This one is for all the fathers out there. It seems as though there is a lot of emphasis on the role of a mother in a family. But today I really want to focus on fathers. Specifically, a relationship between a father and his daughter. A father has an impact on his daughter’s life the way a mother cannot.
This planet is such a influencing place. A strong male role model is so important in a daughter’s life. From birth all the way into adulthood, women are essentially shaped by the relationships they have with our fathers. Without a father’s influence, a girl will look to the world to find her identity and reassurance for herself and this can leave permanent effect on her life. Her behavior, self-esteem, emotional stability, and mental health can all depend heavily on the love from her father.
The Bible paints a clear picture of how important a daddy’s love is with how we are loved by God himself. God sent Jesus to be the ultimate sacrifice for His children. I can’t think of a bigger gesture of a father’s love than that. And we are to live as close to his example as we can.
While a mother certainly has her place in a daughter’s life, nothing can compare with a father’s love. It’s never too late to put these things things into practice.
1. Love Her Mother
One of the biggest things a father can give is an example of love towards his wife. Daughters watch these things and learn from them. She watches for the way he expresses his love for his wife. Spoken words, gestures, tones, affection, respect. Theses are all ways that she learns what a loving relationship looks like. They become the example she goes by when looking for a husband later in life. Believe it or not, this will also shape the way sees intimacy when she is married.
The most important thing a father can do for his children is to love their mother. – Rev. Theodore Hesburgh
If there is a divorce involved, the best thing a dad can do for his daughter is to be respectful towards his ex-wife. There is nothing worse for a girl to hear, than negative comments about her mother. Respect is key.
A daughter needs her father to be involved in her life. Not just when she is young, but also as a teenager and even an adult. Simple conversations with her and interest in activities. These are opportunities to really dig in deep to help out with her physical, emotional, social, and spiritual needs. Isn’t that sneaky? She may never know that this time invested is shaping the way she perceives herself and the world, but it will make a HUGE difference in her life.
Daddy-daughter dates are great ways to catch up with each other. Find out what’s going on in her life and be intentional in creating a firm relationship. Take this time to go out and have fun making memories. Teach her to ride a bike. Let her paint your nails! Ok come on, let go of your manly pride for 10 minutes so your princess can paint your nails. Take her for driving lessons when she gets her permit.
And most importantly, show up to all of her firsts and big events. It will mean the world to her that you are there to support her. From the first day of kindergarten to her wedding day and every little-big thing in between, share in the excitement of things she will remember forever. Cherish every moment.
3. Verbal Affirmation
Daughters naturally want the approval of their father. Not necessarily the “you are the most amazing and gorgeous daughter that ever walked the earth” kind of approval, but genuine and simple words that remind them that they are loved. They want to know that they matter. That they are accepted no matter what. That they are enough just the way they are.
Daughters need their fathers to tell them that they are valued even when the world may not. Simple encouragements like “you are so creative!”and “I’m proud of you” go a long way to boost a girl’s self-esteem. Each positive affirmation a stepping stone that leads to confidence and good self-esteem. It will become what she believes about herself.
A father’s love will make a big difference by what he says and doesn’t say.
4. Know She Is Beautiful
This is a HUGE part of building confidence and self-esteem. A daughter needs to know that she is beautiful in her daddy’s eyes. Beauty is not just skin deep. Girls need to know that they are beautiful inside too. The world likes to define beauty as a certain body type, hair color, etc. Fathers help to make sure that those things DO NOT define her beauty. This is so essential in the development of a healthy body-image.
Most importantly, tell her that she is perfect just the way that she is. Let her know that God made her perfectly.
I will praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
Marvelous are your works,
And that my soul knows very well. – Psalm 139:14
Compliment her smile. Verbalize that she is beautiful. She needs to hear this from her father.
A father’s protection is so crucial in all stages of life. In the beginning there’s bad dreams, stranger danger, and bullies. Later on, that protection is needed for her heart and emotional needs, too. Whether girls realize it at the time or not, they are depending on their father to help them develop morals and value themselves. Fathers protect their daughter’s value by showing them how special they are. Know who she is spending time with. Be there when she needs you to listen. Point her in the right direction when she is having trouble on her path.
Daughters need their fathers to cover them in prayer. In the trials she will go through she needs a strong spiritual leader to lead her to Jesus and pray over her. The enemy is afraid of the powerful prayer of a father for his daughter. What a great time of teaching and example this will be for her to learn how to pray.