Sonora Smart Dodd, the mother of Father’s Day, was first inspired to set aside a date on the calendar to honor dads in 1910 after hearing a Mother’s Day sermon the year before.

Sonora’s own father, William Jackson Smart, was twice widowed and yet managed to raise five children. She proposed a date in early June (his birthday month) to laud all fathers, but planning took time and they eventually landed on the third weekend.

In hindsight, the months set aside for Mother’s Day (May) and Father’s Day (June) seem to reflect the distinction between the two parents. Like moms, May has a gentle and tender beauty to it, especially in areas where spring is finally taking hold. June, like fathers, on the other hand, has something of a ruggedness to it. Especially as temperatures begin to rise and summer kicks in.

In recent years, there’s been all kinds of outrageous attempts to either diminish or disregard the value of dads. Equally bad, some have suggested mothers and fathers are interchangeable. It’s simply not true. Mothers are critical, but fathers hold families and cultures together, setting the pace and leading the way.

Bring up the subject of dads and you’ll inevitably think of your own. Whether still living or gone for five weeks or 25 years, you can probably still hear his voice and see him in real color. I’ve likely never met your dad, but if was a good one, I know him.

This is a father.

Fathers train their children (Proverbs 22:6), show compassion to them (Psalm 103:13), and bring them up in the instruction and discipline of the Lord (Ephesians 6:4).

Good dads don’t provoke (Col. 3:21) but will rejoice with their children (Proverbs 23:24) and recognize nothing in life will bring him as much satisfaction as knowing they are walking in truth (3 John 1:4).

The leader of the family is confident and provides his children with a refuge from the world (Proverbs 14:26). He walks in integrity (Proverbs 20:7), is strong and stands firm in his Christian faith (1 Cor. 16:13) and makes a firm decision to serve the Lord (Joshua 24:15).

Fathers step up whenever most other men sit down. They go to work when they’re tired, manage a smile when they’re grumpy, and cook when the children are hungry even though they aren’t yet ready to eat.

Great dads listen more than they talk, are curious about their children and their friends, are interested in what interests them, and make you feel like you’re the most important person in the world, with maybe the exception of the Lord or your mother.

Kids think their father is Superman, Batman, Iron Man, or even Popeye the Sailor Man. But dads know the truth. They worry about paying the bills, contributing to the college fund, being a good example, and making sure they love but don’t smother you. They don’t want to be held up as a superhero, they just want to make sure they don’t let their wife and children down.

He might be called “Dad,” “Daddy,” “Father,” “Pops,” “The Old Man,” or even “Sir.” He can dazzle you when you’re young, delight you when he’s old, and even frustrate you at any age from time to time.

But when he’s traveling and out of town, you can’t wait for him to come home, and when he goes to Heaven, you miss him like never before and yet are happy he’s no longer hurting.

“A good father is one of the most unsung, unpraised, unnoticed, and yet one of the most valuable assets in our society,” said Dr. Billy Graham. He was right.

Happy Father’s Day to all the dads, the quiet heroes of our day.


Image from Shutterstock.