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Generally, mothers are accorded a great deal of love and respect, even above fathers! Maybe because they are one of the first voices and faces the child recognizes; the first teachers; the caring hands that rock the cradle and, as a reward, the hand that rocks the cradle gets the larger dose of love!
Conventionally, daddy provides the comfort and balm but, it is mommy who solicitously applies them and gets noticed more! Cherishing dear mommy is usually the nurturing ground for love and other virtues!
In religion, parent-honor is almost a form of worship! Virtually every religion carves a special top-notch niche for fathers and mothers. The Christian Scriptures encapsulates it all with the Commandment “Honor Thy Father and Thy Mother”!
However, the wrong interpretation of this Commandment has inadvertently worked untold hardship on many a child who struggles to obey it! How is a child to honor a father who has degenerated to a drunkard and drug addict; or a mother who through hot temper, loose tongue and lack of self-discipline torments the household?
How can a child honor and revere parents who roundly abuse themselves and are frequently embroiled in violent quarrels?
Unless the child is also contaminated, he/she can only pay lip-service and empty habitual respect to such parents. The impetus for pure love and heart-felt honor which streams from the soul is lacking! The child simply tags along in make-believe obedience! Is the Commandment encouraging hypocrisy?
Absolutely impossible! All Divine Commandments are perfect and perfection cannot give honor to whom honor is not due!
This means that the Commandment is cautioning fathers and mothers as well as children! It demands that parents should keep fatherhood and motherhood honorable and worthy of reverence; where they have done so, it is the sacred duty of children to honor such parents!
Interpret the Commandment aright: Parents, keep fatherhood and motherhood honorable; children, honor such fathers and mothers! It does not make children judges over parents; nor does it encourage children to disrespect their seniors, elders, those in authority and fellow human beings in general! It only makes it clear that parents are not given a blank check to defile the sacred concepts of fatherhood and motherhood and still expect to be implicitly honored by their children!
No Commandment of the Most High will suggest such one-sidedness!
A balanced and highly enlightening interpretation of the Commandment is presented in the book “THE TEN COMMANDMENTS OF GOD & THE LORD’S PRAYER” by Abd-ru-shin; the author of The Grail Message “In The Light of Truth”. In the small book, the author first admonishes parents:
“On no account does God demand that something be honoured which does not also absolutely deserve to be honoured!
On the contrary, this Command embraces a concept of fatherhood and motherhood instead of personality. Therefore it is not in the first place addressed to the children but to the parents themselves, demanding of them that they keep fatherhood and motherhood in honour! The Commandment imposes absolute duties upon parents, always to be fully conscious of their high task, and therewith also to bear in mind the responsibility involved in it……
Thou shalt honour father and mother! Make this now a sacred Commandment for yourselves. Raise fatherhood and motherhood to honour”
Like we said earlier, for those parents who have kept fatherhood and motherhood honorable, children are duty-bound to honor them. It becomes a sacred responsibility as further explained by Abd-ru-shin:
“For children, however, this Commandment will become sacred and living through their parents. They will simply be unable to do anything other than honour father and mother from their soul, regardless of the individual nature of these children. Indeed the very quality of their parents will compel them to do so.
And then woe unto those children who do not absolutely fulfill the Commandment. A heavy karma would fall upon them; for there would be ample cause for it. But in the reciprocal action obedience soon becomes a matter of course, a joy and a need!”