By Sheryl Tay, Singapore
Father’s Day has become largely commercialized all around the world. It has become just a day in the yearly calendar that we observed. For some, the greater significance of what the day stands for—that is, a reminder to love and honor our fathers at all time—has been lost.
This year, as Father’s Day approaches, let us take a look at Scriptures to remember why we must honor our fathers and how we can do so.
1. God commands that we honor our fathers.
Exodus 20:12 says, “Honor your father and mother, so that you may live long in the land the Lord your God is giving you” (NIV). This is echoed in Ephesians 6:1-3, “Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. ‘Honor your father and mother’—which is the first commandment with a promise – ‘that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth.’”
The commandment to honor our fathers is stated both in the Old Testament as well as in the New. It highlights to us that this commandment has not changed since the time of Moses. It is still relevant for us today. But how should we “honor” our fathers? Is it by giving them gifts or treating them to a nice meal once every year? This question is answered in our next point.
2. Apart from love, nothing else counts.
1 Corinthians 13:1-3 illustrates the importance of love as the basis for our actions. We read: “If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing.”
Without love, our talents and “noble” acts amount to nothing. Similarly our words and our material gifts are worthless if they do not come from the heart. So, if we truly love our parents, what is one tangible way in which we can express that love?
3. Our obedience to our fathers (and mothers) pleases the Lord.
Colossians 3:20 says, “Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord.” If we love our parents, we would respect them and obey them. The Greek word for obey implies a readiness to listen to and carry out parental instructions. And such behavior pleases the Lord because He is the One who established the line of authority in the family unit.
From the above pointers, we could infer that honoring and loving our parents should be a part of our daily life, not just an annual occasion. We also learn that in so doing, we please and honor God, our Father in heaven.
Hence, let us learn to love and honor both our earthly fathers and our heavenly Father, not just on Fathers’ Day, but every single day.