Today is the day we celebrate "Father's Day" in the U.S. It was first held in a church in Grafton Virginia in 1908. It was introduced to compliment Mother's Day (click here). The Dodd's in Spokane Washington inspired by the event in 1908 also celebrated Father's Day in 1910 thanks to the clergy in the city of Spokane. Eventually in the 1930's merchants began to pick up on the idea and it became much more commercialized.
At it's origin, the purpose of "Father's Day" is to honor the role of fathers in children s lives. It was and is a way to honor our Heavenly Father too.
What's your favorite Dad memory? I called my Dad "Pop." I have two things that I love to remember. First, it was the time he took me fishing in the canals in Destin Florida. One day in a little six foot dingy, we caught 76 white trout in about an hour and a half. My second memory are the tools he gave me. They were well used, often salvaged. He gave me a salvaged tool box and I still use them to this day.
Sadly I grew up in a generation in which the attack on family became horrendous. The affects of that were many divorces and having children out of wedlock. Secondly, the pursuit of the American dream led many fathers in families to work so much they were never at home. Even though they had a father, they were not there. In my Pop's case, he grew up in the depression and his Mom died when he was five. His step-mom did not want him so he was passed around from aunt to relative as he grew up. He grew up unwanted and basically without a father. But his father's Dad came from an even worse situation.
His grandfather had escaped the "Trail of Tears" and married a white woman so my "Pop's" Dad was considered a half-breed. I wonder when my Great Grandfather lost his dad? Was he killed before the "Trail of Tears" or was he separated at that time? I don't know. I do know my Grandfather choose to use alcohol to try and manage the pain of rejection. More than once my Dad and Uncle had to go pick him up from the jail where he was sleeping off his drunkenness. I know my Dad was ashamed of this and had a very low opinion of himself. Why am I sharing this? It is because when I look back on my Dad and his imperfections, I recognize he did a really remarkable job with what life had dished out to him. So I am very thankful.
One of the keys to my Dad's transformation as a father was an encounter he had with Jesus in the mid-50's. Therefore, I had a different experience growing up than my brother and sister because of what Jesus did in my Pop's heart.
Cry for Surrogate Fathers
Because of all Satan has done to undermine fathers and families there is a dearth of real fathers. There are so many who have need of a real father. Even though I had a Dad, I felt like I actually grew up without one. At least, not one who could reflect the heart of my Heavenly Father.
I sought for a spiritual Father one for years but never found one. The ministers I encountered all came from broken pasts and did not have fathers who set the best example either. So, about 2005, I determined to be the kind of father I looked for. My example, is not my Dad but rather my Heavenly Father. My Pop is not my standard. God's word is and by God's grace and power through Jesus Christ we can be transformed into His image.
How to Honor Our Heavenly Father
Matthew 5:14-16 says that we are to shine our light before men like a city on a hill and glorify our Heavenly Father. We are to reflect His glory and glorify Him. Glorify in the Greek means to magnify or to HONOR.
When we reflect His nature and character, we honor our Heavenly Father. Jesus did this and in John 14:9 says that when you have seen Me, you have seen the Father.
Be Perfect as God is Perfect
Matthew 5:48 introduces a challenge; a real challenge. Jesus says that we are to be perfect just as our Father in heaven is perfect. How many of you (us) struggle with the thought of being perfect like God? I know I did. But remember, context determines meaning. Starting in Mathew 5:43 we discover the context of perfection is love.
You have heard it said, "You shall love your neighbor" and hate your enemy. But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you..."
To be perfect like God means to love like God does. Love is the key! Love is the key to forgiveness, mercy and faith. In fact, Galatians 5:5 teaches us that faith works by love.
How Can we Give Our Heavenly Father a Happy Father's Day? "Walk in Truth"
3 John 2-4
Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers. 3 For I rejoiced greatly when brethren came and testified of the truth that is in you, just as you walk in the truth. 4 I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth. NKJV
To all you Dad's and surrogate Dad's: Happy Father's Day! I pray God richly bless you and that you'd become more like our Heavenly Father that He might be glorified.