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Believing Parents Are a Great Gift

Gloria Keranen | 2016 May-June Shepherd's Voice

Believing Parents Are a Great Gift

Why is having a believing mother and father a great gift? I asked this question to a couple of my boys, and they said, “They can forgive our sins.” The gift of faith that we have been given allows us to preach the forgiveness of sins in Jesus’ name and blood.

Thinking back to my life as a child in a believing home, I remember feeling secure. Our home was a refuge, a place of protection from the world. One of my sisters, who is single, said, “While growing up, mom and dad’s home was a place of refuge; now today my older siblings’ homes are also a safe place for me. When feeling troubled by the world around me, their homes are the secure haven I need.”

Another memory I have is of mom being home day after day waiting with open arms and ears. We told her of our day, good or bad, and she listened and comforted. Being one of 17 children, we had many disagreements. Mom and dad always encouraged us to preach the gospel to each other.

Another sister said that she at a certain time in her life felt closer to dad and was able to speak of faith and other matters with him. It was important to have both mom and dad to offer the same instruction and preach the gospel. We had a routine before going to bed at night. It started with evening snack and ended with saying prayers and preaching the gospel to each other. What a comforting way to end each day, with no worry or sin on our conscience.

What does Jesus teach? One story that stands out is the story of the prodigal, or lost, son. This son was living in sin far away from home with the inheritance his father had given him. He lost all that he owned and suffered great hunger. During this troubling time he thought of and missed his home. He returned home, and his father welcomed him with open arms. In the Bible story, it tells us that the father’s servants clothed him and put a ring on his hand, which is a picture of his sins being forgiven. Jesus instructs us to be patient and to have a forgiving heart no matter how great or sorrowful the sin may seem.

God’s Word teaches parents: “And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up” (Deut. 6:7). God wants the teaching of His Word and will to be the center of our teachings and everyday family life.

God also wants you children to honor, serve, obey, love, and esteem your parents. Honor and esteem means to show respect; to serve means to help them; to obey means to listen and follow instructions; and you should also love them. “Children obey your parents in all things: for this is well pleasing unto the Lord” (Col. 3:20).

What is the most important thing that you can do for your parents? Pray for them, as it says in song of Zion 464, verse 2: “Jesus, in my home today shield my mom and dad, I pray. As I live and as I grow, bless the seed my parents sow.”

Love them, too. Song of Zion 454, verse 4, says: “Thou gave to me my parents, kind and loving. On paths of righteousness in faith, they’re guiding. Oh, let me always honor them, dear Lord, and with Thy help, my love to them accord.”

Most importantly, dear children, remember to use the precious gospel to forgive them as often as they need, saying, “Believe all your sins forgiven in Jesus’ name and precious blood.”

May we all remember to stop in our busy lives to thank God for our parents and all of our blessings. “Thank You for our homes and families; thanks for all who share our lives; through our elders, sisters, brothers, many blessings You provide” (SHZ 351:2).

Gloria Keranen

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