Ever feel clueless? Try being a dad. Okay, now try being a father of girls…
As a dad, I don’t feel like making a big to-do about Father’s Day. I’m not sure what deep seated issues I have that keep me in that state of mind, but I just feel like – “I’m a father all the time, my rewards will come when they’re grown and I see the fruit in their lives that the Lord has planted, I’ve tended, and hs grown in His light.” Is that false humility or does it resonate with you, too?
My personal convictions aside, the Bible has much to say about being a parent, much to say about discipleship, and plenty to say about wisdom, all of which fall under the purview of being a godly Dad. One of the most critical issues of being a leader of any sort – at home, in friendships, in the marketplace, in church – is that we are always learning. So, too are our children, our peers, and those who stand in our shadow. We all learn not only what is taught, but what is “caught”. Discipleship – learning – happens both formally and informally when we submit to what is being taught. Or, as I recall the quote posted on a local restaurant restroom wall:
“If you can’t be a good example, you’ll just have to serve as a horrible warning.”
If you’re wondering what to get me for Father’s Day, I’m about to tell you a great idea. BUT FIRST, if you’re wondering what to get any dad of daughters I not only recommend this book at the bottom of this post, but a great title that I’m currently reading (again) by Dennis Rainey, called “Interviewing Your Daughter’s Date: 8 Steps to No Regrets”. It is a step-by-step guide to help you as a father to stay appropriately involved in your daughter’s discipleship in the area of love, sex, and dating (whether you even believe in the unbiblical concept of “dating” or not).
As our daughters (and/or sons) grow, we must remember this: “someone is discipling them”. Formally or informally, they’re constantly learning. Our responsibility is to “train them up”, one we cannot abdicate. Why not teach them what God and wisdom have to say about dating before they learn it through the “school of hard knocks”? Why not embrace our God given responsibility with wisdom, counsel, and prudence instead of letting “girls be girls” or “boys be boys”? How much good, or let me say it this way – how much God ever came out of leaving broken people to themselves?
Back to the main recommendation – the following book doesn’t immediately mention the Holy Spirit and from the sample I’ve read, I don’t know if it does, so take this all with that as a grain of salt to wash it down. Daddy Dates is a practical guide that answers the question “WHAT THE HECK DO I DO?” when you’re the father of girls.”Daddy Dates” is a great book for you to check out and/or put in the hands of a dad you know. If he’s honest with himself, he’s like all of us – secretly, somewhere, insecure about whether or not he has what it takes to connect with, shepherd, and disciple his daughter, or at least how to do it for under a million dollars, the same million dollars that can’t reverse the pain, confusion, and emptiness she could easily experience if she submits to the discipleship of someone less than her dad.