Fathers have a significant impact and play a vital role in the lives of their children. For their daughters, fathers help establish self-esteem, model how they should expect to be treated by the opposite sex, and provide a safe embrace when they are embarrassed, hurting, or afraid. For their sons, fathers help establish their views of fatherhood and marriage, model masculinity, and greatly influence their process of growing into manhood.

“According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 24 million children in America — one out of every three — live in biological father-absent homes.”[1]

Unfortunately, fatherlessness has become a crisis here in the United States.

So what can we do?

One thing we can do throughout the year is to regularly validate the efforts of fathers as they strive to influence the lives of their children in positive ways. We can recognize their contributions, tell them we’ve noticed, and celebrate the impact their involvement has on the futures of our boys and girls.

God’s Word has a lot to say about a father’s role. Not only does God model fatherhood throughout Scripture, He mentions the word father no less than 1800 times.

God demonstrates His great concern for the role of a father when He speaks of the orphans and widows (Deuteronomy 10:19; Psalm 10:17-18). He also speaks to the fact that it is the primary responsibility of fathers to oversee the spiritual welfare of their families (Joshua 24:15) teaching their children truth (Proverbs 4:1) and discipling them in love  (Ephesians 6:4). Fathers certainly have a great responsibility, and we should honor them for their efforts.

But, for some, Father’s Day is a hard day. Some of us have fathers who are no longer living and some have strained relationships with their fathers. For those who struggle on Father’s Day and throughout the year, due to a lack of a father’s love, know you are not alone and you are loved by the ultimate Father, God. God promises to be near to the brokenhearted and to comfort those who are hurting (Psalm 34:18).  Though you may not have an earthly father to celebrate, we can all celebrate our Heavenly Father –– who was, is, and always will be the perfect example of love. In fact, our Heavenly Father loved us so much that He sent His only Son Jesus into this world to save us from the penalty of our sins. He continues to unconditionally love us like no else can. So, just as we celebrate our earthly fathers, let’s be sure to honor and celebrate our Heavenly Father today.

“But now, O Lord, You are our Father, We are the clay, and You our potter; And all of us are the work of Your hand.”-Isaiah 64:8

How do you plan to celebrate your earthly and/or heavenly father throughout this year?

[1]Article, Statistics on the Father Absence Crisis in America, accessed 5/30/16, http://www.fatherhood.org/father-absence-statistics