FIRST-PERSON: Celebrate Dad

PENSACOLA, Fla. (BP) -- Billy Graham once said, "A good father is one of the most unsung, unpraised, unnoticed, and yet one of the most valuable assets in our society."

Help your children show love for Dad with a well-planned, poignant Father's Day gift or love demonstration. Try one of these starter ideas:

High school or college son or daughter:

-- Write a long, heartfelt, hand-written letter to Dad, listing things you admire about him. Be very specific.

-- Find two photos of you and Dad -- one with you as a baby or small kid and one of you with him this year. Put it in a dual frame.

-- Take Dad to lunch -- just the two of you -- your treat! Be intentional about sharing your heart and goals. Take a selfie with him and proudly post it on Instagram or Facebook.

Middle school daughter or son:

-- Use one of many free word search websites to easily make a personalized word search game about your dad. First, list lots of descriptive words -- traits you admire, nicknames, hobbies, favorite things along with words like hero, dad and manofGod. Print the puzzle, roll and tie with ribbon.

-- Take a great photo with your dad. Make a 2-by-3-inch print for his billfold, with a "love you" note on the back.

-- Kidnap Dad and take him out for breakfast. Ask questions about his childhood and his work. Ask him about how he came to know God. Tell Dad things you love about him.

Elementary-age son or daughter:

-- Blow up dozens of balloons and write one thing you love and appreciate about Dad on each. Words can be funny, serious and creative or simple phrases such as "Thank You, God, for my dad." Fill a small room, such as dad's closet, with the balloons. Or tape them around his workbench or desk or around the house.

-- Ask Mom to help you plan a special outing -- just for Dad and you -- such as go-cart racing, fishing or a ball game.

-- Write a simple poem about Dad. Add a Scripture, such as 1 Corinthians 16:13, Joshua 24:15b, Ephesians 6:2a. Frame it or use a free app to convert it to a rap.

Preschool daughter or son:

-- Mom, make a list of questions, ranging from silly to serious, to ask your child about Daddy, such as "What do you love most about Dad?" "How much does Dad weigh?" or "What does daddy do that makes you laugh?" Make a little booklet of the answers.

-- Simple handmade coupons make a sweet gift. Be creative with promises, such as grilling assistant, foot massage, a race down the sidewalk and back.

-- An older preschooler might enjoy setting up a simple treasure hunt for Dad, with a small gift at the end.

Make it a meal to remember. Prepare a fabulous meal of Dad's very favorite foods on Father's Day. Whether it' a cookout or an indoor feast, involve the kids in its preparation and make it great fun. Before the meal, allow each child to pray, thanking God for one specific thing about their dad.

Mother's Day is often celebrated well, but since God's Word instructs us to honor our father and mother, why not go all out to help your kids celebrate God's gift of a dad?

Diana Davis, on the Web at www.dianadavis.org, is an author, columnist and ministry wife in Pensacola, Fla. She is the author of "Fresh Ideas," "Deacon Wives" (B&H Publishing) and the newly released "Six Simple Steps - Finding Contentment and Joy as a Ministry Wife" (New Hope Publishers).
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