Churches have begun to recognize that Mother’s Day can be a day of mixed emotions for women. It may be a difficult day for some who never became moms or those grieving a loss. Yet Father’s Day is another day that can be difficult, too. It can highlight tough memories of fathers who weren’t there or even those who were there but not all they should be.
Since I became a Christian from atheism as an 18-year-old, Father’s Day has been a reminder of the lack of closeness with my dad. My dad, an avid atheist, has never fully accepted my coming to Christ. When your dad can’t accept the most important part of you, you feel that loss. There’s a closeness that’s missing. As an imperfect father with my own imperfect dad, I can still praise God on Father’s Day.
Let me share 4 reasons to praise God on Fathers’ Day even when there’s mixed emotions.
1. Praise God that God Himself is your father!
Psalm 27:10 says, “Though my father and mother forsake me, the LORD will receive me.” The reality is the best earthly dad will fall short. But the beautiful thing about the gospel is that we receive a perfect dad who will never let us down, leave or forsake us, or disown us! He knows us more fully than any earthly dad could, yet He still loves us with a perfect love! Praise God for His adoption of us!
2. Praise God for being a father!
If God has blessed you with children, you can praise God for the gift of being a father and praise God for your children! Also, praise God for how being a father helps you understand your father’s love. Awareness of my sin can make me feel like God just tolerates me, like I am a C student. Yet, after becoming a father, I learned that is not how fathers think!
When my two kids do something wrong, that never tempts me to stop loving them; my heart does not grow cold toward them. I still love and adore them. That reality helped me see God’s own love for me in a new way. Yes, I still need to confess sin and repent, but God is a much better father than me and still loves me! Becoming a father helped me see the unconditional love of the Lord.
3. Praise God for father figures in your life.
In 1 Timothy 5:1, Paul tells Timothy to treat older men as fathers. Some of the blessings of the church is the new family you have in Christ. I’ve been blessed with a man I call “Papa Joe.” He and his wife, “Mama Becca,” adopted my family as their Michigan children when I came to serve at my church. I am not handy in any way, but I remember Papa Joe coming over to show me how to patch drywall. He was a gentle and patient teacher as he took me through that process. I remember thinking, “Why is he being so nice to me? This is what it must be like to have a Christian dad.” When the Lord provides a father figure in your life, be thankful for that blessing, whether he’s an older mentor at church or a Christian father-in-law who will always have your back.
4. Praise God for your earthly father.
Even if your dad was not everything he should’ve been, you can still praise God for common graces in your dad! When I lift my children in the air, put on a goofy voice, or let my kids beat me in play-wrestling, I see my dad in me in how he played with me.
My dad never pointed me to Jesus, but he still left a mark! And I can praise God for common grace blessings even from a father that does not know God. If you have a Christian dad, praise God for the blessing many don’t have! Either way, pray for your dad on Father’s Day!
These are 4 ways we, as imperfect dads with imperfect dads, can give thanks to the perfect dad on Father’s Day!
EDITOR’S NOTE — This story was written by John Babri and originally published by the Baptist Beacon, news service of the Baptist State Convention of Michigan. John is the pastor of Fellowship Baptist Church in Saline, Michigan.