Is Father’s Day the Worst Holiday in the World?

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As I scrolled through social media, I found a comedian joking about how Father’s Day was the worst holiday in the world. “Mother’s Day is the second most celebrated holiday in the world,” he remarked, referring to the amount of money spent on each occasion. He continued, “There’s Christmas and then Mother’s Day. So, after Jesus, you honor your ‘mama.'” 

“Do you know where Father’s Day is ranked?” he inquired. “The number twenty.” As the audience chuckled, a countdown of the holidays that are more important than Father’s Day began.

Curious about the comedian’s accuracy, I checked the numbers. While he took some comedic liberty, he wasn’t far off. The National Retail Federation’s sales report showed that in 2020, Americans spent 773 billion dollars on gifts for Christmas. The second-highest gift-giving holiday was Mother’s Day, with 28.1 billion dollars. In third place was Valentine’s Day, at 27.4 billion dollars. Some would argue that women win that battle with the feminine focus of Valentine’s Day too. Father’s Day would land in fifth place, with 17 billion dollars spent annually.

My dad was not perfect; he would be the first to admit this. However, his value to me is more significant than I could ever spend financially on him.

The best comedy is always forged in truth. So I thought to ask, “Is the amount of money we spend on a holiday a true indication of how we value our fathers?”

What would be a solid criterion for assessing a dad’s value on Father’s Day? 

What Do We Spend When Fathers Are Absent?

When we consider the money spent, gift-giving can be one way to examine the value we give to fathers. Another value proposition could be determining the amount of money necessary to compensate for the absence of a father in the home.

The National Fatherhood Initiative, under the direction of now-former President Roland Warren, released a study in 2006 on annual federal spending to support father-absent homes. This research, which evaluated 13 means-tested anti-poverty programs and child support enforcement, was the first of its kind.

The published report, The One Hundred Billion Dollar Man, demonstrated that the federal government spends $99.8 billion compensating for fatherless homes. The money was spent on programs like Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), child support enforcement, food and nutrition programs, housing programs, Medicaid, and State Children’s Health Insurance Plan (SCHIP). The report also noted that while the cause of fatherlessness can stem from various reasons, the negative implications and statistical outcomes for children are vast and far-reaching. Even so, a father’s value goes beyond just the financial stability he brings to the home.

The Security a Father Provides

When assessing the importance of fathers, security in the form of money is a crucial factor to consider. Security, though, can come in various forms. Sure, having a father at home can lower the likelihood of poverty, but having a father at home can also reduce the level of anger and violence that kids display when their father isn’t there.

Studies indicate that a father’s presence in the home provides structure and discipline that a mother alone cannot account for. Further research indicates that, even in single-parent households where the father is the sole provider for the child’s care, there is no greater increase in violent behavior than with the mother alone.

When violent behavior is present, the outcomes for children are poor. Studies have demonstrated that children of fatherless homes are more likely to commit crimes, go to prison, face neglect and abuse, and demonstrate increased behavioral problems due to a father’s absence. Having a father present in the home benefits the entire family’s security.

My Father’s Story

Unlike the 15 million children living in fatherless homes, I was blessed to have my dad as a regular part of my life. For me, his presence provided stability that, at the time, was difficult to quantify. You see, having him around was normal for me. I never experienced the anger associated with not knowing who he was or the longing to understand why he wasn’t there. His presence enabled me to learn a great deal from my dad.

The first thing my dad taught me was the benefit of hard work. He would say, “I may not be smarter than the next man, but no one will ever work harder than me.” More than just words, this was an instruction on how to live.

My father instilled in me the virtues of self-discipline, a strong work ethic, achieving goals, and never letting others define my worth. I’ll never be able to put a price on having the ability to witness his example in our home.

My dad was not perfect; he would be the first to admit this. However, his value to me is more significant than what I could ever spend financially on him.

If you grew up with your father, I’m confident you feel the same way too.

Scripture is clear that we are to honor our father and mother (Eph 6:2). Father’s Day is set aside to honor fathers. It’s incumbent upon us to see to it that it is the best day for Dad.

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Virgil Walker

Vice President of Ministry Relations G3 Ministries

Virgil L. Walker is the Vice President of Ministry Relations for G3 Ministries, an author and conference speaker. His books include Just Thinking About the State, Just Thinking About Ethnicityand Why Are You Afraid? He co-hosts the Just Thinking Podcast with Darrell Harrison and is a weekly contributor to Fearless with Jason Whitlock on the Blaze Media platform. Virgil has a Master of Business Administration and a Master of Theological Studies from Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. Virgil and his wife, Tomeka, have three children. Listen to his podcast here.