An interesting history surrounds the establishment of Father’s Day as a national holiday. Though it sounds like a logical “next step” after officially recognizing Mother’s Day, the actual circumstance is quite different, involving one man’s daughter with tenacity and determination. Her name was Sonora Smart Dodd.
Sonora’s father, a Civil War soldier, was tasked with raising his family after his wife died following the birth of their sixth child. When Sonora sat in a church service that celebrated mothers and motherhood, she felt that fathers should have the same honor. Thus began her quest for a day to honor fatherhood. Initially a simple church service in 1910, over time, the event became a national tradition. Finally, in 1972, President Nixon proclaimed Father’s Day a permanent national holiday every third Sunday of June.
Father’s Day means different things to different people. For children like Sonora, it means recognizing and honoring a father for his faithful and sacrificial service to the family. For others, it is a reminder of the absence of a father, whether emotionally or physically. And with 1 in 3 children (+24 million) growing up in a home without their biological dad, for some fathers, it’s a day of pain and regret.
Thankfully, it’s not too late to make a positive change.
After celebrating Father’s Day this last weekend, evaluate the legacy you are leaving your children. Determine to affirm and encourage as well as instruct. If you face a particularly difficult situation, reach out to your pastor or other professional for guidance. If you are unsure how to be a great dad because you didn’t have a role model, seek out resources to strengthen your parenting and communication skills. And in all cases, let your kids know you love them.
Over the past few years, I have been blessed with two grandchildren. Often I look at my son, who is now a husband and a father, and wonder where the time has gone.
Fellow dads, don’t let these years slip away. Determine to be the best dad you can be. And always remember that it’s never too late.
Franklin Santagate is the Vice President of Pure Flix Global Strategic Alliances, which works with denominations, ministries, and organizations by finding common vision, assets, resources and influence. From that position, we create initiatives we can do together that we cannot do apart, reaching our mutual objectives and expanding the Kingdom of God. To discover more or to become a Pure Flix Global Strategic Alliance partner go to http://pureflixalliance.com/join/.