It’s tempting for some of us to dismiss Father’s Day. Greeting cards for dads aren’t as popular as they are on Mother’s Day. But it doesn’t matter what your father stories are. When we take time to reflect, there are five ways to appreciate awesome fatherhood.

Appreciate Fatherhood from your closest relationship

Think of your closest relationship and how you can appreciate fatherhood.

For me, it’s my husband Joe. Even though he’s never been a father, he is a remarkable “Papi Joe” to our five grandchildren. Yes, you may have heard the joke about skipping parenthood to become a grandparent. That is the case with Joe. But he’s more than “Papi Joe.” Right now, he is a father! No, we’re not Sarah and Abraham from the Old Testament. But it’s taken the two of us to conceive and birth Beyond Messy Relationships. For a woman who’s birthed four babies, writing this book was like going through nine months of pregnancy.

Appreciate Fatherhood from those who’ve passed on

For some of us, our dads are deceased and we miss them during this season. This is the second Father’s Day without my step-dad, Bob. He passed away a few months ago. Within the last decade, I had grown closer to him. I miss seeing his smile and hearing his laughter during family gatherings. Although Bob knew me as an adult, my other step-dad, Jim, influenced my formative years.

I have few memories of my young dad, Bill, who died of cancer when I was small. But my Aunt Sara said to me, “He was my favorite brother who took time to understand me.” I believe it’s my dad who passed this trait onto me to become the counselor I am today.

Appreciate Fatherhood from the dad who gave you life

Some struggle with their birth dad abandoning them. It’s easy to hold onto grudges. But our hearts can make room to appreciate them. Our freedom to forgive doesn’t minimize offenses. Nor does it mean it’s OK to let an untrustworthy man into your life. But being thankful helps us live more truthfully.

From the heart-ache I’ve heard in my counseling office, not all situations make this an easy task. And it won’t happen amidst bitterness and busy-ness. Most of us need extra help from a counselor to learn how to have healthy boundaries. We can cultivate an attitude of appreciation.

Appreciate Fatherhood from dads who’ve given you children & grandchildren

Let’s recognize our sons, sons-in-laws, and fathers of our grandchildren. And for some, it’s challenging to wish an ex-husband, “Happy Father’s Day.” Yet they all deserve our appreciation. Take time to notice the love they give and ways they provide.

We can cultivate appreciation even though all relationships have periodic or sometimes chronic messes. Click To Tweet

All relationships have periodic or sometimes chronic messes. Yet, we can still appreciate the dads who’ve born us children. It’s important to know that previous marriages and relationships are not failures. We can gain wisdom and focus on the beautiful lives conceived and birthed from those unions.

Appreciate Fatherhood from dads who’ve influenced you

Take notice of those who’ve been like a dad to you. It might be an extended family member or other mentor.

For me, it’s been my grandfather. His long and beautiful life lasted 94 years. Also, I appreciate my father-in-law from my previous marriage who is now deceased.

Although my Uncle Ken has grown children of his own, I appreciate his influence on me as a father figure. He’s the one who encourages me and gives me advice when I ask for it. And he’s the one who’s known me since birth and has modeled a godly marriage and family over the years.

There’s a Father I’ve not met face-to-face. And I’m not Catholic. But, I appreciate Father Richard Rohr who’s made an impact on me in the last few years. His book, “The Divine Dance” speaks to me on several levels. Parts of Beyond Messy Relationships are about how God used dancing to move me into His divine invitations.

Celebrate Awesome Fatherhood

You may be full of natural appreciation for the fathers in your life. Or you may be avoiding Father’s Day. But we can all take time to ponder the positive things. We all can celebrate fathers as we focus on these five ways.  Let’s appreciate awesome fatherhood no matter how it shows up in our lives.

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Featured Photo by Morgan David de Lossy on Unsplash