He decided to call his dad and ask if he might have some time available the next weekend. He thought it would be great if they could enjoy a breakfast or lunch and do something together. His dad lived several hours away so it was not a routine trip other than on holidays with all the family. This time it would be just him traveling up to have a day with his dad.
When he called, Dad’s immediate response was, “What’s wrong?” He tried to explain that nothing was wrong, that he just wanted to have some long overdue one-on-one time with him. His dad said, “Right”, fully anticipating there was a problem to be addressed – marriage, kids or finances. Dad was still apprehensive when his son arrived early enough to take him out to breakfast. Over the meal, after catching up a bit, he asked his dad what it was like for him as a young father trying to raise a son – What challenges he faced; what was easy; what was hard. He asked his dad about his time as a boy – His relationship with his dad; the positives and negatives in his home growing up; stories about Grandpa he had not heard before. His dad enjoyed antique shops so they stopped by a couple of favorite spots as they continued their time together. As the day wrapped up, he said, “Thank you for the time Dad. It has been a great day. And thank you for being the dad you have been for me. I love you.” Dad responded, “Thank you Son. I love you too.”
Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the Lord your God is giving you. – Exodus 20:12. The commandment with a promise, what Dennis Rainey has referred to as “The Forgotten Commandment”. A discerning mind may justify disobedience to this command because a dad or mom was not very honorable. There is no “if they are honorable” then honor them, the command is to honor. Whether it was simply bringing you into this world, providing for basic needs or being role models you strive to emulate, fathers and mothers are to be honored.
Honor I tips leading up to Father’s Day:
- If your dad is alive, make plans to see him and do something he enjoys doing;
- If there is stress in the relationship, pray for strength to reconcile and move forward;
- If your dad is not alive or not accessible, ask your minister to refer you to a man of his generation in your church;
- Schedule one-on-one time to talk of his life and challenges he faced as a dad;
- Thank him for being your dad or spiritual father.
Prayer guide: Thank You Lord for the earthly father You blessed me with. Thank You for the healing, even generational healing, as You showed me the significance of the command to honor my father. As this middle commandment bridges the spiritual dimension with the physical it also bridges relationship with You to the relationships we have with others. In prideful nature, I burned that bridge with my dad and did not look back for 15 years. I praise You for the opportunity to reconcile while he was still alive. While the sins of a father go out three and four generations, the love of a father goes out a thousand generations. Equip all fathers and spiritual fathers to love as You love for the sake of generations to come. Amen.
A faithful father honors his father for the sake of generations to come.