This coming Sunday is Father’s Day – the day we say thank you to our fathers, grandfathers, step-fathers, or father figures. I know some of you may not have a dad around; I hope though that you have someone you can look up to and interact with that is a good “father” role model. And, I know, that not everyone has a great relationship with the dad either. If you don’t, I’m so sorry, but again, I pray you have a male in your life to fill that void.
Did you know that God commanded us to honor our mothers and fathers in the Ten Commandments given back in the Old Testament of the Bible? Then it is repeated by Paul in his letter to the Ephesian people in Ephesians 6: 1-3, “Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. Honor your father and mother (this is the first commandment with a promise), that it may go well with you and that you may live long in the land.” Yes, God tells us to honor our fathers and mothers, but what does it really mean to say “honor” your parents? The Bible teaches us that the way to honor your parents it to: obey them, respect them, and never cause them pain, I believe.
The Apostle Paul further wrote in Colossians 3: 20, “Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right.” When your mom or dad tells you to do something or not do something, it is for your own good, and you should pay attention to what they say – even if it seems dumb, unfair, or unpleasant to you. They would not tell you to do something that would hurt you or be against God’s will because they love you.
God wants you to respect your parents – actually all adults. Adults’ ways may seem strange to you as children often times, but you should always respect them, their ideas, their ways of doing things, their likes and dislikes, and their authority. Believe it or not, as you get older, you will gain more knowledge and wisdom, and they probably won’t seem so odd then!
Finally, I know you would never do anything to actually cause real pain to your mom or dad, but when you disobey them or sass them or don’t pay attention to what they say, it hurts them inside in their hearst. It causes them worry and sorrow, and you don’t ever want to do that to them that love you.
Please remember this about your father’s or mother’s love: nothing you do will ever make them stop loving you. A parent’s love is the strongest and most enduring love that exists with the exception of God’s love for us. But not obeying them, not respecting them, and causing them pain does hurt them more than you realize, so honor your moms and dads this day and always. If you read the rest of the commandment above, you will read that if you do these things, God promises that your life will be so much more joyful and successful. Make your parents proud and glad. You will never regret it. Give your father or father figure a great big hug this Sunday and a huge thank you for all he does and remember God’s promise!
Let’s say a prayer together. Dear Father God, we know You were our first Father. Then You gave us earthly Fathers to help take care of us as we grow. Thank you for these men who love us and show us a glimpse of what Your love is like. Please help us to always remember to honor them in the ways we should and also remember Your promise if we do. Happy Father’s Day, God! In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Ann Moody is pastor of Wilkesville First Presbyterian Church and the Middleport First Presbyterian Church. Viewpoints expressed in the article are the work of the author.