The Origin of Father's Day

Dee Abonmai XL *

The observation of the first Fathers' Day was started by a mother. Her name was Mrs John Bruce Dodd. She lived in the town of Spokane, Wash-ington in America. How then did she start this day?

It was in the year 1909 when she attended a Church on Mothers' Day in the month of May. When she heard her Pastor preaching about the love of mothers, she remembered her father's love. Her mother died when she was young. Her mother died leaving six children for their father to look after. Even without her mother, her father raised all the six children like a good Christian family. She painfully remembered how her father stuggled to feed and raise all the six children. Sitting in the Church she decided to give due honour to her father and all the father of the world.

Mrs Dodd went to the President of the Spokane Ministerial Association and said, "Every year we remember our mothers on Mother's Day, there-fore, every year you must select a special day for the fathers, and the Churches must observe the day of honour and praise for the fathers."

The Spokane Ministerial Association accepted the suggestion and selected the 3rd Sunday of June as Fathers' Day. It was the day of her father's Birthday.

When the Mayor of Spokane heard about the Fathers' Day, he immediately ordered the proclamation to observe the Fathers' Day. Later on, when the Governor heard that Spokane Church will be observing the Fathers' Day on the 3rd Sunday of June, he too declared in all the States to celebrate Father's Day.

William Jennings Byrant was an outstanding man in America. He suggested in the Senate that Fathers' Day should be observed as a National Holiday. Therefore, in the year 1924, Fathers' Day was annouched as a national holiday in America. President Calvin Coolidge, the 30th US President proclaimed the 3rd Sunday of June as Fathers' Day and said "Every family pays respect and honour to Dad."

Since then, people all over the world, especially Christians celebrate Fathers' Day with great enthusian. Mrs John Bruce Dodd was delighted when her wishes were fulfilled by all the families in America. After some years when people asked Mrs Dodd about her feelings she replied, "I think Fathers' Day should include family attendance at Church, a small gift for dad, and sharing with him some kind of words you have always wanted to tell him."

This is a great day for all fathers as Churches organise special services to honour father. As we celebrate Fathers' Day with special gifts, meals, flowers and prayers, it is a challenge to every father to check their all round contribution to their families and society. Happy Fathers' Day!

A Responsible Father
(I thess 2:8-12)

Vicky Huffinan wrote about her childhood relationship with her father in her book, plus living;

"My father through no fault of his own, wasn't there when I was born. He was an Air Force Pilot, away fighting World War TI. The war was nearly over when 1 arrived, but he didn't come home until I was two years old. He had crashed overseas and was hospitalised with burns for many months.

When he did return, we got off to a slow start. I was shy around a man because I had been around so few; he had never been around a baby. I was a little bit spoiled, and he expected his new found daughter to behave like a miniature soldier. Our relationship soon settled into a pattern that lasted for many years; he gave orders, and I took them. I lived in fear of bringing; down a cold military style wrath on my head. But I think he was just as fearful. He seemed to believe that showing emotion was a sign of weakness and would cause him to lose control of his family.

After I was married I finally put my fear of my father behind and tried to have a close relationship with him. But by then, thousands of miles kept us from having no more than annual visits. There never seemed to be enough time to demolish the concrete wall between us. We chipped away at it untill the time of his death from cancer a few years ago but it ever really fell.

I know my father loved me my mother told me he did. It would have been wonderful if he had told me himself more often. May be he didn't understand how much I needed to hear those words.

Studies have been done on people raised in all kinds of environment. Some were abused or physically deprived. Some were emotionally deprived. I was never abused or deprived of any physical comfort, but I was deprived of the love relationship that a child wants and needs from a father."

"Father, can you see the broken relationships here in this story? The work of making a home does not rest upon the mother alone. Fathers have an important part to play. The father is the head of the household. The wife looks to him for love and sympathy. The children look to the father for support and guidance. The father is to stand as a man with manly character and with his passions spirit in the home. Fathers, do not embitter your children, or they will become discouraged" (Co13:21).

The Father's duty to his children cannot be transferred to the mother because she has enough burden to bear. You as a father should not excuse yourself from your part in the work of educaing your children for life. You must share in the responsibility. Your kind, cheerful and encouraging words will prove more effective than the most healing medicines. Remember, your personal characteristics are passed down generation after generation.

Two contrast cases in point are worthy of our attention. "The father of Jonathan Edwards was a Minister and his mother was the daughter of a clergyman. Among their descendants were fourteen Presidents of college, more than one hundred college professors, more than one hundred clergy-man, missionaries and theology professors, and about sixty authors. There is scarcely any great American industry that has not had one of his family among its chief promoters. Such is the product of one American Christian family, reared under the most favourable conditions.

The contrast is presented in the juke's family. Their entire record is one of pauperism and crime, insanity and imbecility. Among their twelve hundred known descendants three hundred ten were professional paupers, four hundred forty were physically wrecked by their one wickedness, sixty three habitual thieves, one hundred thirty were convicted criminals, fifty five were victims of impurity only twenty learned a trade and ten of these learned it in a state prison, and this notorious family produced seven murderers. ; Overall their family cost the state of New York millions of dollar."

What qualities and character traits are you passing down to your children? Are you actively involved in knowing your children, guiding them towards maturity? Fathers, spend time with your children! Upon returning home from your business work, office you should find it a pleasant change to spend some time with your children.

Ellen G White says, "The father of boys should come into close contact with his sons, giving them the benefit of his larger experience and talking with them in such simplicity then see that he has their best interest, thier happiness, in view all the time."

Fathers, spend as much time as possible with your children. You will never know your child unless you take control of your schedule and plan time just to listen and disposition that you may know how to train your children in harmony with the word of God. Never should a word of discouragement pass your lips. Do not bring darkness into the home. Be pleasant, kind and affectionate toward your children; but not foolishly indulgent. In proverbs 13 :24, Solomon reminds all the fathers, "He who spares his rod hates his son, but he who loves him disciplines him diligently."

Too many fathers rely on punishment alone to discipline their children. But by doing that, they're neglecting to give their kids the assistance they need in understanding and applying God's word into their lives.

Father, combine affection with authority, kindness and sympathy with firm restraint. Give some of your leisure hours to your children; become acquainted with then associate with them in their work and in their sports and win their confidence. Cultivate friendship with them, especially with your sons. In this way you will be a strong influence for good. Fathers, how well-prepared are you to shape your children's wills with the wisdom of God's word. Are you training them in the way they should go or punishing them for going on the way they should? Train up a child in the way he should go, even when he is old he will not depart from it" (Pro 22:6).

How sad it is that many fathers have cast off their God-given responsibility to thier children, and are willing that strangers should bear it for them!

Fathers, you have your own responsibilities that no one can bear for you. As long as you live, you are accountable to God to keep His way. Fathers, who make the word of God their guide and who realise how much thier children depend upon them for the characters they form, will set an example that it will be safe for their children to follow.

* Dee Abonmai XL wrote this article for The Sangai Express. This article was posted on the eve of Father's Day 2011 on June 18 , 2011.

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