I have heard it said that Father’s Day is a made up holiday by the Hallmark Card Co. just to get people to spend money. I don’t know about that.
There has been a day to celebrate dads all the way back to the Middle Ages. In the Catholic tradition, there is a celebration to the man Joseph, the step-father of Jesus. Joseph is called the Nutritor Domini(Nourisher of the Lord). The Coptic Church has a ‘father’s day’ tradition that dates back to the 5th century. In 1966, President Lyndon B. Johnson issued the first presidential proclamation honoring fathers, designating the third Sunday in June as Father's Day. Six years later, the day was made a permanent national holiday when President Richard Nixon signed it into law in 1972. Hallmark may be capitalizing on something already in play.
The role of fathers in the lives of their children is one of the two most important roles in a child’s life. Moms and dads have the most important task and privilege they will ever have in their lives. It ought not be taken lightly, however, too often it is. Children don’t raise and train themselves. Moms and dads have the unique place in life of doing all they can to make young people into the best adults they possibly can.
In the biblical book of Proverbs, Solomon, the son of David, lays out wisdom for how to live life. Some of the advice is paragraphical while a majority is done through pithy statements. Solomon is deeply personal with the son he is addressing. While we don’t know specifically which son he may be talking to, maybe the word son is left general enough that the material is addressed to anyone who reads it and is interested in learning and growing in wisdom. Twenty-six times in the book Solomon speaks directly to “my son.” Predominantly at the beginning of the book, Solomon is interested in his son’s success, therefore is pointed in his direct and honest instruction. Solomon’s teaching and training has no boundaries —everything from money, to loans, to the use of our tongues, how we think, how we are to deal with sexual fidelity, how to be discreet, how not to be a fool, instead how to be a righteous, honorable, and life-giving person.
As moms and dads we really don’t need to reinvent the wheel on what to teach our children, Solomon pretty much lays it all out just fine. Let’s use the book of Proverbs as a road map for our parenting and child rearing success. It is all over before we know it. And really our kids are only on loan to us for the time they are in our home.