Calling All Fathers To Take Their Godly Place In Their Daughters Lives
For years, we have focused on the absence of fathers or father figures on boys. However, the fact of the matter is that little girls need their Daddies too!
So why is this important?
The presence of a father helps girls build their self-esteem and identity – meaning they grow up to be self-assured. A girl loved and celebrated by her father stands the chance of making it in life. Moreover, she is able to relate to others including God (her heavenly Father) and men in general.
But when fathers are absent (e.g. physically, financially, emotionally), studies indicate that it can have a negative impact girls development (e.g. physically, psychologically) and their transition to adulthood. It also means we don't see the full expressions of the woman God had in mind, when He created her. In simple terms, we are setting them up for failure as girls with absent fathers may fall prey to teenage pregnancy, juvenile delinquency, prostitution, substance abuse, etc. Their achievement levels at school and later on in life may also be stunted. These girls tend to have problems in their relationships and may try to fill the gaps of their missing fathers by dubious attention-seeking tactics towards other men.
So whichever way you look at it, girls truly need their fathers. By the way, just because we are Christians does not exclude our girls from all of this. For evidence of the above has existed within the church for generations. And I believe it is time we take a stand by working together to safeguard the development of our future generation of mothers, wives, leaders, etc.
How can we solve this issue?
I believe everything must start from the home. And so I implore fathers, father figures, fathers-to-be, guardians and mothers to cherish their little girls as a gift from God. And please don't fall into the trap of saying you are too busy putting a roof over her head, clothes on her back and food on the table, to spend time with her. Whilst these are noteworthy (and necessary), they must not replace your presence in her life. I know this can be challenging in our present society where we work long hours, have both parents working and/or have single-parent homes. But this should not prevent you from investing in what God has placed in your hands. And so, the onus is on you to find a practical way forward. For many, it requires going back to basics i.e. the Word of God.
To help you along, take a moment to reflect on these questions: Are your actions today positively contributing to your daughter(s) life or are you setting her up for failure? What are your actions towards her really saying about the value you place on her? Are you a good reflection of God to her? Now that's something to ponder on.
Need help? Why not read the following simple ideas to get you on track?
- Make her feel special – This does not have to cost much, if anything at all. For example, you can plan a periodic Father & Daughter day where you do something together (e.g. eat, shop, play, watch a movie, etc).
- Give her your full attention regardless your position or responsibilities.
- Find out what is going on in her world – no matter how young she is (young girls experience many life challenges too!). Use this time to share scripture and pray together about the situation.
- Take an active interest in what ever interests her – no matter how silly or time wasting it may appear to you. This means stooping to her level and playing a game, brushing her hair, etc.
- Get involved or at least show an interest in her wellbeing on every level. It may mean showing up at PTA meetings or other school activities, dropping her off to school, etc.
- Celebrate her highs and be there when she is low. Did she come top of her class, pass her driving lessons or make it into college? Or maybe she is being bullied at school/church, is going through puberty and feels a bit low? Whatever be the case, be there!
In conclusion, please recognise that raising godly, balanced and whole girls (and boys) is not just the mothers job. It requires the input of both parents. So start today and do something to make your daughter(s) feel special. Don't give the enemy the opportunity to tamper with the gift God blessed you with.