It was a bit of a rocky finish on our Strong Fathers, Strong Daughters Group Blogging Project. But here are some closing thoughts of mine.
As a father of soon-to-be two daughters, this book scared the crap out of me.
The challenge ahead is huge, particularly because our instantaneous, over-sexualized, materialistic culture seems to wage war against their sense of wholeness at every turn.
I don’t think most dads grasp just how powerful of an influence they are in the lives of their daughters. You really are heroes. You can be the most socially-awkward, boring, and lame excuse for a human being out there, and you’d still be a hero in the eyes of your daughter. At least that’s the starting point for all of us.
And even when they discover you’re just another fallen broken creature, there’s still some small space in their heart that reserves hope for the incredible man you can be.
Although I always thought I’d be the ‘good-cop’, I’m not. The book helped affirm to me that my daughters need me to be their dad, more than their best friend. This desire of “Am I worth fighting for?“, something I see even in my own wife, is built into our daughters.
They need to see the strength of our convictions even if at times it involves disciplining them. One of my favorite quotes was “When your two-year old daughter has a temper tantrum, put her in time-out and ignore her until she calms down. When she’s sixteen, do exactly the same.” (I’m still convinced I’ll be considered ‘cool’ when they’re sixteen at the moment though).
Some of the stories in the book were completely heart wrenching. You can be the best dad on the planet, and things can still happen. Our girls can break us into a million pieces and we still need to keep taking the hits, perusing, and loving. God may be love, but the reality is we’re one of they’re best tangible expressions of what love is.
It’s nice to know that every man that enters the lives of our daughters will be compared against us. It challenges me to be an even better man, and part me takes a bit of joy in my little girls crushing guys hearts because they aren’t half the man their geriatric daddy is. (at least that’s what I’m hoping for, because these girls aren’t just going to be loved, but completely adored).
I know there’s a challenging road ahead – but I so feel so utterly blessed to be a father of two girls. A final quote from the book, “A man can banter with his friends and colleagues about whether God exists. But a father looks at his daughter and knows.”
* You can see chapter-by-chapter posts on the book from many other fathers in the previous 10 or so posts.