Have you ever heard of the Five Love Languages? (Here’s a quick primer if you haven’t.) The idea is that every person has a way that they primarily feel loved, and it usually fits into one of these bucket: words of affirmation, quality time, receiving gifts, acts of service, and physical touch. When others love us in the way we best receive, it hits a sweet spot and fills an emotional love bucket we all have.
This idea is not particular to men or women – it’s for everyone. The men in my world, as much as the women, need to feel seen, respected, appreciated, and encouraged.
As Father’s Day approaches, I’m pausing to consider the men I want to honor and how they receive love. While I know of specific love language preferences for some men I know better, like my husband or family, I find that a sincere note is always well-received, and is often an incredibly meaningful gesture.
This can always be coupled with another loving gesture as well (lunch together, a massage, the tool he’s wanted -- whatever fits the bill.) But don’t underestimate the power of your words alone! Every man benefits from thoughtful encouragement, and for many, it’s a rare gift. Your words can truly shape a dad’s day and perspective.
Father’s Day is for all the dads you know, so let’s consider broadening the boundaries of Father’s Day to include a few more men who could use an encouraging word. Here are a few men to keep in mind on Father’s Day and questions to help inspire a meaningful message.
Dad: Some dad’s are serious, silly, handy, softies, stern, homebodies, adventurers…the list could go on. There are so many dad personalities and reasons to honor that guy on Father’s day. We all have different relationships with our dad, so whatever the dynamic is, challenge yourself to stay focused on what is positive and true to honor him. I’m confident you’ll make his day.
What do you like most about your relationship? What is the role he plays that no one else can fill?
- What aspects of your personality do you get from him and appreciate?
- What has he said or done to shaped a decision you’ve made?
- How has he showed his support for you in the ways that mattered to you?
- What is a favorite memory with him?
- What has he taught you about being a parent?
- Wish him a wonderful day. For some relationships, a big gesture is simply sending that card to say you’re thinking of him on Father’s Day.
Like a Dad: Some of us know men who have been great supports and trustworthy go-to guys over the years. They have that fatherly status in our lives and are there when it counts. This man might be a family member (father-in-law, grandfather, uncle, etc.), godfather, family friend, or a mentor you’ve looked up to through the years. Let him know you admire him and his presence matters!
- Let him know he’s been a consistent and positive influence in your life.
- What aspects of his support or personality have mattered most to you?
- What is a favorite memory or conversation that comes to mind when you think of him?
Husband: Take this opportunity to recognize your man with a message of respect and gratitude. Wherever you are in the parenting journey – diapers or empty nesting – he’ll be encouraged by knowing his sacrifices and efforts are noticed.
- When is a recent time you watched him parent and felt gratitude?
- What parts of his personality and character to you see (or hope to see) in your children?
- How have you seen him grow as a person since becoming a dad?
- What have you learned from him about parenting?
- What are a few reasons you’re glad to be with him specifically while raising your children?
Family + Friends: Think of a family member or friend who is a dad (brother or brother-in-law, a close friend), and offer an encouraging word to support him as he raises his children while balancing other life responsibilities.
- What do you admire about his parenting style?
- How have you seen him grow since becoming a dad?
- What good qualities do you see in his kids that they get from him?
give with joy is thrilled to celebrate dads this month! May we continue to give generously and with joy to the men who shape us and our children!