Being Father’s Day I was reminded of a parable that Jesus spoke about two sons and a father. A parable is a story that teaches a lesson. This story is sometimes called the “Prodigal Son” and teaches many different lessons.
It starts with the younger son who wants his inheritance now, his father is still alive but he wants what he’ll someday get. In a sense he’s telling his dad “I wish you were dead,” still, the dad actually gives him the money, which sends this immature young man into a tailspin of what the Bible calls “riotous living”. You get the point, he blows all he has on partying and when the money is gone, so are his friends. He ends up working at a pig farm longing to eat even pig slop but that’s when he came to his senses.
He thinks, “My father’s servants have it better, I’ll go home, I’ll repent before him and God and be his hired hand.” He moves into action – and that’s where we get to the father.
Luke 15:20-24,“He got up and went to his father. “While he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion…ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him. The father said to his servants…bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let’s celebrate. For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.”
The dad loved his son, it no longer mattered that the son rebelled and spent every dime, now there’s restoration and healing. This would be a great story right there with clear lessons of “restoration over pride” but the story does not end there.
Remember this father had two sons, the elder had been working for the dad the entire time, and when he finds out there’s a party for his slothful brother, he’s jealous and mad. So the father goes to this son as well, he reminds him that his love for him has been just as consistent as it was for the prodigal.
Luke 15:31-32, “‘My son,’ the father said, ‘you are always with me, and everything I have is yours. But we had to celebrate… because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.”
Two important lessons seen in the father.
Love your kids. Even when they’re doing dumb things. That doesn’t mean you support their behavior, but your love is steady and unwavering and without preference, treating all your children as equals.
Be quick to forgive. Ultimately this story is a picture of God and how he forgives our sins. How much did God do to bring justification and forgiveness? He sent his son, Jesus, to bear the penalty of sin.
This father’s day, make it about your kids, young and old alike, they are your inheritance and your legacy. Look to God’s example and show your children the love that God has shown you.
Pastor Rich Lammay of High Sierra Fellowship is a member of Carson Valley Ministers’ Association.