The Strong Fathers, Strong Daughters Group Blogging Project continues. Chapter 2 – She needs a hero – is brought to you by fellow tyndale-seminary alumni, raising the village director, and good friend, Alan Liu.
I’ll admit my experience is limited – my daughter is barely three months old. But anyone with a blog has an opinion. And I know the co-ordinator here, I ain’t afraid to ask to be in on it. So here goes.
Chapter 2 establishes how to be a hero to our daughters. Show leadership and authority in protecting her. Persevering and staying on course when times, and wives, and daughters, are tough.
One of the key takeaways for me was when Meeker cautions, “remember that when she pushes hard against your rules, flailing, crying that you are mean or unfair, she is really asking you a question: Am I worth the fight, Dad?… Make sure she knows the answer is yes.” Am I worth the fight? It’s a question humanity asked Jesus and that cost him his life. It seems it’s a question that will be asked of us. And I so want to say yes, yes, yes.
But my daughter is just three months old. My marriage is just over two years. Sure, it’s been good, but not nearly long enough to be a model. We say to have faith, trust your instincts, but stats don’t lie. We are failing.
Meeker finishes the chapter with this bit about being a real man. Being a heroic father. Having courage, perseverance and integrity. And I agree!
But integrity is a double-edged sword, and for every rallying cry the standard of integrity causes, there is a cry of submission. Some of us will read this chapter and not be inspired. Some of us will read this chapter and feel this heavy rock fall squarely on our shoulders.
And that would be unfortunate, because I don’t think Meeker is trying to do that. On the whole, she is trying to help fathers and I think she would agree that it’s not just having the integrity to do the right thing. It is in fact the willingness to try. And to genuinely admit when you are wrong. And to try again. Perseverance is not a shotgun or a hammer where the more you bang, the better you get. It is a finely honed chisel that requires thought, reflection and an openness that lets our daughters see who we really are: Men of hope, and ultimately, children of Grace.
Let me be clear, integrity is a virtue. But it isn’t human to achieve it. We will make mistakes and when we do, integrity shatters. If we were to ask Meeker, I’m sure she would say a father being genuine is assumed. I am saying that it is not. We try too hard to do what’s right, and hide what’s wrong and my firm belief is that as sure as Jesus knows, so do our daughters.