Inspired and Blessed by Bob Acebedo
Inspired & Blessed

`Honor thy father and thy mother’

Apr 19, 2023, 12:29 AM
Bob Acebedo

Bob Acebedo


Sometime in the past, in this column, I’ve written about my crushing experience with my late father, about how I felt grossly stupid not reconciling with him before he died and thus missed his wake and burial.

The reason for my reluctance in coming home for my father’s wake and burial was my disquieting unforgiveness for him way back when I left the seminary and upon coming home I learned that my late father was already living separately with another woman, whom he sired a son.

But, alas, fast forward to when I belatedly went home to my mom after my father’s death, I then only learned that my father came back home to my mom almost a year before his death. Though already sickly and bedridden, my saintly mom welcomed him back and took care of him until his death.

Thus, on my belated homecoming after my father’s burial, only then did I pour out my utter sorrow and remorse at my father’s grave. Too late for me to have realized the stupidity of my unforgiveness.

With my crushing experience with my late father, I realized face-to-face one fundamental truth: that no matter what, a father is a father, and he is God-given. No matter what he did, he was all my father that God gave me and, biologically speaking or by virtue of divinely natural origin, the only one I’ve got.

The crucible of my heartbreaking experience with my father led me to one significant insight about the biblical 4th commandment, “Honor thy father and thy mother.”

Interestingly indeed, the 4th commandment does not say: “Honor your father and your mother ONLY IF THEY HONOR YOU.”

Verily then, while not disregarding the utmost bearing or given truth that parents should love, honor, support, and protect (encompassing all aspects of parental obligation) their children, the 4th commandment is simply clear: “Honor or love thy father and thy mother.”

In closing, the following lines I culled from the FB post of Fr. Ranhilio Aquino, Dean of the Graduate School of Law, San Beda University, are truly spot on:


Not through any harsh word or an impatient gesture;

Not by being ashamed of them and hesitating to introduce them to friends;

Not by avoiding their company and preferring the companionship of friends;

Not by snide remarks calculated nevertheless to hurt them;

Not by trying to prove that one is more clever than they;

Not by alienating their grandchildren from them;

Not by excluding them from parties and gatherings because you consider it a bother when they are around;

Not by denying them curtly what they earnestly ask, even beg for, from you;

Not by leaving them to their own devices when they are penniless, weak, or helpless;

Not by thinking that an occasional phone call and some loose change sent them once a year should be enough for them;

Not by harsh remark about them in the presence of others, to cause them insult or embarrassment;

Not by living a life that causes them pain, disappointment and frustration.

When they are gone, all these faults will haunt you, and although full of regret, you will be unable to say: ‘I am sorry’. You will stand before their resting places, longing to hear the voice that comforted you when you were sick or lent you assurance when you were unsure, but all you will hear is the whistling of the wind blowing over their graves.

Never be ashamed of being demonstrative in your affection towards your parents. Be ashamed rather when your behavior towards them is one of indifference, arrogance and inconsiderateness!”

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