Father’s Day encourages us to celebrate the men who raise children in our world. For those who’ve lost or never experienced a nurturing dad, the holiday can prove bittersweet or even bitter. Some fathers face this day with grief, as they’ve lost children to death or estrangement. Those without the joy of a Hallmark Father’s Day need our compassion and a message of hope.
For there is an encouraging word for those who struggle with the conventional means of this holiday. The same inspiration can benefit the wounded and those who do have conventional celebrations to attend. If we all look around us and also look to the heavens, our weekend celebrations can transcend the ordinary platitudes on a greeting card or sales ad. Whether instead of or in addition to the acknowledgement of human daddies, a spiritual component transforms our experience of this weekend.
No matter what your earthly dad experience has been like, there’s a profoundly different Fatherly relationship which promises joyous life-change. Through new birth in Christ, we receive Love Himself as our Father. He raises children with tender care, ultimate protection, and more blessings than we “could ask or imagine.” His provision never fades, rusts, or runs out. We get eternal gifts and life forever. The promises of Our Father include an infinite abiding in light with no sorrow or pain. All the grief and wounds of this mortal existence will fade away as we enter heaven’s endless embrace of bliss.
No one needs to remain without a worthy Father. None of those who suffer this weekend need to endure one more June without a reason to celebrate. For there is a Father who loves us more than we can ever fathom. He suffered beyond our ability to ever conceive in order to adopt us as his children. He promises us an abundant life overflowing with joy and love.
This Father encourages us to party in his name more than once a year. We have so much to celebrate, we’ll never run out. In fact, there’s a mysterious benefit to honoring Our Father which cannot occur just from the ordinary Father’s Day greetings. Praising Our Father fills us with life and energy. There’s power in celebrating God. Praise transforms and uplifts us.
Our gifts to human daddies require a sacrifice of our time or resources. We really shouldn’t expect to be compensated for a present to our earthly loved ones. Time or praise we offer to God might seem like a sacrifice, but we have nothing except that which he has provided to us. As we live out the ongoing party of gratitude, the Lord showers us with exponentially more in return than we could ever give him.
It might seem abstract to celebrate God on a holiday designed for dads. But taking Father’s Day to the next spiritual level can be both rewarding and practical, whether you have plans to honor your biological father this weekend or not. Here are a few ways to upgrade your holiday to Our Father’s Day:
- If you do have a man who mentored and raised you, share messages of gratitude publicly and to the Creator.
- If you or someone you know hasn’t yet experienced the joy of new birth into the family of God, this might be a great time to invite the Father into a spiritual embrace.
- Find those who are grieving or disconnected. Offer words of validation, understanding, and compassion. Whatever you say, please don’t urge them not to be sad or to move on or to get over it. A hug brings the greatest comfort. Avoid platitudes, especially if the loss is less than 3 years fresh. It means a lot to those in pain to know you care, and they’re not forgotten. In this way, you’ll experience the Father’s love flowing through you.
- Take time to write a thankfulness letter to the Lord, like an Our Father’s Day card. If you’re struggling to identify what you might include, consider everything you’d miss in your life it were suddenly gone (breath, use of senses, food, water, shelter, loved ones, pets, health, e.g.).
- Consider the things we’ll have to celebrate in heaven as the upcoming party. Celebrate the hope with music, poetry, or praying through Scripture.
- Search for all the verses identifying God as a good Father. Pray through these scriptures with gratitude.
- Go for a walk with your heavenly Father. Reach out and grab the air beside you as if taking His hand. Take time to enjoy his presence.
- Hug your spiritual siblings. Laugh, eat, sing, and dance with the children of God. We don’t need to celebrate Our Father alone, but can better enjoy the party as a family.
- Create an artwork as a gift for Our Father to be shared with our siblings (and future siblings). Resist the temptation to denounce your creativity. As children, we never told ourselves we couldn’t make gifts for our loved ones because we “weren’t creative enough.” Expand your definition of art to include everything beautiful and life-promoting you can offer. The types of art we can give as the Creator’s children are vast. Consider cooking, gardening, crafts, woodwork, sewing, helping others, words, generosity, and more.
- Read Our Father’s love letter for a while this weekend. And take time to listen to his voice. Having a delightful conversation is an important part of celebrating Our Father.
- Take time to notice Our Father’s artwork and other gifts to us in creation. Marvel at the skies, wildlife, and nature. Rejoice in the simple beauty of water or earth. Appreciation serves the celebration well!
What are some ways you plan to celebrate Our Father this year? I’d love to hear your feedback, suggestions, and plans. Feel free to share these tips and recommendations with anyone who might find them beneficial. However you celebrate this weekend, I hope you’ll experience the Father’s love with abundant joy. May Our Father embrace each of you on all the days to come. I look forward to partying with you, my siblings, in everlasting delight!