3 Keys to Loving Dad This Year and Every Year

KNOCKED OUTThough President Nixon signed Father’s Day into law as a national holiday in 1972, God made it one of the 10 Commandments several millennia before that.

“Honor your father and mother that your days may be long in the land which the LORD your God gives you (Exodus 20:12).

As summer hits full swing, we have a special time to honor our dads with a cookout, fishing or hiking, or a sweet-and-simple nap time.

Don’t forget, though: this is not just one day designated to honor your father. It’s a lifelong commitment! (Tweet this).

#3 – Respect Him

Whether you are at the stage of scribbling home-made cards for dad, or signing legal papers for him because he is unable, you are called to honor him.

Of course it’s easier to honor Dad when he is strong and active, when he is still a helpful influence in our lives. But when he becomes less self-sufficient and uses poor judgment, then you need to honor him all the more by stepping up to the plate to make sure he and mom are well looked after and their affairs are in order.

We aren’t called to begin telling him what to do – we are called to continue to extend love even when he may not see things our way.

#2 – Pray for Him

And even after the death of a father, the need to honor him continues. We can do so through prayers for their souls, through forgiveness of offenses they may have caused, by loving their other children, by caring for their graves, for speaking well of them.

For many of us, unfortunately, the relationships with our fathers have been rocky ones, especially through our teen years, but we still are called to honor our fathers.

#1 – Forgive Him

For our living fathers of any age we have the opportunity to honor them in many of the same ways, especially in the area of forgiveness. Our fathers on earth fall very short of Our Father in Heaven, so offering forgiveness and asking for forgiveness is one way we can live a fruitful and long life as the scripture promises. Find the joy, find the goodness, let go of the past. That is the best way to celebrate Father’s Day.

If you find you have unresolved anger or unforgiveness towards your father, The Great Adventure Bible Series Walking Toward Eternity: Daring to Walk the Walk has practical ways that you can overcome these hurdles in your life and have the relationship with your Dad that you have always wanted.

Your father may not ever change, but if your own heart is right, your relationship with him will.

Emily Cavins

Emily received her BA in Classical and Near Eastern Archaeology from the University of Minnesota and is a tour leader of annual pilgrimages to Israel and other Bible related destinations. Her most recent publication is Lily of the Mohawks: The Story of St. Kateri, the first Native American Saint from North America.

She is the developer of the “Great Adventure Kids” bible study materials. She co-wrote the “Walking Toward Eternity: Making Choices for Today” Bible Study Series One and Two with her husband, Jeff. She is also the author of “Catholic Family Night,” a series of lessons covering all three liturgical reading cycles with one lesson per week throughout the entire year. Emily lives in Minnesota with Jeff, her husband of over 30 years.