The Importance of Fathers


Father's Day is celebrated throughout the world on different days, with different histories and traditions. But the American holiday, the third Sunday of June, has its origins in a West Virginia Methodist church.1


“The history of Father’s Day goes back to 1908 when a church in West Virginia held a sermon to honor 362 men who were killed the previous year in a coal mining explosion. This was the country’s first-ever event to strictly honor fathers.”2

“Grace Golden Clayton, the daughter of a dedicated minister, proposed a service to honor all fathers, especially those who had died. However, the observance did not become an annual event, and it was not promoted; very few people outside of the local area knew about it. Meanwhile, across the entire country, another woman was inspired to honor fathers …

“In 1909, Sonora Smart Dodd of Spokane, Washington, was inspired by Anna Jarvis and the idea of Mother’s Day. Her father, William Jackson Smart, a farmer and Civil War veteran, was also a single parent who raised Sonora and her five brothers by himself, after his wife Ellen died giving birth to their youngest child in 1898. While attending a Mother’s Day church service in 1909, Sonora, then 27 years old, came up with the idea.


“Within a few months, Sonora had convinced the Spokane Ministerial Association and the YMCA to set aside a Sunday in June to celebrate fathers. She proposed June 5, her father’s birthday, but the ministers chose the third Sunday in June so that they would have more time after Mother’s Day (the second Sunday in May) to prepare their sermons. Thus, on June 19, 1910, the first Father’s Day events commenced: Sonora delivered presents to handicapped fathers, boys from the YMCA decorated their lapels with fresh-cut roses (red for living fathers, white for the deceased), and the city’s ministers devoted their homilies to fatherhood.


“The widely publicized events in Spokane struck a chord that reached all the way to Washington, D.C., and Sonora’s celebration put the idea on the path to becoming a national holiday. However, the holiday did not catch on right away, perhaps due to the perceived parallels with Mother’s Day.

  • In 1916, President Woodrow Wilson and his family personally observed the day.

  • Eight years later, President Calvin Coolidge signed a resolution in favor of Father’s Day ‘to establish more intimate relations between fathers and their children and to impress upon fathers the full measure of their obligations.’

  • In 1966, President Lyndon Johnson signed an executive order that the holiday be celebrated on the third Sunday in June.

  • Under President Richard Nixon, in 1972, Congress passed an act officially making Father’s Day a national holiday. (Six years later, Sonora died at age 96.)” 3

God decided that the most ideal atmosphere/environment in which to raise children was one that included both a dad and a mom. Much effort has been made by many on the Left over the last few decades to downplay the need for fathers. However, the facts speak for themselves and prove them wrong. Chris Bolinger points out that “Kids who grow up with a father who is present and engaged are less likely to drop out of school or wind up in jail. When a dad has a close relationship with his children, they tend to have higher IQs, have fewer psychological problems, avoid high-risk behaviors (such as sex at a young age), and grow up to have high-paying jobs and healthy relationships.

“Dads also play a key role in the faith lives of their children.

“According to a detailed study conducted several decades ago, a father’s church attendance has a much greater impact on the future attendance of his children than a mother’s attendance. The study found that, if a father does not go to church, no matter how faithful his wife’s attendance, only one child in 50 will become a regular worshipper.

“On the other hand, if a father does go to church regularly, regardless of the practice of the other, between two-thirds and three-quarters of their children will become churchgoers. Even if a father goes irregularly to church, regardless of his wife’s attendance, between a half and two-thirds of their children will come to church, at least occasionally, as adults.”4

If you had a good relationship with your dad, thank him today. If you experienced pain from the actions of your father, whether through absenteeism, abuse, or the inability to give and communicate love, if you have not already done so, make the choice to forgive him. Clarence L. Haynes, in a great article found in Crosswalk.com, speaks of his need to forgive his dad.

“I didn’t grow up with the greatest relationship with my father. For many years I carried around anger and unforgiveness because of this.

“One day while praying, God reminded me of one affirmation I needed to give to my father. That affirmation was forgiveness.

“He didn’t do everything right. He made a lot of mistakes. I had a right to be angry, or at least I thought I did. I didn’t realize how heavy the weight was that I was carrying around until I released it and forgave my father.

“If you are dealing with a dad who wasn’t the ‘ideal’ father, then this Father’s Day may require you to offer forgiveness. Of all the affirmations you can give...this one will be the hardest. However, if you can truly do this, with all sincerity, and with the help of the Holy Spirit, there is freedom on the other side of it.

