“Honor your father and mother, as the Lord your God commanded you, so that your days may be long and that it may go well with you in the land that the Lord your God is giving” (Deut 5:16). Parents who cooperate with God in the act of creation deserve the primary place in the family. Therefore the act of creation should be consummated in a state of grace and mutual love. It is not from the body but from the spirit a child is born. Therefore children are not of the parents but of God.
When children look at their father, they should see in him divine fatherhood. Parents and children are bonded together by love and blood relationship. Parental relations are very close to divine relationship and divine decisions are conveyed through parents. Generations are blessed through the parents. In the bible, we see how Jacob blesses his twelve children by foreseeing the divine scheme regarding them. We can even see story of a competition between Jacob and Esau to get the blessing from the father by pleasing him. Blessing will flow freely on to those children who obey their parents. “For a father’s blessing strengthens the houses of the children, but a mother’s curse uproots their foundations” (Sir 3:9)
It is good to make an examination to find out whether behind the problems and crises faced by some children there is a lack of blessings from parents. This might be the reason for some families not achieving success in spite of their strenuous endeavors. In order not to bring up the tears of parents before God, children and parents should forgive, bless and love one another and pray earnestly. If the parents don’t do that, their children will never be successful.
Only when there are model couples there will be children who would be upright. The defects and character traits of parents can be seen throughout their life. Parents who are alcoholic and drug addicts, who spend their wealth prodigally, who spend their days in fights and other idle pursuits, are destroying their progeny. If children don’t obey and respect their parents, parents should examine themselves to see if there was any deficiency in their children’s upbringing.
Parents have a responsibility to bring up their children in the fear and love of God. Parents should be exemplary models to their children in things like tolerance, love, mutual respect, unprejudiced affection, unselfish love, fidelity and humility. They have an obligation to help the children choose their vocation.
“Pamper the child, and he will terrorize you; play with him and will grieve you. Do not laugh with him, or you will have sorrow with him, and in the end you will gnash your teeth. Give him no freedom in his youth, and do not ignore his errors. Bow down his neck in his youth, and beat his sides while he is young, or else he will become stubborn and disobey you, and you will have sorrow of soul from him” (Sirach 30: 9-12)
– – – written by Surjith Jacob