12 Meaningful Ways to Appreciate Dad on Father’s Day

Scripture mentions fathers or something related to fathering over 1,000 times, including Proverbs 23:22, which tells us to “Listen to the father who gave you life,” and Proverbs 13:1, “A wise child hears his father’s instruction.”

With Father’s Day just around the corner, we all want to treat these special men in our lives with creativity and kindness. Healthy, loving, kind dads are gifts from God. We are so thankful for the positive dads and dad figures in our lives. That said—to all the moms in the world, you do so much. You balance to-do lists, budgets, errands, care, and scheduling details that make the family calendar go round. Therefore, you might come to Father’s Day with some stress! Or, you might come to this day on the calendar with some pain or heartache related to your own father-wounds, from absentee fathers, from dads who have passed away, or due to an estranged relationship with your dad. (See article, prayers for estranged family members, for a prayer guide about that sensitive topic.)

What does it mean to honor and celebrate Father’s Day when it’s fun and when it’s hard? The word honor, biblically, signifies something that’s heavy or weighty. It means to give something the weight it deserves, the gravitas it deserves. The word celebrate means to laugh, to feast, and to play. Father’s Day deserves both seriousness and celebration. Honoring and celebrating the deserving dads in the world is no small thing. Honoring and celebrating your own pain or longings around the holiday is just as important. And while you certainly want to make the day special for the father of your kiddos—and your own father as well—on Father’s Day, the last thing you need is another stressor, especially if it feels like an already emotional holiday.

This year, take the pressure off yourself and consider turning up the volume, elevating, or taking a creative spin on some of the old classics. And consider taking some time to pay attention to and honor your own grief, and the pain of those in need during Father’s Day this year. Here are a few fun and some more serious spins on the classic Father’s Day gifts:

  1. Instead of a tie, have your kids pick out a cool t-shirt for Dad, something that speaks to his personality. My husband’s favorite movie from the 80s is Rad. His favorite show is Survivor. We ordered a Rad t-shirt one year and a Survivor tee in another. Think of his favorite things for fun t-shirt themes. You might even design a personalized t-shirt. Get your kids involved and have fun.  
  2. Instead of a homemade or store-bought card, have your kids make a video card. Film them saying some of their favorite things about Dad, maybe even dressed up like him to add a cute spin to it.
  3. Instead of breakfast in bed, have your kids plan a breakfast scavenger hunt, like a moveable feast with clues to each next part of the meal. Bacon on the back porch, eggs in the kitchen, pancakes by the tv. Go crazy and get creative!
  4. Instead of an old-school mix tape, have your kids create a dad-themed playlist on a streaming service with some of their favorite songs or father-themed music! Blast it in the house and have a dance party!
  5. Instead of cologne or another stereotypical gift, have your kids design a realm in Minecraft or create a Father’s Day message in on one of their favorite gaming platforms. Heck! Have your kids design a Father’s Day video game. Many of them already have the tech know-how to do that. Let them impress Dad with their digital creations.
  6. Instead of doing something for a dad—especially f you had a difficult relationship with your dad, or you’re grieving the loss of a dad, or your kid’s dad are no longer in the picture—do something special for yourself and your kids. Go see a movie. Take yourself out to lunch. Or do something in honor of your grief, in honor of your dad’s legacy, or your husband’s legacy. Use today to honor your own longings or loss and to bond with your precious kiddos.
  7. Instead of celebrating alone, if you are part of a small group or church community or live on a neighborhood block with a lot of dads, throw a Father’s Day picnic, a barbecue, and/or a dad-themed karaoke night for you and your friends.  
  8. Instead of a traditional toast, create a top ten list “presentation” of the top ten dads on television, in the movies, in literature, or in the Bible.
  9. Instead of buying something extraneous for him, give Dad a break – send him golfing, camping, hiking, or to an arcade- alone or with the family. 
  10.  Instead of spending a lot of money, come up with a list of dad puns and “bad” dad jokes to share with the man in your life.  
  11. Instead of assuming what would feel loving to him, find out and utilize his love language – gifts, physical affection, words of affirmation, quality time, acts of service – to honor and celebrate him. 
  12. Instead of looking inward, consider the fatherless and widows in your community on Father’s Day. Psalm 68:5 describes God as Father to the fatherless and protector of widows. Psalm 82:3 tells us to seek justice for the weak and fatherless. God’s heart is moved towards the orphan and the widow, and on a day like Father’s Day, we can serve and glorify God and love our neighbors by caring for the fatherless in our midst. Do something special, meaningful, and dignifying for them.  

Depending on your current circumstances, Father’s Day might be fun and lighthearted or, obviously, more of an emotionally stressful day for you and your family. Whatever sorrow or celebration you are coming to the holiday with, you can celebrate the dads in your life in fun and creative ways. You can honor your own needs. And you can honor the concerns of your neighbors. Consider this Father’s Day your invitation to it all.

Photo Credit:  Image created using DALL.E 2024  AI technology and subsequently edited and reviewed by our editorial team.

Aubrey Sampson is a pastor, author, speaker, and cohost of the podcast, Nothing is Wasted. She is the author of Big Feeling Days, The Louder Song, Overcomer, and her newest release, Known. Find and follow her @aubsamp on Instagram. Go to for more. 

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