Father's Day was inaugurated in the United States in the early 20th century to complement Mother's Day in celebrating fatherhood and male parenting.
On July 5, 1908, a West Virginia church sponsored the nation’s first event explicitly in honor of fathers, a Sunday sermon in memory of the 362 men who had died in the previous December’s explosions at the Fairmont Coal Company mines in Monongah, West Virginia but it was a one-time commemoration and not an annual holiday.
The credit for the modern holiday is often given to Sonora Dodd, who was the driving force behind its establishment.
Father's Day was founded in Spokane, Washington at the YMCA on June 19, 1910 by Mrs. Dodd, Her father, the Civil War veteran William Jackson Smart, was a single parent who raised his six children there. After hearing a sermon about Mother's Day in 1909, she told her pastor that fathers should have a similar holiday honoring them. Although she initially suggested June 5, her father's birthday, the pastors did not have enough time to prepare their sermons, and the celebration was deferred to the third Sunday of June.
It didn't have much success initially. In the 1930s Ms. Dodd returned to Spokane and started promoting the celebration again, raising awareness at a national level. She had the help of those trade groups that would benefit most from the holiday, for example the manufacturers of ties, tobacco pipes, and any traditional present to fathers. Surprise, surprise. Since 1938 she had the help of the Father's Day Council, founded by the New York Associated Men's Wear Retailers to consolidate and systematize the commercial promotion. Americans resisted the holiday during a few decades, perceiving it as just an attempt by merchants to replicate the commercial success of Mother's Day.
A bill to give national recognition of the holiday was introduced in Congress in 1913. In 1916, President Woodrow Wilson went to Spokane to speak in a Father's Day celebration and wanted to make it official, but Congress resisted, fearing that it would become commercialize.
President Calvin Coolidge recommended in 1924 that the day be observed by the nation, but stopped short of issuing a national proclamation. Two earlier attempts to formally recognize the holiday had been defeated by Congress.
In 1957, Maine Senator Margaret Chase Smith wrote a proposal accusing Congress of ignoring fathers for 40 years while honoring mothers, thus "[singling] out just one of our two parents". In 1966, President Lyndon B. Johnson issued the first presidential proclamation honoring fathers, designating the third Sunday in June as Father's Day. Six years later, the day was made a permanent national holiday when President Richard Nixon signed it into law in 1972. Today, economists estimate that Americans spend more than $1 billion each year on Father’s Day gifts.
How Important are Fathers?
Most of the work done by psychologists, in the past, has been on the relationship of mothers and children but we have now realized that fathers play a unique and crucial role in nurturing and guiding children's development. Many experts now believe that fathers can be just as nurturing and sensitive with their babies as mothers. As their children grow, fathers take on added roles of guiding their children's intellectual and social development. Even when a father is just playing with his children, he is nurturing their development.
A father provides
It's the same with both natural and spiritual fathers. A natural father is the birth father. Surrogate fathers can be grandfathers, uncles, cousins, brothers, foster fathers, or god fathers. These can all be spiritual fathers as well and include pastors, teachers, and others in the body of Christ that influence and guide.
- a male parent
- a man who is thought of as being like a father
- a person who was in someone's family in past times
- Courage and boldness, as in battle; bravery .
2 Samuel 23:8-39 gives us excellent examples of who King David chose to be his personal Mighty Men of Valor. They included only thirty-seven men that would stand in battle and defend the King until the very end. These men were not perfect but they had a sense of loyalty that transcended other everything else.
Characteristics of a godly man of valor
- A man of valor is man enough to admit his faults and take ownership of his sins.
- A man of valor is faithful to his commitments and keeps his word and promises.
- A man of valor perseveres in difficult tasks or under adversity, even when he may not receive recognition or appreciation.
- A man of valor is loyal to his friends even when this loyalty may cost him dearly.
- A man of valor recognizes that he is not always self-sufficient and that he needs the support of other friends.
