Greetings from the good folks at the Red Roof Church in Bulverde, Texas. My name is Lee Harder, the senior pastor at St. Paul Lutheran, wishing you God’s blessings and joy in the week of Father’s Day. I would personally like to invite you to join us this Sunday as we celebrate our heavenly Father and His continual love for us shown every day. We worship at 8:30AM and 10:45 AM with a focus on Scripture because we are a family of believers Where God’s Word Is Heard every week. There’s something for all ages. If you can’t join us in God’s house, then visit us at our web site and watch our worship celebrations there. You just might decide the Red Roof Church is the place to make your spiritual home.
Sunday, June 16th is Father’s Day. I’ve noticed that Father’s Day doesn’t seem to have the same high priority as other holidays. In contrast, Mother’s Day is a huge deal. If one forgets Mother’s Day you can be pretty sure that life is coming to an end. At the very least, you will be in the dog house until Father’s Day rolls around and only then will you possibly receive a pass to get out of the hot water you have been consigned to since that day in May.
There can be little doubt that a billion dollar industry has been made out of Mother’s Day. I mean the cards (and there seem to be no cheap ones—not that I would ever consider buying a cheap card for my wife or mother), the flowers (thanks goodness for HEB here in Texas which provides a storehouse of cut flowers for any emergency need, including Mother’s Day), special meals (as in taking the whole family out to brunch or a nice restaurant), candy, and don’t forget the jewelry (personally my favorite if one plans ahead, which I wisely did). Dad is lucky to get a card and a tool (which one never can turn down, since there are never enough tools). Don’t forget, he can also go out to grill as the family gathers on his special day.
The marginal status of our day, guys, is somewhat self inflicted. Men have allowed themselves to become so de-masculinized it’s hard to recognize ourselves. In fact, the whole culture has marginalized the male, a man, into something to be shunned at all cost if we fail to fit the culture’s feminized version. We get no recognition at all and if we are noticed, we are looked upon as a sub-species. Sometimes I think the LGBTABCXYZ communities are more favorably received by our culture than a man’s man is accepted. Just look at the shopping parking lots. They have places for the handicapped (not totally there yet), pregnant mothers (heh, I’m carrying around a lot of extra weight too) or mother’s with kids. Where is the spot close to the entrance for “old, over-weight guys”? I won’t even begin to discuss the commercials on TV. The only things we get recognition for is erectile dysfunction and low T, incontinence, and the latest old people’s drugs. Oh, and balding. But there’s more.
Look, I’m of the opinion that since God made us different, male and female, He intended us to be the way we are. He gave each one a different set of operational specks upon which to function. They are different. That’s okay. I suspect the reason God made us different is because He intended for us to compliment one another in a partnership that makes the sum greater than the parts. I think that’s a good thing. So what if we have different ways of communicating or problem solving (Men tend to operate like waffles doing things one square at a time, while women function like spaghetti, multi-tasking in the extreme, but still getting a mountain of stuff done). We just need to respect each other’s approaches.
I am also a firm believer in women and children first — in the life boats and in everything else. The role of man, husband, and father is to protect, cherish, and provide for our families. If that means sacrificing ourselves for the benefit of those we love, then so be it. That doesn’t mean we lord it over the family, in particular our wives because that’s not working in a partnership. We guys do our things and the gals do theirs. (Oh, that’s right, that kind of talk is sexist too. Like I care.) As I mentioned a few weeks ago, I’ve seen my wife’s job and I don’t want it. I don’t think she wants mine either.
We fathers have an important role to play. We need to step up to the plate and take on the responsibility we were created for by God to be a provider, a protector and, most importantly, an example for which our wives & mothers can be proud, and our children can look up to as a pattern on how to live their lives.
We don’t need cards or gifts as much as an “I love you, dad!” or “I’m glad your there, dad!” or “Happy Father’s Day! Wish we could be together.”
And those are my thoughts.
God bless and don’t forget to thank the father of us all who does everything for us. Thank you, Lord!
Pastor Lee R. Harder