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You are the most important man in her life

strong-fathers-strong-daughters-150The Strong Fathers, Strong Daughters Group Blogging Project begins today!  The next three weeks an awesome group of guys will be chronicling their chapter-by-chapter reflections through the book.  If you’re a dad at any stage – keep tracking with us here.

Chapter One – Today’s post is brought to you by Marty Schmidt – an awesome friend and church planter in Iowa.


I’m in awkward territory. I grew up as the middle child of three brothers. I have five nephews. My first born is a son. I have only known boys! Then on June 10 of 2007 this little lady shows up. Twenty one months later little lady number two shows up. I now find myself in this place of being a father to two daughters and I am having a blast!

In the introduction to Strong Fathers, Strong Daughters author Meeker makes the comment, “Dads, you are far more powerful than you think you are.” And we are. In fact chapter one words it this way “You Are the Most Important Man in Her Life” and because of that, “your daughter needs the best of who you are: your strength, your courage, your intelligence, and your fearlessness. She needs your empathy, assertiveness, and self-confidence. She needs you.”

After reading about some of the disturbing data as it relates to young girls and sexual activity one can become quite discouraged. If left on their own the likely-hood of a girl getting swept away into a bunch of misguided decisions that carry devastating consequences is very high. It angered me when I read the guidelines written in the manual of Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States. The information presented is not only robbing our young ones of innocence but also misguiding them. Meeker says it well when in that, “they normalize the bizarre.”

This doesn’t have to be though. An involved loving Father can make all the difference. I know this to be true. It makes complete sense. The last section of chapter one even lists out the positive impact on younger and older girls who have a strong and/or close relationships with their father. We have the ability to be the influence that trumps any and all other authority.

My first take away is that an involved Father is a strong Father!

How about you? What was your takeaway from chapter one?
How do you see yourself as the most important man in her life?

{ 10 comments… add one }

  • lon November 16, 2009, 6:01 pm

    great thoughts Marty – the stats were a bit overwhelming for me – it's crazy how much our girls has going against them in our culture.

    i thought it was fascinating how the author mentioned that daughters can take their mothers for granted but not their dads, and how they tend to try harder to excel when they're around us… i don't think i was aware just how big of an impact merely my presence makes!

  • Alan Liu November 17, 2009, 3:26 am

    "I see an expression so clear and so true
    That changes the atmosphere when you walk into the room" – When I Look at the World, U2

    I was a bit overwhelmed by the data-centricity of chapter 1. I must also admit elements of the start up made me feel a bit skeptical, data manipulation and straw-man approaches. Stats always raise the hairs on the back of my nect. I have always been more a social vein, interested in the narrative.

    On the positive, I was reminded of one of my favourite lines from one of my favourite songs (above). I really appreciated how Meeker makes it textbook clear that fathers don't need to be superheroes. Our very presence makes us superheroes already, possibly supervillains! I believe in the presence of the Holy Spirit; It changes the atmosphere when we walk into the room. My takeaway is the same, if nuanced. Involved fathers – no matter how communicative, how successful, how able to do or be these 10 secrets – are strong fathers.

  • @timheerebout November 17, 2009, 4:38 pm

    I left the first chapter wanting to cancel my cable subscription. Once I sobered up a bit I realized the point is not to go into some huddle but to be active enough and man enough to create healthy boundaries. I have often shrugged of thinking that watching Law and Order while my daughter plays is a bad idea (something my wife knows intuitively). I will certainly be more aware and set better lines in our house for what can and can't be watched while my daughter is present.

  • @timheerebout November 17, 2009, 4:38 pm

    I left the first chapter wanting to cancel my cable subscription. Once I sobered up a bit I realized the point is not to go into some huddle but to be active enough and man enough to create healthy boundaries. I have often shrugged of thinking that watching Law and Order while my daughter plays is a bad idea (something my wife knows intuitively). I will certainly be more aware and set better lines in our house for what can and can't be watched while my daughter is present.

  • J.D. Heffern November 17, 2009, 8:05 pm

    This first chapter also concerned me to the point that I have sat down and done a personal inventory, the inventory included the evaluation of the traits that Meeker mentions and Marty has provided in quotation….“your daughter needs the best of who you are: your strength, your courage, your intelligence, and your fearlessness. She needs your empathy, assertiveness, and self-confidence. She needs you.”

    These traits can seem somewhat intimidating and out of reach at times. However I believe that God provides skills and gifts based on need and circumstance. Therefore, I need to seek circumstances that will allow me to use these gifts. I echo a similar take away as Marty…..I need to be more intentional with my girls……Tim, I hear you about the cable subscription. This is something that I have been struggling to work through. On one hand I want to protect my girls and on the other I don’t want to shelter them. I want them to have healthy view and walk as they walk through he pop culture labyrinth.

    Oh yeah….the data also made my heart skip a beat and a rumble in my gut.

  • lon November 17, 2009, 9:09 pm

    JD love your point about God providing skills/gifts to raise our daughters – I think we these opportunities come all the time, we just don't realize how attentively our girls are watching us.

  • Alan Liu November 17, 2009, 9:43 pm

    JD – I'm only about 1/2 way through the book, but this seems to be a major conviction that Meeker has against "liberal" types (and I put that in quotes, almost facetiously). Meeker argues for protecting your girls to the point of sheltering them. Whether or not this changes in the second half, I'm not quite there yet. But I too, am re-evaluating positions I had when I was young (and dating girls!) to now when trying to raise them well and healthy!

  • Sam. November 18, 2009, 7:43 pm

    Yeah, I'm finding myself liking the concepts she talks about more than the examples of how she see's them being implemented. I'd like to focus on embedding values that empower my daughter to make wise choices rather then doing that job for her. At the same time, I can see that there's a journey to that point and there may need to be some sheltering whilst embedding values.

  • lon November 18, 2009, 3:56 pm

    Alan – Meeker's definitely on the 'conservative' end of things… i've got no doubt we can learn from folks across the spectrum! i worry about the sheltering thing too… it goes against everything in me for my own life… yet i keep catching myself being over-protective…

  • Sam. November 18, 2009, 7:43 pm

    Yeah, I'm finding myself liking the concepts she talks about more than the examples of how she see's them being implemented. I'd like to focus on embedding values that empower my daughter to make wise choices rather then doing that job for her. At the same time, I can see that there's a journey to that point and there may need to be some sheltering whilst embedding values.

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