This is my second Father’s Day, by which I mean my second time being a father on this day. It’s an interesting day in that we don’t usually throw too much of a fit in its name. Mother’s Day turns into a day when we take mothers out to eat, clean the house, buy flowers, and Hallmark makes a fortune. I’m guessing most fathers don’t really long for a mushy card telling of the love and admiration of our children. Not that we don’t want to hear those things, but dudes are different. Most of us don’t cherish cards unless they are some hilarious farting card or something. Those are worth cherishing.
I guess when I first think of Father’s Day I think of the relationship behind the day. We’re not fathers until we have children. We can be awesome brothers, sons, uncles, nephews, but until we find ourselves holding our own children, we aren’t fathers. The day is full of relationship and intimacy. The title “father” only stands in for the relationship between child and father. There is no other meaning behind the title. You aren’t the father of anyone else. Your children are yours and you are their father. Be it by physical birth or adoption, your children are your children and there is nothing that can break that bond. Our culture makes it easy and accessible for the splitting of husband and wife, but that doesn’t cease the love and bond between parents and children. Just because there may be a piece of paper saying otherwise, fathers are always fathers to their children.
A friend of mine recently entered into the relationship of being a father. He has entered into uncharted waters because nobody has been the father to his daughter. Sure, we who are fathers can give tips and hints, but she is his daughter and he exclusively is her father. The love he feels for her will resonate with the love I have for my daughter, yet it will be completely different because she is different than my daughter. It will function similarly, but its form will look drastically different.
Father’s Day is named for fathers because of the relationship we stand in with our children and only our children. Let us not forget the reason we have for the privilege of being called fathers. Let us love with a love worthy of being called a father: sacrificially, humbly, and unconditionally.