06.17.2011 The Blog No Comments

Father’s Day Isn’t about Fathers

I heard an illustration once that claimed January 4th as one of the top five days for the sale of chocolate. Apparently, the 4th earned this status as a result of failed New Years Resolutions. With weight loss and exercise being two of the top resolutions, individuals would wake up on January 1 excited and energized about their new found goal. On January 2, although still focused, people would begin to be tempted by the foods they love and the lifestyle they remember. January 3, is spent with much nail biting and self-psyching just to get to the end of the day. Then, on January 4, they bust. Most of us understand why people bust with their New Years Resolutions: cold turkey just doesn’t work for the majority of people. We do, however, have to begin somewhere.

This Father’s Day, let’s begin somewhere. I do not know what you look forward to the most about Father’s Day. Maybe it is the tie your children get you that usually needs no explanation at work that this was a Father’s Day gift.  Or, it could be the t-shirt that says, “This is what the world’s best dad looks like” with the matching ball cap that reads “#1 Dad.” Personally, I look forward to the man gifts I receive like the flashlight, screwdriver, or tape measure. It is interesting, however, when I receive a flashlight that is also a screwdriver and a tape measure. Apparently my children have watched me work. I hope you look forward to something this Father’s Day, whether material or not, but let me also challenge you. This year, don’t let Father’s Day be just about you. If possible do not let it be about you at all.

If you do not already spend time with your family reading God’s Word, or discussing Scripture, or singing together (what the Steenburg’s call worshiping Jesus), then what better day to start than Father’s Day? Do not feel that you need a theological degree to read the Bible with your children. Do not think you have to know it all, either. Just sit down with your family, open your Bible, and read a few verses. Then ask your family questions about what you have read. I learned when I was a teacher that I did not need to know the answer to a question I was going to ask. Sometimes it was fun to discover the answer with the children, together. I would also encourage you to sing. It may just be one song. It may be a very simple song like “Jesus loves me,” and that’s okay.

I trust that some of you reading this already do family devotions. If that is the case, try to think outside of the box on this special day. Maybe the Scripture you choose is all about mom this day. Demonstrate for your family that on Father’s Day you desire to wash your wife with the water that is the Word (Ephesians 5:26). Then serenade your wife. That is something your children will never forget. If you are a family that has been out of practice, make this day the day of renewal. Confess to your family where you have slacked, and renew your covenant to bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord (Ephesians 6:4).

Just remember to stay away from the chocolate. Yes, we all have to begin somewhere. Some will feel extremely nervous, others will feel that it went terribly wrong. That is no reason to not do devotions again. Think about learning to ride a bike. Most of us were probably extremely nervous, and I would guess that all of us have fallen. But the only way to relieve our nerves and learn to ride a bike was to keep getting back on the bike. This Father’s Day, be a Father who takes his family before the throne of grace.

If you would like specific advice on family devotions, or would like help formulating your first time in the Bible with your family, please email me at DaddyDiscipleship@gmail.com. I am very glad to help.

About the author

Ryan is the Founder & Director of Daddy Discipleship and the Associate Editor for The Journal of Discipleship & Family Ministry.

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