My friend was just venting to me the other day about Father’s Day:

“Why is it that the Mother’s Day sermon is all encouraging and the Father’s Day one is a kick in the pants for men to step up to the plate? My wife got roses at church, but I got a compass to keep me on track. What’s with that?”

“Honor your father and mother”—which is the first commandment with a promise—“so that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth.” (Ephesians 6:2-3, NIV)

So this year we’re bucking that trend. Make this Father’s Day an opportunity to honor your dad. In this video Neil Josephson from Family Life Canada explains two practical ways to do that. Honoring our dads doesn’t have to be a once-a-year event; it’s a good idea year round. But by following Neil’s advice for this Father’s Day you could make his day or even his whole year!

For some sons and daughters, honoring ‘dad’ feels natural because the relationship has been wonderful. But that’s not everyone’s experience. For some, the very thought of showing honor to dad evokes painful childhood memories.

So why show respect if he doesn’t really deserve it?

I can think of five reasons:

  • Scripture commands us to honor our parents (Eph 6:2-3). This verse doesn’t limit that to mothers or to terrific parents, so why should we.
  • Men feel loved when they are shown respect. If our fathers don’t have to earn our love, then why should they have to earn our respect? We don’t have to respect all of their actions, but we need to treat them with dignity. We can choose to focus on the good they brought into our lives.
  • Thanking our fathers helps us focus on living out their good qualities in our own lives.
  • Forgiving our fathers helps free us from obsessing over and repeating some of their mistakes.
  • Forgiveness releases us from bitterness and starts the process of healing the relationship.

Remember, if this is difficult, you can draw on the resources of faith; God has all the grace and forgiveness you’ll ever need to honor your father and help you move past the hurt. God isn’t asking you to take this step alone. Rely on the power of the Holy Spirit.

Photo Credit: Alejandro Inostroza