June 21 is Father’s Day—a day set aside to honor our dads. Whether we’re celebrating our dads, stepdads, brothers, sons or other father figures in our lives, these men need to hear what a difference their love makes.
However, how do we respond when “honoring” is not an easy thing to do. Many of us didn’t grow up with really good fathers. Some of us didn’t even have a father present in our lives. Birth-fathers are not always in the picture, however, some of us are blessed with wonderful step-fathers.
So what do we do with those feelings of disappointment, anger, or even guilt when we think of the “father” we see as less than perfect? Do you struggle with anger toward a birth-father for never even trying to be a part of your life? That anger, however, only hurts the relationship with new dads. Releasing disappointment and bitterness is important with moving on and remembering that everything that happens in life makes us who we are today. Dayspring
I was well into my 30s when I learned to love my dad for who he is; not for who I thought he should be. He’s always been a good man – a hard worker, volunteer, churchgoer, encourager. But growing up, I thought I needed more from him – more hugs, more tenderness, more lets-sit-down-and-talk-about-our-feelings. I was angry, compared him to others, blamed some of my life choices on my perception that he wasn’t “there” enough.
Through the years, I’ve come to realize that my dad did the best he could with what he had at the time as a father. And I’ve discovered how deeply he cares for me (quirks and all!) even if he shows it in different ways than I do. In fact, today I can truly say that he is one of my very best friends.
Lift up the men in our lives, remind them that we are strengthened by their presence, that we honor who they are and who they are becoming.
We’ve all had to say goodbye to good men in our lives, and Father’s Day can be a time to honor their memory.
If your father has passed, this Sunday in June can be a tough 24 hours. You have this love to give to your dear old dad, but he is no longer with you physically. The commercialized aspect of the day illuminates the absence of him, and you can feel the pains of grief all over again. For those of you experiencing your first Father’s Day without dad, this can be especially raw. The year of “firsts” after you lose someone special is something that you have to walk through, and not around. And it is not easy.
He may not be able to open up a card or present from me, so my gift to him is to use what he gave me. Each time I do, I feel like I am honoring his spirit, what he taught me, how he raised me, and how he lived.
Spend some time reflecting on the legacy they’ve left – how did they show the love? What did they teach us, and how can we pass that wisdom along to those following in their footsteps today? Father’s Day without Dads
How about you? How can you celebrate your father today and every day?
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