The White House sent a letter of commendation to Christian author D.J. Young ahead of Father’s Day to thank him for all the work he has done and continues to do as an advocate and supporter of responsible fatherhood.
“Your leadership at the Wisdom 4 Dads organization is both impressive and invaluable as you seek to reach out and support fathers across the nation,” wrote Joshua DuBois, executive director of the White House Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships.
In addition to being the founder of faith-based Wisdom 4 Dads, Young is the author of ten books on fathering, including The Three Phases of Fatherhood-Dad, Father, Grandfather, A Wife’s Guide to Inspiring a Great Dad, and Eight Spiritual Wonders of Being a Father.
DuBois noted in his letter that President Obama - because of his own experience with an absent father - had directed the White House's faith-based office to make advancing responsible fatherhood one of its top priorities.
Obama’s father left him and his mother when he was two-years-old, and he has said that the absence has had a great impact on his life.
“I came to understand that the hole a man leaves when he abandons his responsibility to his children is one that no government can fill,” Obama wrote in an opinion piece for Parade Magazine last year for Father’s Day.
“That is why we need fathers to step up, to realize that their job does not end at conception; that what makes you a man is not the ability to have a child but the courage to raise one,” the president added.
This year, in his Father’s Day proclamation, Obama paid tribute to not only biological fathers, but to men who serve as father-figures to children. These men include foster and adoptive fathers, mentors, tutors and big brothers.
The president also tipped his hat to nontraditional families by mentioning same-sex couples.
“Nurturing families come in many forms, and children may be raised by a father and mother, a single father, two fathers, a step-father, a grandfather, or caring guardian,” Obama wrote.
“For the character they build, the doors they open, and the love they provide over our lifetimes, all our fathers deserve our unending appreciation and admiration,” the president's proclamation concluded.