i don't have the courage to give this to my dad, but maybe, just maybe, something i say will help your relationship with your daughter, or maybe even a daughter's relationship with you and her heavenly father.
please know that more than any other person on the planet your daughter wants to be noticed by you. for you to be proud of her, for you to be aware of her life.
so many are hurting and lost and usually it's because their daddy doesn't know they exist, or doesn't have the ability to connect with her.
please remember, you are the grown up. even if your daughter is 38 years old like me, you are the adult in this relationship. it is never your daughter's responsiblity to mend the wall that you've let fall. never. she may begin, but will be unable to move forward without your full participation.
just once i want my father to turn to me with a smile on his face and say 'i am so proud of you!' just once. i know he thinks i know that, but i don't. i really don't. because if he really felt that way, he'd tell me, right? please tell you daughter how you feel, and especially how you feel about her. we are never too old for a hug or a kind word. wrap her in your arms, or hold her face in your hands and bless her with eye contact, deep words and time.
time. for most of us it's in short supply. what and who we choose to spend our time with tells those around us what's important. it appears that the newspaper or baseball game mean more to you than we do. i know you work hard, you deserve a break, and honest, we'll be the first one's to give it to you, but first, can't you please recognize that we are here? that we matter?
you more than any other person on the planet will tell your daughter what to think of herself. who she will be as a woman will be determined mostly by you.
if you have a problem with viewing pornography or hold that super model up as the standard for all women she'll know it. she'll try to be it, or like me, totally give up and go the other way. even negative attention is attention for the starving.
i can look at the girls we work with and identify the families where distortion is taking place. i can. i can tell by the way the wife dresses, acts and interacts, and the daughter rebels, exposes and challenges that the father is struggling with his sexuality, struggling with pornography or has a distorted image of women. i know from personal experience.
eating disorders, self mutilation, risky sexual behavior - most of it is based in the father/daughter relationship. we watch the way you treat our mother's, the way you touch or don't touch them, the way you talk to them, the way you prioritize them. we watch and learn.
i know when you held us as infants you never realized how much power you would weild over us, but you do. you even have the power to tell us what god is like. our first interpretations of god stand or fall by your example. that's a big responsiblity. what are you telling me about god? is he too busy? is he too distant? is he only impressed by the outside appearance? is he fickle? does he only care about accomplishments? you are telling me about god by your actions.
anything worth doing is worth doing well. fathering above all else is worth doing well. start today. talk to her. tell her you dropped the ball.
can you imagine the healing that would take place if men across the country would begin to apologize for the way they've dehumanized women? brought their wives or daughters up in front of the church and confessed and committed to better. can you imagine the walls that would fall down?
you are a team, you and your family. it's you against the world. act like your daughter is on your team. spend time with her.
for many of you it might be too little too late. the pain may be greater than than a quick apology can fix. but a true commitment to becoming a father that shows her what god is truly like will take time, but it will be worth it. grace, love, patience, kindness, commitment. care about what's happening between her ears, more than what's happening on the outside.
it's about her heart. it's about your heart. when the two connect great things can happen. when they don't things get ugly, distorted and broken. wash her feet. she'll never forget it.