Dads & Daughters

2021 | Week of December 13 | Radio Transcript #1442

Dads and daughters. What a special relationship when done well. Many today are trying to say dads are not essential in the lives of their children. They couldn’t be more wrong. Dads are gifts from God, and the relationship they have with their daughters is, well, simply irreplaceable.

I am just returned from the funeral of a long-time Wisconsin pastor. This man served his church for nearly 48 years. He and his wife, who passed away very unexpectedly five years ago, had a wonderful marriage and were blessed with four daughters. I had two of the daughters during their school years—one when she was in junior high and another when she was in college. They were delightful girls—and are now amazing women—all four of them.

At the funeral, all four girls spoke—and spoke openly, warmly, and candidly about their dad and the influence he had on them. One of them said she had always thought it was their mother who had so much to do with their becoming independent, but in recent years had realized that their dad had played a vital role in fostering that spirit in them.

One spoke of the rocky relationship she had had over the years with her dad, calling herself the rebellious one who tested his patience and went toe-to-toe with him when she disagreed. She noted, however, that after their mom died, she became the daughter who was able to be most available to her dad, helping him with all the adjustments that come with the loss of a much-loved wife. Their relationship was restored, forgiveness sought and given, and her dad became not just her dad but her friend.

Another daughter read a card she had written for her dad from the past Father’s Day. In it she talked about how her dad had always made sure they were girls and feminine ones at that, but he had also never discouraged them in the pursuits they were interested in. He taught them to mow the lawn, change storm windows, navigate a hardware store and more…all, she said, without losing their femininity. She noted that their dad never made them feel that his life was incomplete because he didn’t have a biological son. He saw his daughters as unique gifts from a gracious God.

The oldest daughter said after her mother died, she remembered that her mom and dad used to pray together every Saturday night for Sunday services. She realized her dad had not only lost his wife, but his closest prayer partner. So, she began calling her dad every Saturday night to pray with him for Sunday services and more. It became a precious dad and daughter time.

All of the daughters talked about their dad’s tenderness towards them, his patience, his encouragement, his humor, his love.

Several other speakers mentioned how proud this dad was of his girls. That his face lit up and his demeanor exuded joy when he talked about them.

I know this family reasonably well. I know no one is perfect, and that this dad had short-comings just as we all do. But as I sat there listening to the those honoring a man who lived his life well, I was keenly aware that while this man and his wife did many very good things for the Lord and for others, the best thing they did with their time on this earth was to pass on a rich, godly heritage to their own daughters, who in turn, are passing that on to their families.

I was reminded in a powerful way the difference a dad can make in the life of a daughter and of how necessary that influence is. Much of what this loving father did was because he was a man—a man who took seriously investing in each of his girls—understanding them as unique individuals, giving generously to them in every way, setting boundaries, protecting them, teaching them about the Lord and living a consistent godly life before them, and more. And because their earthly father had faithfully followed his heavenly Father, the girls said they had no trouble understanding that God the Father loved them and cared for them. What a legacy!

If you are a dad with a daughter, I urge you to do everything you can to build a strong relationship with her. Fight for her, teach her, give her roots and wings, cherish her, encourage her, appropriately admonish her—love her. Show her a right reflection of her Heavenly Father. Daughters, thank God for the dad you have or have had. Foster a good relationship with him, seek his counsel, learn from him—give him honor and respect—and love him with all your heart. Dads and daughters—a special relationship, a great gift from our loving God.

This is Julaine Appling for Wisconsin Family Council reminding you the prophet Hosea said, “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.”

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