Matthew 15:1-6 GNT
Then some Pharisees and teachers of the Law came from Jerusalem to Jesus and asked him, “Why is it that your disciples disobey the teaching handed down by our ancestors? They don’t wash their hands in the proper way before they eat!” Jesus answered, “And why do you disobey God’s command and follow your own teaching? For God said, ‘Respect your father and your mother,’ and ‘If you curse your father or your mother, you are to be put to death.’ But you teach that if people have something they could use to help their father or mother, but say, ‘This belongs to God,’ they do not need to honor their father. In this way you disregard God’s command, in order to follow your own teaching.
1 Timothy 5:3-4 GNT
Show respect for widows who really are all alone. But if a widow has children or grandchildren, they should learn first to carry out their religious duties toward their own family and in this way repay their parents and grandparents, because that is what pleases God.
I heard recently of someone who decided to give her dad a surprise: she changed his wardrobe and bought him a car. How nice. I am tempted to suggest a ‘surprise your parents challenge’.
The truth is, many of us could use this suggestion right now. Well I can understand that folks who have wealthy parents might have a hard time finding a way to be a blessing to their parents in material terms, but for the many whose parents are not so well off, this is really an opportunity to do something that actually pleases God.
As believers, we need to live our lives with greater fidelity to the fuller counsel of God. Many are well indoctrinated in the idea of giving to God and men of God, and have given what amounts to fortunes in this regard. Unfortunately many such people pinch pennies when giving to their parents. God frowns at this.
In fact Jesus accuses us of disregarding God’s commands when we act as though giving to God excuses us from taking good care of our parents. In writing to Timothy, Apostle Paul makes the point that the paramount thing that believers should learn is fulfilling their primary duty of caring for their parents.
It’s all well and good to give to God and the man of God, but bear in mind that God ranks meeting the needs of, and honouring our parents as a more important demonstration of our faith. I would even say, it is a phoney faith which “daddies” the man of God and lays a hefty offering at his feet while neglecting the needs of your own parents.
So I guess I’ll just yield to the temptation and launch a ‘Surprise Your Parents Challenge’
Be kind and suggest a few ideas (in the comments section) for things readers can do to pleasantly surprise their parents.