Some reflections on Father’s Day
Honor your father and your mother
The fifth commandment (Exodus 20:12) has to do with our father and mother, whom we are called to honor for taking care of us when we were not able to do so ourselves, and for the sacrifices they made for us, and for loving us. To “honor” one’s parents, involves (1) prizing them highly; (2) caring, showing affection for them; and (3) showing respect or revering them. This is the only commandment that comes to us with a promise– “so that your days may be long.” It is also the only commandment without a “shall not.”Colossians 3:20 “Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord.
“Obey” implies a readiness to hear and carry out orders; a child’s ongoing responsibility is to listen to and carry out the instructions of his or her parents. Paul says two things about this obedience. (1) It is to be complete: “in everything.” Paul, of course, sets this in a Christian context. He is dealing with the Christian home. (2) The obedience of children to their parents “pleases the Lord.” Obedience of children is an obligation grounded in the very nature of the relationship between parents and children. It is a thing that is right in itself. It is therefore especially pleasing to God when believing children are careful to fulfill this duty.
Building fathers-children relationship
When Jim Bakker went to prison for financial mismanagement of his PTL empire, he thought he’d lost everything. His ministry was in shambles. But prison taught him many lessons about where his priorities should be. One day, Jim’s son, Jamie, spent the whole day with him at the prison. Afterwards, Jamie hugged Jim and announced, “All I ever wanted is to have you all to myself for one whole day. Today was like a dream come true for me!”
Jamie’s words broke Jim’s heart. He had never realized that while he was building his empire, he had been neglecting his family. That moment helped to decide Jim Bakker’s new priorities. Since that time, Jim and Jamie have built a close father-son relationship.
— Tommy Barnett with Lela Gilbert, dream again
Running From Reality
In the Book of 1 Kings, chapter 19, we find Elijah running from the reality of his life. He was scared. Elijah had been zealous for God and had made some evil people mad. There was a contest between God and the prophets of Baal. Elijah won and the people executed the prophets of Baal (1 King 18:40). Jezebel, the Queen, was very upset about this. She vowed that she would hunt him down and see him killed as well. That was the reality from which Elijah was running away. In the past God had answered his prayers. But after the smoke cleared, he saw no sign of God left. All he saw was Jezebel’s army charging at him.
People today are running from reality. They are afraid of the responsibilities and the troubles of everyday life. Many fathers run from their responsibilities to their families. Our society is experiencing an epidemic of absent fathers. Some fathers are abandoning their families. Some are refusing to pay child support. The courts have to track them down to make them pay for their children’s bread. These are the obvious cases. Not all men abandon their families, but many run away in other ways. They run to their jobs and hide there. They run to the lake or to the woods and hide there. They spend more times outdoor and with friends instead of with their kids.
Honesty and authenticity in a father
The late, great Christian singer and songwriter Rich Mullins used to be embarrassed by his dad, a man who attended church but never put on a “holier-than-thou” facade. As Rich matured, he learned to appreciate his father’s authenticity. In an interview, he said, “My dad was very honest about who he was. He was very honest about his weaknesses and strengths. He never pretended to be something when he was in church that we knew he wasn’t at home.”
— Les Sussman, PRAISE HIM!
As a father or a mother one must be honest and genuine. You have to live and lead by examples. Verbally teaching one thing to your children but never doing it yourself is hypocrisy. Being inconsistent does great damages to the spiritual life of children.
Fathers and children in church
Father’s Day is a little different in the church than in the world. In the church all men are fathers. Each time a young boy or girl is baptized in the church the whole church promises to nurture them in the Christian faith. Any Christian man who takes such a vow takes the responsibility of raising and nurturing those children in the faith.
A good example of this is Paul and Timothy. Paul was not Timothy’s biological father. Timothy’s biological father was an absentee father– at least he is absent from the Bible. Paul filled this void as he became a father figure to Timothy. He took Timothy under his wing and nurtured him in the Christian faith. He even called Timothy his “son.” And Timothy grew to be a dedicated servant of God in part because of the care of his father in the faith.
If we want our children to grow in faith we must be people of faith. We have to live the faith, to study the word of God, to model the love of God. Then those things will fall in the soil of our children’s hearts and minds and grow. To train our children to follow Christ we first have to be following Christ. To see faith growing in their lives it must first be growing in ours. To see them devoting their lives to Christ, we must first devote our lives to Christ. To see the fruits of the Spirit growing in the lives of our children they must first be growing in our lives.