“Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man.”
Ecclesiastes 12:13

You can hardly watch a movie, pick up a magazine or novel, or listen to the radio today without hearing or seeing the Lord’s name taken in vain. Even Christians use the phrase “Oh God!” in everyday language. As a society, we seem to have lost our reverence for and fear of the Father.

Maybe that’s why the Lord plainly instructs us to be careful about speaking His name. In fact, He made it the third of the Ten Commandments: “You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God” (Exodus 20:7). Our Father knows that to show disrespect for His name—to allow it to be used as a common curse—is to treat the King of the universe with disdain and vulgarity. Even the angelic beings in His presence say, “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty” (Revelation 4:8).

King David understood and respected Jehovah and His mighty power: “You have heard my vows, O God; you have given me the heritage of those who fear your name” (Psalm 61:5). If we want our families to understand that reverence, we must honor His name in word, thought, and deed. Reflect daily on His glory; let your voice fill with respect when you speak of Him; turn off movies, TV programs, and videos that degrade or trivialize His name. Above all, teach your kids why “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom” (Proverbs 9:10).

Before you say good night…

  • Does your family have a healthy fear of the Lord?
  • How can you model reverence for God’s name and Word?

Father, remind us to treat Your name with great reverence and honor. Forgive us if we’ve spoken of You in a light or frivolous way. We know that our children are watching and listening…and so are You. Amen.

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This devotional is taken from Night Light for Parents. Copyright © 2000 by James Dobson, Inc. All rights reservedUsed with permission.