“If this is you...then give the affirmation of forgiveness to your father this year. He needs to hear it. And more importantly, you need to give it.”5

If the father you need to forgive is no longer alive, you can still forgive them and be released from your pain and any lingering effects. Writing them a letter is a good way to do so; for some, writing the forgiveness seems to release the pain.

Finally, this Father’s Day, consider honoring a father other than your biological dad. A spiritual father, perhaps, or a man who became a good mentor or role model for you. This could be a neighbor, pastor, someone in business, a teacher, a relative, or even someone you don't know personally who has influenced or shaped you through their podcasts or writings. Send them a card or a note - it’s never too late. Honor is ALWAYS a good thing. And it blesses both the giver and the recipient.

Pray with me:


God, we pray for fathers on this Father’s Day. It’s a hard job to be a father. That is especially so in this current moral and ethical climate. Many dads feel a tremendous weight of responsibility to lead our sons and daughters to maturity through a climate so opposed to You and Your ways. They need the leading, guidance, and direction of You, Heavenly Father, like never before.


You provided faith to Abraham. You completely turned around the life of Job, restoring everything he lost to tragedy. You took a thrown-away, rejected, and falsely accused Joseph and gave him authority over the salvation of a nation. You changed Jacob’s manipulative nature and renamed him Israel—a father of the nation that gave us our Redeemer. You found a defeated Moses on the backside of the desert, redeemed his life, gave him a new purpose, and used him to be the deliverer of Your people in his generation. Today’s fathers need You to do the same types of things in their lives as well, Lord. Teach us Your ways so we may rely on your faithfulness and walk in Your truth. Amen.


Our decree:


We will honor the Fathers who have been used to bless and shape our lives.


Click below to watch the video.


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  1. https://www.artofmanliness.com/articles/a-brief-history-of-fathers-day/

  2. https://www.rd.com/article/history-of-fathers-day/

  3. https://www.almanac.com/forgotten-history-fathers-day

  4. https://www.crosswalk.com/special-coverage/fathers-day/reasons-to-thank-your-dad-this-fathers-day.html

https://www.crosswalk.com/special-coverage/fathers-day/top-4-affirmations-your-dad-needs-to-hear-this-fathers-day.html

Honoring Our Moms

On May 9, 2021, we celebrated Mother’s Day. At the time, we were doing the series on my book The Pleasure of His Company. I felt it was appropriate to wait and do a post later for mothers, in order to not interrupt the series. Since this is Father’s Day weekend, I thought it would be good to honor moms and dads today and tomorrow.


“Exodus 20:12 lists the fifth of the Ten Commandments: ‘Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long in the land that the Lord your God is giving you.’ Ephesians 6:2-3 echoes the commandment: 'Honor your father and mother' (this is the first commandment with a promise), 'that it may go well with you and that you may live long in the land.'


“What does it mean to ‘honor’ one's parents? In the Old Testament, the word translated honor is the Hebrew kabad. It means to be heavy, weighty, rich, glorious. In other words, our parents should be a significant priority in our lives. They should not be ignored or taken lightly. Our choices should take their needs and wishes into serious consideration.


“The Greek word used in Ephesians 6:2 is timao. It means to determine the value of something; in this case, to determine that the value is high. We should give our parents a high value—even higher than ministry (Mark 7:9-13)—and treat them accordingly.


“What, specifically, does this look like? Basically, we are to take every passage that describes how we should treat others and apply it to our parents. Love them with agape love (1 Corinthians 13:4-7). Treat them with the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23). Speak of them and to them with respect (Ephesians 4:29). Forgive them wholeheartedly (Matthew 18:21-22). And seek reconciliation when issues and misunderstandings get in the way (Matthew 18:15-17).


“The same applies to parents who act less than honorably. The Bible gives counsel for dealing with ungodly people. We may not have a close relationship (2 Corinthians 6:14), and we may put a lower value on their advice (Psalm 1). But we are still to love them (Matthew 5:44-47). And there is nothing in the Bible that indicates we are absolved of seeing to their basic needs when they are older (Mark 7:9-13).


