w/ Pastor Don Rhone
Father’s Day was just a couple of weeks ago and we know that it isn’t the same for
everyone. For some it’s great and for others it’s not so great. Even if your dad
wasn’t the best, through Christ we could always receive the best from what your
dad did offer. Even if that something was nothing, God can make something great
out of nothing. I wanted to share the following story as an example of how God
can give you the greater good from whatever you received from your earthly
“SENTIMENTAL FIRST MISSED FATHER’S DAY “
In May 2020, about a month before Father’s Day, some friends of ours invited my
wife and I to join them for a few days at a north Georgia mountain cabin. It was in
celebration of a special birthday of the wife. But, just one week before the trip it
dawned on me that the trip would be over the Father’s Day weekend. My heart
sank, and I began to feel overcome because it would be the first Father’s Day I
would ever miss being with my children. My children were ok with us being away
in the mountains on Father’s Day, but I so sadly apologized just the same.
Thinking about how disappointed and troubled I felt in planning that trip at that
time, I began to do some soul searching. “Why was I struggling so badly over this?
My wife and my adult kids were all ok with it, all except me.” As I searched my
heart and soul, the Lord took me back to something from my past. He took me
back to when I was 5, the 4th child of 5 children. It was a time when dad was the
man, he was the stuff in my eyes, because he was DADDY. But God took me back
to one specific day when I had suffered a great disappointment. He brought me
back to one Father’s Day when I was 5 years old. I was so excited because, that
Saturday before my mom had bought my dad the Father’s Day cake that I
remembered seeing on a TV commercial of a popular bakery. The cake had these
little plastic, brown and white oxford shoes on top of it (click pic below). They
looked just like the shiny two-tone shoes my dad wore. I always wanted dad to
have that cake and mom finally got it for Him.
On that Father’s Day, my dad did what he often did on Sunday mornings. He
would be gone by the time the rest of us got home from church and wouldn’t return
until very late that night.
But surely, I thought that he would be home all day with us on Father’s Day, or at
least till after we cut his cake. After all, we have this special cake for him…, for
But still, that Sunday morning, my dad was gone, and mom, my sibling, and I
waited all day for him to return. He didn’t come home until late that night, after I
was in bed and had cried myself to sleep. Consequently, for years after that I
carried that sadness within me, but it didn’t change my feelings about my dad. All I
know was I didn’t like that feeling but would have more disappointing situations
like it. I had long forgiven my dad for the mistakes he made, and the
disappointments he caused, and we maintained a very good relationship throughout
my adult life until he passed. Nevertheless, I apparently still carried some of the
effects of what happened. Because of times like that Father’s Day, I vow never to
be apart from my children on Father’s Day.
Back in 2020 I asked the Lord, “why bring me back to that now, when I had almost
completely forgotten it all. Even as I’m writing this now, God said to me… “It has
been a lot of your earthly father’s mistakes, disappointing pain that has helped to
forge you into being a better husband and father than you have been. It has helped
to give you wisdom in this area and drives you to be the man that I called you to be
and be of husband and father that your family needed you to be. You are seeing this
now because your children are adults, and you no longer need the past
disappointments of your father and the sentimentality to drive you to be better. You
have long learned and are driven to nurture and love your family by genuine
understanding, patience, and compassionate love. You are now, and have been for a
long time, healed of those disappointments and hurts. New chapters have already
begun, so you need to let go of some sentimentalities to continue forward. The
prophecy given to you years ago about sentimentality has been a longtime coming,
and it is now here.”
In 2020 I texted my children, apologizing about making plans to be away over that
Father’s Day weekend and how disturbed I was about. I tried to explain why I felt
the way I did, and that I never wanted to miss a Father’s Day with them. It would
have been ok with me if they had to miss it, but not for me. Their response to me
was, “Dad, take the trip, you deserve it, we can get together when you get back.”
At first my children’s response to what I was feeling hit me as them being a little
indifferent about being with me on Father’s Day. But knowing how our children
have always loved and honored us, that lie quickly dissolved. They all blew past
my sentimentality of it and responded with empathy, love, and respect, just as they
had always done in family situations like these.
I’m speaking of sentimentality in terms of “things we are overly or excessively
sensitive to, because of our past, and how we react to it instead of responding.”
Sentimentality could be a good thing depending on what it is driven by. If it’s
driven by disappointment, hurt or fear, then you will expect everyone or everything
to adhere to your feelings. In that there will be a struggle when things change.
Please believe me, in this life things will change, but God is the only absolute, and
He never changes. So, when we respond to sensitive things in our lives, with the
love of God we can successfully overcome. Though the phrase “love conquers all”
is not in the bible, there are several scriptures that gives the sentiment that it does.
- I Corinthians 13:1-13 (v7-8 bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things,
endures all things v8 Love never fails.)
- Galatians 5:22-23 KJV 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace,
longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, 23 Meekness, temperance: against such
there is no law.
Like in most families, the dynamics can change because of the natural and spiritual
progression of life, like marriage, children, grandchildren, beliefs, geographical
distance, or death. Prior to the process of change sentimentalities can already have
set in and could either drive a family apart or be used to draw them closer and
better. It depends on if we react to the change with emotions or respond with the
love of God. You can embrace sentimentality or step above them and love
genuinely. Sentimentality can keep you hanging on to the past and hinder you from
progressing through life healthily. Empathy and love are a part of growth, change,
and progress that brings you to an abundant life.
Despite the hurts and disappointments, we may sometime suffer in life or from
family, we all know that we genuinely love each other. And, in that love there is no
need to fear. “1 John 4:18 There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear,
because fear has punishment; and the one fearing has not been perfected in love “.
In genuine love we have the power to dispel the fear of getting hurt and overcome
any offense. In this we can easily forgive, love, and have peace of mind against all
malice (II Tim 1:7).
To the fathers and men, we can be hard as marble and as fragile as a rose.
Sentimentality can set in as principles and rules to guard against disappointments
and hurts. Nevertheless, principles can easily be changed. So, live your life and let
it be guided by conviction of the love of God, because convictions are difficult to
Dedicated to Pastor Dads
Paul is the Founder and CEO of All Pro Pastors International, a ministry that encourages and challenges Pastors to join together as Kingdom Brothers to develop trust, accountability and unity. It is a ministry that strengthens Pastors marriages, families, and ministries by establishing “Champions Tables”. The “Champions Table” is a safe place where Pastors can meet together and develop genuine relationships. The Champions Table is a pastors “Prayer Fortress!”
Pastor Paul Pickern is married to his wife Linda. They have 5 children (Tony, Stephanie, Dale, Seth, Schyler) and 12 grand children. Their home is in Plant City, Florida between Tampa and Orlando. Paul was born in Belleville, Illinois and Linda was born in Charleston, West Virginia.