I’ve been re-reading a book lately that I read many years ago and liked. It was written in 1953, several years before I was born. It’s called God’s Psychiatry: Healing for Your Troubled Heart by Charles L. Allen. I found this little gem in the grocery store (please tell me I’m not the only one who buys those little paper back grocery store books). The book looks at The Twenty-Third Psalm and dissects it verse by verse. It also examines The Ten Commandments, The Lord’s Prayer, and The Beatitudes. While I wish it would dissect these in even more detail, I still really like this little book and found it interesting and informative.
The other night I was reading about The Ten Commandments and I was on the fifth commandment which is: Honor thy father and thy mother. I wanted to share a section of what I read as the second part brought a real smile to my face and made me chuckle at just how true it is.
… the parents are the greatest social influence on the life of the child. It is in the home that a child first learns to respect the personalities of others, to have regard for the rights of others, to learn obedience to the laws for the welfare of all people. A child’s respect for both authority and democracy usually must begin, if it begins at all, in the home. So upon the parent and child relationship in the home rests almost our entire civilization.
Of course, the relationship of the parent and child is an ever changing one. At first, the baby must be carried. Later, he learns to walk, holding his mother’s hand: still later, he learns to walk alone. Up to about ten the child thinks his parents know everything. At about sixteen the child is not so sure about his parents. At nineteen the child feels he has surpassed the parents in knowledge, and at twenty-two he completely outgrows the parent. But at thirty we remember that our parents were right about a lot of things, and at forty we decide they were just about perfect. That is usually about the normal process.
I read that and thought wow! How accurate that is (in my life anyway). Though I always loved my parents dearly, I remember going through various phases. In junior high and also in high school I often thought my parents were so unhip, especially my mother (sorry mother). In college, I started thinking I did know much more than they did and right after I married, I started realizing that my parents knew a whole lot more than I had given them credit for and were smarter than I once believed they were. And now, even despite their faults and the mistakes they made, I wouldn’t have traded them for any other parents in the world. Yep, not even Olivia and John Walton who I used to think of as the ideal fantasy parents. LOL!
God gave us the parents he gave us for a reason. I’ve always believed that. God doesn’t make mistakes.
What about you? Did you find that these words rang true with you in how you viewed your parents?