A Note from Chris Adams: Perhaps you have moms in your ministry who can’t wait to celebrate Father’s Day with their dads and husbands, but they need some creative ideas for how to make it special. Perhaps you also have women you serve who dread Father’s Day. Today, Dr. Deb Douglas, Minister to Women, First Baptist Church, Bossier City, LA dives into both sides of this situation. Learn practical ways to love and serve these moms no matter how they view this annual dad’s day.
Buy a tie, barbecue some meat, and sign a card. Father’s Day is done!
Be honest, that’s often how we look at dad’s special day. We may do this because the day brings mixed emotions with it for many moms. Depending on her relationship with her own dad and the current relationship with the dad of her children, moms may want to run from celebrating this day for dads.
How can we as women’s ministry leaders meet the needs of both moms who want to celebrate dads and those who want to run far away from Father’s Day?
First, we have to start before the holiday. Ministering to moms in difficult dad situations is a continual, year-round thing. Here are some ideas to equip you to provide help and healing:
- Encourage counseling. Refer women to a qualified Christian counselor in your area to process her feelings of hurt and the difficult relationships with dads in her life.
- Offer childcare for all events. Assuming that dad can keep the kids doesn’t work. Many moms do not have that option available to them.
- Include Beth Moore’s Breaking Free as a Bible study option. This is a great first step in healing for women who have been abused by men in their lives.
- Provide small groups for women who are spiritually single. Women who attend church without their spouse may not be comfortable in a couple’s class. Offering classes and small groups for women only is very thoughtful and appreciated.
- Meet one on one with women who are struggling. Listen, encourage, and pray for moms who have difficult dad relationships.
- Recognize the strong, deep connection between how a woman feels towards God as her heavenly Father and the earthly dads in her life.
Now, let’s switch to help for the moms who will be celebrating the dads on Father’s Day. Here are some ideas for you to help them celebrate:
- Hit it out of the park. Have a family fun day at the local park. Encourage families to bring a supper picnic. Hold old fashion sack races, play corn hole, challenge families at tug of war, and spend time relaxing. An informal and unplanned event can make this a fun, stress-free celebration!
- Pin it. Start a Pinterest board on your women’s ministry’s Pinterest page and pin ideas for unique ways for families to celebrate fatherhood.
- Have a “Wear What You Want” day! No rules, no ties, just comfortable clothes. This can turn into a funny competition of dad-wear!
- Record it. Encourage moms to make a recording of children reading Scriptures for dads to listen to as they drive in to work. Offer scripture suggestions for encouragement, stress relief, and spiritual growth.
- Encourage moms to make cards for the dads in their lives. Finish this sentence: “You have made our lives amazing by the way you ____________________.” Some answers could be: relish vacations, wake up early to start our family’s day, work without complaining to support our family, play ball with the kids.
- Host a giveaway for dads. Historically, churches have given flowers to moms on Mother’s Day. Why not do something fun for dads on their day? Last year, our church held a random drawing among dads for a fishing trip. This year, we’re giving coupons for a free milkshake at a local restaurant to all men.
Making Father’s Day less stressful for moms is a year round ministry, but the impact is life changing. By recognizing this ministry need, and meeting the challenges, we can assist moms in finding freedom from the past and begin celebrating godly dads!
Dr. Deb Douglas is the minister to women at First Baptist Church, Bossier City, La., and a Lifeway Ministry Multiplier, launched her first women’s Bible study at the age of 20. Her passion is encouraging and equipping women to serve. She is also a freelance writer and contributed to Transformed Lives: Taking Women’s Ministry to the Next Level, Revised & Expanded. Deb graduated from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary with a Masters of Arts of Christian Education/Women’s Ministry and a Doctor of Education in Ministry degree. She is the wife of Paul, mom of Jared and Katie, mother-in-law to Emily and Jacob, and grandmother to Caroline and Lincoln.