“Christian scholars generally divide the Ten Commandments into two groups; the first four dealing with God and the last six with other people. But Jewish scholars divide the commandments evenly. This puts ‘honor your father and mother’ in the same category as those commandments telling us to honor God. God commissioned parents with the upbringing of their children. To reject His anointed is to reject Him.”1


Our friend, Quin Sherrer, shares some great thoughts and insights on honoring our mother’s:


“‘Honor (esteem and value as precious) your father and your mother—this is the first commandment with a promise— That all may be well with you and that you may live long on the earth.’ (Ephesians 6:2-3 AMPC)


“Did you notice it is singular? Mother’s Day. Special, for your special mom. You shower her with hugs and gifts. A phone call. Maybe even a meal out.


“On Mother’s Day you probably think of honoring your birth mom, an adoptive mom, foster mom, stepmom, grandmother or even an aunt who ‘mothered’ you. Or perhaps you had a special “spiritual” mom who taught and encouraged you in your Christian walk. I’m glad there is a day set aside nationally to pay tribute to them.


“In America the ‘original’ Mother’s Day was observed in St. Andrews Methodist Church in Grafton, West Virginia on May 10, 1908 - spearheaded by Anna Jarvis as a way of honoring the sacrifices mothers made for their children - but primarily to honor her own mother, Ann Marie Reese Jarvis, who died in 1905. Her mom had taught Sunday school classes for 20 years and was a peace advocate who cared for wounded soldiers on both sides of the Civil War. In 1868 she organized ‘Mothers’ Day Work Clubs’ to teach local women how to properly care for their children. 2


“Another advocate for honoring mothers came from the abolitionist and suffragette, Julia Ward Howe, who wrote in 1870 a ‘Mother’s Day Proclamation,’ that asked mothers to unite in promoting world peace. 3 She also wrote “The Battle Hymn of the Republic.”


“Gradually some of the 45 states began to adopt their own versions of Mother’s Day celebrations. But Anna Jarvis’ dream of a day to honor all moms came true on May 9, 1914 when President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed a national day to honor motherhood on the second Sunday of every May. Wilson had lobbied Congress for such an official day. In his first proclamation he stated, ‘that the holiday offered a chance to [publicly express] our love and reverence for the mothers of our country.’ He also saw it as a way to honor mothers who had lost sons during World War I. 4


“‘Therefore, I, Woodrow Wilson, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the said Joint Resolution, do hereby direct the government officials to display the United States flag on all government buildings and do invite the people of the United States to display the flag at their homes or other suitable places on the second Sunday in May as a public expression of our love and reverence for the mothers of our country.’ 5 Thus, flags flew across the nation.


“Anna never married or had children of her own—but her goal was to see that mothers in this country were recognized at least one day of the year. She hoped Mother’s Day would be a personal celebration between mothers and their families. This has occurred. 6


“Restaurants report it as their best day of the year. More phone calls are made on Mother’s Day than any other day of the year. We do it to honor those women who put up with us—and loved us—all those years. We display flags, wear white carnations, buy gifts, take mom out to eat.



“What about those of us who no longer have our precious moms? We can still remember and honor them by thanking God for their sacrifices, influence, and prayers.

“Have you given thought about sending a note of appreciation to any elderly moms who have influenced you too? Maybe counseled or prayed for you during a difficult season of your life? Or encouraged you in your career, or Christian journey? Someone else’s mom who nevertheless took time to care for you? Cards and phone calls can brighten their day and make them feel appreciated and special too.


“Let’s end by reading some about the virtuous wife and mother from The Passion Translation:


“Her teachings are filled with wisdom and kindness as loving instruction pours from her lips. She watches over the ways of her household and meets every need they have. Her sons and daughters arise in one accord to extol her virtues, and her husband arises to speak of her in glowing terms. ‘There are many valiant and noble ones, but you have ascended above them all!’ Charm can be misleading, and beauty is vain and so quickly fades, but this virtuous woman lives in the wonder, awe, and fear of the Lord. She will be praised throughout eternity. So go ahead and give her the credit that is due, for she has become a radiant woman, and all her loving works of righteousness deserve to be admired at the gateways of every city!” (Proverbs 31:26-31 TPT)


Pray with me:


Heavenly Father, thank You for the gift of our mothers. We realize without them we would not have been born. We are so grateful for mothers who made sacrifices to see us through our good seasons and trying ones. Through challenging times as well as triumphant and joyous times. Forgive us for the way we sometimes took them for granted or disobeyed them or neglected to express our love and thanks. Show us creative ways to honor them. May we teach our children and grandchildren how to bless the mothers and grandmothers who have gone before them—especially for those who left footsteps of faith for them to follow. The trailblazers. Thank You for Jesus who took away our sins and gives us a promise of life after this one. Amen


Our decree:


I will endeavor to honor my mom—or the memory of her—and continue to thank my heavenly Father for blessing me through her.

