The 9th Commandment

long-25529_1280This is the tenth post in this series on the 10 Commandments. The previous posts in this series were:

1). Does God Change?
2). The 1st Commandment
3). The 2nd Commandment
4). The 3rd Commandment
5). The 4th Commandment
6). The 5th Commandment
7). The 6th Commandment
8). The 7th Commandment
9). The 8th Commandment, and
10. The 9th Commandment

 

In the 1st four Commandments God teaches us how we are to relate to, honor, obey and respect Him. In the following six Commandments God teaches us how to relate to, honor and respect each other.

So, let’s take a look at the 9th Commandment, and consider what it says to us. It’s actually as simple and strait forward as they come, but is probably one of the most broken Commandments that God gave us. (All scriptures used are from the Holman Bible unless otherwise stated)

 

Exodus 20:16

16 Do not give false testimony against your neighbor.

 

Not giving false testimony against your neighbor is a blanket condemnation of lying in general, and boy do people lie.  People lie as casually as they hook up with strangers for one night stands.  We have become a nation of lie tellers.  Remember the joke, “How do you know when a politician is lying?  When their lips are moving”.

Everyone lies from time to time. Sometimes we are afraid to tell the truth, or maybe we don’t want to hurt someone. Maybe we panic because we realize we did something wrong and just don’t want to admit it. Those are lies and condemned by God, but if you feel remorse and wish you had not lied, God will forgive you if you ask. What I’m really focusing on here is the lie that is given without a second thought. Lies that are told for no other reason than to deceive and cheat others.

 

Proverbs 12:22

22 Lying lips are detestable to the Lord,
but faithful people are His delight.

 

 

Psalm 31:18

Let lying lips be quieted; they speak arrogantly against the righteous with pride and contempt.

 

Psalm 120:2

“Lord, deliver me from lying lips and a deceitful tongue.”

 

It amazes me how much work people put into scamming and cheating others.  You have Con-artists taking advantage of the elderly to steal their life savings. You have people lying on line to steal peoples identities.  You have politicians that will saying anything  in order to get elected to office.  We have a Government that lies to us daily to promote an agenda that is contrary to our Constitution.

I heard of many instances where construction contractors charge people for quality materials, but put substandard materials into their work.

 

Psalm 101:7

No one who acts deceitfully will live in my palace; no one who tells lies will remain in my presence.

 

Also, look at how many people deny Christ.  What does God inspire to be said about them?

 

1 John 2:22

Who is the liar, if not the one who denies that Jesus is the Messiah? This one is the antichrist: the one who denies the Father and the Son.

 

I found the following scripture of interest in that it says that some people are just wicked and embrace a life of lying from birth.  It’s sad, but look around, listen to most of the main stream media and see if you don’t see that.  We live in a culture  now that is publicly anti God in all the places of power and learning.  They are liars like their father the prince of liars.

 

Psalm 58:3

The wicked go astray from the womb; liars err from birth.

 

Proverbs 19:22

What is desirable in a man is his fidelity; better to be a poor man than a liar.

 

And look what Isaiah had to say to God’s people:

 

Isaiah 57:4

Who is it you are mocking? Who is it you are opening your mouth and sticking out your tongue at? Isn’t it you, you rebellious children, you race of liars,

 

And what did Jesus Himself have to say about liars and who they follow?

 

John 8:44

You are of your father the Devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning and has not stood in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he tells a lie, he speaks from his own nature, because he is a liar and the father of liars.

 

 We can see the following scripture come alive in our public square.

 

1 John 2:22

Who is the liar, if not the one who denies that Jesus is the Messiah? This one is the antichrist: the one who denies the Father and the Son.

 

The following scripture should make one’s skin grow cold if they live the life of lying to others.

 

Revelation 21:8

But the cowards, unbelievers, vile, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars—their share will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death.”

 

If you are one of those who believes the Old Testament has no relevance for us today I feel for you, because God nor human nature changes.  So, unless you understand the history of God’s people, the good, the bad, and the ugly; you can in no way understand the things that are soon to come. 