- A man of valor is bold when required, but also uses restraint and discretion when they are needed.
- A man of valor overcomes his fear of evangelizing and is willing to share the Gospel with others if an opportunity arises.
- A man of valor enthusiastically serves his family, even if he is worn out from a hard day at work.
- A man of valor is willing to put his flesh to death and exercise self-control over his thoughts, words, eyes, and actions.
- A man of valor is a man of prayer. He knows that God is with him, and he recognizes his dependence on God and his own limitations apart from God.
Being a father has its share of challenges and we can look at some fathers in the bible to show us what is wise to do and what is not wise to do.
At the end of this list, you'll find a profile of God the Father, the ultimate role model for all human dads. His love, kindness, patience, wisdom, and protection are impossible standards to live up to. Fortunately He is also forgiving and understanding, answering fathers' prayers and giving them expert guidance so they can be the man their family wants and needs them to be.
He was the first man, the father of humankind. He was the only man without a human mother and a father, he only had a father.
As the first man and first human father, Adam had no example to follow except God., and he blew that. He also had to deal with the tragedy of his son Cain murdering his other son, Abel. Adam can teach a lot to today's fathers about the consequences of their actions and the absolute necessity of obeying God.
Noah stands out among fathers in the Bible as a man who clung to God in spite of the wickedness all around him. But Noah had problems with his children
Genesis 9:18-27 (HCSB) 18 Noah’s sons who came out of the ark were Shem, Ham, and Japheth. Ham was the father of Canaan. 19 These three were Noah’s sons, and from them the whole earth was populated. 20 Noah, a man of the soil, was the first to plant a vineyard. 21 He drank some of the wine, became drunk, and uncovered himself inside his tent. 22 Ham, the father of Canaan, saw his father naked and told his two brothers outside.23 Then Shem and Japheth took a cloak and placed it over both their shoulders, and walking backward, they covered their father’s nakedness. Their faces were turned away, and they did not see their father naked.24 When Noah awoke from his drinking and learned what his youngest son had done to him, 25 he said: Canaan will be cursed. He will be the lowest of slaves to his brothers. 26 He also said: Praise the LORD, the God of Shem; Canaan will be his slave. 27 God will extend Japheth; he will dwell in the tents of Shem; Canaan will be his slave.
Noah was far from perfect, but he was humble and protective of his family. He carried out the task God assigned to him. Today's fathers may often feel they are in a thankless role, but God is always pleased by their devotion.
What could be more frightening than being the father of an entire nation? That was the mission God gave Abraham. He was a leader with tremendous faith, passing one of the most difficult tests God ever gave a man but, Abraham made mistakes when he relied on himself instead of God.
Genesis 12:10-13 (HCSB)10 There was a famine in the land, so Abram went down to Egypt to live there for a while because the famine in the land was severe. 11 When he was about to enter Egypt, he said to his wife Sarai, “Look, I know what a beautiful woman you are. 12 When the Egyptians see you, they will say, ‘This is his wife.’ They will kill me but let you live. 13 Please say you’re my sister so it will go well for me because of you, and my life will be spared on your account.”
Still, Abraham embodied qualities that any father would be wise to develop.
Hebrews 11:8-10 (HCSB) 8 By faith Abraham, when he was called, obeyed and went out to a place he was going to receive as an inheritance. He went out, not knowing where he was going. 9 By faith he stayed as a foreigner in the land of promise, living in tents with Isaac and Jacob, coheirs of the same promise. 10 For he was looking forward to the city that has foundations, whose architect and builder is God.
Hebrews 11:17-19 (HCSB) 17 By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac. He received the promises and he was offering his unique son, 18 the one it had been said about, Your seed will be traced through Isaac. 19 He considered God to be able even to raise someone from the dead, and as an illustration, he received him back.
