonder how God would ever expect them to honor a parent. God doesn’t expect you to stay or obey something/someone doing wrong. He is giving you the opening to learn…and, perhaps someday find a place of pity. God shows us that we don’t have to follow the ‘wrong’ as long as we honor Him and realize that many times with age comes wisdom.


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