“Unequal, Yet Equal!(Eph.6:1-9).
There is no gainsaying that the family is the nucleus of the society. “Family is the basic unit of society as it is the building block of what we call society.” It may be an onerous task to build social cohesion within a community of disintegrated families. To maintain this basic unit of society, scriptures tell children, “Obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. ‘Honour your father and mother’ – which is the only commandment with a promise – that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth.”
There is an interpretation of “Honour your parents in the Lord” which shifts this filial child obligation towards the parents to a false obligation to “spiritual father/mother in the Lord.” Spiritual father/mother in the Lord may be scriptural, but not this verse.
Parent – child relationship is a two way traffic. There must be reciprocity. That is why the passage continues: “Parents, do not exasperate your children; instead bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.” To train a child the way you want him to go is not just any kind of training. It should be the “training and instruction of the Lord.”
So before we say, “children of nowadays…,” we should ask ourselves, “What role did we play to make the children become what they are, the way they are?”
The gory horrible tale of the slave trade cannot be effaced from African collective memory – unless a machine is used to blot out such collective memory!
Again the slave trade was the intentional misinterpretation of “slaves, obey your earthly masters with respect and fear, and with sincerity of heart, just as you would obey Christ. Obey them not only to win their favour when their eye is on you, but like slaves of Christ, doing the will of God from your heart. Serve wholeheartedly as serving the Lord, not men, because you know that the Lord will reward everyone for whatever good he does, whether he is a slave or free.” As a result and in ignorance of no knowledge of the full context, the slaves slave joyfully because in their service they are serving the Lord and not men. Meanwhile the masters capitalize on these verses relying on the slaves’ ignorance.
In the same way that there is reciprocity between parents and children, so too it is between masters and slaves. “And masters, treat your slaves in the same way. Do not threaten them, since you know that he who is both their Master and yours is in heaven, and there is no favouritism with him.”
Before the Grandmaster social status is irrelevant. A sane society should make everybody relevant; conscious of the fact that before God everybody is on par. With God there is no favouritism!
The Mugabe towel pun is applicable here: “Treat every part of your towel nicely because the part that wipes your buttocks today might wipe your face tomorrow.”
Prayer: Father in heaven, help me to accept my status and to see others as equals before your presence. Amen!
Have a blessed day! Peace be with you!
Rev Babila Fochang.