He could have resented his father for offering him as a sacrifice, yet Isaac was an obedient son. There is no indication that when his father was going to sacrifice him that he fought in any way
Genesis 22:9-10 (HCSB)9 When they arrived at the place that God had told him about, Abraham built the altar there and arranged the wood. He bound his son Isaac and placed him on the altar on top of the wood. 10 Then Abraham reached out and took the knife to slaughter his son.
Now we know that Abraham was 100 when Isaac was born and although the bible doesn't specifically say how old he was when his father took him to the mountain at God’s command to sacrifice him there is enough information to indicate that he was not a little boy. Commentators throughout the years and felt that he was anywhere from 17 to perhaps 35 years old , so Abraham may have been anywhere from 117 to 135 years old.
From Abraham he learned the invaluable lesson of trusting God. That made Isaac one of the most favored fathers in the Bible. But there was a problem with Isaac, he favored one son over the other
Genesis 25:27-28 (HCSB) 27 When the boys grew up, Esau became an expert hunter, an outdoors man, but Jacob was a quiet man who stayed at home. 28 Isaac loved Esau because he had a taste for wild game, but Rebekah loved Jacob.
Isaac favored Esau, a hunter and outdoors man, while Rebekah favored Jacob, the more sensitive, thoughtful of the two. That was an unwise move for a father to take. Isaac should have worked to love both boys equally.
Jacob was a schemer who tried to work his own way instead of trusting God. With the help of his mother Rebekah, he stole his twin brother Esau's birthright. Jacob fathered 12 sons who founded the 12 tribes of Israel. As a father, however, he favored his son Joseph, causing jealousy among the other brothers. The lesson from Jacob's life is that God works with our obedience and in spite of our disobedience to make his plan come to pass.
Jacob's story teaches us how an imperfect person can be greatly blessed by God--not because of who he or she is, but because of who God is.
Moses was the father of two sons, Gershom and Eliezer, yet he also served as a father figure to the entire Hebrew people as they escaped from slavery in Egypt. He loved them and helped discipline and provide for them on their 40-year journey to the Promised Land. At times Moses seemed to be a larger-than-life character, but he was only a man. His anger kept him from entering the promise land
Numbers 20:2-12 (HCSB)2 There was no water for the community, so they assembled against Moses and Aaron. 3 The people quarreled with Moses and said, “If only we had perished when our brothers perished before the LORD. 4 Why have you brought the LORD’s assembly into this wilderness for us and our livestock to die here? 5 Why have you led us up from Egypt to bring us to this evil place? It’s not a place of grain, figs, vines, and pomegranates, and there is no water to drink!” 6 Then Moses and Aaron went from the presence of the assembly to the doorway of the tent of meeting. They fell down with their faces ⌊to the ground⌋, and the glory of the LORD appeared to them. 7 The LORD spoke to Moses, 8 “Take the staff and assemble the community. You and your brother Aaron are to speak to the rock while they watch, and it will yield its water. You will bring out water for them from the rock and provide drink for the community and their livestock.” 9 So Moses took the staff from the LORD’s presence just as He had commanded him. 10 Moses and Aaron summoned the assembly in front of the rock, and Moses said to them, “Listen, you rebels! Must we bring water out of this rock for you?” 11 Then Moses raised his hand and struck the rock twice with his staff, so that a great amount of water gushed out, and the community and their livestock drank. 12 But the LORD said to Moses and Aaron, “Because you did not trust Me to show My holiness in the sight of the Israelites, you will not bring this assembly into the land I have given them.”
He shows today's fathers that overwhelming tasks can be achieved when we stay close to God.
One of the great strugglers in the Bible, David was also a special favorite of God. He trusted God to help him defeat the giant Goliath and put his faith in God as he was on the run from King Saul. David sinned greatly, but he repented and found forgiveness. His son Solomon went on to become one of Israel's greatest kings.
King David was a man of contrasts. He was committed to God, yet guilty of some of the most serious sins recorded in the Old Testament.
