I am learning that different people have different opinions on Father’s Day…
To some, it is a day to let Dad relax. Some people use Father’s Day as another excuse to get family together for a BBQ. Some people use today as a way to celebrate a man in their life who has made a difference. There are other people who see it as another day to give Mom a break by “making” Dad spend time with his kids. That it’s not really a dad to give dad a break, like Mother’s Day is for moms. I don’t think all the facebook statuses picking on “Dead Beat Dads” helps this line of thinking much… I have always thought of it as a day to appreciate important men in your life – the men that shape the lives of children in a positive way. A day to say, “Thank you”
I decided to do a little research on Father’s Day, and found the following site that talks about the origin of Father’s Day… I guess Nixon did something right: http://www.ideafinder.com/guest/calendar/fathersday.htm
And, here’s what Wikipedia has to say about it: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Father’s_Day
The Father Figures in my life:
I grew up in a family with a “Dead Beat Dad”, and an abusive Step-father. Later in life, my Mom met an incredible man that was more of a Dad than any other man in the life of my brother and I… Here was a man who never had children of his own. He grew to love my brother and I as if we were his own. We were already teenagers, with problems and and attitudes. He stuck through so much with our family! As we became adults and had our own children, he treated our kids as if they were his own flesh and blood! He IS their Papa – there is no doubt in my mind or theirs! Blood bonds don’t always matter!
Because of my lack of a real bond with a Father-figure, I found my own male role models. There was the Choir Director at my church who was also my 1st grade teacher; my 5th grade (or so.. when did we have Mr. G??) math teacher who always picked on me (in a fun way), but was also encouraging; my Youth Director at church; Mr. C – a science teacher who I looked up to in every way. These men were all very important to me. they took the time to talk to me, get to know me, and encourage me. Pastor Steve and Mr. C went through more than their fair share of tears with me. Just to be clear – it was me crying, not them!! If it weren’t for both of these men, in particular, I may have made some very poor choices in my life!
I don’t remember ever celebrating Father’s Day when I was growing up…
As an adult, I married a man whose parents were still married after 30 years of marriage. One of our first dates was to his grandparents 50 year wedding anniversary party. Jason’s dad was his Best Man. They had a very strong bond. This appealed to me in a way I can’t even explain! His Dad welcomed me into the family with open arms, and treated me like I was his daughter early on in our relationship.
Father’s Day in that family was always a big deal. It meant we would all spend the day with his dad. His dad loved to grill out, and so we let him work his magic! Sometimes, Jason would do the cooking, or they would work together… The men would do their thing, and the women would sit around chit chatting. As the kids came, we let the dads cook, hang out, do whatever they wanted, as we Moms chased the kids around. Father’s Day was a day for the dads to just relax and do what they enjoyed…
Now that I am divorced, Father’s Day is kind of weird… I have the kids go with their dad for some time together. The kids still pick out/make a card for their Dad… I sit here… This year, while the kids were with their dad, I took a nap. Then I did some laundry, and I met them out at Irvine Park, and I brought them home. He got his special time with the kids, I had some alone time… Not a conventional day, but that is one reality of a divorced family.
After my Grandma died several years back, my family hardly EVER saw each other. Christmas was pretty much the only time we saw each other any more. My Grandpa started having a BBQ at his house on Father’s Day as a way to get everyone together. We all played volleyball, ate, and had a good time! This year was the last year the annual BBQ would be held at my Grandpa’s, since he recently sold the house that he’s lived in since well before I was born. I didn’t go this year, because my kids were with their dad, and I didn’t know when they would come back…
To different families, Father’s Day means different things. I don’t think any one way of “celebrating” is better than any other. To me, it should simply be a day to say, “Thank you” to the men who’ve made a difference in your life!
What the Bible says about Fathers:
Over and over, the Old Testament tells us that God is our Father. “Have we not all one Father? Has not one God created us? Why do we deal treacherously with one another by profaning the covenant of the fathers?” Malachai 2:10. He created us, he gave us laws to live by (The 10 Commandments), he makes sure we have food and everything we need… In the New Testament, Jesus tells us to pray, “Our Father, who art in Heaven, Hallowed by thy name” Matthew 6:9… God is the Ultimate Father. Today, let us honor God and say Thank you for all he has done for us!!