How I Honor My Dad On Father's Day (And Every Day)


How I Honor My Dad On Father's Day
Father's Day can be hard if your dad has died, but you can still celebrate his life.

About a year after my father's death, I had the opportunity to be part of a pilot project that was working to increase the possible pool of organ donors. In joining this project, I was doing something that I believed in but I was also giving honor to my father. I realized that this is something that my father would have been very pleased that I was doing. At the same time, I also realized that within my own spirituality, the service that I was providing to families and the work to try and save lives was also something that was pleasing to my heavenly Father as well. The same action offers honor to God and to my father.

Another way that I honor my father in everyday life is that I try to live my life based on the principles and values that I was raised with. My father imparted strong positive direction in my life and lived his own life in a way that it is a good example to look to when making decisions. Talking to my sister, I know that we both still look to have conversations with Dad when we are faced with challenging decisions in life. While he is not there to answer the phone, he is still alive inside of me for me to have a conversation with and so often I know the advice that he would give. Just as I honor my dad when I live my life in these ways, by living my life in ways that is consistent with the yearnings I sense from my heavenly Father, I also offer honor to God. This aspect of honoring by living lives consistent with the basis on which we were raised or called to aspire to is a very significant way to both honor and praise fathers.

While there may be particular things you chose to do on Father’s Day when your father is dead, such as flowers or going somewhere special, the best way to show honor on this day is to highlight and emphasize the way you bring honor to your father every day of your life. When you do this, your Father's Day celebration will be part of bringing you to find wholeness and peace and to keeping it.

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The Rev. Christopher L. Smith

Marriage and Family Therapist

The Rev. Christopher L. Smith, LCAC, LMHC, LMFT has served as a national leader around mental health issues both within the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) and in professional counseling organizations.  He works directly with individuals, couples, families and supervisees as the Clinical Director of Seeking Shalom in New York City.  He also brings his insight to help a wider audience through writing, speaking and consultations.

Location: New York, NY
Credentials: LAC, LMFT, LMHC, MDiv
Specialties: Couples/Marital Issues, Forgiveness, Spiritual
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