Friday, 17 June 2011

Thoughts about Fathers Day

Sunday is Father's Day!
I always find it difficult to know how to acknowledge and even celebrate  these days in our Sunday services.
Sometimes we do a church family service which in many ways makes things a bit easier to plan. This year however we did our all age  service on Pentecost Sunday here
I always worry though for those who have not got a dad(or perhaps never even known their dad) ,for those dads'who have lost children, or even lost touch with their children,for those men who would love to have had children and either because they never met the right person, or for reasons of infertility, never had the children they longed for.( Contrary to the modern myth many men also  grieve for the children they never had). I also think of those whose relationships with their dad was poor.
Perhaps I am just over sensitive. I do want to celebrate fatherhood and acknowledge just how important fathers are; but how to do it without unintentionally hurting others?( I know some women who go for a long walk on Mothers day rather than face church)

Amazingly it is now almost 5 years since my dad died.He always wanted to be a painter (his self portrait above and picture of his studio below) but ended up in business which he didn't love

His values were different from mine (when I told him I had become a Christian he said " Don't worry I was a communist for 6 months at your age!") and his self published autobiography is called
" sins ancient and modern " but he was my dad and I still miss him and will think about him on Fathers Day and indeed most other days too


  1. it is difficult isn't to strike the balance and, maybe, because we are the 'Pastors' we are priviledge to know more about people's personal lives,circumstances and the pain that they hide - that striking that balance becomes more sensitive.

    Thank you for your thoughts - brave of you to post them and will, indeed, think of you this Father's Day. lots of love, Judyx

  2. I am sure you are right Judy in the first paragraph of your comment

  3. Charles, just a thought- but maybe being a "father" is more than a biological fact- so that men who are not fathers need not feel excluded? I honestly think it IS about character. If a man in the church is a good role model for the young lads, then that is a "fatherly" role. Many football coaches and other sports coaches can be fatherly! Maybe "fatherliness" can be defined by certain qualities- protectiveness,encouragement, wisdom to give advice, strength - not just physical but strength of character.
    God is our Father, but as you say, some people don't have good relationships with their fathers so that is a challenge for the church (another one!) to be a family for those who do not have good memories of family life. I got on well with my father (who worked as a clerk for the Railway- GWR then, I think- later British Rail. He was based at Coton Hill, Shrewsbury, later at Market Drayton, when it had a railway! My father was a peacemaker in the family.

  4. I think you have a good point there Pauline and its so true role models are very important

  5. My father was a dedicated medical physician.I was often at his clinic at the mezzanine of International House in Ongpin street (Kok tse tai ha). His long-time receptionist/nurse was Ely.He was an avid golfer.i even dreamt about him wearing his favorite yellow shirt and golf shorts.i inherited his golf clubs & bag.I will never forget that day he celebrated my 33rd bday in our house before he flew to Del Monte bukidnon to play golf.he passed away while swinging.He was a charmer.

  6. I don't think you are over sensitive, you are simply acknowledging the reality of human relationships and how inadequate they are at showing God to us!

  7. Washington Street groaner your dad sounds as if he was quite a character!

    -Sally thanks for the comment your right about the inadequacy of human relationships to show God to us. Dad and I had a good relationship but it was always one completely on his terms .i had to understand and accept that ,

  8. I don't think you're being over-sensitive either. I blogged on exactly this issue yesterday, speaking from the viewpoint of a childless man.

    When I preached on Christian belief in God the Father, I tried to make it clear that it is God who defines fatherhood, not our fathers - good or bad - who define God.

  9. Thanks Radical Believer for your comment
    I agree with your point and it was good to read your blog post posted yesterday!