God designed fathers to play a special role in the lives of their daughters. He created people and relationships to bring glory to Himself and to make Himself known to His people. It makes sense, then, that what fathers bring to the relationship with their daughters can be like a treasure map, richly guiding, directing and leading their daughters in the process of learning treasurable truths.
Here is a list of four treasurable truths that fathers can help their daughters discover as they build relationships with them.
- She is valued.
A daughter’s self-worth, self-confidence and body image are a direct result of how she sees herself through her father’s eyes Do you affirm her worth to both you and the world? Do you spend quality time with her? Is time with her a priority in your schedule? Do you value her gifts and talents? Do you brag on her accomplishments or criticize her limitations? Do you applaud her academic achievements? Ask yourself: What will your daughter know about herself as she sees herself through your eyes?
- She is worthy of respect.
You are the first love of your daughter’s life. You are the standard bearer for what it means to be the man in her life. This relationship begins early. By eight weeks of age, an infant can differentiate between males and females. By age four, a daughter has a clear set of assumptions about what it means to be female. She will learn from you how a girlfriend and wife should be treated. Even if you don’t “love” her mother, you should treat her mother with respect, dignity and courtesy. When your daughter observes these actions, she will come to expect that other men should treat her this way also. Ask yourself: What kind of man do you want your daughter to marry?
- She can expect to be treated well by godly men.
Fathers are sometimes unsure of what to do with a daughter, especially when her body begins to mature. With a son you rough house, play ball and watch sports. What about the delicate, fragile and emotional thing you call a daughter? As the first man of significance in her life, you set the stage for future interactions with all men. Let her know that you care about what she cares about. Be willing to engage on an emotional level. Listen without interrupting her story. Listen without jumping to conclusions or rushing to judgment. Help her develop her own set of problem-solving skills instead of trying to fix everything yourself. Resolve to develop conversational skills that will engage her. Don’t always feel that every conversation has to have a moral or teach a lesson. Laugh with her, not at her. Know that it may take time and practice, but allow yourself some grace. Ask yourself: What kind of expectations of men will your daughter have based on the relationship she has with you?
- She can know that men can be spiritual leaders.
Disciple your daughter well. Share your faith and hope in Christ, openly pray for her and let her see you seeking direction from Scripture. Model what it means to be the spiritual leader in your home. If this may be an area where you feel unsure, find a godly mentor who will help teach you how to be a godly man. Know that confidence in your ability will build through practice. Ask yourself: Are you the kind of man of God with whom you hope she will choose to build her life?
Share these treasure with your daughter. Be her leader, protector, defender, provider, pillar of support and the person she can trust with confidences. Speak from your heart, even when you are uncomfortable with vulnerability. Seek to be the kind of man of God whom his daughter will call her treasure map.
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