Honoring our fathers; honoring our Father

Honor your father and your mother that your days may be long in the land that the LORD your God is giving you.

Exodus 20:12

A son honors his father, and a servant his master. If then I am a father, where is my honor? And if I am a master, where is my fear? says the LORD of hosts to you, O priests, who despise my name. But you say, ‘How have we despised your name?’  By offering polluted food upon my altar. But you say, ‘How have we polluted you?’ By saying that the LORD’s table may be despised.  When you offer blind animals in sacrifice, is that not evil? And when you offer those that are lame or sick, is that not evil? Present that to your governor; will he accept you or show you favor? says the LORD of hosts.

Malachi 1:6-8


I run into some interesting discussions with friends periodically and with family.  Usually it revolves around Mother’s Day and Father’s Day.  You may have run into those folks now and again; maybe you are this kind of person.  For example, there is a person who is a father who refuses to do anything for his wife on Mother’s Day because… she is not his mother! He would insist that his kids should do something for their mother but this holiday puts no responsibility for him to do anything special for his wife for this basic irrefutable fact – she is not my mother!  This scenario also has surfaced with mom’s not doing anything for their husbands (although much rarer because moms tend to be much more nurturing and encouraging than dads…. Sometimes).

The Example of the Lord’s Prayer

This often sounds like the debate over the “Lord’s Prayer”. Some people are pretty adamant about this and argue the “Lord’s Prayer” is not really the Lord’s Prayer because He never would need to pray this prayer. Of course while there is some value in understanding this insight it also fails to recognize that Jesus is the source and creator of this prayer – in this sense it is in every sense of the word, the Lord’s Prayer.  He is the source of this prayer, He taught the prayer, He explains the prayer and it is uniquely His prayer.

Christians Honoring Fathers and Mothers

Hopefully our expression of honoring our Fathers or Mothers is NOT dictated by secular holidays. Some of this seems, to me, to be honest, like a pointless semantic to avoid spending money. I suspect that rebelling against the cultural dictates for holidays is behind some of this rhetoric. Regardless if it is my own mother or father or someone else, every father and mother need to be honored and encouraged that their role as a mother or father is essential and valued. Our culture is disintegrating the nature of family and the good, faithful moms and dads need to be honored for what they have done in raising their kids but they need to be encouraged and respected to continue to invest their family. No father or mother are perfect. In fact most of us feel more of the struggle of parenting than the success of parenting. Fortunately our kids often turn out to be great adults both because of our investment and in spite of our shortcomings.

Living in the Gap

Especially if your dad is not in the picture for whatever reason  or has passed on – there is not a dad around that could not benefit and appreciate encouragement and some element of being honored. Some dads are amazing to even take the time to invest in the lives of other kids who are not their own: they coach, teach, mentor, volunteer, and invest in their kids and other people’s kids too.

But remember that for those who have a faith relationship with God, ultimately He is our Father who we need to learn to honor and always treat as holy… all the time.

Pastor Brad Little