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What does it mean when God reveals himself to us as Father and adopts us into His forever family through faith in Jesus Christ? It means you and I should have a childlike reverence for His age, wisdom, power, and authority. We can look to Him as the source for all our needs and feel safe and secure in His love and care. We honor Him as Father by exhibiting the same godly fear that Abraham and Isaac revealed.
Today, the emphasis on honoring fathers is much different than in Isaac’s day or even 100 years ago. No longer do we acknowledge the command, “Honor your father and your mother” (Exodus 20:12), which also applies to the relationship we have with our heavenly Father. Rodney Dangerfield is not the only person who suffers from “no respect.” These days our society has a general lack of respect for fathers. Perhaps, it’s because we have fewer godly fathers who have won the admiration of their children. Have you noticed that fathers are depicted as idiots in movies, television, and even in cartoons? In the sitcom, “Everybody Loves Raymond,” the character, Debra, degrades her husband by calling him an idiot whenever he makes a bad judgment. No doubt her action has influenced female viewers to use name calling when displeased with their spouse.
On the other hand, a person with godly fear would never act in such a way. That person would heed the command of God, ‘Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against one of your people, but love your neighbor as yourself. I am the Lord” (Leviticus 19:18). We show honor to God by displaying reverential esteem of others. Godly fear should motivate us to offer grace by extending an encouraging word instead of thrashing another with a rude comment. Generally, those who tear down others usually have little respect for themselves. Their rude comments are a desperate attempt to make themselves look better. Sadly, the results usually turn out opposite.
To have respect in any relationship you have to be worthy of honor. Where there is abuse, apathy, domineering, or controlling behavior there is no respect. While we may have experienced this type of behavior in relationships where trust should have abounded, this is not the behavior of our God. The bible tells us that people who practice these things don’t know the love of God, nor do they fear Him. “Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love” (1 John 4:8). Because God has demonstrated His love for us by sending His son, He is more than worthy of our respect. (Romans 5:8, paraphrased).
Micca Campbell–Helping women live carefree in God’s care