Arena Men, 

Father’s Day Origins

Father’s Day has its origins in the Middle Age of Europe, especially in Catholic regions where it was celebrated on March 19th as Saint Joseph’s Day.  Father’s Day migrated to the United States, where it was first celebrated on the third Sunday of June in 1910. The day is held on various dates across the world and different regions maintain their own traditions of honoring fatherhood.

         My first celebration of the day was in 1994 shortly after the birth of my oldest son, James, and my most recent was yesterday. It was a good day. I am now reaping the rewards of parenting in the Stress Bubble when the boys were younger and still in the home.

Bad Dad’s Club

But not all of us had good dads. Some of us had horrible fathers.

         If you don’t believe me listen to our recent interview on the Men in the Arena Podcast with National Coalition of Ministries to Men president, Jim Whitmore entitled, “Your Bad Father is No Excuse for Your Poor Fathering.”

         You will be blown away.

For the past year a young man has lived with us as he finished up his bachelor’s degree. He was adopted from Africa at the age of three, at 10 his father began sexually violating him and was sentenced to almost two decades in prison.

         But this young man is a fighter, and those involved in his healing are very proud of the man he is today. Through a horrible set of circumstances, the young man gave his life to Jesus, and is growing in his relationship with his heavenly Father. Can you imagine the impact he will have one day (Romans 8:28)?

The One Thing. The Most Important Thing.

Father’s Day 2021 was a good day. We went to church, my sons took me on a local 3D Archery course, then we went home for slow cooked Axis Deer shanks in homemade adobada sauce and simply enjoyed being together. I received beautiful cards filled with words of love and affirmation that I added to my bookmark collection (I use all cards as bookmarkers and add them to my library).

         I’ve been reflecting on the words of a church elder Sunday that, “Good fathers show up.” I couldn’t agree more. Whether you are a “Christian,” atheist, practice social justice, or any other religious practice, all will agree that good dads show up. Whether you are rich, poor, black, white, North American or North Korean, good dads show up.

Jesus Shows Up

In the Gospel of John, we are confronted with a story about Jesus. He had walked over 20 miles by noon (in Birkenstocks) and in the heat of the day the Bible says, “And He had to pass through Samaria. So He came to a city of Samaria called Sychar, near the parcel of ground that Jacob gave to his son Joseph; and Jacob’s well was there. So Jesus, being wearied from His journey, was sitting thus by the well. It was about the sixth hour. There came a woman of Samaria to draw water. Jesus said to her, ‘Give Me a drink.’ For His disciples had gone away into the city to buy food(John 4: 4-8).

         You know what happens next! It is amazing what happens when dads show up to shoot hoops with their sons after work. It is inspiring when dads get off work early to watch their children play sports. It is exemplary when dads coach their children in sports even if they never played themselves. It is kingdom-shaking when dads show up with their families at church on Sunday (especially Father’s Day)!

         When a man gets it—when a man shows up—everyone wins.

Best Father

If you want to learn more about showing up as a father, order your copy of my NEW Amazon #1 bestseller, Strong Men Dangerous Times.

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