In 1908, a West Virginia church held an event to honor the 362 men who had died the previous December in an explosion at the Fairmont Coal Company mines in Monongah. That became the first event specifically meant to honor fathers.

The following year, a young woman in Spokane, Washington named Sonora Smart Dodd attempted to establish a day for male parents equivalent to Mother’s Day. Dodd was one of six children raised by a Civil War veteran. Enlisting the help of local churches, shopkeepers, government officials and the YMCA, Dodd was able to garner enough support for her idea that Washington State celebrated the country’s first state-wide Father’s Day on June 19, 1910. The holiday tradition gradually spread—stalled for decades by debate over its practicality—and finally in 1972, President Richard Nixon signed the proclamation making Father’s Day a federal holiday.

Fathers were given their day after all.

For these many years since, we’ve pondered, panicked, and pressured ourselves in figuring out what to do for Dad on Father’s Day. For most, it’s a positive, albeit perplexing task. For some, not so much. Regardless, the media is filled with Father’s Day sales, articles, and advertisements for weeks ahead of time.

But one thing is always, always missing.

Nobody points out that there is a Father who deserves more honor and gratitude than any other.

God the Father.

Of course, I understand that Father’s Day is meant for men who have physically fathered and raised a child. Yet, God the Father also fathered and “raised” a child – countless children, in fact. You, and me, and every human being to ever have been or ever to be, created.

What’s more, he created the fathers we’ll be honoring this Father’s Day. So, why not include him in our celebration?

Each of us, individually, and as a whole, owe everything to God, although we often forget that (myself included). Even though life may seem harsh at times, it’s not for naught. Every single aspect of our lives has been put into place and is orchestrated by our heavenly Father so that we can one day enter into Eternity with him.

Why? Because he loves us with an all-encompassing, enduring love. I am, you are, every human being is, the apple of God’s eye.

Consider what the prophet Zechariah told us about our heavenly Father.

For thus says the Lord of hosts, “After glory He has sent me against the nations which plunder you, for he who touches you, touches the apple of His eye. (Ze 8:2)

Anybody who touches us—for better or worse—or who converses with us, who even so much as looks at us has interacted with the apple of God’s eye. That is how much he cherishes us.

The Psalmist knew this as well.

Keep me as the apple of the eye; Hide me in the shadow of Your wings, (Ps 17:8)

That’s pretty remarkable when you consider how mighty God is. He doesn’t need us; he didn’t have to create us and he could literally live without us. Still, he created us out of love in order to love and in order to be loved.

He uniquely created you and created you to be unique. It’s almost as if you were an only child, because your heavenly Father loves you with such force it’s as if no other human being had ever been created.

You are the apple of his eye.

Hard to fathom, but absolutely true.

Certainly you should honor your physical father this Father’s Day, but it would do you well to also honor our heavenly Father as well.

He should have his day after all.

You even can give him a gift, and it’s one that doesn’t cost a dime. The only gift you have to give him, the only gift he longs for, is your childlike love. That in itself would be an amazing Father’s Day gift for God the Father.

Show him how much you appreciate being the apple of his eye.