Noun: high respect, greet esteem.
Synonyms: distinction, glory, tribute, prestige, fame.
Sometimes we use this word in sadness, as when we honor our fallen soldiers on Memorial Day.
Other times we use it as a description of our reactions to the great achievements of someone we know or deem worthy of this praise.
Over this past weekend, my Father-in-Law was recognized in a very special and specific kind of way. He is 87 years old now, but back in the day Bob Brown was quite an athlete. In his high school heyday, Bob lettered in Football and Baseball from 1947-1950. The Lubbock ISD held their annual Hall of Honor Banquet on Saturday, June 15, 2019 to induct 8 individuals and teams into the Hall of Honor. Each inductee was described in a video which included photographs of their athletic contributions, and an overview of their life since high school. In Bob’s case it was a well deserved tribute to a humble man who kept insisting it was all his teammates which deserved the credit for his accomplishments.
Honor. In this case it was well-earned and well-recognized. My wife and I honored him on “Father’s Day” as well, by sharing this weekend with him, and encouraging him in different ways all along the way. It is my honor to know this man.
God intended us to honor our dads this way. In fact, it was written in stone, by the very finger of God Himself, as He instructed Moses to tell his people how to behave in their family relationships.
Exodus 20:12 says…
Honor you father and your mother, so that your days may be long in the land the LORD your God is giving you.
In this instruction, we see God the Creator, not so much giving us suggestions about how to live, as it is a command accompanied by a carrot and a stick.
The carrot is easy… just honor your mom and dad, and you will live long, happy, protected lives because you live believing this is God’s will for you.
The stick is hard… when you fail to live by God’s commands, there will be hardship, unintended consequences you couldn’t foresee, and unexpected results which often result in tears of sadness.
I know this to be a fact. I’ve lived it. I’ve walked in it. I’m walking through it now.
I can’t go back in time and change how poor a son I was to my own father at times past. And I can’t make it up to him now because he has graduated to be with the Father who loves us best! All I can do now, in that relationship, is try to learn from it, and try my best not to make those same mistakes again.
I can’t go back in time to change how poor a father I was at times in the past, to my three children. I can’t make it up to them in any tangible way, until they decide to open the channels of communication I’ve tried for years to establish. All I can do now, in each of those relationships, is wait, hope, and trust in the Sovereignty of God to bring us back together.
It’s sad at times, this “honor” thing.
So what’s the point?
When it’s all said and done, the lessons we are learning here have direct application to what happens in eternity.
Jesus said we should pray according to His “Model” of prayer. Do you remember how it starts?
“Our Father, who is in heaven, hallowed be Your name…”
Hallowed. Holy. Sacred. Blessed. Revered. Honored.
We do our best living, when we determine by our own choosing, to honor God our heavenly Father with our lives.
I trust today that on the heals of Father’s Day weekend, you find yourself in God’s will, having honored your earthly father as he deserves, and your heavenly Father who deserves it even more.
On Sunday, I thanked God for my earthly father, and trusted Him to tell my dad how much I love him still, and miss him now.
Did you do something similar? Just as God commanded?
I hope so.