Father’s Day is that time of year when you are forced to give your father the love and attention that you failed to give the rest of the year.
Is this the way you feel about celebrating Father’s Day?
I have often said that if you cannot love your Father the rest of the year, there is little point in putting up a false front on Father’s Day, just because it is the DONE THING.
So I will not bore you with emotional reminscences of my own father, and what a wonderful man he was. He did his job to the best of his ability and showed me the love of the Lord and I thank the Lord for him. I received much from him, and hold him in loving memory, as he is with the Lord now.
But since he cannot be here to celebrate this day I see little point in allowing my emotions to be stirred with memories of the past. He is celebrating with the Lord right now, and I am sure not at all concerned about what we are doing down here.
In my previous article I showed you how to deal with past anger and bitterness against your father. I also showed how you should let him go in the Spirit in love. If you have not been able to do this, and your father is still alive, then you might very well have to confront him and deal with any conflicts that have existed between you in the past. But you did not need to wait for Father’s Day to do this.
How Should We Celebrate?
With all that said, let me get to the main point of this study on Celebrating Father.
I can remember the first time I became a father. And I am sure that if you are a father, you also have a clear memory of that time. It changed your life, because suddenly you realized that you had brought a new life into this world. And now you had a new responsibility.
But it also should have brought out in you something that only a father can understand. A deep sense of responsibility and care for the little person that carries your DNA and your own flesh and blood.
I remember the first time I saw my firstborn daughter as they placed her into my arms. I looked down at this little thing and I was startled by what I saw. She looked just like me – a tiny version of course.
In that moment I fully grasped that I was holding in my arms something that was really part of me. A kind of extension of myself. And I knew that it would be my job to protect her, provide for her and help her to grow up in the Lord.
Tears of gratitude ran down my cheeks as I held her up to the Lord and dedicated her to Him. I asked Him for wisdom to bring her up in His ways, and to show her how to serve Him one day. Years later I realized even more how much I needed that wisdom to handle all the difficulties that come when your child enters adolescence and adulthood.
When you come to another Father’s Day, why not remember the wonderful joy and privilege that the Lord has given you to be a father. To be entrusted by Him with a life that you could mold and shape and make into the image of Christ.
And instead of making this a day where you demand gratitude for all you have done, why not rise up as a true father? Why not continue to show the love of the Lord and reinforce your love for your children, by taking them in your arms and showing them how much you appreciate them?
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The Scriptural Pattern
Paul gives us a look into the heart of a father, even though he was a spiritual father only and not a natural father. But what he describes in the following passage is relevant to both kinds of fatherhood.
2 Corinthians 12:14 Look, I am getting ready to come to you for the third time; and I will not be a burden to you: for I am not wanting what you have, but rather you personally: for it is not the duty of children to save up for their parents, but rather the parents for the children.
15 And I will very gladly spend and exhaust my resources on you; though the more abundantly I love you, the less you appreciate it. (AMIV)
It is in the nature of true fatherhood to give sacrificially, and to expect nothing in return. I know that this is hard in the natural. But if we are to be the image of Jesus to our children, this is God’s pattern for true fatherhood.
I heard it said once that one parent can take care of many children, but several children cannot seem to take care of one parent. This was of course spoken by a disillusioned parent who felt unappreciated by their children.
Personally I would rather be the provider than have to depend on my children to carry me. But yet, not showing gratitude is also considered a sign of the end times, where people are turning from God.
2 Timothy 3:1 This know also, that in the last days perilous [kairos] times will come.
2 For men will be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,
3 Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good,
4 Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God;
5 Having a form of godliness, but denying the power of it: from such turn away.
Covering All Bases
So here is the best way to make sure that Father’s Day is a time of true celebration and an expression of the love of the Lord
If You Are A Father
You should be thanking the Lord for the privilege of fatherhood, and stand ready to be the covering and shield for the children that the Lord has given you. You should be ready, as Jesus was, to show your love sacrificially.
If You Are A Child
You should respect your Father as you respect the Lord, and give him honor, showing thanks for the price he has paid in being a provider and protector for you.
And if he failed in this task, or was not there for you, then you should be able to forgive him and see him as the Lord sees him, as I shared in the previous article
I would like to encourage you to celebrate the joy of fatherhood, and if you already have a loving relationship with your father, then it is certainly a good time for families to get together and give honor to their fathers.
But what I have often found is that family get togethers are a mix where there are several fathers, and each loses the honor of being in that special place of celebration.
So if you are both a father and a son, rather celebrate Father’s Day separately with your parents and your children. Then you can have a time of celebration for Dad that will allow him to be the guest of honor. And you can have a time of celebration with your own children that will allow you to be the guest of honor.
In this way, each father can feel fully appreciated, and also have the liberty to reinforce his love and appreciation for his children.
To those of you reading this who are fathers, then I would like to say:
Happy Father’s Day
May you revel in the wonderful privilege that the Lord has given you to be a father. And may you take up the awesome responsibility that the Lord has given you to help mold the lives of your children and future generations.
If you were blessed by this teaching please let me know by responding below or sending me a feedback.