The Strong Fathers, Strong Daughters Group Blogging Project continues.
Chapter 7 – Be the man you want her to marry – is brought to by Alfred Lam – a friend and brother that I’m indebted to in more ways than I can express.
I recently joint a group of fathers with daughters to read a book and blog about our thoughts. The book is “Strong Fathers, Strong Daughters” by Meg Meeker. To be honest, I have never been a big fan of “parenting philosophy books” for the same reasons that I don’t put a lot of stock in “marriage enrichment workshops”: I find the content often alternate between “heard that before” or “easier said than done”. But more importantly I believe that in parenting every situation is as unique as the individuals that are involved. Certainly there are general truths that apply across the board (”you should spend time with your children…”), but where and how those universal truths “hit the road” within actual parent/child relationship is anything but “universal”.
Nevertheless, I find that reading this book generated a lot of reflection for me. I came acr0ss the chapter entitled “Be the man you want her to marry” yesterday. Basically the chapter says whether we like it or not, as fathers we become models of manhood for our daughters, and when it comes time for them to look for their mate, they instinctively look for a man that is just like their Dads. In the middle of the chapter, I found myself putting down the book and asking myself, “Will I want Taylor to marry someone like me?”
I am a deeply flawed individual. I have had more than my share of failures in life. I have plenty of “skeletons” in my closet. As I thought about that question, more and more I am not sure if I can say “yes”. In fact, I am amazed daily that Anna would stay married for close to 20 years to someone like me. For me, our marriage is a daily demonstration and experience of grace.
Then it hit me. I can’t really control what kind of man my daughter will eventually marry. I don’t know if she will end up marrying someone like me. I am not sure if I want her to end up marrying someone like me. But one thing I wish for her, and this I hope I can have some influence over: I hope she will turn out to be like the woman I married.