Honoring Your Parents Through a “Tribute”

In one of the other writings posted here (Commandment #5 of Social Media) we spoke of the importance of honoring & blessing our parents. In that post we mentioned perhaps writing a “Tribute” to them as an expression of thanks & a tangible means of blessing those who have poured so much of themselves into our upbringing. When you think of how much God says in scripture about the importance of honoring your parents, it becomes essential that we figure out “how” we can do that. Remember this … in scripture, “cursing” can be active or inactive, but “blessing” is always proactive – it is conscious and deliberate!

Exo 21:17 – He that curseth his father, or his mother, shall surely be put to death.

Pro 20:20  – Whoso curseth his father or his mother, his lamp shall be put out in obscure darkness.

Pro 30:11 – There is a generation that curseth their father, and doth not bless their mother.

You can honor your parents while you are living at home with them … and you can honor your parents even after you are out of the home. And, if I might add something more to the thinking … you can actually still honor your parents, even if they are no longer living. You can do that by what you say to other family members, or to your children (the next generation coming along needs to learn this too), or you can yet honor your folks by a written tribute shared with others … or perhaps even shared with the Lord. I have encouraged many who did not honor them while they were alive with this suggestion.

 “Take the time to WRITE OUT A BLESSING to them, then either go to their gravesite,

or if that is not possible, get alone on your knees before the Lord, verbally deliver it

OUT LOUD to the Lord, and ask Him if He would also deliver it to them for you.”

             I wanted to give you a couple of examples, by way of “The Tributes” Nancy and I wrote to honor our parents a number of years ago. Sometimes, seeing and reading something already done by someone else gives us a better idea of how we might approach the same project in our family. I also want to say that as much as this may indeed bless your parents, I can guarantee you that YOU will be the greatest beneficiary of completing this exercise. This will truly teach you, as Jesus said, “It is more blessed to give than to receive.”

            Remember, if you decide to do this, make a “big deal” out of it! Have it printed up nicely and placed in a quality frame, perhaps matted and ready for your parents to hang it in a place of recognition in their home. Believe me, if your parents are anything at all like ours … they will want others to see it as much as they want them to see the most recent family portraits! When we presented ours to my mother, we did at Christmas time with all the kids & their mates present, also all the grandkids & great grandkids! Once Mom opened it, my oldest brother had asked me to read it to Mom, one of the grandkids filmed it taking place. All was quiet, there wasn’t a dry eye in the room and when it was finished the room broke out in applause for Mom! We will never forget it!  Below are Nancy’s and my tribute given to our folks years ago.

Delivered to Logan & Kay Coffer:

MY TRIBUTE OF LOVE

 “How can I say thanks for the things you have done for me, things so undeserved, yet you did to prove your love for me…”

 God has poured so many undeserved blessings into my life, and one of the greatest of His blessings has been you, my wonderful parents!  You have given me a tremendous heritage of godliness to follow.  My earliest memories are of church nurseries (and how I learned to stay there without crying) and sitting on the front row (or the organ bench, as needed!) while Mom played the organ and Daddy led the singing.  In our family, you taught us that Jesus was the head of our home and that everything we did was to please Him.  There was never a question whether or not we would go to church – we were there every time the doors were open and were involved in everything there was to offer  . . . and we loved it!  Thank you for showing me the joy of serving Jesus and for leading me to Him at an early age!  Today, my family and I literally “live” on church parking lots and are ministering in churches nearly every night . . . and love it!

Our home was always a very safe, secure place because the word ‘divorce’ was never used.  We knew our parents were committed to marriage for a lifetime.  Thank you for sticking together in good times and bad, and for growing together in love over the years.  Today, my children are secure in knowing that divorce is never a possibility in their family either!

We had a lot of fun growing up.  I have special memories of dress-up parties, backyard wading pools, playhouses in the garage, camping in Branson, helping sack Avon orders, picnics, rides and roller skating at Doling Park, matching dresses, church plays and school plays, Singing Teens, Highlanders, Duke and Duchess, Scout (the glue-factory reject), driving around Southern Hills to look at Christmas lights, Silver Dollar City, singing as a family, Volkswagens, and so many more.  It takes a lot of time, money, and energy to keep three lively girls entertained, as I am finding out!  I am grateful for the extra effort and the sacrifices you made to provide much more than our “needs”.  Today, my children are excited about “little things” like dress-up clothes,  new crayons, going to Nanny and Papalo’s, country stores, travelling in a trailer, dressing alike, Silver Dollar City, singing together, and meeting new people.  

