Thursday, June 16, 2011

Not What They Expected

Honor your father and your mother…. Exodus 20:12

Listen to Not What They Expected - She Said

I’m probably not what my folks expected. When most parents spent sleepless nights wondering where their children were, I was stuffed neatly under Mom’s handmade quilts, sleeping. When compared to my friends who caused constant worry, I wasn’t what my parents expected.

They taught me to say thank you and to encourage the spirit of others. It was “right” to:
- Allow others to step in front of me—they may have never had an opportunity to lead.
- Share all I had with others because the joy was not in the possession but in the opportunity to experience it with someone else.
- Remain silent than to utter hurtful words.
- Be more productive to help others succeed–my success would be in theirs.
- Seek spiritual rewards rather than earthly ones and enjoy the blessings of humility.
- Work for free and expect nothing in return because payment comes from the Father.

I could have shunned my parents, said “Nope,” but I didn’t. I honored them. That probably wasn’t what they expected.
When I married a preacher, they didn’t expect to see me divorced and broken. My folks didn’t expect I’d deal with a disabled child or a prodigal son. They expected the best for me. Instead, they saw struggle and pain.

Jesus learned these same principles as a child. Mary and Joseph didn’t expect to find Him teaching in the synagogue as a boy. When He was spat on, shunned, had no place to lay His head...I doubt they expected that either. As He shouldered the sin of man, blood trickled down his legs and dripped into a pool at His mother’s knees. My best guess was, this wasn’t what Mary expected.

Jesus was a son…the Son of Man and the Son of God, and He was raised to honor His parents. Few expected miracles from a carpenter and fewer expected salvation from His wounds. Still, He kept His eye firmly fixed on His Father and honored Him. Not what most expected.

We can’t chose the paths our children will take. The world offers them such neatly painted lies that tempt them to stray. All I can do is plant the seeds of honor within them and then pray for them daily. I have honored my earthly parents and my Father in heaven by teaching my children all that was instilled in me. Do I always get what I expect? No, but then sometimes I do.

Honor your father and mother by being godly parents. Give them what they expect.

(Happy Father's Day dad. Fifteen years and we still miss you.)

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Eddie Jones and Cindy Sproles are friends and cofounders of They cowrite the popular He Said, She Said devotions and host Blog Talk Radio's Christian Devotions SPEAK UP! along with Scott McCausey. And now you can catch them each Friday evening at their new time, 6 p.m. on He Said, She Said Radio. (Call in number, 646-929-0706 ).

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