Why celebrate Father’s Day, especially in this world where so many families are split? Life experience has taught me much about Dad’s role in the family.
When Dad spends time with his children, they feel loved.
What Dad thinks about something is important.
What Dad does is to be copied.
Even when Dad is supercritical, uninterested, abusive, rejecting, his children continue to hope, to want Dad to care for them, to love them. Social scientists tell us that all too often children grow up to be just like their father. We celebrate Father’s Day because Dads are important.
Some Dads leave the responsibility for faith nurture to Mom. In my work, I have visited many couples to talk about their child’s baptism. All too often Dad would say, “I’m not much for religion. Oh, I believe in God, but the church stuff, that’s my wife’s territory. Talk to her about that.” Dad may not actively work against Mom’s efforts to teach the Christian faith to their children, he is just absent – absent from church on Sunday’s, absent from any discussion of faith. I am never surprised when the child chooses to copy Dad, and turn away from the church or any other visible practice of faith.
We need to remember that Dad’s are an integral part of the family team, whether or not parents are living together. Celebrating “Father” is extremely important. Dad needs to be affirmed in the positive role he can be for his children. Fathers need encouragement and praise. Like Mothers, Dad’s play a pivotal role in their children’s lives.
On Father’s Day and throughout the year, pray for the Dads you know and those you don’t know. Prayer is not magic, but the love you offer will make a difference.
“Listen, my son, to your father’s instruction and do not forsake your mother’s teaching.”