He had one night of lust with Bathsheba, and it had disastrous consequences in his life.
David’s family was very dysfunctional.
2 Samuel 13:7-14 (HCSB) 7 David sent word to Tamar at the palace: “Please go to your brother Amnon’s house and prepare a meal for him.” 8 Then Tamar went to his house while Amnon was lying down. She took dough, kneaded it, made cakes in his presence, and baked them. 9 She brought the pan and set it down in front of him, but he refused to eat. Amnon said, “Everyone leave me!” And everyone left him. 10 “Bring the meal to the bedroom,” Amnon told Tamar, “so I can eat from your hand.” Tamar took the cakes she had made and went to her brother Amnon’s bedroom. 11 When she brought ⌊them⌋ to him to eat, he grabbed her and said, “Come sleep with me, my sister!” 12 “Don’t, my brother!” she cried. “Don’t humiliate me, for such a thing should never be done in Israel. Don’t do this horrible thing! 13 Where could I ever go with my disgrace? And you—you would be like one of the immoral men in Israel! Please, speak to the king, for he won’t keep me from you.”14 But he refused to listen to her, and because he was stronger than she was, he raped her. Well that resulted in Absalom later killing Ammon Read 13:21-29 Absslom taking off and then later rebelling against his father David. That’s in 2 Samuel Chapters 15-18 and Absalom, David's son is killed.
Yet with all this David is called a man after God’s own heart.
Acts 13:22 (HCSB) After removing him, He raised up David as their king and testified about him: ‘I have found David the son of Jesse, a man loyal to Me, who will carry out all My will.’
David’s life was a portrait of success and failure, and it highlights the fact that he was far from perfect. But what made David a cut above the rest was that his heart was pointed toward God.
The point fathers, is that no matter what you have done no matter how serious, remember there will be consequences (David’s were a messed up family), if you truly ask for forgiveness and repent God will forgive you and you will continue to be a mighty man of valor.
Surely one of the most underrated fathers in the Bible was Joseph, the foster father of Jesus Christ. He went to great pains to protect his wife Mary and their baby, then saw to Jesus' education and needs as he was growing up. Joseph taught Jesus the carpentry trade. The Bible calls Joseph a righteous man, and Jesus must have loved his guardian for his quiet strength, honesty, and kindness.
God the Father, the first Person of the Trinity, is the father and creator of all. Jesus, his only Son, showed us a new, intimate way of relating to him. When we see God as our heavenly Father, provider and protector, it puts our life in a whole new perspective. Every human father is also a son of this Most High God, the constant source of strength, wisdom, and hope.
I was going to try to describe the perfect father but realized that the only perfect father is God the Father and the only perfect man is Jesus. God is the perfect father and if we want to be perfect fathers we have to follow his example. There is a good example of the perfect father in the parable about the prodigal son.
We all know the story of the prodigal son in Luke chapter 15:11-32. The father in that parable represents God in the relationship between a father and his children. Since God is the model of the father, it is a model of the perfect father. We see some good fathers on this earth, but this is a rare chance to see the perfect father.
To summarize there is a wealthy man with two sons. The youngest son asks for his share of the estate and his father gives it to him the son goes out and blows is and is eating and sleeping with the hogs and decides that my father is rich so why am I out here. I’m going home at least I’ll have a place to eat and sleep. He goes home and the father welcomes him back even has a big party. There have been sermons and things written about the prodigal son, there have been sermons and things written about the brother that stayed, but since Father’s Day is Sunday, I am going to talk about the father, and how looking at the father in this parable can guide us fathers. We know that we as humans are not and can’t become perfect as long as we are living in today’s world but we can strive toward it.
