“There are three things, no four,” Solomon wrote, that were so amazing to him he could not begin to understand them. The last was “the way of a man with a young woman.” (Prov. 30:19) I agree, but right after that I would put, “the way of a dad with a daughter.”
There is something mystical about the relationship forged between girls and their dads. Together they bring a mix of tenderness, trust, joy, adventure, respect, hope, strength and love. Just typing those words makes me smile.
One of the greatest joys of my life is being father to Barclay (33), our first-born; father-in-law to Bonnie (27); and grandfather to Bella (7), Brynn (5), Brooke (2) and Blakely (in the oven). The closest of them is 1065 miles away; the farthest 2014. That distance makes the periodic shared birthdays, holidays and vacations much more special. I love being around each of them.
Dads, one of the most amazing aspects of your role as a father is that you show your daughters truth about themselves, about men and about God.
· Dads convince daughters they have value as women. They should know beyond the shadow of a doubt that you are thrilled with their femininity and that you love that they are girls.
· Dads reveal to daughters what they should expect and require from the men in their lives. They should never settle for any man who doesn’t view them, treat them, speak to them, and touch them with respect and love. Never.
· Dads show daughters what God looks like. Children view the Heavenly Father through the lens of their earthly father. If Dad is approachable, tender, forgiving and grace-full—God is even more so. If Dad is distant, vindictive, critical and angry— God is infinitely so.
Barclay recently posted this link, 50 Rules for Dads of Daughters, on her Facebook page. It’s humorous, creative and thought-provoking. I wish I could go back and try some of them. If you’re a dad with a girl still at home or within a day’s drive, you have a gift at your fingertips. Reach out to her. She needs you.
As for me, I’ll keep trying some of these Rules with my daughters, and with the next generation of girls in my life. There is one thing, no four—Bella, Brynn, Brooke and Blakely—that are too amazing for me to understand, the ways of granddaughters with their grandfather.
My greatest joy in life is my family. I know, that sounds like the comment you’re supposed to make as a man and father. All I can say is I literally shake my head in wonder at the family I have: my wife Beryl; my daughter Barclay and son-in-law Vince, their four daughters, Bella, Brynn, Brooke and Blake; my son Alec, my son Conor and daughter-in-law Bonnie, their daughter Gemma and son Calvin. Every one of them is a genuine gift. Beyond that, I have a calling that I live out through Peregrine Ministries. It is to help men: Understand their identity in Christ, Embrace their role as men, and Live out their God-given calling in life. Bottom line is I’m convinced men matter and I want to help them live life on purpose.