Honoring Our Fathers

It seems that our culture today doesn’t put much of an emphasis on honor. There’s a lot of entitlement going around though…that’s abundant in droves. Millennials (of which I am one) are known as the most educated and informed generation of all time. We’ve got information right at our fingertips at all times. If we don’t know how to do something, we google it. If someone says something questionable or that we don’t agree with, we research it. Instantly. It’s a blessing and a curse. 

Even though I believe that millennials will create a lot of positive change in the world with their/our ingenuity and invention, we need to learn to honor those who went before us. 

My wife and I watched the new Steve Jobs movie last night. I loved the approach, the focus, and the storyline. Even though Steve Jobs was ambitious and seemed to run people over and push people over the edge, there was 2 instances in the movie that really caught my attention.

Two different times in the movie Apple co-founder, Steve Wozniak, asks Jobs to acknowledge the team of people who built and worked on the Apple II. For those that don’t know, the Apple II came before the Macintosh and made up most of the company’s revenue.

But Jobs, being the forward thinker that he was, didn’t want to look back at all…he wanted to plow forward into new frontier. Jobs refused to even mention the Apple II at the Macintosh product launch, much less the people that worked on it. 

That was 1984.

Fast forward 14 years to 1998, at the launch of the first iMac (the colored bubble…remember those?). The same exchange takes place between Woz and Jobs, and Jobs again refuses to acknowledge the Apple II or the team of engineers. Jobs refused to honor the foundation on which the company was built on. Without the Apple II, it’s possible that there wouldn’t even be an Apple, Inc. 

It would have taken Jobs all but 30 seconds just to honor and acknowledge the Apple II team. And most people probably wouldn’t have even remembered that part. But you know who would remember it? The team that worked on the Apple II. They would have been honored and proud. But instead, they were cast to the side.

Why am I saying all of this?

Because honor is the currency of the best leaders.

And if we can’t learn to honor one another and those who’ve gone before us, we’ll leave a wake of chaos and destruction in hearts and minds on our way to technological greatness. And no one will be better for it. 

As a follower of Jesus, I believe in the power of the scriptures. One of the commandments given in the Old Testament is to “Honor your father and mother.” 

Today is my father’s birthday, and I want to take a moment to honor him publicly.

Dad,

When I think about who I am today, I can’t help but think about who you are. I’m not just your biological fruit, I’m also your spiritual fruit. The way I view God and my walk with him has been greatly influenced by the way you view God and your walk with him. As a little boy I remember hearing you pray in the early morning hours. You taught me to pray, not by sitting me at a desk and instructing me, but by modeling what it looks like to talk to Jesus. And even when you thought I wasn’t paying attention, I was. 

You work hard (sometimes too hard), and I’m so grateful for that. You work hard with your hands, but you also work hard with your heart. You’ve loved Mom well and modeled what a loving husband looks like. Thank you for leading by example. Because of that, I know what a good work ethic is and how to love well.

You’re a strong leader who moves hard and fast. But what I admire more than that is your willingness to admit your mistakes. No man is perfect. But many men allow pride and arrogance to keep them from growing by not admitting where they were wrong. Thank you for leading well by showing humility. 

Thank you for modeling compassion. Your heart for your family and broken people has shined through your entire life. I’ll never forget the many times you comforted me while leaning over the porcelain throne puking my guts out, while Mom ran the other way (sorry Mom, I’ll say nice things about you on your birthday). 

You’ve paved the way for me in so many ways and I am forever grateful. You’re a way-paver! A pioneer. I stand on your shoulders because you put me there. But I also know that hundreds of men and women also stand on your shoulders because of your influence through all your years of coaching, teaching, pastoring and fathering. 

So today, I honor you Dad. I honor your commitment to Jesus, to Mom and to your kids. And thank you for honoring me as a man, a husband, and a father.

I love you! I hope you feel honored today by everyone around you. 


I challenge you to think about who you can honor today, whether that’s your biological father, your spiritual father, your spouse, or just someone close to you in life. How else could you honor people in your day to day encounters? Leave a comment below and discuss what you think! 

Posted on February 12, 2016 .