Father’s Day is a bittersweet day for me. As the June date rolls around, I will celebrate it as one of my favorite days of the year. Why? Because I truly feel I have three of the greatest kids in the world. All three will be in college next year (yeah, Rachel and I could have been a little more strategic with our family planning), and I am so excited to see how God leads their impending adulthood. On the other hand, I have never met my own father. My parents divorced before I was born and he basically ditched my mom and me. While I don’t know the pain of a bad dad like many of you do, the pain of a 100% absent dad is still real. I am thankful that the lack of a dad drove me to be the best dad I could possibly be and to look to my heavenly Father as my role model for being a dad.
This Father’s Day let me encourage you to do three things (the principles apply to moms, too!):
- Show your love, respect and gratitude for your father. If you were a fan of the show Parenthood and you watched the last episode, you heard from the patriarch, Zeke, what all dads want to hear. He asked his wife, “We did good, didn’t we?” She promptly replied, “Yes, yes we did.” Let your dad, grandpa, husband, step-dad in your life know that he did good. (Sorry Judson English teachers for my poor grammar there. At least I know it ain’t right!)
- As a dad, reflect Jesus. Even though Jesus wasn’t a dad in his earthly form, he does show us the traits that we need to model for our kids. Jesus modeled love, compassion, servanthood, leadership, humility and more. Pray for and work hard at exhibiting the fruits of the Spirit found in Galatians 2 of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Being a dad that prays for and with your kids and their mom is crucial as well.
- Look to your heavenly Father for wisdom. Being a dad is hard. Every once in a while there is an easy dad decision. Somehow, though, most of those easy decisions still have a difficult aspect to them. Most of our decisions, coaching and discipline requires a tremendous amount of wisdom. The book of James has great wisdom when it tells us to ask our heavenly Father when we need wisdom. Don’t rely on your manager training, your education or anything else. Those skills are helpful, but the real wisdom you’ll need comes from your heavenly Father.
Have a fantastic Father’s Day. I pray that it exemplifies the values reflected above both this year and in the years to come.
-Eric Rojas, Class of 1990, Executive Pastor at Christ Community Church in St. Charles, IL