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Be the man you want her to marry

strong-fathers-strong-daughters-150The 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.

{ 4 comments… add one }

  • Alan Liu December 3, 2009, 7:39 pm

    Interesting. It remind me of a statement that those of us who have been single late into life (not me – I'm married – and I was a horn dog when I was young – but that's a different story) would say: Be the person you want to marry.

    This was important because instead of finding out why everyone else is wrong for you, this kind of thinking put us on the path of reflecting on the things we ought to improve. Faith is, in my opinion, God changing me. And I still have so much that needs changing!

    And now, I wonder if that history is more in line with Alfred's or Meeker's? But I love this post, because there's a future of watching my daughter become her wonderful mother makes me smile.

  • lon December 3, 2009, 9:46 pm

    yeah the daughter becoming like mom part is a sweet thought… i still very much agree with Meeker on us as Fathers setting the bar in many ways. I think it'd be fascinating for our daughter's to be able to chronicle us as fathers and how we too continue to grow and change with the help of God…

  • Melanie Heffern January 14, 2010, 10:13 pm

    Glad you got JD in on this thing (I’m just getting to it a bit later!)! Be the man you want her to marry… looking at my dad and his values and how he treated my mom and family life… I’d say there is much truth to that! Sure puts the pressure on eh!? Thankfully God’s there to help us all in the parenting process on a daily basis!

    • Lon January 16, 2010, 12:02 am

      Hey Melanie – Glad to here it’s true… and yes the pressure’s on! I still haven’t got JD submission in, tell him if he ever gets one written up, i’d be more than happy to post it anytime! grace &peace!

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