If you have never read or have not read the book of Jeremiah in a long time, I suggest you make some time to do so.  After I’m done with this series on the 10 Commandments, I’m going to start delving into what God had to say to His people through His Prophets.  He made so many wonderful promises if we’d just follow and honor Him, but there is even more curses to come on a people who refuse to obey and honor Him.

Although I know there are good people who love and honor God in our Country, we as a people have rejected Him.  God said very clearly if we, “as a people” play the harlot and refuse to honor and obey Him, He will remove the hedge and leave us to our own devise.  Those of you who love, honor, and obey God will be safe from much of the calamity to come,  but to those who don’t will have to go through the fire which will hopefully bring them to repentance.

I believe anyone who walks with God as a follower and not just a believer, has to feel a stiring in their heart.  We are currently 15 trillion dollars in debt with nothing to back it up.  We as a nation have turned our back on God. We have a government that refuses to protect our boarders and a culture that has become so politically correct that writing this blog may soon be considered hate speech.

We need to get back to the basics.  If you attend a church that preaches nothing but feel good messages or prosperity, you might want to find a smaller church were they preach from the Bible.  You might want to find a preacher that tells you what you’re doing wrong even if it’s uncomfortable.  When Jesus returns, it’s not going to be pretty for those who have spent their lives in their own pursuits, and not in the things of God.  The scriptures call us to be honest and honorable.  Where do you stand?

 

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The 8th Commandment, You Shall Not Steal

phone-449836_1280This is the ninth post in this series on the 10 Commandments. The previous posts in this series were:

1). Does God Change?
2). The 1st Commandment
3). The 2nd Commandment
4). The 3rd Commandment,
5). The 4th Commandment
6). The 5th Commandment
7). The 6th Commandment, and
8). The 7th Commandment

 

In the 1st four Commandments God teaches us how we are to relate to, honor, obey and respect Him. In the following six Commandments God teaches us how to relate to, honor and respect each other.

So, let’s take a look at the 8th Commandment, and consider what it says to us. It’s actually a pretty simple commandment, and one we’ve been taught about since we were small children.

 

 

Exodus 20:15

Do Not Steal.

There it is, black and white, “Do Not Steal”. Don’t take what is not yours.

Unfortunately in our society we have learned to blur the lines when it comes to stealing. We also find it easy to justify the things we do. When most of us think about stealing, we think about someone robbing a bank, or identity theft. We might think about people who shop lift, or break into people’s houses and cars. We all strongly condemn such actions.

With that said, how do you feel about cheating on your taxes? How about falsifying information on an insurance claim? What about if you go to your car after shopping at Walmart or wherever, and realizing that the cashier gave you too much money in return. Do you go back into the store and point out the mistake, or do you say; I’m sure they’ve over charged me in the past so we’ll just call it even?

Do you take home supplies from work without giving it a second thought? If you are a business owner, do you ever over charge when you think you can? Would you take a used product from somewhere, clean it up, paint it and then sell it as new? I know someone who did that with an electrical panel box. He was a deacon in his church. I guess he never read the following scripture.

 

Micah 6:9-13 (HCSB)

9 The voice of Yahweh calls out to the city[a]
(and it is wise to fear Your name):
“Pay attention to the rod
and the One who ordained it.[b]

10 Are there still[c] the treasures of wickedness
and the accursed short measure
in the house of the wicked?

11 Can I excuse wicked scales
or bags of deceptive weights?

12 For the wealthy of the city are full of violence,
and its residents speak lies;
the tongues in their mouths are deceitful.

13 “As a result, I have begun to strike you severely,[d]
bringing desolation because of your sins.

We live in a culture now that says I deserve this, that, and the other thing. We have people who lie to get food stamps, and all kinds of government assistance when they are perfectly capable of working. Is that not stealing? People defraud the government and often their communities and feel justified.

I’m not talking about atheists here either. There are many Christians who do these things without giving it a second thought. Many of them attend churches and feel no remorse for such behavior.

Of course I think many churches have a certain amount of blame in this. Most churches don’t teach the Bible anymore. Most churches are all about the feel good and prosperity messages. If they start pointing out people’s sins they’re going to start losing members, and there for money. So many people go to church anymore to feel good, not to learn and get closer to God.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for a feel good message from time to time. But wouldn’t it be better if we were teaching what God says about life and how we should live? You know like those pesky and inconvenient 10 Commandments that most people think are 10 suggestions.

