These days it’s not cool to say that you read the Bible, to quote from the Bible or refer to it in any way.
Although I am what most people would categorize as a secular person, it seems that ancient best-seller has a whole load of common-sense advice that were it adhered to a bit more commonly, our secular society would be transformed for the better.
I guess I’m not very cool.
Yesterday was Father’s Day. The fact that someone thought it was necessary to set aside a specific day for dads shows me that we don’t honor fathers enough in our everyday lives.
My father was a good man. He was strong and handsome, kind and warm. He knew how to do lots of stuff and he worked hard every day of his life.
My father taught me to play catch – and that girls could do just as well as boys. He taught me the pleasure of cold watermelon on a hot summer day and of sitting in a kiddie pool just to cool off.
My father taught me to make root beer floats and great sandwiches. It was with him that I learned to love Star Trek, I Dream of Jeanie, Tarzan and Bewitched – the originals, not the remakes.
My father showed me that all work is worthy of respect. He was an electrician and he often worked outside, on buildings that were under construction. I remember him coming home tired and a bit dirty with a sweet-sweat smell that to me meant: I did real work today.
My father was – past tense. He died when I was very young. He was so much to me. And so much more that I never discovered.
The Bible instructs: “Honor thy father and thy mother that thy days may be long upon the land”. This isn’t a religious instruction; it’s simply common sense (all too uncommon these days!).
There is a lot of focus on the importance of mothers however fathers are equally important. If we don’t honor our fathers how will little boys grow up to be fathers worthy of being honored? How will little girls grow up to and find husbands who know how to honor their womanhood?
Our modern lives are child-centered and then we wonder why children grow up to be self-centered adults…
The commandment does not just say to honor parents i.e. for the sake of the parents but rather to honor your parents so that you may live long. In other words, this is something we should do for our own sake. Common sense tells me that it is something we should do for society, for the benefit of future generations as well.
Of course, many of us have problems with our parents. Sometimes it is hard to communicate with them or hard to be around them. It’s not always easy…
We tend to take our fathers for granted but then one day, sometimes sooner than later, they just aren’t there anymore.
Honor your father (and all fathers) every day, not just Father’s Day. Before it’s too late.
Obviously, the same goes for mothers as well.