February 21, 2012

A Letter to Future Fathers of Daughters

Dear Future Fathers of Daughters,

Originally, I wrote this in mind of just writing to the men out there who will be dads someday, but then I started to realize that more and more I was addressing needs that are particular to daughters especially. So men of all ages, if God richly blesses you with a daughter someday, please remember to do a few things...

Value and Cherish Her. Your daughter is going to look at you as her primary example of how she's to be treated by the men in her life. So, please, please, please, love your wife! A well loved mother really is one of the best gifts you can give to your daughter. Your daughter is going to look at the marriage covenant the two of you share as her standard of marriage. How you treat your wife is how she will expect to be treated in her own marriage someday, which means you need to be showcasing marriage as it is presented in the scriptures for her: Christ (the husband) sacrificially loving and dying for His bride, the church (the wife). Good, godly dads will desire THE very best for their daughters, but your marriage better be backing that up! It'll be incredibly confusing to tell her to wait for a man who faithfully loves and cherishes her, when she turns around and doesn't see you doing so with her mother. It's hypocritical and causes major trust issues. Your the first love of her life. She's going to look up to you as her hero! So set the standard high for the man she marries (and the ones she dates as well) by being that type of man from the very beginning. "Be the standard she judges all men against." Prove to her that there are men who are trustworthy. Show her that there are good men in the world and she deserves to be treated with the utmost honor, respect, dignity, and love. Actively pursue her heart by taking her out on dates! In fact, be really annoying about it! ;) And as she grows up, constantly remind her of her great value, worth, and beauty (always tell your daughter that she's beautiful). If she knows and feels this, she in turn will learn to value and cherish herself as well.

Protect and Provide for Her. Make sure your daughter always knows she's safe and secure with you. That she can always come to you for anything and everything with the expectation that you will lovingly take care of and help her, hear her out, and extend grace. You should be the one she runs to when she cries. From the first time she has a nightmare and needs a monster run out of her closet till... well, till the day you die! When the world feels like it's crashing in (and it will feel like that to her as she gets older) be that protector and defender that God has called you to be! You've been called to be her provider in regards to her physical, emotional, and spiritual needs. Always be for her, not against her, and after her greatest joy.

Encourage and Teach Her. Be involved in your daughters education, and I mean that in every regard. Know how she's doing in school and encourage her to do well. Challenge her to grow in her hobbies and interests. Help her to gain confidence and wisdom in what she loves. Show her how to treat others and what to value.

Bless and Delight in Her. Being a dad can be a super fun job. I'm all for parents (appropriately) spoiling their kids. After all, don't you think God spoils His kids beyond what they deserve? I'm pretty convinced He does. Our Heavenly Father desires to give us good gifts and bless us in ways particular to each of us. More and more I think dads should just have fun with their kids. Jesus was fun folks! You shouldn't be disciplinary when there isn't a warranted reason for it! Give her memories and traditions. Watch the princess movies, play tea party and dress up, dance with her, snuggle, sing the goofy songs that she likes, build the castle out of sheets and your wife's dining room furniture (I'd be all for it!), read the fairy tales, take her to the playground, and talk to her. When she grows up she should be able to look back on her childhood with great affection.

Pastor Her. Pray over and with her, read the Bible stories, go to church, and ask what she's learning about Jesus. You've been called to be the spiritual leader of your home. Engage with your daughter's walk with the Lord throughout her entire life. As a parent your job will be to reflect the love of Christ to your daughter and teach her to walk in His ways.

Make Her a Priority. Don't put your work above your daughter. Learn when to say "no" to your work and hobbies in order to be present in her life. Make it a point to be at as many recitals, concerts, games, birthday, and events as possible. By doing so you're showing her that family really is more important than work and that she's of high value to you and your time.

Tonight nearly half of the children in this country will go to be without their daddies tucking them into bed and kissing them goodnight. This is a travesty. Maybe some of you grew up in that home yourself. Or the father God gave you wounded you deeply. My heart goes out to you and I know God grieves over this greatly. I'm not excusing your earthly father's behavior whatsoever, but I also want you to know that Christ has not called you to follow down that same path. Christ is summoning you to be a better man. Christ has called all men to parent their children well, just as He parents His children. As an earthly father you'll bear the great responsibility of showcasing many of the attributes of the Heavenly Father to your child. This is not to be taken lightly. Be that man God has called you to be for your daughter, for she will be a sweet and precious gift that the Lord has entrusted to you. Rely on His strength and grace to help you when the time comes. When the ball finally gets passed to you, don't drop it.

8 comments :

  1. This is so sweet, and SO true! Makes me realize how lucky I am to have the dad that I have!

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  2. i just love this, because that's EXACTLY how my dad is - to a T. you described him perfectly - except that he didn't play tea party with me or watch princess movies (mostly because i was never really into that stuff, haha) but he is really one of the best dads a girl could ask for and i hope someday that the man i marry is a lot like him.

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  3. There is a lot of wisdom in this post. Thanks for posting it!

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  4. So much wisdom! Thanks Natalie, these words can't be true enough. Being a father, as you said, shouldn't be taken lightly. Many fathers feel like they should do the bare minimum, being on a provider to their daughter/child, but there is so much more to it! They must be there emotionally too, showing their daughters how a man should treat a girl. They should be the daughters second love, after God. Fathers have one of the most rewarding and blessed positions in the family and should start acting that this position is an absolute gift.

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  5. OH gosh! Please every guy with no kid read this, if only!!! (not being negative here)...how beautiful natalie!!! The Spirit is really moving in you!

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