In sixth grade catechism, my teacher had a fun way of teaching us the Ten Commandments. Being a very competitive class and wanting to do anything for a prize, she had us all collectively say all Ten Commandments as fast as we could. For the longest time we would only get nine commandments, one always stumped us. You might have already guessed which by just looking at this post’s title. Storge is a love of family (and the love my sixth grade classmates and I always missed).
Honor your father and mother.
It makes sense that we always forgot it - isn’t it a bit obvious? To us, the commandments were these huge laws that must be followed: Thou shalt not commit adultery. Thou shall not steal. Thou shalt keep holy the sabbath day. Why does honor your father and mother have to be a part of that? Doesn’t everyone already know that as a rule?
With the commandments, we often forget love exists within these ‘scary rules’. The fourth commandment serves as a reminder to uphold the family, starting with obeying our parents. And in some ways, it is not only limited to your father and mother. Honor your guardian, your cousins, and even your cool auntie that gave you that last bag of chips when you were five (Thanks again Auntie Laarni). Honor and love all of them.
What I also remember from sixth grade catechism is that we are taught to treat each other as brothers and sisters in Christ. This may be another way to practice Storge love, and I think it’s a beautiful way. Like Mother Teresa once said, “The problem with the world is that we draw the circle of our family too small.” Every family is different, no family is perfect, but we could definitely all afford to extend this familial love to more people.
In sixth grade, I locked in my brain that understanding of the fourth commandment (not because I wanted to win the prize, just to clarify). I have even thought more about my own understanding of it as I grew older. Honor your father and mother always seemed so intimidating to me as a child. The word honor is just so intense, but like I said earlier, love exists within the ten commandments. Now, I think that these aren’t rules meant to scare you but actions you can take out of love. I don’t follow what my parents say solely because of the commandments, but also because I love them. I even extend that love to all my family; my brother, my grandparents, and to my Auntie Laarni too.
One last lesson from catechism was this acronym for family: “forget about me, I love you”. I think that perfectly describes the kind of sacrifice and willingness it takes in a Storge type of love. To love this way, we have to make sure that our family knows they are loved. Tell whoever you consider family that you love them- today, tomorrow, and every day. Find ways to show them, too.
My sixth grade catechism teacher would be so proud of me today, now that I know the fourth commandment. I hope you know it too.