“Any Man Can Be a Father… But It Takes Someone Special to Be a Dad”
As we are celebrating Fathers Day today, I thought it would be appropriate to give a shout out to our fathers – or, rather to our dads – all across this great nation. Fathers Day originated in 1909 when Sonora Smart Dodd, a loving daughter from Spokane, WA, convinced the Spokane Ministerial Association and the local YMCA to help promote her cause. When she was only 16 years old, her mother died in childbirth while delivering her sixth child. Dodd’s father, a Civil War veteran, reared the five children – along with the newborn baby – all alone with great love and care, while also working a full-time job. As Dodd was sitting in church observing the celebration of mothers on their special day in 1909, her heart yearned for devoted men to be recognized for their commitment to their children as well. Making this her personal crusade, she did convince key supporters in her area to help promote her cause, and the first Fathers Day was celebrated the following year on Sunday, June 19, 1910. In 1972, President Richard Nixon declared Fathers Day as a national holiday to be celebrated on the third Sunday in June each year.
All across this nation, the acute need for more “dads” has become increasingly important over the past half century. For far too long, the repercussions of “fathers” not taking the responsibility for the children they help to create has taken its toll on the quality of life in our nation. In the United States, it is estimated that 15 million children live without a father in their home. That’s a staggering number, especially when one considers that is one out of every three children who do not have the security and benefit of a two-parent family. The love, attention, and guidance that a father provides for his family is so important, yet our society has become selfish. Too many fathers put their own personal interests ahead of those of his children. Fathers fill a very important role… or, rather they should. They provide prospective, thoughts, behavior, examples, care, and guidance that are unique to the male role model. The effects of absent fathers has been felt throughout our society, as it often manifests itself in one or more of the following: increased school dropout rates; increased teen pregnancies; increased drug and alcohol addictions; anger and abusive relationships; unemployment; and, increased social, mental, and physical problems, to name a few. A child from a home where no father figure is present is twice as likely to drop out of school before graduation and about seven times more likely to experience a teen pregnancy. Children from fatherless homes are many times more likely to become incarcerated at some point in their lives… and, usually at a much earlier age. And, more often than not, this cycle tends to repeat itself generation after generation.
On the other hand, a father’s presence and positive influence in the home helps to prepare their child(ren) to become more healthy, productive, and happy citizens. And, after all, isn’t that what most “dads” want for their children?
HAPPY DADS DAY… wherever you are! We applaud you and your willingness to accept the responsibility for your children! To the world you may be only one person; but, to one person – namely your child – you ARE the world!
What Makes a Dad?
God took the strength of a mountain, the majesty of a tree,
The warmth of a summer sun, the calm of a quiet sea,
The generous soul of nature, the comforting arm of night,
The wisdom of the ages, the power of the eagle’s flight,
The joy of a morning in spring, the faith of a mustard seed,
The patience of eternity, the depth of a family need.
Then God combined these qualities, and when there was nothing more to add,
He knew His masterpiece was complete… and, so He called it “Dad.”
- Author Unknown