A Wise Father: On Father’s Day

The evening times. (Grand Forks, N.D.), 30 July 1910. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress.

Father’s Day is celebrated on the third Sunday in June. The idea of an annual celebration was conceived by Sonora Smart Dodd (Mrs. John Bruce Dodd) of Spokane, Washington, in the first part of the 20th century. Dodd lost her father, William Jackson Smart, in 1910. In the two decades following the death of his wife in the late 1890s, Smart became both father and mother to Dodd and her five brothers.

Dodd believed fathers, like mothers, deserved to have a special day. In tribute to the memory of her father, she wanted to recognize all fathers on the third Sunday in June, the day of her father’s death. Thus, Father’s Day was born!

The news of a Father’s Day celebration quickly spread. The spirit of the day seemed to touch the hearts of people even in faraway countries.

What is fatherhood, and who is a wise father?

The dictionary defines father as “a male parent.” Then, if we look up the word “parent,” it is defined as “the source of a living thing.” So, the basic definition of a father would be, a man who participates in the biological process of producing another human being.

But there is more to being a father than that. Yes, there is much more to being a father than simply siring a child.

Several years ago, I saw a bumper sticker that said something like this: “Any man can be a father. It takes a special man to be a daddy.”

A wise father is not only a procreator but also a provider. He furnishes his family with the necessities of life. Children may not have everything they want, but they have what they need. Through his continuous labor and consistent devotion, he gives his children a suitable house, necessary clothing and sufficient food.

A wise father is an educator, an inspirer and an enabler, who cares for, shares with, loves and guides his children. He is neither permissive nor brutal. He knows that discipline and guidance are woven into the very fabric of life. He supervises the activities of the home within the bounds of good taste morally, socially, recreationally and spiritually.

A wise father considers his children as a sacred trust from God and acts as an indebted and responsible steward to the sovereign owner, God. He keeps himself physically healthy and morally pure. He sets a good example of a well-rounded person who is a worthy model for his children.

A wise father is one who teaches his children by precept and personal example that both he and his offspring are the children of a Heavenly Father whose love surpasses all human love, that their greatest need is a vital and personal relationship with God.

Fatherhood is a great privilege and calling from God. But like any privilege, it is a great responsibility.

Children, on the other hand, have certain obligations and responsibilities toward their father. Yes, a father’s love should be reciprocated by his children. Children can express their love visibly and vocally. They can express their love not only in words, but also through thoughtful gestures and kind deeds. In these ways, children can bring honor to their father and keep the family name in high esteem. Above all, fathers and their children should recognize and worship their Heavenly Father, the Father of all creation.

Rev. Dr. Vahan Tootikian

Rev. Dr. Vahan Tootikian

Rev. Dr. Vahan H. Tootikian is the Executive Director of the Armenian Evangelical World Council.
Rev. Dr. Vahan Tootikian

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