With the world in the state it’s in I would think more people would be seeking some understanding about what’s happening. And asking, “Why is our country and world in such a state”?

We are in a downward spiral that only Jesus Christ can save us from. We are trillions of dollars in debt with nothing of value to back our money. We are importing about 17,000 Muslims into this country each year and they hate us. We live in a culture that has replace love with sex, and we now live in a moral vacuum that is destroying all that is good and godly.

Life is indeed a gift and a blessing. There is beauty all around us in God’s creation, and a lot for us to appreciate and give thanks for. That being said, this is no time to be looking for feel good and prosperity messages. The time is getting short, and there is coming a time when those who aren’t making God their top priority will end up like the five virgins who didn’t bring extra oil for their lamps.  The Bride Groom will return, maybe even in my lifetime, and He will be expecting us to have extra oil for our lamps. For those who don’t, the door to the Wedding Supper will be closed and there will be great weeping.

If a close and personal relationship with God has not been your top priority you need to turn that around right now.

Stealing is a character issue, and God is all about character. The 10 Commandments tell you point blank what God’s character is like. God is not looking for people of low character to share in His Kingdom. He is looking for people of high character, because He wants to share eternity with winners and not losers.

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The 7th Commandment

sun-29703_640This is the eighth post in this series on the 10 Commandments. The previous posts in this series were:

1). Does God Change,
2). The 1st Commandment,
3). The 2nd Commandment,
4). The 3rd Commandment,
5). The 4th Commandment,
6). The 5th Commandment, and
7). The 6th Commandment

 

In the 1st four Commandments God teaches us how we are to relate to, honor, obey and respect Him. In the following six Commandments God teaches us how to relate to, honor and respect each other.

So, let’s take a good look at the 7th Commandment, and consider what it says to us.

 

Exodus 20:14 (HCSB)

14 Do not commit adultery.

Seems pretty cut and dry to me, right? Maybe or maybe not. We all know what this means according to the letter of the Law, but Jesus expanded the meaning and made it so much more.

We live in a highly sexualized culture that has pretty much replaced love with sex, so a discussion about immorality and the sin of adultery to most people is an exercise in futility. As Christians, we know it is wrong to have sex with someone this is not our own wife or husband. Not only that, but it is a sin to even spend time thinking about such an act. Sin begins in the heart, so it is our hearts that we need to be vigilant with.

There is an article in The Christian Post that says 2/3’s of Christian men admit to looking at porn on-line at least periodically and some rather often. We all know better than that, as porn not only degrades us, but it will cause us to commit adultery in our hearts on a regular basis.

I know this is all rather obvious to those who are Christ followers and not just Christ believers, but this of course is only a part of how one can break the Law that says, “You Shall Not Commit Adultery”. If you search the scriptures you will find the adultery we’re talking about here is only a part of the problem. Many of God’s indictment toward man and his committing adultery come from man’s turning from the true God to worship false gods.

 

Deuteronomy 31:16 (HCSB)

16 The Lord said to Moses, “You are about to rest with your fathers, and these people will soon commit adultery with the foreign gods of the land they are entering. They will abandon Me and break the covenant I have made with them.

Jeremiah 3:7-9 (HCSB)

7 I thought: After she has done all these things, she will return to Me. But she didn’t return, and her treacherous sister Judah saw it. 8 I[a] observed that it was because unfaithful Israel had committed adultery that I had sent her away and had given her a certificate of divorce. Nevertheless, her treacherous sister Judah was not afraid but also went and prostituted herself. 9 Indifferent to[b] her prostitution, she defiled the land and committed adultery with stones and trees.

Here we have examples of God’s people turning from the true God and worshiping false gods. They worshiped, Eostre, Baal, and Moloch who they sacrificed their first born to.

 

Jeremiah 5:7 (HCSB)

7 Why should I forgive you?
Your children have abandoned Me
and sworn by those who are not gods.
I satisfied their needs, yet they committed adultery;
they gashed themselves at the[a] prostitute’s house.

