Practical tips to honor noncustodial dads on Father’s Day



In a previous post about Father’s Day we talked about the how to help kids who have a MIA dad. There are many dads who are not missing. These are the dads, who while they might not have custody, are good dads that love their children deeply.

They care about the well fare of the kids and the family where their children live. The child’s family might be a single mom household or a step family situation. But whatever the situation the single dad wants what is best for his kids. He wants his kids to be safe. He wants them to grow up to be strong and healthy. He puts his needs, wants and desires to the side for his children.

These dads are hardworking dads. They might be a schoolteacher, a laborer, a doctor, a lawyer or store clerk or in any other profession. They come in many shapes, sizes and categories. Often, they also are the dads that get left out of Father’s Day celebrations at churches.

Many people tend to think because a father doesn’t have custody of his children that he is what our society calls a ‘dead-beat dad.’ This is not true. These dads support their children financially, spiritually and emotionally.

To the single mom

Perhaps it will be hard for you to honor the father of your children. Please consider putting your personal feelings and perspective on the back burner and making this day about your children. It is an innate desire put in each of us by the Heavenly Father to want to love our earthly fathers.

Help your child honor his or her dad by doing something special. Sometimes all you have to do is let get your child inspired.

My own daughter was very angry with her father after our divorce. I understood but I felt it my responsibility as a Christian mother to help her understand the importance of honoring her dad. As she got older it became her responsibility to honor him but I still reminded her well in advance.

Ideas for your family

  • Draw a card or paint a picture
  • Make a video and send it to the dad
  • Allow your child to make a Face Time call or Skype call
  • Create a gift out of items in your home
  • Purchase a small gift your child can give to their father. Have the child go shopping with you and wrap the gift themselves
  • Invite their father over for a meal on Father’s Day or let your children take him out for breakfast or lunch
  • Encourage your children to invite him to attend church with them

To church leaders

Take time to honor the single dads in your church. If they have joint custody or full custody they have their hands full. It they don’t have custody they have their hearts full.

  • Encourage another family to invite that dad to dinner on Father’s Day especially if his children are not with him. Dads get lonely too.
  • Give them a silly pin that says something like, “Best single dad EVER” and slap it on them when they walk in the door to your church
  • Plop a hat on their head that says, “Thank you for being Dad”
  • Have donuts and coffee available in the single and single parents class and make a big deal out of it being Father’s Day.
  • Make up “Virtue of a Father” cards with quotes that will bless the dads. Examples:
    Small boys become big men through the influence of big men who care about small boys. (Anonymous)

    The father of a righteous man has great joy;
 he who has a wise son delights in him. Proverbs 23:24(NIV)”A man finds joy in giving an apt reply – and how good is a timely word!” Proverbs 15:23 (NIV)

Put your creative minds to work.

Here are some great ideas from Children’s Ministry Magazine that your children’s leaders can do to honor the involved noncustodial dad or any dad for that matter.

Make it a great day in the Lord this Father’s Day.



This article is updated and adapted from an article originally published on the Kids & Divorce blog on May 10, 2015.

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4 thoughts on “Practical tips to honor noncustodial dads on Father’s Day

  1. I’d like to speak to Single Moms for a minute on this. No matter how not involved or involved with your kids their father is or is not, push your kids to do whatever is appropriate to honor their dad this Sunday.

    Phone call, leave a message singing Happy Father’s Day or just we love you card in the mail or email. All the ideas that Linda put on the blog – use them. Mom’s have that responsibility.

    Honoring your children’s Dad on Father’s day will both celebrate their Dad and his position in their lives – and it will also build character in your kids. Mom- remember your kids need to honor their dad for his position- and not his behavior if that comes into the equation. There are no perfect dads or moms- but our kids need to honor whomever the Lord gave them as a parent… and that honors God. Not just on Father’s Day but every day of the year.

  2. I have been leading in single parents ministry for a few years now. I am ashamed to say that this past father’s day was the first one where we truly honored our single dads. The moms and I decorated a room for them with a picnic theme, and some of the moms made gifts on a BBQ theme. One of our pastors came to listen and pray with them about fatherhood – he also brought BBQ and swag bags for dads. One of the moms wrote a poem, and framed it for each of them. Then she gave a honoring talk about what their presence in their children’s lives means to them, and how healing it is for the single moms that they come to group each week. I talked very briefly – and felt prompted to apologize on behalf of single moms who keep them from having time with their children out of anger, and shared hopes that they can get on the same page as coparents. One of the dads – whose former girlfriend hid that he had a son so he got a DNA test done and is now an involved father – was clearly moved. They were very, very touched by all of it, and it was our honor to celebrate these dads who don’t always hear how amazing they are.

    • Cathy what a wonderful tribute. Oh how we all need to learn a lesson from you and your group. Thank you so much for commenting.

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