Lord's Day Liturgy

Practice Proves Parentage

A son’s deeds demonstrate the son’s dad. Sons do what their dads do not only because they share the same nature, but also because they watch their father from the front row. Sons take on the mannerisms, values, habits, and sins of their dads. So we can connect sons to their fathers by their behavior.

Many sons don’t like this. Many sons see the sins, or just the shortcomings, of their dads and vow never to do the same. Some sons are more successful in shaking off the patterns, but most find themselves in the same sorts of struggles as their father. Apart from some outside influence, behavioral DNA betrays our paternity to the world.

It is trendy to blame our fathers looking back rather than to take responsibility as fathers and establish new standards looking forward. What our fathers did or didn’t do can’t be ignored, but what they did does not let us off the hook. Our sins may be similar, but they are our sins. We always sin because we want to, even if we inherited our wants from our father.

In the spiritual realm, it is evident who are the children of God and who are the children of the devil: whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is the one who does not love his brother (1 John 3:10). Practice proves parentage.

As God’s sons and daughters, we ought to be behaving like our Father who art in heaven, not the one who art in hell. When we see attitudes and actions that are not consistent with our Father, we should repent and learn to follow the obedient example of the Firstborn among many brethren.