“As a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him.” Psalm 103:13
The First Father’s Day
“Listen to your father, who gave you life, and do not despise your mother when she is old.” Proverbs 23:22.
The first known Father’s Day service occurred in Fairmont, West Virginia, on July 5, 1908. This service was in memory of hundreds of men who died in the worst mining accident in U.S. history. However, the observance did not become an annual event, because it was not promoted outside of the local area.
Another attempt was fired in Spokane, Washington. The YMCA headed by Sonora Smart Dodd, who was born in Arkansas engineered it. This first YMCA celebration was on June 19, 1910. Sonora’s father, the Civil War veteran, William Jackson Smart, was a single parent who raised his six children.
The event was widely publicized so it struck a chord that reached the entire nation of the USA. Soon Sonora’s celebration put the idea on the path to becoming a national holiday.
National Recognizion Of Father’s Day
“I will be a father to him, and he’ll be a son to me. When he does wrong, I’ll discipline him with the rod of men, with stripes of the sons of men. But I’ll never remove my gracious love from him.” 2 Samuel 7: 14-15a.
Sonora’s celebration continued to bloom for many years. However, it was President Calvin Coolidge, 1924, who signed a resolution in favor of Father’s Day “to establish more intimate relations between fathers and their children and to impress upon fathers the full measure of their obligations.”
In 1966, President Lyndon Johnson signed an executive order that the holiday be celebrated on the third Sunday in June. Under President Richard Nixon, in 1972, Congress passed an act officially making Father’s Day a national holiday. Six years later, Sonora died at age 96.
In many countries Father’s Day is celebrated on the third Sunday in June. However, Father’s Day varies from country to country in form and focus. What is important is that it aims to honour fatherhood, paternal bonds and the role fathers play in society.
The Role Of A Father Today
“Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.” Ephesians 6:4.
The modern role of fathers has changed so that mothers and fathers are equal partners. Each parent today, are taking more responsibility within family life. Father’s day focuses on the larger roles that dads play with their children.
Fathers are generally seen as significant influences on children. Father’s Day helps to demonstrate the importance and value of fatherhood. This day highlights the gifts beyond material goods that a father bestows on his children and family.
Studies have shown that when fathers are affectionate and supportive, it greatly affects a child’s cognitive and social development. A father’s love for his children teaches them to have self-confidence and to love themselves. Children want to make their fathers proud, and an involved father promotes inner growth and strength. It also instills an overall sense of well-being.
The Compound Roles
Proverbs 23:24 says “The father of a righteous child has great joy; a man who fathers a wise son rejoices in him.”
Despite the literal term “father figure”, the function of a father is not limited to the biological parent of a person. Today we see the role been played by uncles, grandfathers, elder brothers, family friends, or others.
Proverbs 1:8 encourages us: “Hear, my son, your father’s instruction, and forsake not your mother’s teaching.”
Fathers, while they do not verbalize as much as mothers do, tend to be more direct and use fewer words. They may seem to be “too tough” to the moms, but their toughness is rooted in helping kids to be prepared for real life. Their sacrifices tend to be more focused on the family as a whole and less on individual children.
The Absent Father Figure
“He will turn the hearts of the fathers to their children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers.” Malachi 4:6:
We know from many studies what happens when a father figure is lacking. Fathers occupy a critical role in the child development. Father absence hinders development from early infancy through childhood and into adulthood.
Truancy and poor academic performance, to name a few. The majority of high school dropouts are from single parent homes headed by moms. Also fatherless children have more trouble academically, scoring poorly on tests of reading, mathematics, and thinking skills.
Moreover, father-absent girls display a host of outcomes in early development. These include increased sexual promiscuity, higher rates of teen pregnancy, earlier first sexual intercourse and reproduction, and difficulty forming stable long-term relationships.
Fatherless Daughter Syndrome is a disorder of the emotional system that leads to repeated dysfunctional relationship decisions, especially in the areas of trust and self-worth.
Boys who grow up without a father show higher stress levels to daily challenges — traffic or dealing with a boss, for example — writes Kathleen Doheny in her PsychCentral.com article, “Good Dad, Good Coping Skills Later,”
May God Empower Our Fathers
Luke 15:20: “But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.”
Fathers, are pillars and structure in the development of a child’s emotional well-being. Children look to their fathers to lay down the rules and enforce them. They also look to their fathers to provide a feeling of security, both physical and emotional.
The bible also says that the father is supposed to be head of his household and leads his family, his wife and kids to God. It is the father who is to make sure Jesus is in his household and is the most important member there.
Father’s Day is a day when fathers are recognized for encouraging, empowering, providing and protecting. Unfortunately, it is also a day when many dads tend to get the shaft, the husk or the leftover attention. Father’s Day is generally nothing like its counterpart, Mother’s Day.
Related: Have A Blessed Mother’s Day!!
A blessed and contented Father’s Day to all ours fathers and father figures. May God empower you to be the best father that you can be.
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