As the father of two amazing kids, I love Father’s Day. Being a father is one of the greatest and most rewarding things that I have ever experienced. I love taking pictures with my kids, getting gifts and cards, and celebrating the father/child bond on that third Sunday in June. It’s a special day for me and for countless others.
In recent years, however, I have become increasingly aware that a large number of children in my Kids Ministry do NOT look forward to Father’s Day. For some, it is because they have lost their father to death. I have several children whose father died of cancer or some other disease recently. For others, it is because their Dad abandoned their family. Dad left, and he hasn’t been in any regular contact with the children in years. Still others have NEVER known their father. They are the child of a single mother who is trying to raise them the best she can – on her own.
While I am a definite advocate of honoring Dads on Father’s Day, of celebrating those men who are faithful to their wives and children, and of heralding the uncles, cousins, and neighbors who serve as “Adopted Dad” for many of these children…I don’t want to allow Father’s Day to go by without remembering these hurting children need special ministry on this weekend. As my friend, Linda Ranson Jacobs wrote in her recent article, “It’s hard to teach a little boy or girl to honor fathers when their father isn’t present, has deserted them or hurt them. So many church leaders will shy away from including these children. These are the very children that we need to concentrate on when Father’s Day rolls around.”
So, this Father’s Day as you give honor to fathers, remind the children who have no earthly father to honor and celebrate that they have a HEAVENLY FATHER that is worthy of honor and celebration.
Teach these children that:
God is a PERFECT FATHER…
Your Heavenly Father is the absolute PERFECT Father. He will never break a promise. He will never hurt you. He will never treat you badly. He will NEVER leave you (Hebrews 13:5). He is absolutely PERFECT in every way.
God has a PERFECT LOVE…
Because God is your Perfect Father, He loves you with a perfect love. He’s not like those who told you they loved you, but then when you did something they didn’t like, they withheld their love from you. God’s love is so much bigger and stronger than anything we have ever imagined. The Bible says that “God IS love.” (1 John 4:8) That means that He has so much perfect love for you that it’s as if LOVE is all that He is made of. He IS love. His love is perfect.
The best part is, no matter what you do, His love stays the same. You might think, “Well, what if I let God down and make a mistake and sin? Will He still love me then?” The answer is, “YES!” God’s perfect love never fails and it never stops. No matter how much you ignore Him, disobey Him, or hurt Him – God still loves you with His perfect love. That’s what makes Him such a PERFECT FATHER.
God has a PERFECT PLAN…
Not only is God a perfect Father who has a perfect love for you, but He has a perfect plan for your life (Jeremiah 29:11). When you go to build a building, you don’t start without a plan. If you do, your building will probably turn out looking pretty messed up. You need to know exactly what you want it to be before you start, right? Just like that, God had a plan for you before the world was created. It’s true.
God had a perfect plan for you even before you were born (Jeremiah 1:5). He knew who your friends would be, what you would grow up to become, and every little detail about you. God’s perfect plan for you is what you need to follow. If you want to know what His plan is for your life, just ask Him (James 1:5). He speaks to you through the Bible and in your heart and thoughts. He will help you make decisions. He will help you do all the things that will help you become more of the person that He planned for you to be.
The best news of all? There is nothing that anyone else can do to stop God’s plan for you. The devil can’t stop it, people can’t stop it, nothing can stop it (Job 42:2).
I know that you may be in a home where you don’t have a Dad. That can really be hard and painful. But, NEVER FORGET that God is your perfect Heavenly Father who loves you with a perfect love and has a perfect plan for your life. He will be there for you no matter what. “He will never leave you nor forsake you.”
THAT is the message we ALL need to remember this Father’s Day. Share that message with the children in your ministry who are living without a father. Remind them that their Heavenly Father loves them this Father’s Day…and every single day of their lives!