“Someday my teens will show some respect!” I mumbled to myself. Whatever happened to them after thirteen? What about my secret wish to be honored by my offspring? Was it ever going to happen again?
Though my sons had been close to graduating from high school, there was still time! In church a couple of times a year, our pastor allowed the flock to share and honor their mothers, fathers, and grandparents.
But it didn’t seem likely. My teen offspring had moved as far from me as possible at church without perching on the flagpole. The two had me drop them off a couple of blocks from their destinations. I could count on their and always wearing sunglasses and a disguise when forced to accompany me.
Turning to see my tall sons standing among the seated crowd in the balcony, I nearly fell out of my seat when I heard one familiar voice begin, “We want to honor our….”
Before I had a chance to get excited about appreciation, the other filled in, “to honor our grandmother…who was another parent to us. She introduced us to music, bought us instruments, and taught us to play them. She let us eat seconds and thirds and tried out a whole cookbook of recipes on us.”
As for me, where was the honor? It went out the window with unpopular directives like chores, family rules, grades, and dress code. Grandma was all fun, love, and appreciation.
I knew about disrespect myself. For a decadent decade, I had treated God with callous indifference. In thoughts, words, and deeds, I had distanced myself as far away from God as possible. In the same way that my teens from seventh grade on denied any blood connection with me, I had denied the existence of a loving Jesus, son of God. Coming the back way to God through a church-sponsored family help group, I learned to love, honor, and respect God and Jesus as never before – in a relationship as a friend, confidant, and helper in all circumstances. I had deserved an “It’s about time” from God, but He didn’t say it. He just forgave and loved me, as He does you.
Today marks Palm Sunday, a day that Jesus entered Jerusalem on a donkey colt. The crowd lay palms on the road before him as a sign of respect – something usually reserved for those in places of the highest honor. The crowd began to praise God, as they had seen His miracles, such as recently bringing Lazarus back to life. “Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!” [Luke 19:38 NIV]. Our Savior deserves the highest honor. How are you honoring God today?
As for my teen sons and my wish? “I still have my key to the house,” one adult-teen reminded me in a long distance call from his grueling second week in military boot camp.
“I guess I gave you a really hard time,” the other teen remarked in another long distance phone call after a few weeks at a full-time job far away. Then he chuckled. “But I…..love you, Mom.”
It just keeps getting better. Honor and respect at last! No foolin’!
[Jo Russell is a Christian teacher, speaker, author of many articles, contributor to several anthologies, and Which Button Do You Push to Get God to Come Out? A Humorous Devotional for Women, Intermedia Publishing, 2011. For more chuckles, keep checking her weekly blog on Button-to-God.com.]