Hosea 4:12-14 (HCSB)

12 My people consult their wooden idols,
and their divining rods inform them.
For a spirit of promiscuity leads them astray;
they act promiscuously
in disobedience to[a] their God.
13 They sacrifice on the mountaintops,
and they burn offerings on the hills,
and under oaks, poplars, and terebinths,
because their shade is pleasant.
And so your daughters act promiscuously
and your daughters-in-law commit adultery.
14 I will not punish your daughters
when they act promiscuously
or your daughters-in-law
when they commit adultery,
for the men themselves go off with prostitutes
and make sacrifices with cult prostitutes.

You might be tempted to say, we don’t offer sacrifice to idols or worship false gods. But, do you bow to the works of your own hands? Do you commit spiritual adultery which is like spiritual idolatry, putting your faith in something other than God? When you’re at home, do you spend more time focusing on your career, your money, your stuff, your friends and fun; or do you bring all those things under the subjection of God? Does God rule your life and given the credit for all you have; or is He an afterthought once you’re done patting yourself on the back for all the wise and clever choices you’ve made?

There’s nothing wrong with having nice stuff or friends, but we must never forget where all good things come from. As the church, we are to be the bride of Christ, but Christ will not marry adulterers. We must be made white and pure if we are going to marry Christ. We are made white and pure when we accept Christ and His sacrifice, but it doesn’t stop with accepting, we must also live the life He’s told us to live. If after accepting Christ we turn to physical or spiritual adultery, what place have we with Christ?

I truly believe the days are getting short and we must put aside the lusts of the flesh and make sure we are walking the walk and not just talking the talk. What do you think?

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The 6th Commandment

anger-18615_640This is the seventh post in this series on the 10 Commandments. The previous posts in this series were:

1). Does God Change,
2). The 1st Commandment,
3). The 2nd Commandment,
4). The 3rd Commandment,
5). The 4th Commandment, and
6). The 5th Commandment

In the 1st four Commandments God teaches us how we are to relate to, honor, obey and respect Him. In the following six Commandments God teaches us how to relate to, honor and respect each other.

So, let’s take a good look at the 6th Commandment, and consider what it says to us.

There has been a lot of debate in the past as far as should Christians fight in wars. Should Christians be against the death penalty, or should Christians defend themselves and their families against criminals. This confusion is due in a large part to some bible translations.

If you look in the King James or New King James the 6th Commandment is shown as “You shall not kill”. Well, if we are to take that at face value we will believe that we are not to kill under any circumstance. That is why you see Christians outside of prisons protesting the execution of some heinous criminal. Their intention is understandable but their conclusion is wrong.

Most of the more modern bibles like the Holman, NASB, ISV, etc. translate Exodus 20:13 correctly as “You shall not murder”. Now when you consider the intent expressed by these two translations, you will see a big difference in their meaning.

God does not want us taking revenge or murdering people who have done us wrong or made us mad. Even if someone were, God forbid, to kill one of our loved ones, we can not later track them down and murder them. It is one thing to kill someone while defending yourself or others, but it is another thing altogether to exact revenge at another time. God has given the authority and responsibility to exact revenge to the governing body, but never to the individual.

With that said, most of us will never run into this situation, and I’m very grateful for that. Where we run up against the 6th Commandment is in our hearts.

Matthew 5:21-22 Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)
(Murder Begins in the Heart)

21 “You have heard that it was said to our ancestors,[a] Do not murder,[b] and whoever murders will be subject to judgment. 22 But I tell you, everyone who is angry with his brother[c] will be subject to judgment. And whoever says to his brother, ‘Fool!’[d] will be subject to the Sanhedrin. But whoever says, ‘You moron!’ will be subject to hellfire.[e]

The above scripture describes a disdain and  total disrespect for another.  Now I know we are not going to like everyone we meet or have to deal with, but even those we don’t really like, there is no call for hatred toward them.  That is not God’s way.  It is one thing to judge a bad or hateful behavior, but another thing all together to despise someone because of that fault.  Let’s look at another example from Jesus on murder being a heart condition as He was arguing with the Pharisees over eating with dirty hands.

