Teaching Children to Honor their Fathers

Dear Gracewomen,

I was taught when my children were young to always build their father up in their eyes and to never criticize him in front of them; that it was my duty to the Lord, to teach my children to honor their father. This helped me through a number of difficult times, when otherwise I would not have known which position to take, in certain circumstances.

The scriptures teach that children are to honor their father and mother. Eph. 6:1-3 says: "Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right. Honour thy father and mother; which is the first commandment with promise; That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth."

When I did not necessarily agree with something my husband did, I held my tongue and tried to never say anything negative about it, especially to our children. This will work in the issues of discipline, and also in other difficulties that the family faces. When I spoke of their father to my children, I always tried to be positive. Never rebuke your husband in front of your children, and never, never point out his failures to them. If you don't, it will probably take them quite a few years to figure it out on their own; and maybe by then, the Lord will have changed their father! In many things, this is what happened in my case!

It is a mother's duty to teach her children to respect their father, and to show honor to him. Children are born with a sin nature and most likely will not do this on their own. Just like all instructions from the Lord, this one has to be taught to children.

If a mother allows disrespect to be shown in her home to the father, in a few years the child may turn on her, too, and show disrespect to her also. Disrespect must not be allowed in any home to either parent. This includes blended families as well as traditional ones.

Children can only learn to respect when they have been taught to do so, and when they see it modeled in their home! I know of women who pride themselves in doing this, but then in many ways they undermine their own efforts. When they "roll their eyes" in front of the children, in response to something the father said or did, they teach disrespect toward the children's father.

When they "puff up" toward their husbands, and leave the room in a huff, they may not have spoken one word against the children's father, but they show and teach disrespect. Other means of body language can undermine a mother's teaching. We teach in many ways, Mothers; many times it is by our actions.

Teaching honor and respect is so important for blended families, (as well as for any family). The children have come into this union not necessarily respecting nor even appreciating the stepparent. Disrespectful words or actions must not be allowed and honoring actions must be taught.

For some women, maybe it is time to put Ephesians 5:33 into practice. Ephesians 5:33 admonishes women by saying, "... and the wife see that she reverence her husband."

When we practice this principle ourselves, we do more than we realize to teach our children! To reverence our husbands is to teach our children to honor him. We must reverence him for the very position he holds, much as the subjects to a king reverence and show honor and respect to him, because of the position he holds.

We must remember this is a command from the Lord, not just something we do if it feels right, or if our husbands earn it. Reverencing our husbands is crucial in our homes if our children are to learn the principles of Ephesians 6:1-2. Isn't it interesting that Eph. 6:1-2 immediately follows Eph. 5:33. This is not by chance. Because we know that our King James Bile is perfect, we know that this is for a reason!

Women, we must first do what the Lord commands us before we can properly teach our children to respect us or their fathers! Isn't it wonderful that we can trust that God's Words and commands are always perfect and are always the absolute best for us! Praise the Lord!

Let's all pray for one another that we would obey the Word of God!

Happy reverencing!