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slap your parentsSLAP = See.Love.Appreciate.Pray4 (all of this is implied by HONOR).

I present a workshop to teens entitled How to SLAP Your Parents (and Why). It’s pretty popular. Here’s why.

See your parents. This means to acknowledge them AND to enable others to acknowledge them by promoting them and making them famous; to announce them; to glorify them (as Jesus glorified his father). One of the principle things a child is called and commanded by God to do is to glorify his/her parents, because this prepares us for the same. We can’t make ourselves famous. Promotion comes from the Lord. So, to position ourselves to be glorified we need to do the same for someone else first (Eph 6:8). This begins at home and the first people we are called to promote are our parents because they gave us life. Announce them to the world the way Jesus announced his father.

Love your parents. This means to agape them; do what is in their best interest regardless of how you feel about them. This is decision-based, not feelings-based, and driven by truth, not circumstances. Even if they have been horrible to you, you are called to love them in order to imitate our Heavenly Father who causes His sun to shine on the good and bad, and His rain to fall on the just and the unjust. So, we love even our enemies, bless them that curse us, and do good unto them that hate us, and pray for them that despitefully use us and persecute us. When we step into a place of love for even our enemies we become impervious to evil. Nothing can hurt us.

Appreciate your parents. This means to place a value on them that is higher than their behavior, no matter how good or bad it is or has been. Esteem them as a prize that continues to appreciate in value because they are the soil of your blessing. They are the ground you sow into that will produce blessing and benefit in your life.

Pray4 your parents. This means to go to God on their behalf, even if they despitefully (thought less of you when they) used you and persecuted (pursued) you, because in so doing you create an environment in which God can reach them to change them. Use and persecution are learned, responsive behaviors. People treat their children that way when they have been treated that way as children themselves. When you decide to respond differently to the behavior than they did themselves, it gets their attention and provides an avenue for God to show up in their conscience and experience; but most of all it rescues you from visiting the same behavior on your children. Prayer can change the person you pray for, but the biggest change it effects is in YOU.

So, when I say “SLAP your parents” what I really mean is “see, love, appreciate, and pray for your parents!” Now, why on earth would you do that if your parents have not been good parents, model parents, caring parents, nice parents? Why do good for people who have been bad? Why bless those who curse you? Why do good for them who have hated you? Because there is a built in blessing that comes with it that you can’t get any other way; and one of the reasons people who have had bad parents end up with such screwed up lives is because they have not mastered slapping their parents and all that is available to them is the curse of hate transferred by their parents. You can send the hate away and bless your life by slapping them.

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