So, yesterday was Father's Day (or is it officially Fathers' Day?). I received the best present of all - presence. I got to be with my family for an entire day of silly theme park rides, picnic foods, and urinating tigers (Thank goodness we did not sit in the front row. That would have been less desired than being at a Gallagher concert.). But heat and giant spraying felines cannot damper my day. I topped it off with a grande' burrito at our favorite feeding trough.
I can end my post here, because our children are our greatest blessing. And I receive that. I speak that as I thank my Father in heaven every day for them. However, I must point out some things to keep in mind on this made up day to honor and feature dads in this land.
one. I am blessed with no ability to measure the blessing-ness.
I know, this is redundant, but it bears repeating. It also brings me to consider some alternative sides of the coin. It also serves to remind myself that, but for the grace of the Almighty, things could be VERY different for me. Some people look on this day with sorrow. Perhaps it is that way for you.
2. Not all dads are still alive.
I lost my father just weeks ago. This is the first Father's Day in my life without him on this earth. It is certainly bittersweet as well, because He loved and served the only living God and put His faith in the saving work of His Son Jesus.
But many lost their dads way too soon. Many fathers have left this earth way to early for one reason or the other. This is our challenge as followers of the "true religion" of our Savior. We are commanded to take care of the fatherless and the husband-less. Who needs an extra hug on father's day? Who needs a new dad for all the remaining days? Reach them.
3. Not all dads are "Dad."
On this fathers day, a young man started up a conversation with me. He was the "Frog Hopper" operator at the theme park. He mentioned that he hopes he gets to see his girl on this day since it's Father's Day. I hope he did. I could tell that a daily thing was not the norm for this father to be dad.
There are more possible scenarios for lacking a dad in the daily life of a child, but it should not be so. While the world fakes a sense of compassion with quotes like "Every 'chawld' should be a wanted chawld." They offer a curious solution - killing off the "unwanted" children. So far, we have not been successful in stopping that bloodshed. However, we could shut the scoffers mouth and shut the abortion clinics with one thing. Want our children.
Too many dads are more interested in just about anything than their own children. The scenario should always be "stay" whenever possible. If we ask women to be heroes and fight for nine months to keep their babies as well as endure the pain of childbirth, would it be OK to ask dads to honor them and the child by staying and engaging as Dad?
If over fifty percent of our children are growing up in homes with one parent (usually the mother), think of how many of that less than fifty percent have a dad who lives under the roof but does not engage. Simply put, how many of us dads are plugged in? How many of us are the physical, emotional, and spiritual covering over their children? Do we find joy in Fatherhood?
4. Dads receive heartbreak too.
Many of us try. We eat, sleep, and pray, but stuff happens. Sometimes a child rebels and operates against the nature of a loving home life? Sometimes children become lacking in honor and lash out at even the most loving fathers.
Even in cases of a father's regret, in cases where a father made horrible choices, but has repented, there is massive heart ache and break. Father's Day can be a taunter at times. "If only I hadn't _____________. If only I had ___________." We all know regrets, to some degree. Reach out to the hurting dads.
A prayer for dads:
Mighty and Holy Father. You are gracious and kind. You deal with us with such patience. I pray for the fathers in our land and beyond. Please draw our hearts to our children. Please draw their hearts to us. The days here are few, and it will be joy to be in the presence of your blessed Son. While here, help us be strong and courageous. Give us wisdom and strength from no other source but You. Place a mighty covering of protection over our homes, even if we cannot be physically there. Keep our hearts tied together in unity. Let us not find our joy in things which do not bring you, our Father joy, and bring shalom to our family. Thank you for the blessing of fatherhood. In the name of your Son, Amen.