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Articles > Marriage and Family: > The Story and Purpose of Father's Day

The Story and Purpose of Father's Day

Wishing All Fathers a very Happy Father's Day

"Fathers, do not embitter your children, or they will become discouraged."1

According to an article on the Holistic Living web site, "Sonora Dodd, of Washington, first proposed the idea of a 'father's day' in 1909. Dodd was inspired with the idea of Father's Day while listening to a Mother's Day sermon at church. She wanted a special day to honor her father, William Smart. William Smart, a Civil War veteran, was widowed when his wife (Mrs. Dodd's mother) died in childbirth with their sixth child. Mr. Smart was left to raise the newborn and his other five children by himself on a rural farm in eastern Washington state. It was after Mrs. Dodd became an adult that she realized the strength and selflessness her father had shown in raising his children as a single parent.

"The first Father's Day was observed on June 19, 1910 in Spokane, Washington. At about the same time in various towns and cities across America, other people were beginning to celebrate a 'father's day.' In 1926 President Calvin Coolidge supported the idea of a national Father's Day. Finally in 1966 President Lyndon Johnson signed a presidential proclamation declaring the 3rd Sunday of June as Father's Day [for the U.S.A]. It has since been adopted by Canada, Europe and several other countries.

"Father's Day has become a day to not only honor your father, but all men who act as a father figure. Stepfathers, uncles, grandfathers, and adult male friends are all to be honored on Father's Day."2

I wish it were true that every one of us had a father like Sonora Dodd had because, in spite of what many women's libbers and same-sex marriage advocates are claiming to the contrary, the role of a healthy, emotionally involved father (and mother) is critical for the emotional healthy development of both boys and girls.

"According to Dr. T. Berry Brazelton [child development expert], a father's involvement with a child increases the child's IQ, the child's motivation to learn, and the child's self-confidence. In addition, children with involved dads are more likely to develop a sense of humor as well as an 'inner excitement.'"3

And for all fathers on this Father's Day, let us not only appreciate the love of our childrenóand grandchildrenóbut let us also realize the importance and responsibility of the God-given role we have been entrusted with in the emotional development and health of our children.

Suggested prayer, "Dear God, as a father please help me to realize the role of my God-given responsibility and be the best possible father I can be. And if in any way I have failed to be the father I should have been, please forgive me, and help me wherever possible to do whatever I need to do to restore my relationship with my children. And thank You for all the love that I do receive from them. Thank You for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus's name, amen."

1. Colossians 3:21, (NIV).
2. Compiled from several sources on the internet by Bob Proctor. Cited on Holistic Living web site.
3. Source: Victor Parachin, "The Fine Art of Good Fathering," Herald of Holiness, February 1995, pp. 32-33.


All articles on this website are written by
Richard (Dick) Innes unless otherwise stated.

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