How do you, as an adult, express honor to your parents? Even if it has been a difficult relationship — even if you’ve been estranged — what’s your responsibility to obey and to keep the fifth commandment?
“Honor your father and your mother that your days may be long in the land that the Lord your God has given you.”
FamilyLife has released a revised 20th anniversary edition of a book created to help you honor your parents by writing a living tribute to them. The Forgotten Commandment (previously titled The Tribute and the Promise, and The Best Gift You Can Ever Give Your Parents) will be in the warehouse this week.
Last week, FamilyLife Today® devoted two radio broadcasts to tributes guests have made to their parents. You can hear the broadcasts in their entirety by clicking on the links below, but we have included some excerpts.
Medley of Tributes, Part 1 – Featuring Bill McCartney, Crawford Loritts, Alex Kendrick, Andrew (son of Luis) Palau, Nancy Leigh DeMoss, Jani (daughter of Ray and Anne) Ortlund, and Vicky Case.
Medley of Tributes, Part 2 – Robert Lewis, Max Lucado, R.V. Brown, and Sharon Jaynes.
Filmmaker Alex Kendrick to his father, Larry:
“I don’t ever and have never wanted to be anybody else’s son. I’m proud of my dad, Larry Kendrick. You are a gift to me — for teaching me to love God— for demonstrating that yourself … I learned that from you. So, every book that we have written and every movie that we have made would not have been made had you not taught us to walk with the Lord. Thank you, Dad. I’m proud of you, and I love you.”
Former prodigal Andrew Palau, to his world evangelist father, Luis and his mother, Pat:
“Dad and Mom, I love you. I am so grateful that you never gave up on me. I just thank you for persevering through the difficult days — for having the boldness and the love for me to take me for the walk, and to plant that seed, and help me to know the truth that God did love me, and that He had a plan for me, and that He had made a sacrifice on my behalf. I thank you for writing the letters that you wrote to keep that at my attention.”
Evangelist R.V. Brown to his father, Daddy Fish:
“I want to just tell you what an awesome leader you were. With no education, Dad, you taught me. You educated me on how to love — Dad, thank you for teaching me to farm, to take care of the people, and share whatever I have with all the people. Dad, I’m the kind of man I am today because of who you are, Dad. Thank you for loving Mama. Thank you for the leadership and authority in which you raised us. Thank you for the discipline. Most of all, Father, I want to thank you for that hug, and that kiss, and that rub on my little round head, and saying, ‘You’re going to be okay, son.’ Dad, I love you.”
Men’s Fraternity creator Robert Lewis, to his parents, Thomas and Billie:
“Thanks, Daddy, for saying, “I’m sorry,” when you wrongfully hit me in anger one day. You don’t remember the incident, I know; but I do. It’s deep inside me now, and it comes back to me every time I need to say those words to my children and my wife. Seeing that day in my mind makes that humbling process easier.
I owe you both a thousand ‘Thank Yous.’
I guess, if I were offered one wish, it would be for one crisp fall evening, with the smell of burning leaves, and the Bearcat game in the air. I would be outside enjoying the bliss of youthful innocence. Mom, you would be frying those oysters; and Daddy, you would be calling out for my pet dog, Toddy. So here’s to my imperfect family — one that fell short in many respects, but one whose love makes the shortcomings easy to forget. Here’s to the family that never had it all together — but one just perfect enough for me.”
If you haven’t written a tribute to your parents, we’d encourage you to do it while you still can.
If you’ve given your parents a tribute that you’d like to share with the readers of Stepping Up, we’d love to hear about it. Whether it’s something you’ve written or recorded on audio or video, just Contact Us here.