Saturday, June 4, 2011


“Honor your father and mother.”
This is the first commandment
with a promise:”
Ephesians 6:2-3 NLT

As a reader of this blog over time you have learned that I was the youngest in my family. My parents were in their 50’s when I came along, so the mental pictures I have of my Dad are images of an old man.

I remember him as an old gray haired man with a crippled right hand. In his sixties his hand was crushed when he tried to stop a water pump from sliding into the well. For some reason the doctor didn’t set the bones – he just sowed up the wound. Despite his handicap I remember my Father repairing barbwire fencing - plowing the vegetable garden with “Topsy” pulling a walk-behind single bottom plow. I see him peddling a large grinding wheel sharpening the blades on a sickle for the hay mower. He was always puttering around doing something. He never drove a car or tractor – horse drawn vehicles were his transportation.

My dad spoke a German dialect called Schwabish but virtually no English. He signed checks with an X. He never attended Public School, however he was able to read his German Bible which he most likely learned to do in German Sunday School Class.

I don’t remember my father having conversations with me that much or playing with me, but never the less he left a positive impression on me. He always prayed at every meal, and regularly led family devotions by reading a passage from his German Bible and leading in the singing of a hymn – after which everyone knelt and prayed out loud at the same time. He was faithful to see that his family attended church regularly. During testimony time at church I remember him often giving testimony of his faith in Christ. Though the words were pretty much the same every time – his sincerity could not be doubted.

The fifth commandment (to honor our parents) carries with it the promise of lifelong benefits. We honor them by obeying them - speaking well of them, and living a life that brings them joy and pride. Our parents are to be honored not only if they meet certain requirements, but simply because they have brought us into this world - giving us the gift of physical life and the opportunity to choose to serve God and spend eternity in heaven.

May we honor our fathers not only once a year but always – while they are alive and beyond - for as long as we live.

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