We all celebrated Mother’s Day a few weeks ago, and I hope you did it up right. Moms definitely deserve to be honored and celebrated. In many ways, Father’s Day is different. (And that’s okay.)

Most dads aren’t expecting a whole lot in the way of gifts. We’re good with a favorite meal or maybe an outing with family—and maybe a nap afterward. And we’ll proudly wear that necktie, T-shirt or socks, use that coffee mug, power tool or grill set, and display that plaque or framed photo. But it isn’t really about all that. Isn’t that true for you?

In many ways, fathering is a balancing act. On one side, we have responsibility. We are called to love and teach our children, help them discover and use their gifts and talents, and create an atmosphere where they can grow and learn.

On the other side of the scale, we should recognize that we have a great privilege as dads. These children are a gift! It’s an honor to be their dad, watch them change and mature, and marvel at the incredible things they accomplish. They really do bring wonderful blessings into our lives.

As fathers, we have so much to do, and yet so much to be thankful for. Never lose your sense of wonder at being a dad; your children should always fill you with overwhelming pride and unspeakable joy. But don’t let your pride blind you to the everyday tasks of fathering, which can be anything but joyful or glamorous.

Both sides are important, although I fear many dads focus much more on the responsibility side. We need to provide for our children’s needs, protect them from physical, emotional and spiritual harm, and train them to have strong values and character. We want them to grow up and be responsible, productive citizens, and that’s a big job. It’s true—many of us could do more for our children in this area.

In churches, most Mother’s Day sermons were about honoring moms for all they do. On Father’s Day, we’re more likely to hear about how dads need to step up and be more engaged, more responsible dads. And maybe that’s appropriate to a degree.

Along with whatever else you hear this Father’s Day, I hope you’ll remember what a privilege it is to be a father. Soak in all the joy of being with your kids!

And here’s an interesting twist on typical Father’s Day traditions: Some dads give small gifts to their kids as a way of saying, You’re special to me, and it’s a privilege to be your dad. We have some inexpensive options to consider for this or some other occasion when you want to recognize your child or simply express your love. Check out GiftsFromDad.org.  

How do you usually celebrate Father’s Day? And makes you appreciate the privilege of being a dad? Share your thoughts on our Facebook page.