Children of the Heavenly Father
Updated: Jul 6
This year my older daughter and I visited my mom over Mother's Day weekend. We took a three-generation photo. I'm excited to honor my mom with it! She's 98 years old, so it's extra special for her and for us. If your mother is still on this earth, do you have a special way you honor her?
Father's Day on the calendar is not far behind. My Dad passed away thirty-four years ago. He was quite ill for a long time. We honored him by making life as meaningful as possible for him before he died.
In our family, tangible gifts were simple and not frequently given. Rather, the gifts of time, presence, service and ritual were the most meaningful. For example, on our birthdays, Mom would make a birthday cake specific to the birthday person. I loved chocolate, so she always made a chocolate cake for me. Sometimes she'd put yummy, homemade jelly between the cake layers. We'd celebrate the birthday person after our supper meal with the appropriate number of candles on the cake, and sing “Happy Birthday” to the them. The birthday person would then blow out the candles, followed by Mom cutting the cake and giving the celebrant their slice of cake first. We enjoyed the presence of our family, the cake, and the ritual. They represented love, kindness, and honor toward us that we relished.
Some years ago, a pastor at a Mother's Day church service I attended, reminded the congregation that Scripture commands children to honor our father and mother (Exodus 20:12). Regarding that verse in Exodus and Paul's comment in Ephesians 6:1-3, the Biblical meaning is for children to honor their parents.
Consider that every believer in Jesus Christ is a child of our Heavenly Father through Jesus. Our Father God is the Almighty, Most High God. He made us; we belong to Him. Honor, as well as glory and praise, is due Him.
God gives us, His children, truly loving and eternal benefits, privileges, and promises that give us peace, strength, healing, hope and a future.
With these, you would think it not difficult to honor Him. Yet, we sometimes have our own thing going, and we like it. As stubborn children we cross our arms in front of us, stick out our lower lip, and pout that He wants something else of us. That does not honor Him, but when we choose to get back on track with our Father, then He is respected and esteemed.
Here are five powerful ways we can honor our Heavenly Father. Utilizing these will help keep you better focused on God, less on self, and more aware of the life He wants us to live here on earth, and of the life waiting for us in eternity.
Trust------Scripture states that those who know His Name will put their trust in Him (Psalm 9:10). God wants us to believe, and rely on Him. He is Love, and all that He does for us is out of love.
Obey------Obedience is the proof of love. Jesus wanted to make sure we know that, so he said that if we love Him, we will obey what He commands (John 14:15).
Rejoice-–Not in our possessions, circumstances or in other people. We might be happy with them or about them, but Scripture tells us that we are to rejoice in the Lord (Philippians 4:4). Our focus and deep rejoicing must be planted in Him. Doing so magnifies God, and shows Him appreciation.
Thank----Thanking God puts “credit where credit is due.” It helps us remember that it is He who provides for us, protects us, and gives us peace. We are merely beneficiaries, rather than the source of our blessings.
Love------Jesus introduced “love one another” as a new commandment in John 13:34. Among the many ways that we love one another are: giving preference to others (Philippians 2:3), forgiving one another just as in Christ God forgave us (Ephesians 4:32), bearing with each other (Colossians 3:13), encouraging each other (Hebrews 3:13), stirring one another up to love and good works (Hebrews 10:24), and showing hospitality to one another (1 Peter 4:9).
In Jesus Christ, we are privileged to be in God's family. Our Father God has given us the Scriptures, His Word. To find more ways to honor Him, read and study the Scriptures. If you are extra ambitious, take notes, and review your list on occasion.
Create a new practice of honoring Him in ways you glean from His Word. They are not just for special occasions on the calendar, but for every day—all year, every year.
Let them thank the Lord
for his steadfast love,
for his wondrous works to the children of man.
Copyright by M.G. “Trudy” Granstrom Seward