I’ve always considered Father’s Day to be kind of a goofy holiday.
Someone, somewhere (probably working for Hallmark) decided that dads needed a day devoted to them since moms get one in May. I am sure some dads have families who go all out for Father’s Day: They do breakfast in bed, steak for lunch and dinner, and lavish Dad with praise and attention all day long. (I secretly hope my kids are reading this….)
If this describes your Father’s Day experience, I’m happy for you, but don’t feel the need to tell me about it. I’ll be just ﬁne in my blissful ignorance.
I think my own Father’s Day experiences are more typical. They usually involve a gift…that I ultimately bought. (Sure, the kids shopped for it, but the debit card that paid for it had my account number on it.) It’s all grins and giggles for a few minutes on Sunday morning, hugs and kisses and “I love you, Dad” from everyone, and then life just kind of returns to normal. I’ll put on the tie or place the coveted bottle of Old Spice in the closet next to the others from Father’s Days past, and we’ll get ready for church.
Of course, those experiences may seem insignificant, but as the recipient, I cherish them. And they have taught me a little bit about how God relates to us—and we to Him.
Three Reflections on God’s Heart for Father’s Day:
1.God ultimately paid the price for the gifts we offer back to Him.
When my children were younger, they brought me Father’s Day gifts that were simple (and—if I’m totally honest—sometimes really lame) and bought with my paycheck, but I was thrilled to get them just the same. To this day, they are always proud of what they have offered to me, and I treasure that they made the effort to bless me. On a much grander scale, that is our story with Abba Father. God Himself ultimately paid the price for the gifts that we offer to Him, yet He is pleased by the sweetness of those things we participate in “to the praise of His glorious grace” (Ephesians 1:6).
2. God’s love and pleasure in us is not based on our actions.
At the same time, being a dad has taught me a lot about how I am not like God and how much I need the sanctifying work of the Spirit. I am selﬁsh. I admit to wishing ever so briefly that my kids had thought to get that pink, limited edition Ping Bubba Watson driver instead of aftershave. Praise God that He doesn’t look at me or my gifts to Him that way.
3. God knits families together as a reflection of Him.
But it’s being an adoptive dad that really makes Father’s Day special for me, and not just a silly Hallmark holiday. I enjoy those few minutes on Sunday morning with my kids because I am reminded that we once weren’t a family, but now we are—forever! Those silly little moments on days like Father’s Day are an awesome reminder of what it means to be knit together and reconciled in Christ. My kids don’t give goofy ties to their “adoptive” dad—they just give them to their daddy. We don’t give our affection to God as anyone other than our one, only, true Abba.
So if we meet and I smell like an old-school barbershop, just know that I’m enjoying a Father’s Day gift and having a little private worship moment with Abba because of who He is and what He continues to teach me about Himself through my kids.