The most valuable and meaningful gifts in life can’t be purchased at a store. That’s certainly true when it comes to honoring our parents. For this Father’s Day, although ties and coffee mugs can be pretty amazing, why not try honoring the Dad in your life in ways that are much more memorable.
Here are three different life stages. With each life stage, I’ve listed some corresponding ways to honor your Dad.
Stage 1: Young Children
1. Practice immediate obedience
This is true for both parents. Parents, teach young children to do what they’re told to do, when they’re told to do it, with the right heart attitude. Each of those elements is important as they practice immediate obedience.
Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. Honor your father and mother (which is the first commandment with a promise), so that it may be well with you, and that you may live long on the earth.
Hear, my son, your father’s instruction
and do not forsake your mother’s teaching;
Indeed, they are a graceful wreath to your head
and ornaments about your neck.
2. Be kind to others.
Harmony is music to any parent’s ears. When dads feel as if family members are in conflict, he takes it personally. He believes conflict in the home is a reflection on him personally. Kindness to others demonstrates humility and selflessness, two great traits that are welcome in any home.
Behold, how good and how pleasant it is
for brothers to dwell together in unity!
3. Trust Jesus as Lord and Savior
We should never confess our sins to the Lord and trust in Him as our Lord and Savior to please our parents; but Christian parents are honored in a huge way when their children profess Christ. Moms and dads who truly follow Jesus understand their first mission field is their own home. Jesus said,
“Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”
Stage 2: Teenagers
1. Respect others
Most people tend to get a little mouthy and more independent during the teen years. Growing independence is a good thing, but not at the expense of being disrespectful to others.
Teens should remain humble and respectful, especially to their siblings and parents.
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.
–1 Cor. 13:4-5
2. Stay pure
Teens may not realize that their parents understand the difficulty of remaining pure, especially sexually; but moms and dads understand far too well. Parents often attempt to protect their own children because as a teenager they gave into sexual temptation themselves. Loving parents don’t want their children to deal with the painful consequences of sexual sin, not to mention the fact that sexual immorality brings dishonor to the Lord. When king David committed adultery with Bathsheba, he prayed, “Against You, and you only have I sinned, and done what is evil in your sight,” (Ps. 51:4).
Even a child is known by his actions, by whether his conduct is pure and right.
Stage 3: Adult Children
1. Be a friend
As a dad, I’ve loved every single stage of my children’s lives. Each stage had its unique rewards and challenges. No life stage is perfect. Some stages are more stressful than others. The consequences of spilling a glass of milk are much different that driving a car off the road.
But now that my children are grown, I’ve decided this is my favorite stage. And it’s not just because I have grandchildren now, although that certainly helps. I just love talking to my children as adults, as peers, and seeing how they are growing as a human being and as a disciple of Jesus Christ.
Children’s children are a crown to the aged, and parents are the pride of their children.
2. Keep growing in the Lord
I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth.
–1 John 1:4
When John the disciple wrote the above line, he was probably referring to his children in the faith, not his biological children. But the statement is true of offspring as well. To a parent, it means the world that children share a common faith in Jesus and live out their commitment to Christ daily.
WOULD YOU SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS?
There are many more ways for children, younger and more mature, to honor their parents, and specifically their dads. Would you please share a few more in the comments below? I’d love to add them to my list, and I’m sure others would be blessed as well.