Matthew 15:1-3 Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)

15 Then Pharisees and scribes came from Jerusalem to Jesus and asked, 2 “Why do Your disciples break the tradition of the elders? For they don’t wash their hands when they eat!”[a] 3 He answered them, “And why do you break God’s commandment because of your tradition?

Jesus frustrated with their blind adherence to the Traditions of the Elders, points out to them that one does not become defiled because he did not wash his hands before eating, but defilement came from within.

Matthew 15:10-11 Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)
(Defilement is from within)

10 Summoning the crowd, He told them, “Listen and understand: 11 It’s not what goes into the mouth that defiles a man, but what comes out of the mouth, this defiles a man.”

Then Peter asks Jesus to elaborate on what He was talking about a little later on.

Matthew 15:17-20 Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)

17 “Don’t you realize[b] that whatever goes into the mouth passes into the stomach and is eliminated?[c] 18 But what comes out of the mouth comes from the heart, and this defiles a man. 19 For from the heart come evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, sexual immoralities, thefts, false testimonies, blasphemies. 20 These are the things that defile a man, but eating with unwashed hands does not defile a man.”

I don’t know about you, but I have been part of a few church organizations where you would think people never read these scriptures. You can be sure that within the people who read this post there are differences in some doctrinal beliefs. There will be differences on the day we worship, or on our interpretation of what some scriptures mean. Does that mean we have no fellowship with one another? Because one calls our Savior Jesus and another Yashua does that mean we have no fellowship or should despise each other?  Because someone’s hair is longer than you think is appropriate, or because someone doesn’t dress the way we like at church, or because they haven’t given up their cigarette habit, does that give us the right to be self-righteous and despise them?  Remember, the Pharisees were really good at keeping the letter of the law, especially the Traditions of the Elders, or their Oral Law, but Jesus constantly rebuked them because of the hardness of their hearts.

When we despise someone, especially a brother, due to offense, differences, jealousy, weaknesses or for whatever reason, we are despising a child of God. How would you feel about someone despising one of your children? When we despise or hate someone we offend God, and defile ourselves and spiritually commit murder in our hearts.

When Jesus came and tabernacled with us He enhanced the Law from a list of basic instructions that told us right from wrong, to an all encompassing guide to eternal life with Him, in His Kingdom.  We cannot hate a brother and have fellowship with Christ and the Father.  If you struggle with intense bad feelings toward another, my best suggestion would be to spend some serious time on your knees asking God to heal your heart, and help you overcome those feelings.  We must overcome all hated in our hearts if we are to enter into life eternal.

Revelation 2:7 New King James Version (NKJV)

7 “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes I will give to eat from the tree of life, which is in the midst of the Paradise of God.”’

May God bless us all, and teach us to love as He loves!

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The 5th Commandment

hugging father and sonThis is the sixth post in this series on the 10 Commandments. The previous posts in this series were:

1). Does God Change,
2). The 1st Commandment,
3). The 2nd Commandment,
4). The 3rd Commandment, and
5). The 4th Commandment.

In the 1st four Commandments God teaches us how we are to relate to, honor, obey and respect Him. In the following six Commandments God teaches us how to relate to, honor and respect each other.

So, let’s take a good look at the 5th Commandment, and consider what it says to us.

 

Exodus 20:12

   12 “Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long upon the land which the Lord your God is giving you.

Okay, so we have the command to honor our father and mother, but what exactly is honor and how do we express it? Let’s take a look at how an online dictionary describes honor:

Honor
1. honesty, fairness, or integrity in one’s beliefs and actions: a man of honor.
2. a source of credit or distinction: to be an honor to one’s family.
3. high respect, as for worth, merit, or rank: to be held in honor.
4. such respect manifested: a memorial in honor of the dead.
5. high public esteem; fame; glory: He has earned his position of honor.

So honor seems to describe a set of character traits such as honesty, fairness and respect we need to show our parents.

Now many people look at this Commandment from the view point of how a child and teen should treat his or her parents. And although that is definitely a part of it, I believe it goes even further. I believe it’s just as much directed to adults who are no longer under the control of their parents.

From the following scriptures I think it’s irrefutable that it’s extremely important to God how we treat our parents.

