Daddy's little girl
This week is the two-year anniversary of the passing from this world of my adored father. The pain is still so excruciating that at times I cannot speak or move. If I had to tell you about my father in one word, it would be "majestic". It is a word seldom used and mostly reserved for the sacred and the royal. Thus, it is the exact word fit for the man that I call "Daddy".
My bereavement is a pain that I wish every child to one day know for it indicates the depth of great love known, great character witnessed, and great teaching imparted. This is the grief and the glory known by all females who are called "Daddy's Little Girl."Fathers everywhere take heed of what you say, what you do, who you are, and whose you are. Your own little daughter is watching and learning. This is not a conscious or deliberate effort on our part; it is instilled in our hearts by Creator God. Fathers, you are the "picture of God" to that little one who calls you Daddy. Will she learn from watching you just what God looks like? Is your face to her tender heart actually the very face of God?
Whether you wish it to be or fear it to be, it is. And that is how she will respond to God...just as you have taught her through your life. Your choices, your actions, your words, your touch, your care, your beliefs are how daughters interpret their relationships with others and with the Almighty. Good, bad, or indifferent all that the earthly father is determines the daughter's view of her Heavenly Father. The role of the father is literally to be the mirror-image of God Himself.
This is not a matter of theology or world-view. This is lived out truth and learned truth from a quarter-century of psychological and spiritual care of thousands. Never have I counseled a female with deep spiritual and mental struggles that did not also have grave challenges with her earthly father. Women who repeat harmful relationships, enter bad marriages, abuse themselves through drugs and promiscuity (including lesbianism), fear of trust, poor commitment...all these lead right back to the father relationship.
How can a girl hope to find a meaningful and joyful life without the vitally important person called "Daddy"? I propose that it is an impossibility. No one, nothing can take the place of the father. He is to be of invaluable worth and the solid rock of the home. And if he is not there at all or if he is lacking or if he is evil, then the gaping hole will be filled with all things undesirable. That is, unless there is one who intervenes and takes up the father calling. It is not the ideal though it can be blessed. Yes, there will be the exceptional case yet always more challenging. The ideal ever remains the trinity of family members: Father-Mother-Child.
What kind of modern lady would hold such a view? Does that sound archaic, even naive? Do you consider such a female as unthinking, weak, simpering, or unfulfilled? Think again. A strong and vibrant father creates the foundation for a powerful and prosperous woman. I speak with such confidence because I am living the reality. I am reaping the benefits of what my father planted in my life; the fruit is his work. This marine's daughter became a sailor's wife. This preacher's kid became an international minister. This cotton farmer's baby girl became a successful business owner. This college graduate's daughter became a multiple doctorate scholar. This man of God's offspring became a woman of God for life. This majestic man's little girl became a woman striving for majesty herself.
It's the Law of the Farmer: what you sow in the field is what you reap in the harvest. Fathers, what are you planting in the hearts and minds of your own little daughter? You have a most sacred calling and we honor your dedication to the task.
When considering our world today, most particularly in the past few years, we wonder how on earth we arrived where we are...so far from where we say we wish to be. It can greatly be traced back to that all important person: Dad. The hope then is that "Dad" actually becomes the key to our reviving and thriving. Dads can be our very survival. The days of "Father Knows Best" can, must, and should be renewed.
Strong, competent, faithful, prosperous women know that it is our pleasure and our duty to stand up and cheer for MEN! No, I do not mean the wishy-washy, evolving, pandering, tolerating, inclusive males that have currently become the hip and cool "dad-friend" for modern children. These are mere pathetic shadows of what men were truly intended to be. Real and constant men--the likes of my Farmer/Marine/Preacher Daddy--should not be rare. The world needs them to be the norm and in abundant supply. For every age, in every country, society needs solid men who are image-bearers. Little girls are longing, crying out for such men as fathers. Three cheers for Faithful Fathers everywhere! We love and honor them greatly.
So, on this Father's Day here is one Daddy's Little Girl who knows of what she speaks and puts out a global call for help..."WANTED: Majestic Men!!!"
(Rev. Dr. Grace Harley is an international chaplain, educator, and consultant from the Washington, DC area. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org)