The other day our youngest Vick Chick, Anna Banana, Peanut Butter, maker of phenomenal pies, bread, dinners and more, all from scratch, was going to make the dinner of her daddy's fond desire, grilled cheese sandwiches and tomato soup. She does the best grilled cheese of anyone I know, it is an art form. That night the sandwiches were wonderful as usual, the tater tots baked to perfection. But the soup? It was a bit strong tasting.
"Anna," I say to her, "What did you do to the soup?"
"I don't know! It's awful isn't it? I even added a little cream to it, and it is still awful."
"What kind of soup did your daddy bring home?" I inquire, knowing that she has on occasion used the store bought tomato soup out of those cool hermetically sealed boxes, but the can she was unfamiliar with.
"It was that nasty canned stuff. I had to use three cans" She says.
"Did you add a whole can of milk for every can of soup?"
"No." She replied indignantly, "It didn't say to."
Knowing that this is also my incredibly impatient child, at times over the top impatient, I asked to see said can because in her favor it may not have been the can I thought it was.
Give the girl a sack of flour and a couple of apples and she turns out a beautiful pie or with a little yeast a nice crusty loaf of bread, give her a bag of peas and some quick instructions while you work in the garden and she has a lovely hearty soup waiting for when you're done, but she has no time for a stupid can of tomato soup.
Then there is Bettispaghettie, Betti-kins
Betti-kins aka Elisabeth (not pronounced like Elizabeth) is my oldest at home girl.
Sometimes her humor surprises the heck outta me because she is so dog gone quiet most of the time. But her father is rubbing off on her more and more and she is beginning to make up songs about whatever she sees or is doing at the moment.
The other day while she was suggesting to her little (nearly taller than her) sister that the dogs needed tending she came up with this song and it soon became the anthem for the weekend. It is sung with a little western twisted tune (where'd she come up being such a western music person I'm not totally sure but in my need to place blame I might look in a hedgerow somewhere).
Give the dogs food and water,
It will change your life.
Never let your mother or your daughter,
hate your wife.
Now I don't care who you are, but that is downright funny to hear being sung by a gaggle of girls in the back seat of a big fat Ford 350 diesel dually going to the feed store to buy some hay and chicks.
But then if you think about it no truer words were sung. It isn't good for a man to allow his mom or his daughter to have ill feelings towards the woman he is married to.
I think we forget what that word married means. In cooking you can put a stew together hastily and bring it up to a hot and steamy temperature with some quick heat but you will be able to taste the full flavor of the individual ingredients if eaten separately. However, if you take the time to marry the flavors then you could never again completely separate out the different components as if they were separate foods on a plate. They are married, now one, inseparable. The meat essence has oozed from the bits and melded into the softened carrot chunks and the carrot fragrance has infected the potato, nothing can be separated from the other, not completely.
With stew it takes time, but through the miracle that God has created in human marriage it only takes a moment, a moment of a vow, an acknowledgement and the two are one, never again completely separable.
It doesn't take years of dating, a lengthy engagement or a big wedding, it only takes what the community accepts as an understanding of marriage and it is done, forever. One shot. You are married for the length of your life. You cannot get the other out of your skin, children or no children. They, the children, are not how you become one. God proclaims the married as one, not two living together until the children come; they are in fact one, one right now and one forever.
If the mother hates her child's spouse, she hates her very own child, for now the two, her child and another, are one flesh and always will be. The idea of a mother hating her child isn't healthy; for a mother to hate her child's spouse is to hate her child and that is crippling to a mother.
So the husband in Bet's song can't allow that to happen not just because he loves his wife but because he loves his mother and if his mother hates his wife, she hates him and if she hates him she does damage to that thing inside her that is a mother. She would be denying what she was created for, motherness.
When Jesus takes the thou shalt not murder thing to a whole other level with His Sermon on the Mount (Matt 5) he showed how our ill thoughts and words towards another is right in there with murder. Solomon, the wisest man, knew that a mother could never murder her own child without causing herself chaos and degradation. Connect the two.
Somewhat similarly, a daughter cannot be allowed to hate her mother for it will do her damage and her father cannot let that happen for it is the father's job to keep his daughter from harming herself. To hate her mother would do just that, harm the daughter. She came from this woman, she cannot stand in the kitchen with her hands on her hips, level her face to her mother's and scream her hatred for her without causing untold damage to herself. She hates her mother? She may as well hate herself. And as we know from Jesus' lesson to hate is to murder. Self-hatred is suicide. Self-hatred by the way is not the same as self-denial or self-control or selflessness, not in the least.
Need some more dots to connect? Commandment five says, honor your father and mother. In Ephesians it is pointed out as the first commandment with a promise. The promise is for a good and long life; “that it may be well with you and you may live long on the earth.”
The promise is not just a cookie that God gives for being good but a natural consequence in God's magnificent creation. And we know that a certain amount of time isn't really that same amount of time in God's perspective. Even in our own minds time can change; a good time, a happy and joy filled time is as productive, worthwhile and seemingly long even if it is shorter in actuality than a miserable retched time where regrets and disappointments live at the end.
If you hate yourself by hating whom you came from, who's DNA you have making your hair curly or your eyes green, then you are not going to live a good long life; it will be short and miserable even if you live to ninety-six.
So it may very well have been a silly spur of the moment Bettikins song but it is very, very true.