In the dictionary, there are many meanings to the word "father." Here are a few of them:
1) Father can be a man who has a child. (You might call him "your real dad.")
2) Father can be someone who begins something.
3) Father can be an older man.
4) Father can be one of the leaders of a city.
Sometimes a father could be your real dad
Sometimes a father could be a stepdad
Sometimes a father could be a man who treats us as though they were our dad .
Sometimes a father could be a preacher, or maybe a teacher who teaches us important things.
Maybe you are a kid that has a wonderful dad. He does special things with you that you like to do. Maybe he takes you camping, or on special trips, plays soccer or football with you, or takes you shopping at the dollar store, or maybe to get an ice cream cone.
Maybe he teaches you how to do things like ride a bike, how to fish, how to play a musical instrument, or how to fix something. Maybe he reads the Bible or Bible stories to you and teaches you about God. Of all the things he can teach you, that's the most important thing.
But you know, sometimes kids don't have a dad that they ever see, or who they don't see very often. But, they might have a stepdad, a grandpa, another relative or a good friend that almost seems like a dad to them.
Like the dictionary said, a father can be an older man. In the Bible there's a story about a an older man who became like a father to a young man. The older man's name is Paul, and the young man's name is Timothy. The Bible doesn't tell us anything about Timothy's real dad--it just tells us about his mom Eunice, and his grandmother Lois. II Tim.1:4-6. Those Bible verses tell us that his grandmother was the first one in his family who loved God, and then his mother loved God, and then Timothy loved God.
We don't know where Timothy's dad was, but we know that Paul, an older man, wrote letters to Timothy and taught him about God. He was like a father to him. He even told him what to do when he had a stomach ache! He also told him not to pay attention to the people that were saying that he was too young to do anything for God.
There's another story in the Bible about a leader in the city being like a father. In that story, Samuel was a young boy when his mother took him to the temple (like a church) to be taught by the priest/preacher Eli. Eli taught Samuel how to listen to God. Samuel grew from a young boy into a very great man of God because he learned how to listen to God.
We should be very thankful for having a dad that loves us, or for having someone who treats us like they are a dad to us. That's what this day is all about.
If you have a Dad that does things with you or not, there is one Father that has promised to always be with you. God is our heavenly Father. He will never mess up, never leave us, and never make a mistake. He even said He would be a Father to those who don't have a father. Isn't that wonderful? In Psalm 68:5 it says, "A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in his holy dwelling."
There were some words people used in the Bible when they would pray to God. They would say, "Abba, Father." Do you know what those words really mean? They mean "Daddy God." God is our perfect Father. We can trust him completely. He wants you to talk to him like you would with your dad or with a good friend here on earth. We call that praying. Praying is just talking to God like you talk to anyone else. He loves you so much. He wants you to love Him too. Why don't we talk to Him right now?
Father, thank you for letting us be here to celebrate Father's Day today. Thank you for putting people in our lives that can be like a father to us. Most of all, thank you for being my heavenly Father. Thank you for loving me. I want to love You too. In Jesus' name, Amen.
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As a way of saying “thank you” on Father's Day, give the kids an option of making a card for their dad, or else for someone that has been like a dad to them. Jog their memories with the following list. Encourage them to be specific in what they are thankful to their dad for.
Grandpa, Uncle, older cousin, older brother
Older friend of the family, Teacher