Father’s Day is a time when Dad’s have their day. Father’s Day cards are filled with messages of, “Relax, You’ve Earned It!” and images of men sitting in front of the television with their feet propped up in a recliner and their trusty remote, beverage of choice and snacks at their side.
What does it really mean to be a father? I believe that being a father is one of the toughest jobs in the world, especially being a good father. As a daughter who was estranged from her father numerous times in her life, you may be surprised to hear what I have to say.
But first, I wanted to send my prayers and blessings to those who have lost their fathers/husbands. For many this is a difficult time of experiencing loss. I have no words other than that my heart goes out to you.
Blessings to Fathers in the Military
To those fathers and husbands protecting our freedom and serving in our armed forces, I lift up a prayer for peace and comfort for your families and for your safe return home.
To those who have lost loved ones, may God’s love and comfort surround you.
Blessings to the Loving, Supportive Fathers
To the loving and supportive fathers out there, I admire you and acknowledge you.
Being a great father is not easy in our society. As a whole, our culture has lost the practice of good manners and being civil to one another. There is an overall lack of respect, especially between some children and parents.
Too many television commercials present fathers as total morons to their families. The children talk down to them, the wife talks down to them and the sales people in whatever store they are in talk down to them. Belittling and disrespectful “humor” towards anyone is not humor (my humble opinion). Particularly in these examples, it’s demeaning and degrades men. Commercials like these run over and over again sending out the message that men are wimps.
The strength of the father in the family unit is critical. Every person wants to hear from their father that he is proud of them. In Luke 3:22 Jesus hears the words from his Father, “You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.”
Blessings to Fathers Who Never Had Role Models
While society can be tough on the father figure, many fathers were not fortunate to have a role model growing up. How many men have a father who showed them what it meant to be a man, to have integrity, to be an example, to show them how to live? Some men lost their fathers early in life through divorce or even an early death.
As a child growing up in the 50’s the men went to work and the women stayed home to raise the family. Ozzie and Harriet and Leave it to Beaver were the role models. But many children, even with a stable mother and father in the household, were abandoned by their fathers even when the fathers were “present.”
Dad came home from work, ate dinner, read the paper and went to bed. If there were little league games, Dad missed them because he was at work. Many men provided money to the family but they never provided emotional support. Emotionally they abandoned their children. That “unspoken” message screams into the souls of young hearts, “You don’t care. I don’t matter.”
Yet, how did our father’s fathers treat their sons? What kind of role models did they have? If they were treated the same way, the pattern of not being emotionally invested will continue. As a parent, no one gives you a universal instruction manual. It would be nice, don’t you think?
Perhaps you were fortunate to have loving support growing up. Or maybe you just made a decision to break the cycle of hurt, abuse and abandonment and vowed to not continue the behavior you were raised with. It takes great courage and I applaud you.
This picture was taken at my father’s grave. I made a pilgrimage from St. Louis to Virginia several years ago to find where he was buried. I realized that when I was growing up, my father was not in his right mind. He suffered from alcoholism and bi-polar disorder. It has been an on-going process to make peace with him. With age can come wisdom as well as receiving lots of grace from God. I can tell you, God is good.
Bible Verses for Those Fathers Who Need Encouragement
So, fathers – know that you are loved by God. For those whose father is not involved in your life, here are these words of encouragement:
Psalms 68:5 God is, a father to the fatherless.
2 Corinthians 6:18 I will be a Father to you, and you will be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty.
And finally, one of my favorite verses: I John 3:1 How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!
May God bless fathers on earth and in heaven Father’s Day and every day. Do you have any thoughts on fatherhood? I’d love for you to share them in the comment section below.
Resources to help you experience God’s love in a deeper way:
With a distorted view of fatherhood, I also had a distorted view of God as Father. That has all changed. I share how in this free eBook and audio book called Bringing God’s View Into Focus to Live Life with Joy and Flow.
Know how much you are loved by God through God Notes – Daily Doses of Divine Encouragement.
We experience God’s loving presence through spiritual practices like prayer, meditation, meditating on God’s Word, and contemplative prayer. You can learn about all four through a self-guided mini course called Be Present with God. Receive short videos, audios, and transcripts to deeper your relationship with God.