Lesson 64: "Mum's the Word"

The last six commandments tell us our Duty to our Neighbours (that is, to every one with whom we share this life). For if God is “Our Father,” naturally we have duties to one another {Acts 7,26). The fifth is Honour thy father and thy mother, that thy days may he long in the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee. And My duty towards my neighbour is to love him as myself and to do to all men as I would they should do unto me; to love, honour, and succour (help) my father and mother.

Your first neighbours were your father and mother. To them, under God, you owe everything, even life itself. Without them you would never have known home, that place you will always love best in the world [when you get back there after Catechism, see if you can find the words which fit the tune in this week’s picture, and write them under it: if you can’t, I will tell them to you next week]. You can never repay the debt which you owe them, as you will realise when you are grown up and have children of your own. But you can, and must (if you are to be a good Christian), remember that it is your duty to love them all your life; to honour them by your obedience {Ephesians 6, 1 and 2) (unless, of course, they tell you to do something wrong, when it is your duty to disobey them), and by never speaking to any one about their faults; to help them (like a small girl called Elsie, who lives opposite me, and whom I often see washing the front-door step and going errands for her Mum), especially when they are ill or old {St. John 19, 25 to 27).

The time may come when your parents are dead, and the little Haggerston house now your home is lived in by other people. Of course you will still, since you are a Christian and still their child, have your duty to them of praying for their souls, of keeping their graves clean and tidy, of being the good man or woman they wanted (and, in the next world, still want) you to be. You will be happy then, if you can look back to your home-days with them; and not have to blame yourself for unkindness, rudeness, sulks, disrespect. And won’t it be lovely to be once again and for ever with father and mother in their and your true home, heaven, “the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee”?