Yesterday in church I noticed, once again, how understated Father’s Day is compared to Mother’s Day. Of course, vases filled with flowers wouldn’t exactly have been appropriate, but nothing took its place as a giveaway to the dads, a gift to honor and celebrate them. The usual sermons extolling the virtues and saintliness of mothers are often replaced by a challenge to the men to step up and do more, or at least do it better. Why is the hoopla over Mother’s Day conspicuously absent on the day set aside for their counterparts? Maybe part of the reason is that the sermons are usually delivered by a father and he feels a need to exert his own shortcomings while publicly appreciating his wife’s strengths. I don’t know.
Perhaps the church is echoing society’s predisposition toward mothers. It is a fact that more telephone calls are placed on Mother’s Day than any other day in the whole year. Once I heard a late night host say that more collect calls are made on Father’s Day. That may be true. It does seem a bit unfair the way our society takes manhood and fathers for granted. Just notice how dads are portrayed on television and in movies. They are either absent or if they are there, they are bumbling idiots with a strong woman behind them who makes it all right. For some reason, many women today have dismissed the role of fatherhood altogether, choosing to have children without any help at all in raising them. Single mothers (and single fathers) often nobly rise to the challenge when it’s thrust upon them through death or divorce, but how can one think the other is so worthless as to be unnecessary?
Both fathers and mothers are vital and deserve to be appreciated for all they do and sacrifice for their children. And, in my opinion, celebrations for Father’s Day, Mother’s Day, and Valentine’s Day should be privately planned by those grateful recipients of the honoree’s love and care.