Why Honor An Absent Father?

By Andrea Guachalla

In the first blog of these series, we went through some of the reasons people like you and me are citizens of fatherlessland, the struggles that come with that, and what the Bible says about the role of man as husbands and fathers. We also read some passages that prompt us to honor our parents and reached a question that probably every citizen in this land has asked himself before: Why?

The fact that dad is never there, and he doesn’t seem to want to honor his role as a father seems like the perfect excuse for us not wanting to honor them as what they are: our fathers. Because at the end of the day, they don’t really act like fathers, do they? So…Why would I act like a daughter or a son? Why would I honor the one person who hurts me instead of loving me?

Here are two reasons why you should honor your father even if you’re emotionally, physically, or spiritually fatherless:

1) God commands it.

If you love God and the bible is your final authority, this should be enough reason for you to be eager to do it.

The Bible doesn’t say honor your father and your mother, because they are nice, or because they provide for you, or because they support you in any way. God doesn’t mention any condition that your father should meet for you to honor him.

God says, honor your father and your mother AS THE LORD HAS COMMANDED YOU.

And that is enough reason for you to honor your father regardless of who he is, what he’s done, or what he hasn’t done.

2) You’re a son/daughter.

It’s not about your father fulfilling his role as a father, but about YOU loving and obeying the Lord by fulfilling YOUR role as a son or daughter and honoring your father on earth, the same way you seek to honor your father in heaven.

God’s word does not only speak about the father’s role regarding their children but also about our role as sons and daughters.

We read in Proverbs:

Hear my son your father’s instruction, and forsake not your mother’s teaching.

(Proverbs 1:8)

And we read it in the New Testament too:

“Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. “Honor your father and your mother” (this is the first commandment with a promise), that it may go well with you and that you may live long in the land” (Ephesians 6:1)

Now, how do we do that in fatherlessland? How do we honor our fathers, have them in high esteem, listen to their instruction, and obey them? Though it might look different for each one of us according to our circumstances and our relationship with our fathers, the same principles apply to all.

Stay tuned for the next blog where we’ll explore the “How?” of honoring our fathers.

Other resources:

John Piper. 2008. How Does the Command to Honor Father and Mother Relate to God?

Desiring God. Recovered from: https://www.desiringgod.org/interviews/how-does-the-command-to-honor-father-and-mother-relate-to-god

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