You can learn more about Quin Sherrer and her books here.


Click below to watch the prayer.

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1. Compellingtruths.org

2. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mother’s_Day

3. Ibid

4. https://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/woodrow-wilson-proclaims-the-first-mothers-day-holiday

5. Ibid

6. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mother’s_Day


Juneteenth and the Synergy of the Ages


In this Give Him 15, I want to commemorate Juneteenth, a new federal holiday, which is celebrated tomorrow, June 19th. Slavery officially ended in the United States with the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation by President Abraham Lincoln on January 1, 1863. However, slaves in Texas didn’t learn they were free until June 19th 1865 - more than 2 1/2 years later. This day became known as Juneteenth. It was initially only celebrated in Texas, but is now being recognized around the country. You can learn more about Juneteenth here.

I asked my friend, Will Ford, to share regarding this important day in American history:

“The ending of slavery and the celebration of Juneteenth are rooted in the power of intercession. Prayer changed our nation and led to revival and transformation.

“Slaves were often forbidden to pray, and if caught doing so were sometimes beaten. Nevertheless, many slaves, in spite of the danger and because of their love for Jesus, prayed anyway. My slave ancestors used a cast iron kettle pot as an acoustic means of concealing the sound of their voices. As I detail in my book, THE DREAM KING, they would invert the pot, lay it on the ground and prop it up with 3 or 4 rocks around the edges. They then prostrated themselves on the ground and put their mouths to the opening between the ground and the kettle. Thus, it was used to muffle their voices as they prayed. This pot also became a reminder of the prayer bowls in heaven, where God collects our prayers (Revelation 5:8).

“Years ago, I began to wonder if there were similar stories passed down in other African American families, so my curiosity led me to do research. Over the past 20 years, I’ve combed through thousands of slave narratives at the Library of Congress. I learned this testimony of secret prayer meetings wasn’t just in my family’s slave history, and neither was their method of concealing their prayers. I found hundreds of written examples from Christian, African American slaves who used wash pots, barrels, and kettles to muffle their voices as they prayed.

“Albert J. Raboteau, professor of religion at Princeton University, confirms this. ‘The most common device for preserving secrecy was an iron pot usually placed in the middle of the cabin floor or at the doorstep, then slightly propped up to hold the sound of the praying and singing from escaping. A variation was to pray or sing softly with heads together around the kettle to deaden the sound.’

“Many accounts mentioned how a secret code song was used to alert them of the secret prayer meetings at night. The song was called Steal Away To Jesus. Sometimes they sang and prayed all night.

“In his slave narrative, Peter Randolph revealed how slaves also concealed prayer meetings by building temporary tabernacles, called ‘brush harbors’ or ‘hush harbors.’ In the dark of night, those first to the selected spot bent the boughs of trees in the direction of the prayer meeting, and those following behind were guided by them to the prayer meeting. After arriving in the desired location, they often soaked quilts with water, which were used to build four walls around them. This created a tabernacle. The wet blankets helped to deaden the sound as they prayed.

“The beauty is that prayers offered in secret, in wet-blanket tabernacles and muffled under cast-iron kettles, filled golden prayer bowls in heaven. It’s exciting to think that our prayers are stored in the same place. Note that in Revelation 5:8, ‘bowls’ is plural. We don’t know how many bowls hold our prayers, but it’s very likely that each of us has his or her bowl in Heaven. God stores our prayers in them for use at the proper time. At the right time, He tips them and pours out powerful answers.”

This part of American history is not taught in schools. Though recorded in our archives, these stories are only now being retold because of the research Will is doing. He is helping us understand our history is a spiritual one, not just one composed of secular events and decisions. It is a history grown also from the prayers of the saints.

Psalm 78:2-4 and other scriptures encourage us to search out and share the history we have in the Lord: “I will teach you hidden lessons from our past - stories we have heard and known, stories our ancestors handed down to us. We will not hide these truths from our children; we will tell the next generation about the glorious deeds of the Lord, about his power and his mighty wonders,” (NLT). Without the fullness of our Christian heritage being known, godless men and women will try to reconstruct a history leaving God out of the picture. This revisionist history leaves us soul-less and divided, hopeless, and without a moral compass or purpose.

