Father’s Day: Celebrating Recovery

Celebrating Father’s Day (the same as Pastor Appreciation Day) is okay, especially when the father has understood his role as a dad and was faithful to live it out to his children from their births. But I don't see that happening in our culture. Maybe that is because I deal with so many in counseling who are broken because of the failed leadership in their lives, beginning with their parents.

It is the role of parents to serve their children as a resource, even into their later years, as long as they have health to do so. I talk with older parents who are disappointed and bitter because they parented with the expectation of being served by their children ("after all I have done for them" - which, by the way, was only material and did not include meeting their temperament needs per Proverbs 22:6, "Train up a child to meet his needs consistent with the way he is tempered or bent").

I understand that expressing gratitude to imperfect parents is appropriate when children genuinely appreciate some aspects of their childhood. (Although some children are understandably angry and very bitter, so disconnect totally. I don't think they owe their parents anything that was not earned, despite what religious legalism says.)

Several years ago, I wrote that Father's Day is a good time for fathers who have failed (but are in recovery) to celebrate their new understanding and commitment to serve as a resource to their children in whatever way is possible and age appropriate. That is the reason I always pay when I celebrate with those I am called to serve, and especially on Father’s Day. At my age, that is everyone. I have no pastor or mentor to pay my fare.

Also, I do not accept personal gifts or services from those I counsel. I do the gift giving, including my counseling time. If counselees are helped and want to give, I suggest to them to seek for ways to give (pass on) to others what they have received. This may mean they want to give to support the work of GracePoint so that others can be helped, which some do.

Don Loy Whisnant/Journey Notes 10F20