Saturday, December 21, 2013

The Best Gift for Mom and Dad

I think many a young person wonders what mom and dad might want for Christmas; they have everything.  If they are somewhat hip, they recognize that mom and dad will not really appreciate more cards or cutesy things, so they try to think of something that will really make them say: “Wow!  This is wonderful!  I didn’t know you cared this much.”  They want to give something that truly tells their parents: “I love you, lots.”
This article talks about a suggestion for such an unusual gift.
In the news lately you’ve been hearing a lot about people who witness their Christian faith.  The star of a very popular cable show did an interview for a magazine and in answer to a question quoted from the Bible.  And the response from many gay-rights groups was that what he said was “evil and hateful.”  And the man got fired from the popular show, which was about his family --- Duck Dynasty.  And to the credit of his family, they said: “If dad is fired, we won’t go on the air either.”  His reading of the Bible in giving an honest answer to a question asked of him may cost him and his family lots of money, but he witnessed to what he said he believed, with no qualms or explanations.  And now, what seems to be surprising to many people, is that many Christians (and even atheists) are criticizing the TV channel and others for firing him, just for quoting from the Bible.  I think the response is a good thing: that his family ACTED like a family and stood together, and that others are willing to publically stand with them also.
That is so not hip today.  So many people say “Keep your beliefs in church, not in public.”  And: “You need to be considerate of others’ beliefs,” ---- but apparently they don’t have to be considerate of yours, and so you try not to offend anyone.
I heard a radio show this week.  A popular sportscaster, Mitch Album, was talking on Detroit radio about Christmas.  Mitch has sports columns in papers around the country, and he has written many popular books, like Tuesdays with Morrie.  On his radio show someone asked: “What do you do if your daughter wants to come home from college for Christmas and asks if she can bring her boyfriend along?  What are the sleeping arrangements?”  Now Mitch is a solid liberal Democrat, and voices their views often on his radio show, so I was somewhat surprised when I heard him say: “Well, I’d tell my daughter that there is a spare bedroom for her boyfriend.”  Mitch’s co-host on the radio show was irritated: “How can you be so judgmental?  The girl is an adult.  She can do what she wants.”  But Mitch said: “Not in my house.”  So the co-host said: “What if you don’t have a spare bedroom.”  And Mitch responded: “Well, then he can sleep on the couch --- or on the floor.”  “Well, what if your daughter says she disagrees?”  And Mitch said: “Then I’d tell her to get a hotel room --- and I’m not paying for it.”  But still, Mitch’s co-host wouldn’t give in, saying Album was old-fashioned.  And so Mitch Album said: “Let’s open up the phone lines and see what the audience says.”  And, to my surprise, caller after caller backed Mitch up 100%, even saying if visiting their daughter they would stay at a hotel room rather than visit in a house which their child shared with a live-in partner, even a long-standing one.  Not one caller supported the co-host.
Even on this very liberal talk show, people will willing to witness to their faith and morality.  It is something, I think, which is not done enough in this country, nor accepted enough by children.  Many children do not respect their parents’ moral values, and, sadly, many disagree with them. 
And it makes their parents sad.
And so back to the topic of this writing:  What gift would be a most unusual one, one which mom and dad would know shows how much you love them?  I believe, as do some others, that it is a gift which says you respect the moral values of your parents, and you respect them yourself, and promise to live those values.  And like that TV show father or that radio show host (and those who called in to him), you tell your parents that you will publically witness that you believe what they taught you --- and how much you love them.
Steve Ray is a convert to the Catholic faith, and a good writer and speaker.  He spoke one time of how his young daughter saw a chastity ring in a magazine and said: “Daddy, I want one of those.”  After ensuring she knew what that meant, he said he went out and bought her a very nice ring.  And then his other children, seeing the gift, also asked for a chastity ring as a gift.  And they all wore their ring in public as a witness that they would remain chaste, pledging to reserve any sexual relations until marriage.  And then in his talk Steve said that on the day he walked his daughter down the wedding aisle they stopped at the altar, and before he could walk away his daughter stopped him.  And then she took off her chastity ring and gave it to him, saying: “I have another one to wear now, and another commitment I will make.”  And Steve said he cried.
That was a present that Steve and his wife would remember all their lives, and they both speak of proudly of their daughter --- and their sons --- and their love.  The gift their kids gave to Steve and his wife was truly a special gift, and a witness of how much they loved their parents and the morality they had taught them.
I’m not too sure how many young people would even consider such a gift today.  You never hear it talked about.  Those who would give such a gift would surely be witnesses to their faith, and also to their parents’ love.  For any parent of faith, I cannot imagine a more special and appreciated gift from their child.  Would that any Godchild of mine would ask me to buy them a chastity ring; I think I too would cry.  It would be an amazing gift to me. 
We see the examples of television and radio stars giving very public witness of the importance of living sexually chaste lives, and of the importance of marriage.  Could you, if you are a young man or woman, give such a witness to a few friends by wearing a ring?  Sadly, I suspect most teens could not stand up to the peer pressure, no matter how happy it would make their parents.  Really special young adults like that seem rare these days --- maybe that’s why they are thought of as special.
They would be special young adults because they would dare to publically tell their parents how special they are, and how much they are loved.
What a Christmas present that would be.

1 comment:

  1. Well, it seems the search engine for your blog is working today---just in time to make me seem like I can't work a computer! I swear, it wasn't working yesterday! Anyway, I didn't see this original post when you posted it, but I wanted to comment on something you said in it. "That is so not hip today. So many people say “Keep your beliefs in church, not in public.”
    Did you know that religious belief in the communist Soviet Union was never officially forbidden? Lenin began by declaring a "separation of Church and state." and then the following administrations used varying tactics to suppress and persecute belief. Ultimately, what was forbidden was SHARING that belief, either by public worship in churches, or sermons, or catechism classes, or even having a prayer group in your home. But you personally could pray as many Our Fathers, Hail Marys and Glory Be's as you liked. So doesn't it seem a bit like a communist idea that we should keep our faith to ourselves or in our churches, that's okay (for now), but not share it or declare it in the public square? Very sneaky. That whole idea needs to be outed for what it is. Fran