Friday

Will Your Father's Day Sermon Honor or Rebuke?

Honor your father and mother
My parents before they were married
Father's Day...a day to honor fathers.

But most Father's Day Sermons I've heard in the last decade have focused on the father's responsibility to his children, not the child's responsibility to his father.

Why?

I think we've forgotten the importance of the Fifth Commandment. Children (especially we adult children) are quick to demand unconditional honor FROM fathers while giving conditional honor in return.

Sadly, our national disrespect for parents has damaged the moral fiber of our country. We aren't nearly as messed up by bad parenting as we are by our failure to obey God's command to honor parents. 

I'm on my father's lap in this photo
Honor means emphasizing the best, forgiving the worst, and focusing on our sins, not the sins of our parents (Matthew 7:1-4).
 
God makes this clear:
“Honor your father and mother”—which is the first commandment with a promise— “so that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth."   Ephesians 6:2-3

Today, let's quit putting conditions on God's commands and start obeying them.

I spent a lot of years neglecting the Fifth Commandment and I lost much in the process. That's why it's a reoccurring theme on Bible Love Notes. If you need more encouragement to honor your parents, check out my archive of 1-minute devotions on the subject HERE.  
Or check out my 7-part series on blessing your marriage by honoring your mother-in-law

12 comments:

  1. Wow! Excellent point! I never thought about it that way before, but you are right. Most sermons are directed to the fathers, encouraging them to fulfill their responsibilities. Nothing wrong with that, but where is the teaching encouraging the honoring of our fathers? Thanks for sharing this wise perspective!

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  2. What a great post and we should honor and respect our Father. Some who did not like the behavior of their Father, think otherwise, but the truth is the man is the father and according to the Bible there is honor due him. My Dad was a precious man, and I do honor his memorty.

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  3. Very good point! One of the best thing a parent can do is to teach your child that when you are honoring and being obedient to your parents you are honoring and being obedient to God! Thanks so much for hosting today.

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  4. My favorite line: Today, let's quit putting conditions on God's commands and start obeying them. :)

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  5. This is a great message to share. I am your latest follower, thanks for visiting over at my place! :)

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  6. Great points. There ARE a lot of dishonorable, irresponsible, and even many abusive fathers in our world today.(I know, from working with single mothers in our community), but that doesn't give us the right to show disrespect towards them. They are still God's creation and more than anything, they need our prayers and God's saving grace!!! My own father passed away 9 years ago, but was a kind, loving, Godly man, so honoring him is easy. For some it may be more difficult to do.
    Blessings to you, Ann @ Christ in the Clouds

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  7. What a great reminder. Last Father's Day our pastor preached a similarly themed service. He reminded us there is not an age limit placed on honoring our parents in the Bible, so we should do this until they are gone, and it doesn't say "if they acted this way or that way".
    It convicted me, especially. My own father is a wonderful man who I love and respect beyond words. Honoring him is joyful and so easy to do!
    On the other hand, My father-in-law is a very difficult man (completely opposite of my father in every way). He lives right down the road from us and we farm with him and see him every day (usually 2x a day)... it has been a long spiritual journey to get to where I am today (and I have a long way to go). I kind of practiced the "fake it till you make it" for awhile, but even that got soooo incredibly hard to do. I've cried and pleaded with God to soften my heart, to change my heart, to help me love and respect this man in my life. It's part of my daily prayer and praise God, He is helping me! I have my days when it's a struggle to keep my mouth shut or not to bad mouth him; but those have been fewer since my prayers have increased.

    It's so interesting to see how a father can make you or break you, in your heart and mind. My husband carries a lot in his heart and mind from his dad's verbal abuse, but God has given my husband the strength to honor his father still. I really admire that about him.

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    1. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I know many can identify with your experiences, and it's always harder to honor parents who make it difficult. I applaud you and your husband for persevering. And you mention the key...God gives the strength. We can't do it on our own.
      Bless you.

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  8. Thank you Gail for such a wonderful post. Good thoughts on honoring our father. Unfortunately I didn't get through to mine yet but hopefully will tomorrow.

    I love seeing the picture of your parents. I'm linked up just after you and followed you over from The Alabaster Jar.

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  9. What an excellent reminder! This is an area we've really been focusing on with our oldest son - early on. He's only 3. But it is foundational in helping children relate to God as they will need to when they are adults. If children do not learn to obey their parents, they will have trouble obeying God as adults.

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  10. Amen! Wonderful post!

    I knew a woman whose husband sinned greatly, and abandoned her to raise her children alone. She always taught them to respect & love their father (even though they didn't know where he was). It has paid huge dividends in their lives - they've become very diligent fathers themselves, and have also gone a great way toward reconciling with their Dad & healing some of their childhood hurts. Honoring our parents does much more for us than it ever does for them.

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