Sunday, June 19, 2016

Father's Day, 2016

See if you can guess where this quote comes from.
"Honor your father and mother"
"Oh, yeah!" I can hear some saying. "That's from the 10 commandments." Well, yes, it is, but I copied that from Ephesians 6. That is, it's still in effect. It's not "Old Testament"; it's for us today.

It is interesting to me that Paul, listing all sorts of evils that people do, likes to include "disobedient to parents". One of them is in Romans 1, where Paul starts with "And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done." (Rom 1:28) What "ought not to be done"? There's that list, 3 verses long. All sorts of bad stuff, like murder and slander, haters of God and ruthless, and the ever-clever "inventors of evil", as if there isn't enough already. And right there in the midst is "disobedient to parents" (Rom 1:30). Strange. Because you'd think he was talking about adults, but adults don't have to be obedient to parents ... do they?

The second mention isn't any better. "But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty." (2 Tim 3:1) From there he lists the characteristics of people in the last days, including the love of self, the love of money, treacherous, lovers of pleasure and ... right in the middle, again, "disobedient to parents" (2 Tim 3:2). Again, I would think that his list is aimed at adults, but that same disobedience shows up.

The question I have is when do we stop being the children of our parents? Okay, I'm not going to pursue "When do we stop being obedient to parents?" When do we stop honoring father and mother? I would argue that the answer is "Never." It's interesting. The Greek word used in the Ephesians quote above means most literally "to prize". It means to revere, to fix value on. So what do we do with people who we value? We speak well of them. We forgive their faults. We pray for them. We show respect. We seek and follow their advice. We love them. It's not a groveling, a pandering for approval, a foolish ignoring of reality. It is an intentional valuation of worth. It's not earned; it's given. Like we were taught in the military, "You don't have to respect the person; you have to respect the office." Except that was the military and this is God's Word. Fortunately, today is a day set aside to honor your father.

Happy Father's Day, Dad. Honoring you is easy. I appreciate you. I value you highly. I only hope that I reflect well on you (Prov 15:20).

1 comment:

Alec said...

Happy Father's Day to you, your dad and all the fathers reading this.

It wasn't easy between my father and I. How grateful I am to have been reconciled with him before his passing. And even more grateful that Christ has forgiven me for my "disobedience to parents".

One of the wisest pieces of advice in your post:

"You don't have to respect the person; you have to respect the office."

Bless you today, Stan.