I wrote this post a few years ago, but it came to my attention again after someone shared it, so I decided to revise and repost it.
I never had a daughter. I have a great daughter-in-law, and she has a special relationship with her dad, but I never got to raise a girl. We are hoping some day for a granddaughter – should the Lord provide.
I watch from the sidelines some of my friends who have daughters and know I missed something special without a “daddy’s girl”. (I guess that’s why we’ve chosen to have female puppy dogs.)
Don’t misunderstand me, I wouldn’t trade my boys. I’m thankful for them and our relationship, but there is something unique about the relationship between a father and a daughter.
One thing I have observed, even in my own life, is what an important role a dad plays in a child’s life. And, again, watching others, it seems to me if the right foundation is set, the role of a dad can help a girl have confidence, feel loved and beautiful, and achieve great things. The right foundation can help a girl avoid, or at least recover, from many of the scars life naturally will bring. Even when a girl becomes a woman. And, the dad plays a huge role in establishing this foundation – either by what he does or doesn’t do, whether fully present or completely absent.
All women (all people) have scars of some kind. Sadly, I know a few girls – most of them now grown – who have scars caused by a dad. And, the scars caused by a dad may be among the worst.
As I’ve counseled dozens of hurt or angry girls over the years, I’ve often wondered what I would have done if I had raised a girl. Would would I do now if I were raising a girl?
Certainly the world can be a crazy place. Our children need us – perhaps now more than ever. If I were raising a daughter I would want to be wise and intentional. Maybe one dad out there will read this, consider his own role as a father, and be even more intentional in this important responsibility.
(In my next post I will share some thoughts about raising a son.)
Here are 10 things I’d do if I were raising a daughter today:
I would introduce her to Jesus, let her hear me pray for her daily and strive to live a godly life, after which she could model – and trust me to be consistent, although helping her discover I am not perfect, and the only real place to find fulfillment in this world is in a relationship with Christ.
I would let her see my wife is the most important woman in the world to me and encourage her to wait for a man willing to say – and live – the same.
I would dance with her, take her on regular dates, and hold her hand frequently, telling her daily how beautiful she is and that I love her unconditionally.
I would let her know, in word and actions, she is more important than my job, my hobbies, my favorite sports team and my iPhone. (And, actions do speaker louder than words.)
I would encourage her to take risks, to defy the odds, to dream bigger dreams which may seem impossible and then help her have the confidence to go for them with everything she has in her – consistently reminding her she has what it takes to do anything she sets her mind to do and to settle for nothing less than her best.
I would hold the standard high for her, but instill in her the belief I’m here for her, regardless of what she does wrong, and nothing she could ever do would cause me to turn my back on her.
I would get her self-defense training – and teach her where to kick, but most of all to know how to face all her fears with courage and conviction.
I would encourage her talents and abilities, to discover things about herself she didn’t know she could do, and instill a belief in her that God has great plans for her and will use her in incredible ways.
I would help her understand every boy’s intentions are not honorable, the world is not always kind, but she is worthy of and should always demand respect.
I would teach her the world does not revolve around her, but around God, and show her how to love others even more than she loves herself. I would challenge her to be a giver in this world – making a difference and leaving her legacy on it by how she lives her life every day.
That’s if I were raising a daughter.
Are you raising a daughter? Tell me about her.