Father’s Day is one of those days. It strikes each one of us differently. Some have fond memories of their childhood because their Dad was the guy who played catch with them and then followed-up the fun with a quick trip to DQ for a twist cone. Others have sketchy memories because their childhood was dotted with moments of laugther and long periods without Dad around. Still others had a father whose behavior was so offensive it didn’t even endear him to a grace-giving child.
Looking past these quick caricatures of the father you had—or didn’t have—is risky for any community of faith. The relationship we had with our earthly father deeply influences our view of God, the way we treat our spouse, the way we parent our own children, the way we view work, and the way we view ourselves. (Just a few rather important things!)
Because of this, Father’s Day gives you a starting point for some rich discussion for your next small group meeting. Likely, this discussion won’t be easy, but it could be a discussion that just might open up deeper realities about the people and the stories represented in your small group community.
As you move into this disucussion, encourage your group members to consider the words of James about the consistent nature of our heavenly Father.
“Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.”
Earthly fathers impact each one of us deeply—some help, some hurt, some harm. In the face of our own personal experience, strive to help your small group engage with the reality of their fatherly experience. And then, turn to the steady trustworthy character of our Heavenly Father.