Jesus is always countercultural. His way is upside-down—at least in relation to our world. I mean, we lose our lives to find them? The first becomes the last. Weakness is power. Humility is exalted Leaders are servants. Enemies are loved. Suffering leads to glory. Sin is forgiven.
The reality, of course, is that it’s not the way of Jesus that’s upside-down. It’s us. It’s our world. Just open the news. You can see it right away. C.S. Lewis wrote, “I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen: not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else.” When we begin to see things as Jesus sees them, the more clearly we see this world as it really is. And we can see clearly what Jesus is up to—that he came to set everything right, to set our world right-side-up.
So, let’s join Jesus this Father’s Day season and betray the culture of the world. Instead of (or in addition to) what retailers and marketers want us to do, let’s give our husbands gifts more unique and more valuable than we’ve given them in the past.
Here are three suggestions for right-side-up gifts for Father's Day:
Tell him his true worth.
To honor someone is to build them up, to give them a sense of their value. This world teaches us that our value is measured by successes, failures, talents, faults, wealth, poverty, titles, and appearances. And so, “honoring” usually focuses on these. This is not, however, what God intends. “Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth” (Col. 3:2).
To honor someone as God intends is to give them a sense of their true worth. It’s seeing them as God sees them. It’s pushing right through the confusion of worldly measures looking for evidence of what God has done in and through them, and what he’s doing currently. And, finally, most importantly, it’s telling them what we see. Our edifying, encouraging words to one another are gifts from God.
Tell him he is loved.
God loves us no matter what. Wow. That’s difficult to accept, isn’t it? I mean, it’s hard to feel worthy of that love with all our mistakes, our imperfections. Don’t we need to be perfect and holy, just as he is, before he can love us? The answer is no. We don’t. God loves us just as we are right now.
God’s love for each of us burns bright and true. It will never dim. Not ever. Not even a little. If you were to plot his love on a graph, the line would be high and flat. It wouldn’t fluctuate over time; it would never swing in response to our good actions—or even our worst. He doesn’t love us more because of the things we’ve accomplished or acquired in life. He loves us because we are his beloved sons and daughters and because He is an outrageously loving Father God.
Remind your husband of this. But remind him that you love him for who he is too—the love of your life—not for what he does and what he brings home.
Tell him you are not worried.
For husbands, it can feel like worrying is just a part of being a man. They, like us, worry about the bad things that might happen—to them, to us, to our loved ones. So, they, like us, strategize and plan about how to get out in front of all those things. As we know, all that worrying can hang over our lives. It can haunt our thoughts and steal important moments—moments that should be joy-filled.
But Jesus teaches us that we don’t need to worry. For He didn’t come so that we’d live lives haunted by fear. He came and died to set us free from such things (Gal. 5:1). He assures us that our Father God will take care of us, whether we worry or not (Matt. 6:26). Remind your husband of this, as well. But even more, tell him that you are not worried. Tell him you trust God. And tell him that you trust him too. Encourage him. Tell him you believe in him. Tell him that you know it’s all going to be okay, somehow.
Write your version of all these messages on a card. Or, perhaps better still, tell him with your own words, looking directly into his eyes. However you do it, surprise your husband with these uncommon, right-side-up gifts on Father’s Day.