Daddy, I have learned so much from your life . . . contentment, faithfulness, integrity, forgiveness, gentleness.  You have always worked hard, yet you never let it interfere with your family priorities.  You were there at every concert, ball game, parade, or play your girls were involved in.  You led us spiritually and taught us to find God’s will in every area, then you had the faith to let go and let us follow Him wherever His path took us.  I have seen you treated wrongly at times, yet never have I seen you retaliate or become bitter or resentful.  You have been a wonderful “picture of God” to me!!

Mom, I don’t know anyone who has more of a servant’s heart than you.  No matter how hard you have worked or how tired you are, you are constantly looking for ways to serve others first.  You have a genuine love for people and are always concerned about finding out their spiritual condition. Thank you for teaching me to cook, clean, sew, be thrifty, run a household, be hospitable, and raise a family with a heart for God.  You have shown me how to be a servant to others, just as Jesus was!

Thank you both for allowing the Lord to direct your lives and for following His leadership and instructions for our home.  My life and the lives of your grandchildren will benefit for years to come because of your example of godliness.  I love you and I praise God for you daily!

 “…The voices of a million angels could not express my gratitude; all that I am or ever hope to be, I owe it all to Thee!

TO GOD BE THE GLORY! !


 Delivered to Libby St.Clair:

Thank You . . . Mom!

 How do we begin to say ‘thanks’ to one who carries the name … Mom ?  Everyone who knows you would expect to find you listed in the favorites of “Who’s Who of Moms in America”!  We would even go so far as to say perhaps never has a mother lived so single-mindedly,  giving herself so unselfishly for her familyYour  sacrificial spirit through the years has been incredible, and you’ve shown us what “tenderhearted and kindness” look like in human form.

You’ve always worked hard, never one for wasting time! Thank you for the innumerable hours spent just keeping our family of six in clean and neat clothes (we still remember the blue jeans that used to hang on the line in Bassett with those metal pants stretchers, and the old pot you would use for getting Daddy’s railroad hat just right  —  all starched and ironed!). Late at night you could be found sewing clothes for us, and putting patches on torn knees in our pants.

You weren’t one given to hobbies or extracurricular activities unless they involved your family.  You gave yourself to the greatest and most unselfish career a woman could have —  Motherhood.  We always knew when we got home from school . . . you would be there!  That’s probably why you never got your driver’s license until after Daddy went to be with the Lord . . . you seemed to have no need for personal pleasure unless it centered around your family.  We found security in watching you and Daddy be faithful to each other, not only in good times,  but  through  lean and hard times as well.  You’ve just always been there to help out — whether it was when Ron had his accident, or when Brenda & Wayne were in their head-on collision, or the times you’ve taken Sue for her treatments, or helped with newborn babies.  You are such a blessing!

Thank you for giving of yourself in countless late night hours when one or more of us were sick. You were usually the last to bed, and the first to rise in the morning . . . fixing breakfast.  Thank you for always keeping a clean house . . . a dirty ring around the bathtub didn’t a chance with you, even if one or more of us left it . . . which we did often!  The schedule for an engineer’s wife was never easy, because in order for Daddy to have proper lunches to take with him required you getting up all hours of the night.  And you never just “threw something together”, there was always thought and consideration of what he liked put into each meal.  We remember Daddy coming home with compliments from others about food he had shared with them — and how “lucky” (blessed) he was to have you! And they were right.  Our friends always commented about the delicious food, and often asked for recipes to take home to their moms!  The meals at our house were always the best (still are)  . . .  you are a wonderful cook!

Thank you for raising us in a fun-loving and happy atmosphere.  We remember laughter and games, Daddy playing the guitar and yodeling with Aunt Kate, the two of you singing and dancing around the living room.  And thanks for always being there during our times of achievement — whether it was at beauty contests, plays, graduations, band and choir concerts, or sports events (like swim meets, bowling, and skating)

And what have you done since raising your children?  Well, since then you have been there for your grandchildren (and great grandchildren) — encouraging them, loving them, listening to them, praying for them, giving yourself for them  . . .  just like you always did for us! 

 Thanks so much Mom.  We love you and honor and bless you for  giving yourself for us!

 Brenda & Wayne    *    Ron & Sue    *     Ken & Hedda    *    Tim & Nancy

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