In the United States, we set-aside this coming Sunday to celebrate the rich heritage of FATHERHOOD. Father’s Day recognizes the importance and critical roles of millions of dads. Across the globe, father’s are being honored throughout this entire week.
Several years ago, my fourth book in the Give God the Glory! series [The Godly Family Life] featured an entire section on the role of fathers. Below is an excerpt for you to mediate on this week leading up to Sunday:
And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath; but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.
(Ephesians 6:4 KJV)
From an historical perspective, man established a special a day to acknowledge and recognize the “role” of fatherhood. This day, of all days, fathers are to be celebrated. This is a fairly new phenomenon in today’s culture relative to timing. Here is the story of Father’s Day:
Mrs. John B. Dodd, of Washington, first proposed the idea of a “father’s day” in 1909. Mrs. Dodd wanted a special day to honor her father, William Smart. William Smart, a Civil War veteran, was widowed when his wife (Mrs. Dodd’s mother) died in childbirth with their sixth child. Mr. Smart was left to raise the newborn and his other five children by himself on a rural farm in eastern Washington state. It was after Mrs. Dodd became an adult that she realized the strength and selflessness her father had shown in raising his children as a single parent.
The first Father’s Day was observed on June 19, 1910 in Spokane Washington. At about the same time in various towns and cities across American other people were beginning to celebrate a “father’s day.” In 1924 President Calvin Coolidge supported the idea of a national Father’s Day. Finally in 1966 President Lyndon Johnson signed a presidential proclamation declaring the 3rd Sunday of June as Father’s Day.
Father’s Day has become a day to not only honor your father, but all men who act as a father figure. Stepfathers, uncles, grandfathers, and adult male friends are all honored on Father’s Day. God’s perspective is quite different. He created man is His image, after His likeness, and gave him (man) dominion over all the earth (Genesis 1:26). He did not stop there. God inspected all that He had made and declared it was very good (Genesis 1:31). Throughout The Holy Bible, there are over nine hundred references to father and four other variations. Father, a noun, derives from the Greek word – patēr – meaning “a nourisher, protector, and upholder.” This word, in its singular form, is used 963 times. Other forms of this word include:
fathers – 522 times,
father’s – 146 times,
fathers’ – 10 times, and
fatherless – 41times.
Additionally, there are 254 references to the Heavenly Father (God Almighty) throughout the Scriptures. Fatherhood, then, is an awesome role, responsibility, and duty in the overall plan of God for mankind.
While we applaud man’s attempts to acknowledge fathers’ on a special day, God has already ordained the role of fatherhood. A man’s role in this regard is much more significant than society realizes or can comprehend. To this end, Part I will repeatedly emphasize what the Apostle Peter preached to the Council in the Books of Acts, “…we ought to obey God rather than men (Acts 5:29).” If we follow God’s Word, we cannot help but succeed in our homes, work places, schools, and churches.