"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 ESV
Happy Father's Day! Each year, on the third Sunday in June, we show appreciation for the positive male figures that have played a role in making us who we are; dad's, uncle's, grandfathers, and family friends. Some of these men may no longer be with us, but we continue to give thanks for their lives. For those fortunate enough to still have them, cherish the time you have for it is far too short. I pay tribute in memory today to my dad, grandfather's, father-in-law, and step-dad.
In fairness, we need to acknowledge there are many today who have not had a positive male role model in their life. The conventional nuclear family is nearly a thing of the past. Many fathers today may be absent or abusive. God bless all those single moms, aunts, and grandmothers who have stepped in to fill both roles.
The verse for today is the fifth of the Ten Commandments. It immediately follows those about our relationship with God; 1.) Have no other God's, 2.) Do not make idols, 3.) Do not misuse God's name, and 4.) Keep the Sabbath. The remaining six, starting with this verse, concern how we are to behave. What does it mean to show honor to our fathers? It is valuing them for who they are and what they mean to us—demonstrating our love and care for them—respecting them for their wisdom and sacrifices. Obeying them, even in discipline, because we know they only want what is best for us.
Regardless of the relationship, we have had with our earthly fathers. We have a Heavenly Father who daily demonstrates to us what it means to be a good dad. Our Father is loving, compassionate, empathetic, and yes, sometimes strict.
Father God, we give you thanks for dads and all those who fill that role. We give honor today to you, our Heavenly Father, and our earthly fathers. Amen.