Have you ever noticed that we spend Mother’s Day telling moms they’re wonderful?
We honor them with love through gifts and attention. The goal is to make moms feel appreciated for all they do and celebrate their role in the lives of their children and their influence on society. And that’s great!
But there is a tendency to take Father’s Day to challenge dads to step up and do a better job.
To make my point – one of the responses on answers.com to the question “why do we celebrate Father’s Day?” is:
To honor our fathers (if you have one to honor that deserves it) and all the other influential men in your life. It is a day to show the fathers/father figures that they are loved enough to have their own day.
But the Commandment does not say:
Honor your father (if he deserves it) and your mother so that you may live long and that it may go well with you in the land the Lord your God is giving you. Deuteronomy 5:16
The word “honor” is defined – to regard or treat (someone) with admiration and respect.
Remember, God’s Word also tells us that wives need love and husbands need respect.
So again I say, each man must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.Ephesians 5:33
Let’s look at some ways we can honor our fathers . . . ways to show them respect.
Thank Dad for all he does – big and small.
Most dads are doing their best. Remember that he’s a work in progress. No, he’s not perfect, but neither are moms or children. Each one of us is a mixture of the person God created and the people, places, and circumstances we’ve experienced.
Raising children is hard. There are too many questions and too few answers, too many comparisons and too few pats on the back, too much second-guessing, and too little affirmation.
So, let’s thank them often and remind them of God’s love and forgiveness . . . and ours. Who knows, an attitude of gratitude might spill over onto moms and kids and make for a happier family in general.
Moms – Set an example and respect your children’s father in front of them.
There is a quote that says, “The best thing a father can do for his children is to love their mother.” ~ Credited to John Wooden, Theodore Hesburgh, Henry Ward Beecher, Martha Vander Marel.
Based on God’s Word we could add, “The best thing a mother can do for her children is to respect their father.”
Rev’s parents divorced when he was in his early teens, yet his mother never allowed her children to disrespect their father nor did she discredit him. She would tell them, “A marriage involves two people, neither one is solely to blame when it falls apart.”
I imagine the dads in your life have faults but the truth is, so do you and so do I.
Whether you live under the same roof or not, make it a habit to encourage your children’s father in front of them. Tell him you appreciate him and respect him. Even when you disagree – be respectful. (A side benefit may be that if he’s not the person you dreamed he would be . . . he may try harder to become the person you say he is.)
Kids – Listen to your dad and pray for him.
Your father has lived longer and experienced more than you have. Ask God to give him wisdom and listen to your father when he shares that wisdom with you.
Ask God to give your father strength. It’s not easy being a mom or a dad. Just being an adult can be hard . . . being an adult who is responsible for raising little people is even harder.
Ask God to help you honor and respect your father the way He wants. And ask your dad if there’s anything specific he’d like you to pray for him.
Let’s pray for our fathers…
A Prayer to Bless and Encourage Our Fathers
Father, thank you for giving us the gift of family. Thank you for mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters . . . people with whom we can learn about love, forgiveness, and life. Please forgive us. We have not loved the way You want us to love. We haven’t loved and respected as You command. I’m so sorry. Please forgive me and help me do better.
Thank you for knowing we would need fathers and father figures in our lives to teach and guide us with instruction and discipline. Please give them the unique wisdom they need to walk with their family along the path You have prepared for them. Give them the strength they need to trust and obey Your will when life distracts and challenges them.
Help us love, honor, and respect as You desire that we might give You glory and bless each other. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.
I’ve been so blessed by the father the Lord chose for me. He recently celebrated his 97th birthday and still drives a sassy red Camaro convertible around the state of Florida. He tells me he loves to laugh at my crazy stories and he blesses me with encouragement and prayers.
So, let’s pause this weekend and thank God for our fathers. Let’s take this special day to honor the dads in our lives.
And then every day – may we be thankful, be respectful, and cover each other with prayer and encouragement. It will bless you, your family, your community, and the family of God.
Thank you so much for joining me today.
And a thank you to BibleGateway.com for sources.
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