Peace family, Father’s Day is a wonderful day to honor dads, but it can be especially difficult for people who lose dads, whether to death, emotional conflict, or divorce.
Our friend Gary Roe, chaplain with Hospice Brazos Valley, says if you’ve lost your father to death, don’t dread this holiday. Instead, use it. Use it to honor your Dad, to say thank you to him. Light a candle in his honor. Write him a letter. Visit the grave site. Tell stories about him somehow. Speak his name, because as you do and as you remember him, it will help you to heal. Gary says that as you honor your father, you are actually honoring God as well.
If you’re in the other boat, and you’ve lost your father to relational conflict or perhaps, he just disappeared on you somehow, there are two things that you can do this Father’s Day. First, forgive. That’s hard, but if you are a Christian, Jesus Christ lives in you and he is an expert at forgiveness. He can empower you to do this, and lack of forgiveness hurts only us. It only takes you to forgive; you don’t need your father’s permission to do that. Just forgive.
The other thing that you can do, is to go ahead, take the risk, and reach out to that dad who is estranged or disappeared. Call, text, write if you’ve got an address, and just say, “Happy Father’s Day.” Gary says it doesn’t need to be much more than that, and just that can mean a lot. Of course, there are exceptions. He says if perhaps it was an abusive relationship with your father, maybe it’s not a good idea to reach out, but seek God about that.
Gary says that the thing he loves most about Father’s Day, is that no matter how our earthly fathers were, whether good, not-so-good, indifferent, or terrific, we have an ultimate Father in Heaven who we can celebrate this Father’s Day, who never leaves us, is always there, always loves us, and attends every event and every significant time we will ever have in our lives, and that is good news.
Click below to listen to Gary Roe chat with Peace 107’s Brian and Kat: