Countering Culture: Respecting Fathers

My wife and I were watching a movie on TV the other day. While watching it, I was deeply bothered by how fathers are portrayed in a bad way. It seems most things I watch disrespect fathers in general.

Fathers are portrayed in four degrading ways.

1. As an angry father who drives away his children while simultaneously demanding the children follow in their footsteps and do things their way, threatening to not pay their way through college.

2. As slobbering, disheveled, drunken men who beat their wives and children.

3. As stupid dweebs who bumble around and act like idiots-a joke to be laughed at.

4. As two-faced hypocrites who say one thing and do another. You hear things like:“You go to Church, and you say you are a Christian, but you live the life of a hypocrite”.

This is so sad! I do not deny that there are some really, really bad fathers out there who deserve to
be described in one (or even all) of the above ways. But, the word of God challenges us to honor our fathers.

The command

Honor your father and mother (this is the first commandment with a promise), that it may go well with you and that you may live long in the land. (Ephesians 6:2)

What a powerful command! The Father of all fathers tells us to honor our earthly father.
The command is followed by two promises. The promises come with a caveat, we have to obey the command in order to get the promise. So, am I honoring my earthly father?

Reject the disrespectful ways television and movie screens portray fathers! Don’t let anyone talk us into dishonoring our parents. Let’s honor our fathers. That means “to prize,  to revere, and to value (of great importance).” To think highly of them and to want them in your life.

Both my parents are with the Lord. Do I continue value and honor them with my words and actions? Perhaps we have a father who is divorced and remarried. How can I honor him in this very difficult situation? Oh, I challenge me/us to repent of our view of our fathers.

The promise

Many of you may not even know who your father is. He may not be part of your life. You may not even want him to be part of your life, nor do you want to know him.  Or you may have lost your father at an early age and he has never been there for you! The promise is true for you too!

We can ask God to help us honor whoever our father is-good or bad, dead or alive, deadbeat or drunk. Why? That we may be able to experience the promises. Does that seem a very selfish way to look at it? No, not at all! We are commanded to honor our fathers. But it is also the first command in the Bible that comes with a promise. These promises are huge promises, and are well worth obeying to receive freely!

The solution

One of the saddest times I know is when a young lady to be daughter-in-law or young man soon to be a son-in-law are desiring to be married. Some things come up and the in-laws are at war with each other. The son turns on his own father, the daughter turns on her own mother, etc., due to one’s attitude or actions toward their spouse’s parents. It becomes a big hassle and fight. Hearts are broken and beautiful relationships are destroyed. Even Christians are not immune to these problems.

Let’s get back to honoring our fathers as God commands us to do! Don’t let a relationship be destroyed by disrespecting fathers.

God’s way is the best way! The scripture never says to respect fathers only if they please us. It does say however, that if we honor our fathers then we will be blessed-it will be well with us and we will live long on the Earth.

God has placed our fathers in the position of our father. Let us honor God by honoring our fathers.

Pay to all what is owed to them: taxes to whom taxes are owed, revenue to whom revenue is owed, respect to whom respect is owed, honor to whom honor is owed. (Romans 13:7)

Calvin Fritchey
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