Will continues:

“Imagine, one day, in response to the prayers of our enslaved forefathers, God tipped over the prayer bowls in heaven and changed society. Quiet but fervent prayers for freedom, offered underneath kettles, joined with the prayers and sermons of the first and second Great Awakenings bringing deliverance. One of the little-known revivalists who became a voice for the voiceless was John Girardeau in Charleston, South Carolina. A white pastor and a rising star in the Presbyterian church, Girardeau also had a heart for the lost, especially enslaved African Americans. In the summer of 1857, at the Anson Street Presbyterian Church in Charleston, South Carolina, Girardeau called his congregation of 48 slaves and 12 whites to pray for revival. They prayed for many months.1

“One evening, while in prayer with the congregation, Girardeau said he ‘felt as if a surge of electricity’ struck his head and filled his entire being. He looked up and saw those praying with him shaking, trembling, and in tears. Their cries became more fervent as they continued praying with tears for the souls of their lost neighbors and loved ones. Revival came to the entire city of Charleston! One church gained 400 new members in just 3 or 4 days! 2

“This move of Holy Spirit lasted for eight weeks of nightly meetings and impacted all of Charleston. Crowds of 1,500 to 2,000 of every background gathered from across the city. Free African Americans, the enslaved, and whites of every strata of society were impacted. Girardeau’s church grew from 60 people to 2,000 Sunday morning attendees. 3

The Presbyterian church decided to ride the wave of enthusiasm, and initiated evangelism and prayer campaigns up and down the east coast. Eventually, they started one in New York City on Fulton Street at a Dutch Reformed church building, asking a young businessman who had been impacted by the revival in Charleston to head up the effort. Jeremiah Lanphier began a noon-day prayer meeting for businessmen. His first prayer meeting of six people soon turned into hundreds. Within weeks, 5,000 were coming to prayer! Eventually, over a million people across the country would give their lives to Christ and participate in these noon, business prayer meetings. 4

“This revival of prayer not only resulted in a harvest of millions of souls, but also societal transformation. Because of the new ethnic diversity in the congregations in Charleston, many people became voices for their brothers and sisters who were still enslaved there and throughout the South. This change of heart over slavery was an answer to prayer for those bound in chains. Incredibly, historians record the first shot of the Civil War came from Fort Sumter in Charleston, S.C. I believe, with many others, that the first shot of the Civil War actually came from the prayer meeting on Anson Street. Ultimately, on June 19, 1865, two years after slaves were freed through the Emancipation Proclamation, freedom for all enslaved came to the streets of Galveston, Texas.

“The questions for us now are, ‘Which prayer meeting will be the “first shot” to end our division today? Who will fill the prayer bowls in heaven for those “spiritually” enslaved? Who will “steal away to Jesus” today, in order to shift and shape tomorrow?’”

Pray with me [prayer by Will Ford]:

Father, the prayers of our forefathers ring in eternity, actively working even today to shape our nation’s future. You have not forgotten the prayers of Robert Hunt, who planted a cross at Jamestown and dedicated this land to You. You are still acting on the prayers of our governmental forefathers and great revivalists in history. Your heart holds dear, as well, the sacrificial prayers of our country’s former enslaved believers.

Today, we’re gathering stones and building another altar to You for our future. Release a new fire of revival for this generation and beyond. Heal hearts, minds, emotions and relationships. Make the church in America of one heart, mind, spirit and purpose in Christ Jesus. Pour out Your Holy Spirit on us and through us.

Manifest Your holy presence across this land as You did in revivals of old. Birther of nations, You are able to rebirth this land. You can draw the lost, and You can also end systemic poverty and reverse Roe v. Wade. You can end human trafficking, senseless violence, and gang warfare. You can unravel global agendas and give Your people solutions to societal ills.

You are looking for a new generation of people who will drop their agendas, come together and believe! We want to be part of extending a storyline in America that brings healing instead of hurt, blessing instead of curses. Make it so! Amen.

Today’s decree:


The sacrifice of prayer by former enslaved citizens is still honored in Heaven. We decree that the prayers we pray today will mingle with theirs, lighting the fires of revival and transforming America’s future!

Learn more about Will Ford here.


Click below to watch prayer.

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  1. https://romans1015.com/1857-anson-street-revival/

  2. Ibid.

  3. Ibid.

https://www.smithworks.org/revival/1857.html