Here is What We Learn in this Parable
1. The “perfect father” can have wayward children.
What makes the perfect father is not raising the perfect child; it is planting the perfect seed in that child. The father plants the first initial image of self, of relationships, and of God. You, dad, affect your child’s present life, their future life, and their eternity. Will you make mistakes? Sure you will. Can a child overcome them? Sure they can. They have their own will and minds so ultimately; they are responsible for their own lives. Even so, the question remains for you, Dad: Will your children turn out, (or fail)- because of- or despite you?
2. The “perfect father” knows his children and believes in them.
You'll notice when the parable opens- the son asks for his inheritance- and the father doesn’t offer any resistance at all! It was not unusual in Hebrew culture for a father to divide up his inheritance before his death. But the idea was to put his sons in charge. But that’s not the case here. The son wanted money to abandon his responsibilities- and his father knew it. He was going to blow it foolishly. So why did he so readily give it? The only logical answer is, because he knew his son. We know that he knew him because in verse 20 of the parable it shows that his father was probably looking for and expecting him to come to his senses.
Luke 15:20 (NLT) So he returned home to his father. And while he was still a long way off, his father saw him coming. Filled with love and compassion, he ran to his son, embraced him, and kissed him.
That’s some reaction to somebody who just blew your money. That leads me to something else.
3. The perfect father acts from the wisdom of what is needed, and not the emotion of what is deserved.
Luke 15:22-24 (NLT) 22 But his father said to the servants, ‘Quick! Bring the finest robe in the house and put it on him. Get a ring for his finger and sandals for his feet. 23 And kill the calf we have been fattening. We must celebrate with a feast, 24 for this son of mine was dead and has now returned to life. He was lost, but now he is found.’ So the party began.
Catch this! The dad doesn’t even respond verbally to the son beating himself up. The father had a choice of one or two things- give the son what he deserves, or give him what he needs. Sometimes they are they same, but many times, they are not.
Responses based on what is simply deserved can become judgment or spiteful action, and ultimately rejection. On the other hand, giving what is needed never loses focus on the big picture. It's not always simple or easy. It involves discernment, knowledge, forgiveness, and sacrifice. But for the perfect dad in this parable it is what saved his son…
4. The “perfect father” builds a sense of genuine value into their child.
Luke 15:17 (NLT) When he finally came to his senses, he said to himself, ‘At home even the hired servants have food enough to spare, and here I am dying of hunger!
If the son just “came to his senses”, that could mean he realized something new. But if he “came to himself”, as it says in;
Luke 15:17 (NKJV) But when he came to himself, he said, 'How many of my father's hired servants have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger!
That implies, that all the time that he was away from his father, he wasn’t living as the person he really was. What was planted in him by his father was better than that- he just, finally realized it.
What was the father’s real legacy?
It couldn’t be the wealth because that nearly ruined him.
It couldn’t be the privileged education. And he would’ve had one. His father had a big business; he was undoubtedly trained to run it.
Here's the secret;
Luke 15:24 (NLT) 24 for this son of mine was dead and has now returned to life. He was lost, but now he is found.’ So the party began.
The true legacy was this- the father gave the model of what a real man looks like. He put in his son the vision of a man alive in the purpose and presence of God and that is what saved his son’s life.
Fathers, make no mistake what becomes of our children’s lives is, a spiritual matter. And God says our spiritual hope is in Jesus Christ, or there is no hope at all.
None of us will ever be the perfect father, but there is no way we will be complete fathers without God as our example.
- We can’t have a living relationship with God, for our children; but we can certainly live that relationship before them.
- We can’t live a righteous life for our children- but we can certainly plant the vision of one in them.
- We can’t stop them from every mistake- but we can certainly believe in their potential as God has designed them- if we take the care and time to plant God’s seed in them.
If the seed you are planting now has its full effect- What will it cause your child to become –Not in a few years, not even by the end of life…but a thousand years from now- a citizen of heaven or hell?
Luke 15:24 (NLT) for this son of mine was dead and has now returned to life. He was lost, but now he is found.’ So the party began.
Fathers, your legacy is the seed you sow- what… WHO are you sowing?