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A Painful Father’s Day

Pain is the common lot of humanity. We cause most of our own pain directly or indirectly, and find the ultimate source of our deepest pain in the general human condition… caused, if one believes the Scriptures, by man.

Somehow, even in the church, we have bought into the idea that the way forward in life is to enshrine our pain, wallow in our pain, talk about our pain, empathize and sympathize with other people’s pain TO THE EXCLUSION OF sustaining a functioning society, having a sense of humor, being happy and looking beyond pain to find meaning in our life.

The Gospel has become a message of Jesus’ sympathy for our pain and his desire to help us each and every day to unpack it, understand it, weep over it, weep with others over it. Pain supersedes the call to discipleship and overwhelms the call to personal responsibility. Pain makes celebration “insensitive” and seeks to eradicate the recognition of achievement in others. Every moment in life is dedicated to the question, “What about my pain? What about their pain?” Pain on every level demands, we imagine, this kind of crippling dedication… like the pain of feeling offended, or left out, or left behind… like the horrible pain of disappointment, of being a disappointment, failure, and, almost as bad, the agony of delayed gratification, of having to make choices between two desires. This pain must be combated at almost any cost to society.

So, on Father’s Day, do we celebrate fathers and fatherhood, or feel the need to take a few moments out of any part of that celebration to recognize the pain of those who had less than perfect fathers, to berate those who are less than perfect fathers… and let’s be honest, when God the Father is the ultimate standard of fatherhood, what chance to do we have?

The interesting part of all of this is that FEW care about the pain of fathers on father’s day. They are the only one’s not invited to the national pity party on a day supposed to be about honoring THEM. This is par for the pity course, of course. Pain, by its nature, makes one painfully myopic.

Hence, a highly offensive shirt that makes its way around social media every year at fathers day… along with a host of other insulting anti-father sentiments. It reads, “Happy Father’s Day, Mom.” For the record, its sentiments reflects neither reality nor goodness. It is, and is intended to be, an insult to Father’s on Father’s Day. We already had Mother’s Day. You may not have had a good father figure, but your mother wasn’t a father figure either. If you don’t know that, then that explains why you refuse to honor, if nothing else, the power of Fatherhood on Father’s Day. Mothers make as pitiful of fathers, as fathers make as mothers. They are not the same. Weren’t intended to be by our all wise heavenly creator who gave to each a role to play in the stabilization and security of society and home alike. What we do with those roles is on us.

One thought on “A Painful Father’s Day

  1. Corey Flowers says:

    In a world of single mothers, people want to say that the mother is taking the place of the father. She’s doing her best to care for children on her own, but the fact is that a fathers job can only be done by father.

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