How to Make an Incredible Difference

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Tomorrow evening Jamie and I will speak at an event hosted by the Central Texas Fatherhood Initiative. She is coming home from Oklahoma Christian Univ. for this event.

 

I’ve got to admit, I always find it difficult to speak about being a Dad (or parent).  Why?  Maybe it is because I know that whatever was done right was by the grace of God.  Maybe it is because my weaknesses are all too apparent to me.  Maybe it is because I feel like I am still learning.

 

Yet, I have learned a few things.  More than ever, I see the importance of Godly parents.  It really is a ministry in the truest sense of that word. 

 

So–here are a few things I’ve learned about what girls need from their Dads.  (Is is obvious that I’ve spent these years rearing girls?  Maybe some of this will be applicable to boys as well).

 

As a Dad, you can give your daughter affection.  (I’m talking about appropriate affection.)  Think about an evening in which you were sitting in front of the television about to watch the game.  Your daughter comes in with her big sister’s dress on and her over-sized shoes.  She comes through the living room wanting you to notice.  She wants to know the same thing that she will want to know even years later.  "Do you think I am beautiful, Daddy?"

 

She needs to hear that you cherish her beauty.  Her whole-person beauty.  You don’t use any nickname or any teasing that could even remotely suggest that you don’t esteem her.  (Please don’t tell me that she knows you are teasing and that you really love her.  Too many children have lived with cruel and humiliating nicknames given by someone who was just "teasing").  She sees how you treat her mother and how you talk about women in general.  As she grows up, you treat her as you expect a young man to treat her one day.  You show her respect and communicate over and over that she is just right

 

As a Dad, you can give your daughter your protection.  This world can be a scary place to a child (and adults!).  But if you are near, if you are connected, she is able to deal with this.  How important!  She hears of Dads who abandon their families and run off to live elsewhere.  Meanwhile, her Dad is present, conscious that the evil one would love to have an inroad into her heart. 

 

Finally, as a Dad, you can give your daughter your encouragement
Giving her encouragement means that you try to catch her doing what is right.  You look for ways to point out her good qualities.  You communicate over and over in a thousand different ways that you are with her.  She needs to know that her Daddy really does believe in her.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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3 thoughts on “How to Make an Incredible Difference

  1. Jim,
    I love that you and Jamie are speaking at that event! What a great way to help fathers become the men they need to be for their daughters.

    As a daughter who has always idolized her father, I can tell you that I believe everything you wrote to be true.

    I also loved that my dad had high expectations for me. Knowing that he knew I had it in me was a huge encouragement to me!

    Of course, when I didn’t live up to the expectations, he would help me up, dust me off, and say “Try it again!” I will always be grateful for that.

  2. Jim,
    I was at the Father/Daughter Ball saturday night with my oldest daughter, Deanie, and I really appreciated the words that you had to say to all of us. Listening to Jamie speak about you really brought a smile to your face while you were sitting listening to her. You had a very proud expression on your face when she spoke of all of her accomplishments as well as Christine’s. You are a role model for alot of us “rookie” fathers who are trying to find the right path to walk on with our children, especially our daughters. I have 2 daughters and my relationship with them is very unique. After the Ball was over and we got in our car to go home Deanie put her arms around my neck and said “Thanks dad, I love you.” That is a moment that will live in my heart forever!!