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Celebrating Father’s Day: Men honoured for being pillars of families

BY: Severious Kale-Dery
Celebrating Father’s Day: Men honoured for being pillars of families
Celebrating Father’s Day: Men honoured for being pillars of families

Father's Day is celebrated annually on the third Sunday of June in many countries including the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Europe, India and Pakistan.

Australia and New Zealand, however, celebrate fathers on the first Sunday of September.

The day is celebrated to honour fathers, celebrate fatherhood and acknowledge the influential role of fathers in society. It gives us the opportunity to pay tribute to the fathers, stepfathers, grandfathers and father figures who lift us up on their shoulders so that we can reach our full potential.

Father's Day gives us the opportunity to honour the men who help shape our character through their love, guidance and devotion. Dads and father-figures across the world sacrifice to support their families and to ensure that their children can lead fulfilling lives.

Different countries celebrate this day on different dates, though more than 111 countries have adopted the US date, which is the third Sunday of June.

History

The origin of the day is credited to Sonora Smart Dodd in honour of those who sacrificed their present for our future (our parents; mom and dad).

History tells us that Dodd was born in Arkansas, the United States of America, where her father, William Jackson Smart, who was a Civil War veteran, brought up his six children, including Sonora Smart, as a single parent.

It was first celebrated on June 19, 1910, in the state of Washington, thanks to the struggle of Sonora Smart Dodd.

In the US, the day was declared a permanent national public holiday in 1972, by President Richard Nixon.

Figure-fathers

Father’s Day is not designated to revere solely one’s biological father. Rather, modern Father’s Day suggests that we should celebrate this day with those whom we consider worthy to be our fathers even if they are not our fathers biologically or legally.

The day’s celebration seeks to honour good-hearted and strict paternal figures.

It is a fact that there are men and men-figures in our lives whom we consider our fathers or who are precious in our lives as fathers or dads, even guardians.

Some men may not have biological children, but their contribution to the upbringing of children in their communities and society is worth recognising.

Even though many people do not need a specific day to honour their fathers, however, one designated day helps us to remember this moral duty of recognising the men who go through different risks to ensure the family remains intact.

Many people celebrate Father’s Day by recollecting their childhood with their fathers and giving them gifts like flowers, fitness gadgets, gardening tools, surprise outdoor parties and indoor dinner parties, and anything that can make their fathers happy.

The day is a wonderful occasion to make our fathers happy and make them feel that they brought up thankful offsprings.

The father's role in the family is divine. 1Timothy 5:8 reminds us that it is the role of the father to provide for the family. As fathers, it is our responsibility to make sure that our family needs are addressed across board.

A good father disciplines his children as provided in Proverbs 13:24, which reminds us that the one who loves his children “is careful to discipline them.”

As we celebrate the day annually, let it be known to fathers that they are role models for their children. In the Holy Bible, II Corinthians 3:2-3 teaches us that who we are and how we live is like a letter from God. Our children read that letter every day.

All these are indications that fathers are not only there to provide and care for their families; they are actually the pillars that the families are leaning on.

Celebration locally

In Ghana, the day is observed variedly to acknowledge and recognise the important place fathers (men) and men figures occupy in the upbringing of children and ensuring a unified family.

Goodwill messages flooded various social media, while others resorted to calling on men and men figures they consider worthy of being their fathers, and who played and continue to play important roles in their lives to continue with the good work.

The media have taken up the celebration in partnership with some organisations and companies to organise lunches and dinners for fathers.

They also generate enthusiasm among their listening public and followers by organising phone-in sessions, quizzes and other means to select the best respondents who would attend the event with their fathers.

In some churches, fathers (men) were called out in front of the congregation to pray for them, and in some cases, gifts are presented to all fathers.

At the St John the Evangelist Catholic Church in Adenta in the Greater Accra Region, in honouring fathers, the church presented them with customised cups and applauded them for the role they play in their respective families and the church.

Very Rev. Fr. Edmund Donkor-Baine (with mic) praying for the men while his assistant sprinkles holy water on them

The Parish Priest, Very Rev. Fr Edmund Donkor-Baine, while congratulating fathers, admonished those shirking responsibilities in their families to repent.

He urged fathers to remain committed to their families and their wives, advising against family men leaving their matrimonial homes to go after young ladies.

“Remain with the woman that started it all with you through thick and thin,” he advised fathers and urged women to always pray for their husbands.

Very Rev. Fr. Donkor-Baine, however, praised fathers for their toils and struggle to take care of their families and ensure that their needs were met, saying that fathers are very important in the family set-up.

He advised young men preparing to enter into marriage to take their time in the selection of their partners and not be driven by emotions, “because marriage is a divine calling.”

The Assistant Parish Priest, Rev Fr Dominic Amanor, also prayed for the men in the church and later sprinkled holy water on them and invoked God’s blessings on them.

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