By Carolyn Tomlin
Contributing Writer, B&R
When I was a small child, my father often called me to help him with a task. Sometimes it was holding a board he was sawing with a hand saw. Another time, he needed me to help plant corn in the family garden. And I recall the numerous times I was called to sit on the ice cream freezer, holding it down, while my father turned the hand-crank as the custard hardened.
Looking back, he could have accomplished all these things by himself. But with his daughter nearby, we could talk and laugh about things. It wasn’t my skills he needed; it was my presence.
This Father’s Day, instead of the fancy package with beautiful paper and ribbon, how can we honor those men in our lives who have given us so much? The answer is by giving them our ‘Time.’ Give experiences, not things. Could some of these ideas work for your father?
• Plan a mini-vacation or a get away weekend. Does your dad enjoy the outdoors? Would a fishing trip to a beautiful lake or stream be of interest?
• Rent an RV or travel trailer and hit the road. Cook your food over an open fire and spend hours talking. Plan a daily devotion time and thank God for giving you this Christian dad.
• Attend a Bible study class together at your church. Encourage others to bring their dads as your pastor teaches from the Scriptures.
• Volunteer with your dad to help those in your community who have special needs. Do you know someone who needs a wheelchair ramp so they can become more independent? Are there people who need transportation to church services?
• Attend church together this Father’s Day and sit in a family group. Thank God for giving you a dad who has made a positive impact on your life.
• If your father has gone on to be with God, honor his memory by a service project in your church or community. Or, give a donation in his memory to your church.
• Write your father a personal letter, thanking him for the hard work he has done in giving you a good life.
• Make a collage of photos from his life. Include those early pictures from his childhood, your father and mother with your siblings, and other relevant memorabilia. Place in a frame and hang in a place of honor.
In praise of fathers, Billy Graham said, “A good father is one of the most unsung, unpraised, unnoticed and yet one of the most valuable assets in our society.” Often our dads do not receive the praise they have earned. Yet, a Christian father is instrumental in teaching his children to walk with God. One of the Ten Commandments in Exodus 20:12 says, “Honor your father and your mother so that you may have a long life in the land that the Lord your God is giving you.”
Giving the gift of your presence is the best way to wish dad a “Happy Father’s Day.” B&R Tomlin, of Jackson, writes for numerous Christian publications and is married to Matt Tomlin, a Baptist minister. Email: email@example.com.