Christian Devotional by Pastor Cecil Thompson
“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.’ Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.”
This Daily-E-Votional is designated for Father’s Day which will be celebrated this Sunday. You may be reading this before Sunday, while others of you may not read it until sometime after the actual day of celebration. The day is not important. The message certainly is!
Paul does a great job of pointing out areas of responsibility in the passage. The first is directed toward children. According to the Ten Commandments, children are to obey their parents, and also to honor and respect their parents. As Paul mentions, this is the first commandment that has a promise attached to it — long life! Hey, that is worth looking into!
Today’s Scripture offers at least two views. One is the view from the perspective of the children, while the other is from the perspective of the fathers. It is critical that we read our own mail! Children, read what is written to you! Do not wait for your father to do his part before you do your part. It just follows naturally that fathers are not to wait for children to give them honor, respect and obedience before they train and instruct them in the Lord.
I wish I had done a better job as a young father. I wish I had studied deeply of the Word of God, and then broken off kid-sized pieces and “hand fed” them. We had three children, and all three accepted Jesus Christ as their personal Savior. Our oldest is with the Lord and the two who are still with us, are serving him faithfully. I rejoice in this, but, oh, how I wish I could have known then what I know now.
My commitment now is to encourage fathers to be better dads. I plead with all dads to study the Word of God. Let it fill your heart and mind. Let it break your heart as you see God’s great love, yet man’s stubborn indifference. Ask the Holy Spirit to show you ways to train your own children to discover the love of God and His great salvation.
I have saved the worst for last. Paul says that fathers are not to exasperate their children. That says to me that fathers do that very well! If I were to catalogue all of the things I have heard kids share about their dad that exasperated them, one stands out above all the rest. Guess what it is?
INDIFFERENCE! Being preoccupied with everyone and everything except the ones they should be devoting themselves to. A father should be totally devoted–first to his wife and then to his children. A cartoon showed a boy with his bat and glove, standing in front of his dad. The caption was classic: “Either play with me, or trade me!” For you who are not familiar with professional baseball, it is a take-off on a player saying to his manager, “Play me, or trade me.” You probably already knew that.
I can almost hear wives crying out for the same thing. “Why doesn’t he spend time with me?” It is such an important thing, that we as men so often mess up. Many fathers will receive Father’s Day gifts from their children. Why not commit yourself to give them a gift of yourself. Picture yourself with a ribbon around your head, and a big tag hanging off your toe which reads;
“I am so sorry that I have taken so long in getting you this gift. I hope you enjoy me. I will be there for you. I promise to listen to you, and tell you what God is teaching me to teach you! I love you with all of my heart!”
Dads, this is my prayer for you, be blessed of the Lord and be His blessing to your family.
— Pastor Cecil
Insights on John – Chuck Swindoll
Hardcover Book: $20.84 (last checked)
Insights on John is part of the 15-volume Swindoll’s Living Insights New Testament Commentary series. This newly revised and expanded edition draws on Gold Medallion Award–winner Chuck Swindoll’s 50 years of experience with studying and preaching God’s Word. His deep insight, signature easygoing style, and humor bring a warmth and practical accessibility not often found in commentaries.