Father’s Day is often considered the poor cousin of Mother’s Day. It’s marked with socks and Bunnings Vouchers rather than flowers and chocolates. Restaurants are booked out weeks if not months in advance for Mother’s Day… not so for Father’s Day (at least in a normal year, but who knows what it’ll be like this year!)
More seriously, though, in our society, the experience of absent, neglectful or abusive fathers is much more common than the experience of absent, neglectful or abusive mothers, and this leads many people to find it hard to relate to God as God the Father.
For many of us the, our own fathers have been an example of fatherly strength and fatherly love – fatherly strength and fatherly love that reflect God’s strength and love – but in popular culture, fathers, even the good ones, are often stereotyped and the subject of satire and ridicule.
So let us be mindful of the fathers and father figures in our lives, and let those of us who are fathers (and father figures, and grandfathers, and great-grandfathers!) be mindful of reflecting God’s fatherly love and strength in our own lives.
On Fathers’ Day we should pray for all fathers everywhere:
• for new fathers, coming to terms with new responsibility ;
• for fathers awaiting the birth of their first child, wondering and waiting;
• for those who are tired, stressed or depressed;
• for those who struggle to balance the tasks of work and family;
• for those who are struggling to support children;
• for those whose children have physical, mental or emotional disabilities;
• for those who raise children on their own;
• for those who have lost a child;
• for those who care for the children of others;
• and for those whose desire to be a father has not been fulfilled.
Ask God to bless and strengthen all fathers, so that their love may be deep and tender, reflecting the love that God has shown for all his children.