This is one of several letters Phil is sending to his grown children, Zachary and Megan, to help them know about their grandfather, called Daddy Al. You can find a link at the bottom of the page to take you to a list of all the other of these letters.
Dear Megan and Zachary,
When all this began two months ago, I wanted to share with you seven principles your grandfather, Daddy Al, taught me. I know that you never knew him, but I hope knowing these principles helps you know a little more about him.
The final principle is very simple and clear: treat your mother — and all women, for that matter — with respect.
If your uncles, Byron and Gordon, and I wanted to get in really deep trouble with Daddy Al, all we had to do was hint at talking back or showing disrespect to our mom. Whoa baby, it didn't take many times to learn this was a real no-no! Of course, he had always taught us this principle, but sometimes boys need a reminder or two.
Part of the reason for Daddy Al's strong feelings about this is that he had grown up in an era when women weren't always treated with respect — this was especially true if they were not in positions of power or were single. This concept, of course, was part of the reason for principle six that we covered last week.
A second reason that Daddy emphasized this important principle is because it is strongly taught throughout Scripture. God demands, Jesus re-emphasizes, and the apostle Paul stresses, that children must obey their parents and honor them (Exodus 20:16; Matthew 15:1-9; Ephesians 6:1). This is important to their spiritual character and to their own well being.
Another part of this demand to respect your mother has to do with a sense of family. If you don't respect your mother, you are disrespecting yourself and your family.
One of the things I have always appreciated in both of you is your respect for your mom. You were taught this from the time you were young, in large measure because your Daddy Al insisted that I learn it. However, if you all don't proactively demand this with your children, it could be lost to future generations.
Zach, it is crucial that when the Lord gives you children that you teach this principle to them so they will always respect Mandy. Megan, it is crucial that when God brings that special man into your life, you need to be sure that he will respect you and expect your children to respect you. This is one of those principles that is much harder for a mom to demand of her children than it is for the dad to demand and demonstrate to his children.
I know you guys will carry this principle with you the rest of your lives, but I wanted to remind you just how important this principle was for your Daddy Al, how important it is to me, and how seriously God takes it. I pray that you will teach it to your children and to your grandchildren. If you do, I know our legacy of faith that already spans multiple generations will live on for years to come.
Love you both for who you are and what God is in you.
If you were to pass on some values from your mom or dad to your children or grandchildren, what would they be?
Let's help each other build a legacy list for the future! Share your ideas on my blog. http://blog.heartlight.org/phil/2007/11/leaving_a_legacy.html