“Listen, my son, to your father’s instruction and do not forsake your mother’s teaching.” (Proverbs 1:8)
Throughout the Bible, being obedient to parents is always connected to being submissive to and following the teachings of God. And, if we consider God’s character to be important and the foundation of His role as our Father, parents will strive to “imitate” His characteristics if they want to be effective representatives of Him.
We often speak of the characteristics of God in high and lofty terms: He is “omniscient, omnipotent, immortal, and omnipresent!” But, Jesus presented the character of God in behaviors that could be seen, and most of them imitated. Consider these important behaviors we constantly see in the life of Jesus: loving, kind, caring, compassionate, forgiving, accepting, helping, healing, encouraging, honest, thoughtful, sensitive, open, available, authentic, a disciplinarian, knowledgeable, wise, a craftsman, a caring Son, student of the Law and Prophets, a model to be followed, submissive to and respectful of the laws and a close obedient relationship to His Father.
Quite a list, indeed. And, when I review and think about this list, I wonder how often I failed my Heavenly Father as the father He wanted me to be to my children as they grew up — even now.
When we consider the important role that parents are called to fulfill, spiritual, moral, and ethical examples and authorities to our children, it is easy to cry out, “This job is far beyond me!” And, it is if we attempt to do it on our own. But, if we are humble and dependent on Him, we have His Word to guide us and guard us, His Son within us to empower us, and the Holy Spirit’s presence to lead us.
We also have His Word, especially the Proverbs, when we want His wisdom.
Father, we parents who love and believe in You are blest to have You and Your Word as a “parent’s guide.” In Jesus’ Name, Amen.