When Father’s Day is Hard…

Encouragement for any of us who are missing a good daddy on this Father's Day. SmellingCoffee.com
Happy Father’s Day weekend, everyone!  First of all, I want to wish my dear husband and the father of our children, James Walker, a Happy Father’s Day!  He and Abigail are in Africa on a mission trip right now, and are loving it!

In fact, come to think of it, in the 20 years that James has been a dad, I can literally count on one hand the number of Father’s Days that he has been home with our children and me.  In the early years James traveled a lot in his ministry job and was usually gone during Father’s Day weekend.  And for the past five Father’s Days he has been in Africa.

This will seem selfish, but I’ll admit that with my dad being in heaven and my husband being gone, I’ve fought the temptation to feel a bit sorry for myself on these Father’s Day Sundays sitting with my kids alone at church.  It “seems” like everyone else leaves the service with their families, parents, etc, going to a happy lunch to celebrate the fathers in their lives, and we would always go home alone.  I’ve left many a Father’s Day Sunday services in tears.

UNTIL… The Lord reminded me of something I had completely forgotten… I still have a Daddy here, and my children still have a Daddy present, and He is a Good Daddy who is with us always, and is everything we need a Daddy to be!

Read some of His beautiful names listed in the Word:

Abba – Romans 8:15
Father – Isaiah 9:6
Father of Compassion – 2 Corinthians 1:3
Father of Our Spirits – Hebrews 12:9
Father of the Heavenly Lights – James 1:17
Father to the Fatherless – Psalm 68:5
God of all Comfort – 2 Corinthians 1:3
God of the Living – Matthew 22:32
God our Father – Colossians 1:2
Helper of the Fatherless – Psalm 10:14
Holy Father – John 17:11
Keeper – Isaiah 27:3
My Benefactor – Psalm 71:6
My Support – 2 Samuel 22:19
Righteous Father – John 17:25
The Glorious Father – Ephesians 1:17
My Intercessor – Hebrews 7:25
Shield – Psalm 28:7
Source of Life – Acts 3:15
Wonderful Counselor – Isaiah 9:6
The One Who Speaks – Hebrews 12:25
Spirit of Sonship (Adoption) – Romans 8:15

It’s such a gift to be reminded of this.  What a wonderful Abba we all have! I love Him so!!!

Because my dad was such a wise, unselfish, patient, and loving father, it has been easy for me to believe that God the Father is wise, unselfish, patient, and loving.  But I realize that many didn’t have a dad like mine, which makes intimacy with and trust in our Heavenly Father a little more difficult to accept.

Whether we had the best or the worst earthly dad, or whether our dads are present or not, we all have a Father we can celebrate this weekend. Our Heavenly Daddy. He loves us, provides for us, walks with us, laughs and cries with us, rejoices over us, carries our burdens for us, and He even laid down His life for ours.

He keeps His promises, and He will NEVER leave us… no matter what! He is the Father to the fatherless. He is the Daddy we all dream of having.

As great as our earthly dads are, they are still human. None of them are perfect. But God the Father is.  And friends, we need to release God from being bound in our minds and hearts by the faults and failures of our earthly dads.  God is NOT like man.  Man will fail us.  God will not.

His Word promises:

“You are the helper of the fatherless.” Psalm 10:14 (NIV)

“Even if my father and mother abandon me, the Lord will hold me close.” Psalm 27:10 (NLT)

“Father of orphans, champion of widows, is God in his holy house.”  Psalm 68:5 (Msg)

You, LORD, are our Father. We are nothing but clay, but you are the potter who molded us. Isaiah 64:8 (CEV)

If this is a sad or difficult day for you
, may the Father, our Abba Daddy, remind you of who you have in Him.  So whether you get to say it to anyone else in your life, you can lift up your eyes with a smile and tell your Perfect Daddy – the One who will never leave nor forsake you, “Happy Father’s Day!”  🙂

If you are far away from your Heavenly Father
and are wondering if you’ve gone too far for Him to welcome you home, read this short FB post from Franklin Graham:

We celebrate ‪#‎FathersDay‬ this weekend. I look forward to going to see my father Billy Graham at his home tomorrow, and am thankful to still have him with us.

Jesus told a parable about a father who was loving and forgiving in spite of his son’s many mistakes. The son was only interested in getting his inheritance early, then squandered it all away on partying. When he had nothing left and was forced to eat with the pigs, he decided to go home.

The Bible says, “And he arose and came to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion, and ran and embraced him and kissed him. And the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son. But the father said to his servants, ‘Bring quickly the best robe, and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet. And bring the fattened calf and kill it, and let us eat and celebrate. For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found.’ And they began to celebrate. (Luke 15:20-24).

This story is a picture of not only a loving earthly father, but it’s a picture of our compassionate Heavenly Father who will forgive when you turn to Him in repentance. He loves you, wants the best for you, and celebrates when His children come home. If you’ve wandered away from God, this would be a great day to return to Him. I urge you to call out to Him today—He’s waiting to embrace you.

And one more thing to share: This blog post was written two years ago by a special young woman, a child of my heart that I’ve loved and watched grow since she was six years old.  Trust me when I say that she has had to learn at a tender age to let God step in and be her Abba, Daddy – and He (and Annie’s mom) have done the most incredible job raising her (and her brother!)  It’s called “Do You Know My Daddy?”  I know you’ll be blessed.

Happy Father’s Day, everyone!  This weekend and everyday, we celebrate and give thanks to God, our Father, for all He has done for us, His beloved children.

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About SmellingCoffee

I'm a Jesus-loving, husband-loving, family-loving minister's wife and mom to two college kids, making our home and serving our Lord in the Mississippi Delta. I study, teach, speak, and write for the greatest Boss in the universe. "Faith, Family, Food, Fun, and Living Life brewed in the fragrance of the knowledge of Jesus Christ in every place": That's what you'll find at SmellingCoffee.com


  1. You’re right, Jennifer. Father’s Day is hard for many people, especially for some dads. There’s nothing more heartbreaking than being shut out of the lives of your children. Yes, as parents, we have all made mistakes and have missteps in our lives – both moms and dads. Isn’t the Christian life about restoration, restitution, and reconciliation? As believers we know that we need a relationship with God, and that can only come through a saving relationship with Jesus. Our sin has separated us from God – permanently – unless we confess our sin, repent, ask for forgiveness, and accept Jesus as our Savior. At that moment, we are in a restored relationship with God. Isn’t it time to bring the biblical principal of restoration down to believers and encourage repentance and forgiveness? If someone does not give another person the opportunity to ask for forgiveness, and spend time with that person, how can they know the heart of him or her? It is very easy to sit in judgment of others when not involved in their lives. One of the greatest joys of being a parent? Getting a small glimpse of how much the Lord loves us. He wants His absolute BEST for us. And like him, believing dads want the very best for their children. I want, more than anything, for my children to have the best possible futures with their spouses, friends, children, and in their ministries. If their hearts are hurting because of something I have done, then I want to know what that is so I can ask them for their forgiveness, be restored and reconciled to them, and move on to a brighter future – for THEIR sakes!

  2. Sending you prayers and hugs this weekend!