Tuesday, June 23, 2020
WHAT: READ THE TEXT: Proverbs 23:12-24
SO WHAT: REFLECT ON THE TEXT:
Godly earthly fathers deserve our respect due to the authority they hold simply because they are our dads (cf. Ephesians 6:1-3) and due to the affection they show in appropriately disciplining us (cf. Ephesians 6:4). According to Proverbs 19:18, good fathers correct us because an undisciplined child will slip into unwise behaviors.
The respect that we show to our earthly fathers finds root in God’s authority as our Creator and in God’s affection for His children (cf. Proverbs 3:11-12).
Something I always hated worse than my father’s belt was his displeasure. Most young people can identify with me, not wanting to hear those 5 dreaded words: “I am disappointed in you.”
We will seek to please a good, godly father. And a good, godly father will place greater emphasis on our inner character than he will our outward achievements. In that way, a good, godly father reflects our heavenly Father.
Bob Goff writes: “If only we could remind ourselves more often that God never cares about the grades on our report cards. He wants us to make it all about His love, not our performance, and He’s a whole lot more concerned about our character than our accomplishments.”
Fathers who speak words like that of Proverbs 23:19-21 need to live by them. Children are imitators, so they recognize and respect authenticity.
Children are watching their fathers and their grandfathers, so dads and granddads must act in such a way worth imitating. That means we must follow after our heavenly Father’s example in setting an example in our homes (cf. Ephesians 5:1-2).
Submission promotes humility because we follow someone else’s lead, even if it seems hard or we don’t understand.
In one instance, a father told his 9th grade daughter she could not go to a party that two 12th grade girls invited her to attend. The dad found out that the senior girls had the propensity to drink alcohol.
The young girl shouted, “I hate you. You don’t understand!” And she ran up to her room.
Sadly, the day after the party, news circulated that those two senior girls died in a drinking and driving accident.
Aren’t you glad your earthly dad sometimes said, “No.” Sometimes our earthly fathers actually do know best.
But God our Father always knows best, even when it is hard to hear Him answer with a “No” (cf. 2 Corinthians 12:8-9). Perhaps you have been praying for the Lord to take something from you or grant something to you, but up to now He has said, “No.”
Let me remind you of the Garden of Gethsemane, where Christ prayed, “Father, take this cup from Me; nevertheless, not My will but Thy will be done.”
Aren’t you glad the Father said, “No?”
God the Father laid out a plan of redemption that carried Jesus to the cross. God the Son humbly submitted to and perfectly exercised the Father’s plan. God the Holy Spirit puts that plan upon our hearts.
Therein is the Gospel. Above all else, apply your heart to this instruction. Buy into this truth, never to relinquish it.
NOW WHAT: RESPOND TO THE TEXT:
Not everyone will have a good earthly father. Some earthly fathers remain absent, others become abusive, and several are simply aloof or serve as poor moral examples. Even if that is the case, do not let the failings of an earthly father to shape one’s perspective about God as the heavenly Father.
If you are a father, how are you establishing a pattern in your home to mimic the heavenly Father’s love and holiness before your children?