Honor Thy Father
When I was little, my father was just part of my day. He’d wake me in the morning and get me out the door in time for school. Then I’d run down the street to meet him on his way home from work. He wasn’t much of a handyman, but he kept our yard tidy with an old push mower. He paid bills at a small desk wedged between the wall and his bed. He didn’t scold as loud as Mom, but his silence was almost worse. When I was sad, my tears would be wiped away with his soft white hanky. Just a few of his words were all I needed to set my world right again. I loved tagging along on his Saturday errands. On Sundays, we’d walk hand in hand down the block to church.
Being a teen didn’t change my perspective much. My dad was still just part of my day— he worked, took care of the yard and paid the bills. He even taught me how to drive a stick shift— without ever raising his voice. His listening ear and soft white hanky now helped my topsy-turvy teenage world. We played tennis and took long walks, but I thought that’s just what fathers wanted to do.
I learned about the ‘honor thy father’ thing when I was little. I even tried to do it. But honestly, it was always more about me than him. Even as I watched my husband be the best father possible, I could have honored his effort more. Fatherhood isn’t easy and in the daily routine, it can be pretty thankless.
In our imperfect world, there are some fathers (and mothers) who’ve hurt their families deeply. How can that be honored? Here’s how: break that cycle and be the father he wasn’t. Be the kind of dad who offers himself so that the kids can have the chance they deserve.
Our society is hurting and we need to honor those fathers who are doing all they can. And honor those who step in and help those kids who need a dad. God knew it would be a tough job but when he gave the commandment to honor parents, he also promised that if we would, we’d enjoy a long life. Wow. Enjoying life. Yes, thanks to some special dads in my world, that’s exactly what I’ve been able to do. Now that’s worth celebrating. Happy Father’s Day!