Exactly a week ago, our TV sets were unusually screaming with headlines of a young man who had lost his life in the most ignoble manner. No, he had not died of the coronavirus disease, cancer or any other deadly disease you can bring to mind. The man had been lynched by a mob. It was a brutal case of mob justice. As the police came in to collect the body of the deceased, the media was not late either. Then a certain woman, whom I had at first thought was giving an eyewitness account, approached the journalist and began giving her account of what she thought had transpired.
It was not until I caught wind of what she was saying that I knew she was the mother to the deceased young man. The body of the man was still lying lifeless, but the mother spoke with unusual courage and conviction. She narrated how she had on numerous account begged her son to turn from his ways but to no avail. The woman had even gracefully offered the son a charcoal business venture worth Ksh. 350,000 that was to be co-owned with her sister, an aunt to the deceased. She had no tears to shed, and said she would not defend a criminal. I have deliberately paraphrased what she said to avoid the risk of sounding heartless.
The young man had been accused of a litany of crimes. He was allegedly part of a criminal gang known as Gaza that had been terrorizing members of the public. He was also hooked on hard drugs like bhang and had a reputation of snatching mobile phones from Kenyans. The mother had tried all within her means to redeem her incorrigible son but all had been failure after failure. She had given up on the boy.
I was taken aback. What does it take a parent to give up on a child? What amount of pain does a child need to inflict on the parent enough for them to give up on their redemption? Only God knows, and perhaps, the mother. Our parents play a critical role in our lives. If indeed we are to lead purposeful lives, then we need the crucial input of our parents. We need their guidance, and we need their solid advice. No godly parent will knowingly mislead his or her child.
Our parents are so essential that God takes time to talk about them in His Ten Commandments. God commands us to honor our parents so that our days may be long upon the land that the Lord has given us. By this, God has cemented the role of parents in purposeful living. Just like God, our parents always have the best interests for us. They never compete with us.
A good example of good parentage in the Bible is that of the story of the prodigal son. Even though the son made an unwise decision and went on a spending spree, and short after that led a miserable life, the love the father had for his wayward son had not changed a bit. He still received his son with open arms and welcomed him back home. When the son had seen enough of the suffering and decided to mend his ways, when he decided to begin living a life of purpose, his parent; his father, was there to hold his hand.
We may not always lead lives of purpose. We are humans and to err is inherently within our nature. We make mistakes all the time, and it is from these mistakes that we get to learn. Our parents and God Himself, being our eternal Father will always be there to support us. We just need to let go and let God work a purpose in our lives. We should allow God to use our parents to do His work. When we allow God to lead, we give ourselves completely to His will and He enables us to lead purposeful lives.
One may ask what if my parents are not alive or even what happens when the parents we are blessed with are not godly. When the parents we have, play a role that is the complete and utter opposite of what God envisaged, what then do we do? Well, the Lord is not caught by surprise. He is first our Father before even our earthly parents are our parents. That said, the uncharacteristic behavior of our parents should not be an excuse for us to lead a life lacking in purpose. For we have a Father who is in heaven that is willing to guide us into purposeful living if we let him.
Therefore, today the admonition is crystal. Intentionally let your parent into your life. Engage them in your spheres of life. Talk to them. They have been there where you are now. Ask them how they did it. Ask them how they were able to deal with the challenges that now threaten your ability to lead a purposeful life. Most importantly, listen!
Exodus 20:12, Luke 15:11-32.
Bible Commentary by Mathew Henry.