3 Reasons to honor Father’s Day (even if you don’t have your dad)

If you don’t have a dad or you’re not a dad or you don’t have a great dad, then you don’t like Father’s Day all that much. I hear you, and it’s okay.

But that doesn’t make honoring fathers or the day itself any less important. Boys will aspire to be great fathers if they have great fathers and if fathering is viewed by their culture as a noble calling in itself. It isn’t just a product of having children. Fathering is critical to a child’s development.

Dads matter as much as moms.

Dads provide “significantly different parenting style” than mothers employ, which has been linked to self-esteem, problem-solving, compassion, and self-control.

Focus on the Family

Here are 3 reasons that honoring Father’s Day (and the role of fathering) is important for all of us, even those of us who find Father’s Day sad or difficult. (Read about losing my dad and finding his dad’s crash site here.)

  1. Active dads make stronger children and therefore a stronger society. Even if you didn’t have a loving, involved dad, many people do. And I’m thankful—not jealous—of that. It makes the world a better place for me and my family. Dads should realize that lots of kids are watching them father their children, especially all those kids who don’t have dads or don’t have a regular relationship with their dads. Boys and girls alike learn about fathering by watching fathers; they base their criteria for acceptable fathering based on the fathers they see the most.
  2. Any good man can be a good father to anyone who needs it. Through mentoring, coaching, and befriending, men can be a role model for any boy or girl who needs a father figure. I don’t think anyone denies that our culture is filled with children and adults who desperately need father-figures. As a child who grew up without a dad, let me be clear—we want them, even if we turned out okay. It doesn’t matter that I’m middle-aged and living a happy, well-balanced life; I still wish I could experience being fathered, even now.
  3. I have a Father in heaven. No it’s not the same. But ultimately, it is the model for all good fathering. This is a good place to land whenever anyone feels unfathered. (Read a blog about God as a Father here.)

God created male and female, father and mother, because together they produced the ideal environment for a child. Together they represent the whole of God’s character. One is not better than the other. And two of one cannot replace the other.

In an analysis of over 100 studies on parent-child relationships, it was found that having a loving and nurturing father was as important for a child’s happiness, well-being, and social and academic success as having a loving and nurturing mother.

Focus on the Family

Here are some interesting distinctions about fathering:

  • Fathers spend a higher percentage of their one-to-one interactions with infants and preschoolers in stimulating, playful activity than do mothers. (Psychology Today)
  • A father who has a good relationship with the mother of their children is more likely to be involved … and to have children who are psychologically and emotionally healthier. (US Dept. of Health and Human Services, 10)
  • They also introduce them to a wider variety of methods of dealing with life. They tend to stress rules, justice, fairness, and duty in discipline. In this way, they teach children the objectivity and consequences of right and wrong. (Focus on the Family)

All of us have the ability, and probably the opportunity, to be role models for kids who need them. We need to step into the void for the greater good.

Dads, for instance, love their children “more dangerously.” That’s because they play “rougher” and are more likely to encourage risk-taking. They provide kids with a broader diversity of social experiences.

Focus on the Family

Dads, you are absolutely invaluable to the world, let alone to your own kids. (It’s cool that wrestling and pizza are your go-to activities.) Listening, affirming, challenging, and playing are essential life skills, and you do them like nobody else. Praise God for you (Read a prayer about God as a Father here.)

Dads, on behalf of the world’s fatherless,

Thank you.