Adapted by Howard Olver from “Celebrating Fathers” by Susie Michelle Cortright, www.chiff.com
It is well-known that Father’s Day generates far less excitement and emotion, and much less economic activity, than Mother’s Day.
Athletes are often caught by the camera mouthing the words, “Hi Mom!” The only message anyone ever sent their father was, “Hey Dad, send money!”
So this year, on Father’s Day, let’s celebrate the men in our lives who have made a positive impact on a child’s life. Not just our dads but all the men – coaches, teachers, youth leaders – who contributed to our lives.
Recent studies document the effects of good fathering. Men who play an active positive role in their children’s lives stimulate many different levels of development: emotional, academic, behavioral, and social, even when they may not live in the same home as their children.
But we don’t need a study to understand that the men in our lives matter, whether he’s a father who lives at home, a stepfather, a grandfather, an uncle, or a pastor.
The studies have also shown that even from a child’s conception, a supportive father makes a difference in the lives of mothers and their children. The research shows that women with supportive husbands experience fewer health complications in pregnancy and have better attitudes about the inevitable physical changes to their own bodies.
Labour and delivery may even be shorter and easier when “your man is by your side”.
Men lend a sense of self-control. They model a good work ethic. They make people laugh and see the lighter side of life. Men teach self-reliance, self-confidence, discipline, independence, and the ability to deal with frustrations, large and small.
They help their daughters understand how to relate to men and the meaning of trust and intimacy in all relationships. They help their sons understand what it means to be a husband, a father and a man.
It should not be surprising then to find places in Scripture where God is viewed as a model for fathers, or where fathers are used as examples of what God is like.
Here are three examples:
Deuteronomy 1:31, “And you saw how the LORD your God cared for you all along the way as you traveled through the wilderness, just as a father cares for his child.”
Psalms 103:13, “The LORD is like a father to His children, tender and compassionate to those who fear Him.”
Proverbs 3:12, “For the LORD corrects those He loves, just as a father corrects a child in whom he delights.”
Fathers, at their best, provide us with a clear picture of what God is like. This Father’s Day, let us honour the men among us.
Let us celebrate our fathers and honour them for making a difference in our world. And let’s pray for them as they seek to be Men of God.