 

Ephesians 6:1-3

6 Children, obey your parents as you would the Lord, because this is right. 2 Honor your father and mother, which is the first commandment with a promise, 3 so that it may go well with you and that you may have a long life in the land.

Colossians 3:20

Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord.

Another thing I’d like to point out is in order to honor our parents or anyone for that matter, you must be an honorable person. That doesn’t mean perfect, that doesn’t mean someone who never gets mad or makes mistakes, it means being a person of character.

Now where things can get complicated is if one or both of the parents are not very honorable people. Honoring someone like that can be difficult if not close to impossible. What if someone was sexually assaulted by a parent while they were young, does God expect us to treat someone like that with honor?

What about if one or both of your parents were drug addicts or alcoholics and were abusive and neglected you? Does God expect us to treat such ones with honor?

I don’t believe honoring someone is always about holding them in high esteem or respect. Maybe in cases like that, the way your honor those parents is by forgiving the terrible things they’ve done. There’s no ignoring that some people are broken, selfish or just plain bad, and unfortunately innocent children often suffer. In such cases I don’t believe God would necessarily expect you to be involved in their lives. Of course, if you are Christ’s, you need to offer them the same grace as He offers us, if they repent of those things they’ve done to you. In such cases forgiveness and not holding a grudge may be the only way you can honor them.

With those exceptions aside I think most of us had parents who were imperfect, but loved us. My parents weren’t perfect, and were divorced when I was 11. And although there were periods of anger, sadness, fear and confusion during those times, looking back I can see both my parents loved me. They were imperfect as all of us are imperfect, but are definitely deserving of my respect and honor toward them.

If we want to make sure we are keeping God’s 5th Commandment, we need to understand if or how we are honoring or dishonoring our parents?

Do you rarely ever see or even speak to your parents, because you’re just too busy with your own life? When you do speak with your parents are you critical and argumentative toward them instead of showing them respect? Are you there for them like they were there for you? Do you try to help them financially, even in small ways, if they’re living on a fixed income? God expected the church to help widows who were truly widows, but he expected children and even grandchildren to help the widows and even elderly parents in their families.

 

1 Timothy 5:3-4

3 Support widows who are genuinely widows. 4 But if any widow has children or grandchildren, they must learn to practice godliness toward their own family first and to repay their parents, for this pleases God.

I realize it’s not always easy to spend time with parents when you live states away. I know not everyone has lots of extra money to help their parents, but most of us can help in small ways. I know we may differ on politics, religion and other areas of life with our parents, but that’s no reason to dishonor them. There are many people and things I disagree with in life, but I don’t make it a habit to argue with them about it. We all have a right to our opinions and trying to argue others into agreeing with us is a dishonorable act. Even if you believe someone is misinformed or just plain wrong, we still need to treat them with respect.

Also, the 5th Commandment isn’t just about what we do or don’t do, it’s about what’s in our heart. We can just as easily honor or dishonor our parents and others in the way we think about them. Actions follow thoughts so if you’re thinking honorably or dishonorably about others, you’re actions will follow. If you are not treating your parents and others with honor and respect then there just might be a heart issue that needs to be dealt with. If that is the case, you need to go to the only one who can heal that heart issue.

There are times coming, and may even already be here where the following scripture talks about a generation will be all about themselves and dishonorable toward their own parents.

 

2 Timothy 3:1-3

1 But know this: Difficult times will come in the last days. 2 For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3 unloving, irreconcilable, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, without love for what is good,

I am starting to see more and more of that behavior in a lot of the younger generation, and it saddens me. Or course if you’re reading this post, I’m pretty sure you don’t fit into the category of the above scripture. With that said, you still need to ask yourself if you have been honorable toward you parents. If you haven’t, you need to fix that. Even if something has happened and you’re on the outs with your parents you can turn it around. Do whatever is in your power to make things right. Ask for God’s guidance and help, and you can trust He will help you make things right; at least on your part. And if it turns out because of hurt or anger your parents don’t want to make amends, you can still honor them by your forgiveness and willingness to make things right.

Being a parent is tough and it deserves all the grace and honor we can afford them.

God bless you all!

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