My friend was just venting to me the other day about Father’s Day:

“Why is it that the Mother’s Day sermon is all encouraging and the Father’s Day one is a kick in the pants for men to step up to the plate; my wife got roses at church, but I got a compass to keep me on track. What’s with that?”

This year we’re bucking the trend. Let’s make this Father’s Day an opportunity to honor our dads. In this video, Neil Josephson, Director of  FamilyLife , explains two practical ways to do that.

You could make his day or even his whole year!

For some sons and daughters, honoring dad feels natural because the relationship has been wonderful. But that’s not everyone’s experience. For some, the very thought of showing honor to dad evokes painful childhood memories.

Why show respect if he doesn’t really deserve it?

I can think of five reasons:

  1. Scripture commands us to honor our parents (Eph 6:2-3). The verse doesn’t limit that to mothers or to terrific parents, so why should we?
  2. Men feel loved when they are shown respect. If our fathers don’t have to earn our love, then why should they have to earn our respect? We don’t have to respect all of their actions, but we need to treat them with dignity. We can choose to focus on the good they brought into our lives.
  3. Thanking our fathers helps us focus on living out their good qualities in our own lives.
  4. Forgiving our fathers helps free us from obsessing over and repeating some of their mistakes.
  5. Forgiveness releases us from bitterness and starts the process of healing.

Remember, if this is difficult, you can draw on the resources of faith. God has all the grace and forgiveness you’ll ever need to honor your father and help you move past the hurt. God isn’t asking you to take this step alone. You can rely on the power of the Holy Spirit.

This video talks about fathers “doing the best they could,” but maybe you feel your father didn’t even come close to that. If you need to talk with someone or receive prayer, we have online mentors you can speak with confidentially.  

Is it hard for you to picture God as a Father? Read Why “Father” God?

The best way to move towards restoration in any relationship is to start with your relationship with God, making sure that you’re fully surrendered to Him. If you want to do that today, consider praying this prayer:

“God, I’ve been doing things my own way and it’s not working out very well. I’ve been serving sin instead of You. I choose today to make You the center of my life. Please fill me with Your joy and strength so I can embrace the best You have for me.”

Written by Mike Jantzen

Mike Jantzen

Mike’s passion is crafting words that carry grace to the heart; in his day job that means marketing for FamilyLife Canada, and in his downtime, that means composing folk ballads for the local music scene. Michael is married with four active boys, with two in elementary school and two in High School.