Billy Graham once said, “A good father is one of the most unsung, upraised, unnoticed, and yet one of the most valuable assets in our society”.
For me, I have been able to begin to grasp the love that the Lord has for me because of the relationship I have had with my own father. Father’s Day is a day that I have always been able to celebrate because of the men that the Lord has placed into my life through the role of Father, Grandfathers, Uncles, and more.
Yet, it’s also a day that I know so many can’t celebrate. A day that so many are grieving.
Through my counseling training I’ve studied the impact that a father can have on the lives of his children.
I’ve sat with clients and helped them grieve the loss of a father, or the absence of one who never showed up in the first place.
I’ve walked with friends who have had to fill the role of both Mother AND Father.
I’ve counseled women who are still dealing with the wounds caused by abusive relationships with their fathers.
I’ve seen the lasting hurt that so many are carrying around due to never being able to feel loved or accepted by the man that was supposed to protect and cherish them.
I’ve had male friends that have longed to be a father, yet were never able to have biological children of their own.
I’ve seen men step into the role of coach or teacher or small group leader who have mentored, loved, and led children in ways that meet a need that many of them have been longing for all their lives.
I’m convinced now, MORE THAN EVER BEFORE, that we need godly men, willing and able to step up and to love well. Men to lead us closer to Christ and to the heart of our Heavenly Father. Men who will show up and invest of themselves into the lives of those around them.
I’m also convinced, more than ever before, that our men are under attack. They’re being constantly bombarded by a society that floods their senses with inappropriate images, messages, videos, and more. The enemy is prowling and determined to grab a hold of anything he can- and he starts with the family- often times, the men.
Today, on this Father’s Day, let’s stop and pray.
If you’ve had a good Father, get on your knees and thank the Lord.
If you’ve been wounded by the man that was supposed to parent you but never could, I’m praying for you.
If you were abandoned, hurt, neglected, not chosen, or abused by the man that was supposed to be your Daddy, I’m praying for you.
If you are a woman trying to take care of your kids as best as you can and to fill the impossibly difficult role of Mother AND Father, I’m praying for you.
If you are a man longing to be a Dad, but still in the waiting season, I’m praying for you.
If you are a Dad but you chose to turn your child over to someone else to love and to raise through adoption because you knew it was for their good, I’m praying for you.
If you are grieving today because you no longer have your Father with you, I’m praying for you today.
If you are a Dad grieving choices you’ve made in the past, I’m praying for you today.
If you are angry today because you’ve never had a Father present in your life, I’m praying for you today.
I’m also praying for a shift in our society.
For a shift in our homes.
For a shift in our churches.
That we would begin to build our men up. That we would call out the good and to pray fervently over their hearts. That instead of nagging them over dirty socks left in the bathroom floor, that we would spot the positive things they are doing each day and begin to call those out.
I’m praying that we would take time to invest in our marriages, in our families, and in our small groups that hold us accountable. To no longer be women who sit around in groups complaining about the way our husbands do certain things, but to spend our time celebrating the gift of a man who has shown up and is doing what he can. To be able to set down all the things that don’t matter and to UNPLUG from the constant input of social media and entertainment. To help out our sisters who are trying to fill the role of both Mom and Dad. To look for kids in our communities who need some guidance and finding ways to invest into their lives.
To have eyes that look for ways to protect and serve our families well, and to be willing to do battle on our knees.
More than we can imagine.
This weekend, as we celebrate the gift of Father’s, may we all remember the ULTIMATE Father. The One who loves us better than our minds can grasp, deeper than we can fathom, and longer than we could ever outrun. Regardless of the way we have been loved by our dads here on Earth, we are FULLY loved by God. I’m praying today that He will meet you in whatever places and ways you are needing.