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Jun 10, 2019

3 Keys to Loving Dad This Year and Every Year

Emily Cavins

Though President Nixon signed Father’s Day into law as a national holiday in 1972, God made it one of the Ten Commandments several millennia before that.

“Honor your father and mother that your days may be long in the land which the LORD your God gives you” (Exodus 20:12).

As summer hits full swing, we have a special time to honor our dads with a cookout, fishing or hiking, or a sweet-and-simple nap time.

Don’t forget, though: this is not just one day designated to honor your father. It’s a lifelong commitment! 

#3 – Respect Him

Whether you are at the stage of scribbling home-made cards for Dad, or signing legal papers for him because he is unable, you are called to honor him.

Of course it’s easier to honor Dad when he is strong and active, when he is still a helpful influence in our lives. But when he becomes less self-sufficient and uses poor judgment, then you need to honor him all the more by stepping up to the plate to make sure he and mom are well looked after and their affairs are in order.

We aren’t called to begin telling him what to do. We are called to continue to extend love even when he may not see things our way.

#2 – Pray for Him

And even after the death of a father, the need to honor him continues. We can do so through prayers for their souls, through forgiveness of offenses they may have caused, by loving their other children, by caring for their graves, for speaking well of them.

For many of us, unfortunately, the relationships with our fathers have been rocky ones, especially through our teen years, but we still are called to honor our fathers.

#1 – Forgive Him

For our living fathers of any age we have the opportunity to honor them in many of the same ways, especially in the area of forgiveness. Our fathers on earth fall very short of Our Father in heaven, so offering forgiveness and asking for forgiveness is one way we can live a fruitful and long life as Scripture promises. Find the joy, find the goodness, let go of the past. That is the best way to celebrate Father’s Day.

If you find you have unresolved anger or unforgiveness towards your father, The Great Adventure Bible study program Walking Toward Eternity: Daring to Walk the Walk has practical ways that you can overcome these hurdles in your life and have the relationship with your dad that you have always wanted.

Your father may not ever change, but if your own heart is right, your relationship with him will.

You May Also Like:

The Challenge of Fatherhood (video)

Four Ways for Catholic Fathers to Give Heroic Witness to Their Children

Bible Memory Table Tents for Fathers

Amazing Grace for Fathers (book)

A Message to Dads: An Image of Their Heavenly Father (with Jeff Cavins, MP3)

About Emily Cavins

Emily Cavins

Emily received her bachelor of arts degree in classical and Near Eastern archaeology from the University of Minnesota. She is a tour leader of annual pilgrimages to Israel and other Bible-related destinations. Emily is also the developer of the  Bible study resources, and co-author of The Great Adventure Storybook. She co-authored the Walking Toward Eternity Bible Study Series, Part One (Daring to Walk the Walk) and Two (Engaging the Struggles of Your Heart) with her husband, Jeff. Some of her other work includes: Great Adventure Kids, Lily of the Mohawks: The Story of St. Kateri, and Catholic Family Night, a series of lessons covering all three liturgical reading cycles with one lesson per week throughout the entire year. 

Emily lives in Minnesota with Jeff, her husband of over thirty years.

This blog post first appeared on The Great Adventure Blog ( on June 13, 2014. Find out more about Great Adventure Bible studies here or by clicking the banner below:

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