Honor Thy Father and Mother – Kevin Spencer

Elizabeth "Lib" Spencer

Elizabeth "Lib" Spencer

You children must always obey your parents, for this is what pleases the Lord. Colossians 3:20

Let me just get this out of the way to start with…I don’t have a good track record with the 10 Commandments. I haven’t broken ALL of them. I don’t think I ever coveted my neighbor’s donkey, and by the grace of God I’ve never killed anybody, but that’s about it. As for the rest of them, well, I’m afraid I’ll be hiding behind Jesus when my judgment time comes.

But while I know I’ve been washed clean of my prodigal past, there is one broken commandment that still weighs heavy on my heart–Honor thy Father and Mother . . . As many ways as you could imagine that commandment could be broken, I’ve managed to do it.

Growing up with my mom was an adventure. Mom wasn’t the stay-at-home type; she worked for Sears and Roebuck most of my childhood. She took care of her family but she didn’t necessarily follow anybody else’s template of how that should be done. Mom made up her own rules, both in parenting, and in life. She did things her way, and we did things her way too.

I resented that. I resented that Mom wasn’t like any of the perfect TV moms that graced the situation comedies. I resented that Mom wasn’t like the mothers of my friends, who stayed at home. I resented that my mom didn’t do things like the other mothers I knew. As I grew older and trouble began to find me, it was easy to blame my parents, especially my mom, for my troubles.

No, Mom wasn’t like other mothers I knew, but not a single one of those other mothers was like Elizabeth Spencer either. It has taken me almost my whole adult life to realize that my dear mom was exactly like God made her to be. HE made my mom just like HE wanted her to be, to suit HIS plan and purpose. God had other plans for Elizabeth Spencer besides being the “perfect mom,” but despite that, she loved me very much and was the best mom she knew how to be.

God made Elizabeth Spencer an irrepressible, larger-than-life force of nature–an occasionally short-tempered force of nature that didn’t handle “stupid” very well, and, unfortunately, I spent a lot of my childhood being exactly that. Sorry, Mom.

As I write this, my mom has spent the last month in the hospital. That force of nature God made has a human body that is slowly winding down. Don’t be like me, and take too long to realize that the loved ones in your life, while they may not be as perfect as you want them to be are, nevertheless, exactly like God made them to be. Don’t take too long to honestly tell a loved one how much they mean to you. Don’t take too long to say “I love you.”

God doesn’t wait. He shows us His love and mercy daily. Say I love you . . . NOW.

(I love you, Mom, I love you so very much.)

**Editor’s note: Kevin wrote this devotion February 2, 2011. He emailed it to his mother who was ill in the hospital. She was thrilled. Kevin’s mother passed away Tuesday, February 8. Our love and prayers extend across the miles to this gentle man whose words melted his mother’s heart. We love you Kevin. – The Staff of Christian Devotions Ministries

Kevin Spencer lives in Tennessee with his beautiful wife Charlotte and grandson Caleb. A former prodigal son, Kevin is now trying to use the gifts God gave him, and by the grace of God has a life far better than he ever deserved.Read Kevin’s devotions
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One Comment

  1. You are right, my friend. And Jesus stands in front of all of us to clothe us in His righteousness. He stands between us and the wrath of God against unrighteousness.

    Right about Mom, too. My mom wasn’t the one I wanted, but she did the best she could do with what she had. About a year ago, she endured her last illness (Death is God’s final triumph over sickness – George MacDonald)and she’s been on my mind a lot this past week. I miss her.

    God will be your refuge in this time of grieving. I am praying.

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