Week Three – Day 3
TODAY’S FAST – After school or work, fast from all media technology including video games, tv, computers, and internet to spend quality time with God and your family.
We often think of the commandment to “honor your father and mother” as meaning, “Throw them a 50th wedding anniversary party” to show them respect, and “don’t go cheap on their Christmas gifts.” But the Hebrew form for “honor” here is actually rendered as “give weight to” or “take them seriously.” Why would God, issuing only ten core commands, choose as one of them that we are to take our parents seriously?
A danger in Christianity, which so strongly emphasizes a “personal” relationship with Christ, is that it can wrongly convey that we are to learn and grow on our own from reading the Bible, going to church, etc. We fail to recognize that God gives us teachers, mentors and parents as gifts. They are His means of ensuring that His ways are communicated to successive generations. And so pastors are to be revered (Heb. 13:17), spiritually mature people in the church are to be sought as mentors (Titus 2:3-5), and parents are to be “taken seriously” in how they instruct in the faith (Ex. 20:12).
During this fasting period, you might reflect on things God had your parents teach you about living for Him which you have yet to adhere to. You excuse yourself from those teachings with the flippant statement that they were “old-fashioned,” which is a cheap cover-up to excuse your desire to fashion a faith more comfortable for you. Ask God during this fasting period where you may have failed in taking those things seriously. And for those of you whose parents never passed on spiritual guidance, use the fasting time to make the decision that you will be the one to start it for your family. Pray that God will guide you in building discipline into your children not simply because parents should do that anyway, but because you realize this is how God wants His ways passed on to them.
Pray that children would value and cherish their relationship with their parents and that children will love and honor their parents all the days of their lives.
“Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the Lord your God is giving your”
Exodus 20:12 NIV