Wednesday, August 6, 2014


The eye that mocks a father and scorns to obey a mother will be picked out by the ravens of the valley and eaten by the vultures. 

Proverbs 30:17

There are no kind words here for people who chooses to disrespect the authority placed over them by a sovereign God. This initial placement of authority begins in the home. Parents are worthy of respect by God's design, not always by their own character. But what should one do when sin warps this design? What if a parent is evil to a child? Is disappointment the same as disrespect? I think the situation being described here is a truism, assuming the parents are not abusing the children.

The words of this rare "curse" in Proverbs provide some insight and understanding. What we have here is mocking and scorn from a child. This is more than typical teenage tantrums. This is a hate-filled rebellion that seeks to justify itself through the belittling of parents. It is not the same as the kind of feelings or behavior that emerge from abuse. These are a father and mother worthy of respect who are being deliberately and systematically scorned.

Every parent will navigate a time where respect is challenged. But to do so in a Christlike way means maintaining a relationship where respect is still possible. Turning against a struggling child, mocking them in their confusion and fall into sin, is a sin itself against the child and only compounds a complicated situation. I think Jesus gave us a glimpse of God's "father" heart in the tale of the prodigal son. The mocking son eventually returns to a patient, loving, and eager father worthy of his respect. And that is the heart that I pray God works in me as I deal with my kids through rough times and good times.

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