Honor Thy Father

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There are countless lessons we have learned from our Dad or another important person in our lives. We all honor and remember our fathers and father figures in different ways.

The nation celebrates Father’s Day on Sunday as a time when we remember and give thanks for our fathers’ role in our birth and in our lives. For many, this is a fun day filled with the love and laughter of a loving family.

However, Father’s Day might present challenges for many people.

For some, their fathers have long since passed away. Others may be struggling with problematic relationships and for many, the day represents distance.

Recent statistics tell us that more than 40 percent of children in the world grow up in households with no father at all and 85 percent of all youths in prison come from fatherless homes, which is 20 times more than the average number. More than 90 percent of all homeless and runaway children are from fatherless homes, which according to the U.S. Health and Census reports is 32 times the average.

By the end of 10 years, as many as two-thirds of them have drifted out of their children’s lives, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Clearly, fathers represent a lot more than just a paycheck to a child,” said Tim Fayard, a child psychologist in Birmingham, Ala.

“Fathers and even father figures today represent safety, protection, guidance, friendship, and someone to look up to. Children are our future and we must teach them how to honor someone in their lives who is a role model.”

Fayard said fatherhood is not just a one-way relationship. He said true life lessons can come from the father figure just as much as a real father.

“Children play an important role in any relationship,” he said.

“Whether someone had a father in their lives or not it is important that children have someone they can honor, someone who deserves that honor.”

He said honor is what is missing in today’s society.

“Showing honor is showing respect and tribute in intangible ways. From there, those life lessons will blossom and be well embedded in our personalities.”

True, and not so true. We also need to recognize that until we also honor ourselves with love and compassion that we will not be able to give fully to another, or shine the light on another nor will we truly understand humility.

Not everyone is the same and we each come with different strengths and talents.

Whatever our situation may be, during the Father’s Day celebrations this month, it is important to remember that we all have another Father in Heaven.

Even if your earthly father is no longer with you, there will be thoughts and emotions about him. Do your best to focus on the memories that make you smile or bring tears of joy to your eyes. And always remember the lessons – good and bad.

“I grew up with mottos to live by,” said Bernie Siegel, author of Love, Magic and Mudpies.

“The first was when a decision is necessary: Do what will make you happy. The next was when troubles occurred: It was meant to be. Something good will come of this. Finally, money and material things were to be used to help make life easier for people.”

There is a well-known passage in the Bible that says, “Honor your father and mother, so that it may go well with you and you may enjoy a long life.”

This is known as one of the Ten Commandments given by God to His people, and it is the first commandment that comes with a promise from God. If one honors properly their parents, then God promises an improved quality of life as well as an extended quantity of life.

“The most important thing my father taught me is that when you give your word, you keep your word, no matter what,” said Larry Winget, New York Times bestselling author of Your Kids Are Your Own Fault.

“A man is only as good as his word. That resulted in my own number one rule for Life and Business: ‘Do what you said you would do, when you said you would do it, the way you said you would do it.’”

Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord. (Ephesians 6:4)

By R. Leigh Coleman