The first man in a girl's life is you, her father. Not to put pressure on you, but how you love her is going to greatly impact the picture of God's love that she will have in her mind. We understand that you are going to make mistakes; you aren't perfect. But, in those mistakes, love your daughter well and make sure you show her the value that she holds to God. I still remember the exact moments when my dad did that. One morning, I was making breakfast and probably looking like a hot mess. My dad was sitting at the kitchen counter talking, when suddenly he stopped mid-conversation and looked at me. Then he gently said, "You know what, you are absolutely beautiful."
Dads. Your daughter is going to be hurt, and probably really bad. One day, a boy is going to tell her that she is not good enough, pretty enough, or exciting enough. But you know the truth—and you have the opportunity to be that steady, genuine voice that tells her that what she's heard is a lie. She needs to hear that she is smart, stunning, and that she can do anything she puts her mind to. If I still remember those little statements, it shows just how important your words are in a girl's life.
My dad is my hero because he has placed God above everything else in life. He is unwilling to back down on Biblical truth, and he protects his relationship with Christ as his most prized relationship. Then comes his relationship with my mom, and he loves her deeply. Not only does he respect her and treat her as his equal partner, he serves her in little ways (like doing the dishes after she cooks). He isn't afraid to make the wise decisions and to lead our family by example. My dad is a good listener; I've never been afraid to come to my dad with anything. There are open airways in our family, even if it's something that would upset him. Be honest with your daughter, and she won't be afraid to come to you with the hard stuff. Then, there is his ministry. He takes his story and uses it to both disciple and encourage men in their faith. He's is my biggest fan; he never missed a game unless he absolutely had to, and he always gave me confidence by telling me to dream big. Lastly, my dad is one of the funniest men I've ever met. He keeps life fun and doesn't take himself too seriously. He's taught me to laugh and to have grace for myself and others in the process.
Did you notice that the things that stick out in my head did not include a silly game of baseball? Take away my dad's throwing arm, take away the money that he made, take away the fans … and what do you have? Everything that I just mentioned. Of course, I am proud of my dad, but he is so much more than those achievements. My dad is not perfect and I know that I'm biased. But to me, my dad's biggest achievement is being my role model, Christ-like example, my friend, and one of the best pictures of my true Father's love for me.
Dads, some days you might feel like a "walking wallet," someone only there for your daughter's monetary needs. But hear me out. Your value as a father has nothing to do with material things. I don't remember all the times my dad gave me 20 bucks, but I distinctly remember the times in my 20's when he would still hold me as I cried from a broken heart.
You don't have to be in the Major Leagues to make a major impact in a girl's life. Thank you to the men who are taking that role seriously. And thank you, to my dad for being one of the most important men in my life.