Father’s Day 2023

Honoring Fathers is still important!

2023 | Week of June 12 | Radio Transcript #1520

 (Anna Morken, author. Anna is a Summer 2023 intern for Wisconsin Family Council. This commentary is dedicated to Anna’s faither, Steve Morken.)

Through Scripture, we know that God places great value on parents. The fifth of the Ten Commandments instructs us, “Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long in the land that the Lord your God is giving you.” As Ephesians 6 points out, “This is the first commandment with a promise.” God promised the Israelites that if they honored their parents, he would bless them with long life in the Promised Land. Clearly, our treatment of our parents is important to the Lord, no matter our age or stage. With Father’s Day this coming Sunday, it’s good to reflect on these truths as we prepare to honor fathers.

As the head of the family, a father’s leadership provides stability in the home. Today many American families are in crisis because of a lack of fathers in the home. Children without a father in the home are more likely to struggle in all areas of life. At a time when the family is under attack, we should take time to honor the fathers and father figures in our lives.

Probably the simplest way that a son or daughter can honor their father is to obey and respect him. Throughout the Bible, children are repeatedly commanded to obey their parents; however, as any child knows, obedience is not always easy. But the charge to obey, by God’s design, is beneficial to children and in their best interest. Proverbs 6:20-23 says, “My son, keep your father's commandment, and forsake not your mother's teaching. Bind them on your heart always; tie them around your neck. When you walk, they will lead you; when you lie down, they will watch over you; and when you awake, they will talk with you.”

Although adult children may no longer be in a place of daily obedience and submission to their fathers, they can still respect them. That can be done by showing a father that you value his wisdom. Take time to listen to him and respect his teachings. Although adult children may not always agree with their fathers, they can always show respect and honor.

Another way we can honor our fathers is to forgive them. Although children often view their fathers as infallible heroes, the sense of awe usually fades as the years go by. As children grow up, they begin to understand their father’s imperfections and failings, and a disappointed child easily develops into a bitter adult. The hurts of the past combined with the pain of recent failings can cause deep pain for children of all age. If this describes you, perhaps instead of harboring feelings of anger, you need to forgive your father this Father’s Day. That said, we all need to recognize our own imperfections and flaws and that we too need forgiveness.

The greatest motivation to forgive others, including a father, is to recognize how much how much we do not deserve Christ’s forgiveness. Colossians 3:13 clearly tells us that we are to forgive one another just as the Lord has forgiven us., Although all fathers make mistakes and some selfishly choose what is best for themselves instead of what is best for their families, through Christ, we have the ability and the responsibility to extend forgiveness to them.

Another meaningful way to honor fathers is to simply spend time with them. If you have the blessing of still having your father, why not give your father a call or sit down with him for a time of sharing memories or just listening to his wisdom. Show him that you care about him and that you value spending time with him.

For those who have lost their fathers or who grew up in homes without fathers, Father’s Day can be a difficult time. For those struggling, I urge you to remember this powerful truth—that God is the greatest Father. In the parable of the prodigal son, the son chose a reprobate lifestyle; however, his father, who represents God, still joyfully welcomed home his wayward son. No matter the disappointments we may face in our earthly fathers or the pain we may experience after their passing, God is the greatest father we could ever hope for, far exceeding any human father.

1 John 3:1 “Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God!

This is Julaine Appling for Wisconsin Family Council, wishing all the fathers a blessed Father’s Day and reminding you the prophet Hosea said, “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.”

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