Happy Father’s Day!  Every day should be Father’s Day. Or maybe I should say every day should be Dad’s Day. Because there is a difference.

Fathers are 50% responsible for our arrival here on earth. Dads are 100% responsible to stick around and see us through.

Father’s sometimes choose not to be present. Dads choose to be here to see us through…if they can.

My Dad left when I was 10 years old and my sister Mae Retta was 14. It was not his choice…God loved him more than we did and wanted him back.

Our Dad died in a drowning accident on a hot July Saturday morning a long time ago….but he’s still here in our minds and hearts because he was a Dad. My sister and I always called him “Daddy”.

Whether Dads are present or not, memories last forever.

I remember our Dad driving my sister and I to Sunday School on Sunday mornings and then going back home to get ready for church along with my mother so that we’d all sit down together during Morning Service.  We always sat together with Daddy sitting on the aisle seat, when possible…because that’s what Dad’s do.

I remember that we didn’t eat dinner until our Daddy got home from work so that we’d all sit down together, and Daddy would say the blessing first and then we’d all eat together…because that’s what Dads do.

I remember Daddy driving us to a diner on Springfield Avenue in Maplewood, New Jersey where we’d sit at the counter and eat foot-long hot dogs and sodas.

I remember Daddy taking us to an ice cream store on the corner of Springfield Avenue and Belmont Avenue in Newark to buy frozen custard for all of us. Daddy liked vanilla.

The memories go on and on…and they are a blessing.

Dads….your children need you. If you’re not already making some great memories for your kids…start now. There’s going to come a time when your children grow up and go away…or you’ll go away…and they’ll need some memories.

Building memories can be very simple.  Ask your children what they did at school today…and then sit down and listen while they tell you. Take a moment and read to or with your children.  Sit down and have dinner with your children…food seems to taste better when you’re surrounded by people you love. Go to church with your children and sit down next to them so that you can learn The Word TOGETHER.  Hug or kiss your child good-night as often as you can.  Spend some time on the weekends with your child.

There are 24 hours in each day…spend a few of these hours with your child. Don’t let another day pass without telling your children that you love them….stuff happens and you might not always get the chance.

Sometimes Dads won’t or can’t be around. And that’s when we need some Godly men to stand in the gap. We need male mentors in the schools, the churches and in some of the many after school programs. We need some “dads” to show up in a child’s life when that child is surrounded by women. Don’t get me wrong….most women do a fantastic job, but we need that strong male presence sometimes to help get the job of parenting done.

We need that strong male presence in the schools when the kids are “acting out”. I’ve seen it a hundred times…when a strong male walks into the room, a certain quiet respect comes over that room…and we need more of that.

Men, take some time to help stand in the gap.  Don’t assume that you’re not needed…you ARE needed.

The teachers need your presence in the schools; your presence is needed in the stands while the children play basketball, football or other sports.  We need your presence in the churches to help lead the children in the way they should go.   Take some time Dads…for your own children AND for others who are not fortunate enough to have a Dad present.

You ARE needed!

Make Father’s Day and every day special for a child….and by the way…Happy Dad’s Day!

Written by Nellie Bogar