My Valentine

 Some time ago while I was standing in line at a bank, I overheard a middle-aged woman said to a bank teller that she wants to purchase a $300.00 money order for her “Valentine,” who lives in Ohio. She later clarified that it was for her mother to help supplement her monthly Social Security income. The woman said that she sends money to her mother every month. I almost “fainted” when I heard what she said because most children don’t call their mother “Valentine,” and when they send a “gift” to their mother, it is usually in the form of a card or flowers from 1-800-flowers, and not money.

 In America, most people reserve the word Valentine for a husband, a wife, a boyfriend, or a girlfriend, but rarely or never for a mother or a father. Parents would be very happy if they hear their children call them their Valentine. Having said that, I sometimes wonder if children believe that a beautiful card or a dozen red roses can supplement their mothers’ meager Social Security income on Valentine day.

  Ephesians 6:1-3 says, “Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for 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 enjoy long life on the earth.”

Exodus 20:11-12 "For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day; therefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day and made it holy. 12 “Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be prolonged in the land which the LORD your God gives you.”

One of the important Commandments that God gave to human beings is to honor their father and mother.

What does the word “honor” mean as it relates to honoring one’s father and mother? First, let’s see what the apostle Paul wrote in Ephesians.

"Obey your parents" is one definition of honoring your father and mother, according to the apostle Paul. Honoring (obeying) your mother and father is not only emphasized in the teachings of Christianity but also in the teachings of Buddha. I know many Buddhists believers, children, and adults who greatly respect and honor their parents not only when they are around their parents, but also when their parents are far from them.

Why obey your parents? By obeying your father and mother, you honor them. And by honoring your parents, your “days may be prolonged in the land which the LORD your God gives you.” In other words, you will be happier. Being happier is the KARMA (reward) for honoring your father and mother. Children honor their parents not only with their words but also with their deeds. If you have money, and you help your poor mother so she can buy food and make her happy, you have honored your parents. When you were a small kid, your mother took care of you when you were sick, fed you, clothed you, sent you to school to get a good education until you can find a good paying job, should you abandon your poor parents in return for what she had done for you? Would you?

For instance, I know an elderly couple whose daughter nurse (RN) married a man from one of the Islands. This man is a high school graduate but claims that he has a Ph.D. degree in Psychology – to fool women. The woman believed him and married the fake “PhD.,” against her parent's wishes. She disobeyed her parent's warnings.

For the next 20 years, the disobedient daughter lives a miserable life, as you can predict. Her “psychologist” husband doesn’t want to work because he says he cannot find a job that is suitable for him. She supported her two children and her fake Ph.D. husband for more than two decades.

In the meantime, their two small children are growing up quickly, one boy and one girl. Their daughter falls in love with a young man from East Lost Angeles. The girl’s father objected to the relationship, and he threatened his daughter’s fiancee to “knock” his teeth out if he continues to see his daughter. Apparently, he made his daughter’s fiancee mad like a mad dog, and he punched his “future" father-in-law's mouth and broke one of his front teeth. After the incidence, the nurse’s daughter, and her fiancee, both decided to enlist in the Army. The daughter and her husband left town and no longer want to see or communicate with her parents forever. This is the KARMA for disobeying and dishonoring their parents - nothing but pain and unhappiness.

In John 19:26-27, we read that while Jesus hangs on the cross He told His disciple John to take care of His mother. And from that hour on John took her to his home. John honored Jesus' mother.

The woman that I met at the bank took care of her poor mother every month by sending her money.

How about you? Are you taking care of your poor mother and father, or are you taking care of someone else's mother?

Valentine’s day is around the corner. A Valentine card and a dozen of red roses are not adequate if your parents have no money to buy food and supplies. Remember your poor parents on Valentine day, and after that. They are your Valentine.