Listen, my son, to your father’s instruction and do not forsake your mother’s teaching. They are a garland to grace your head and a chain to adorn your neck.-Proverbs 1:8-9
Listen, my sons, to a father’s instruction; pay attention and gain understanding. I give you sound learning, so do not forsake my teaching. For I too was a son to my father, still tender, and cherished by my mother.-Proverbs 4:1-3
Remember that time in your life when you wanted to live your own life. When you thought your parents and older people were out to ruin your life and cramp your style. You think you know the world…
For me, I grew up with Haitian, Bible-believing Christian parents. To give you insight to my life,
- I was not allowed to go to sleepovers,
- I was chaperoned everywhere with my friends (i.e. movies, malls, hangouts),
- Back to school shopping: reliable supplies took precedence over fashionable supplies.
- At least a 20 question deposition before I could ever go anywhere
- Summers were spent getting ready for the new school year
- I could not share clothes with other people
- And the list goes on…
I was not cool at all growing up. If anything, I was the plain jane girl who just went to school and church. I craved to be cool but my parents were not the ones to be messed with. They were a team. They were active in my upbringing. There was a standard to keep: go to school, go to church, serve the Lord, and be a good citizen.
I hated how strict they were.
Fast forward to today, my adult life is quite different. Yes, I am living at home. Yes, the rules still apply BUT…I value them so much. The parent-child dynamic is different. I seek their advice and they give me guidance.
I started realizing from college till now, my parents were right to be strict. I am not the person I am today without the structure, spiritual maturity, intelligence, and discipline of my parents.
My parents were both raised by single parents and had to make a way all by themselves. They had little support. They did not have all the guidance I had or someone checking on them. So as new parents, they gave my siblings and me the upbringing they never had.
My parents really guarded me but also educated me about life. They did not want to make my life miserable; they wanted to prepare me and teach me for life ahead.
My parents were not rich monetarily, had privilege in their community, or had elite status. But they invested values that I did not depart from.
Whether it’s a parent, mentor, or parent-like figure, their wisdom is valuable. They lived longer than you or me. Yes, if they love you enough to give you tough love and Godly wisdom, listen. Take their advice to heart.
To have what I have is a testament to God’s grace in giving me God-driven parents. No, they are not perfect people but that’s ok. I am not a perfect child but they still love me.
So I do ask for advice for approval and support. I do believe they like the fact that I come to them for advice. But I know my parents truly have my best interest at heart. They KNOW me almost too well. I am an adult but I am thankful for them. No matter much I grow up, the instruction of my parents does matter to me.
So value the people in your life who pour life into you.
If you are blessed enough to have your parents on this side of heaven, value them. If not, remember their instruction and the memories.