Burgers and bratwurst, t-shirts with cheesy sayings, and homemade cards that prove more valuable than those sold in any store… All of these gestures will celebrate those commonly ignored but so very crucial figures called “dads.”
There are a few varying stories as to the exact origins of Father’s Day. Some say it originated because of a memorial service in 1908 that honored many men (most of whom were fathers) who lost their lives in a tragic mining accident. But perhaps the most popular story as to its roots is that of a young woman named Sonora Smart Dodd. After hearing yet another sermon on the importance of mothers, it was Miss Dodd who wanted her father, a widower who raised his six children alone, to receive the honor he was due. The first public celebration occurred in 1910, and to this day, families celebrate the men who have brought value to their lives.
“Honor your father and mother,” (this is the first commandment with a promise). (Ephesians 6:2)
Judging by the cards lining store shelves, many seem to view a man as a buffoon who can’t put his shoes on straight if not for a woman helping him. Even bestselling books and movies tend to paint the dad figure as either a laughing stock or psychologically cruel villain. But what most cards, books, and movies fail to portray are the strong and humble men like the single father of six for whom the day began. While we do not see them nearly enough, we know they are there, quietly, gently, and faithfully leading their children to hear all those Mother’s Day sermons and to stand as a stalwart for their children. And for men like these, we celebrate.
Do you know a man who loves and leads his family well? Even if he is not your own father, tell him “thank you” for representing what a man of noble character looks like. Do not feel strange about it—“Like apples of gold in settings of silver is a word spoken in right circumstances.” (Proverbs 25:11)
Do you stand and stare at those same cards and think, “Yep, that about sums up my husband or dad,” and cringe at the thought of celebrating someone who has let you or your children down? If so, I am praying for you. How tragic it is to not have a man seeking to bear witness to our Father God for the good of the family he is so very blessed to have. If this is you, then no matter how hard it is, I hope with all my heart you can muster up the strength to pray for those men in your life. And in the church. And in the houses on your street. And the entire world. This world needs godly men who will teach God’s truth to the next generation and be the leaders they were created to be. But first, they must know the One who created them and the power they have when they belong to Christ.
Children are a gift from the Lord; they are a reward from him. Children born to a young man are like arrows in a warrior’s hands. How joyful is the man whose quiver is full of them! (Psalm 127:3-5)
I know most blogs are not frequented by men, so if every woman who reads these words would take the time to pray for every man, maybe the cards on those shelves and the movies packing our theaters would have more knights in shining armor and less mocking of manhood. This Father’s Day, remember that no matter what the earthly father figures in your life look like, every life and family can change when our Heavenly Father is put at the helm, when men seek Him as their example, and when His Word is used as their playbook for how to love and lead well.
The one who obeys Me is the one who loves Me; and because he loves Me, My Father will love him; and I will too, and I will reveal myself to him. (John 14:21)
To all the men who are leading well and being those knights in shining armor: Every child and every mom thanks you for stepping up to the incredible calling of fatherhood.
Gabbie Nolen-Fratantoni loves Jesus and is passionate about serving him through the arts by leading worship and writing for various ministries. She is married to Greg, her hard-working, iron-sharpening-iron spouse. They are opposite in personality but equal in dedication to their marriage and family. Gabbie and Greg are the proud and sleep-deprived parents of two active, sweet, and fun boys and one gentle, joy-filled, little girl. An Aggie and graduate of Dallas Theological Seminary, Gabbie is a small-town country girl trapped in the city. She loves getting to know people and encouraging them as they seek to know Jesus and make him known.
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