Guest post by my husband, Wayne
Last Friday, I had a wonderful evening with a very charming, beautiful brunette.
- I asked her to the dance weeks ago.
- I made reservations at a quaint Italian restaurant.
- I got the car washed.
- I wore my best suit.
- I even went so far as to ask her mother if she knew what my date was planning on wearing so I could pick a tie that would complement her outfit.
When I picked her up, she was a vision of loveliness.
And when I put her corsage on her wrist, she looked up at me with those big beautiful brown eyes of hers and said four words that always make me light up inside. “I love you, Daddy.”
That’s right, I took my daughter Sara – the 3rd grader – to the Daddy/Daughter dance at her school.
A week before the dance, Sara told my wife Carey about a little girl in her class whose daddy wasn’t going to take her to the dance. Sara couldn’t believe it, and said a prayer asking God to change that dad’s mind.
“Daddy would never miss taking me to a Daddy/Daughter dance. He’d miss work if he had to!”
When Carey shared this story with me, it brought tears to my eyes… because I’m a softy. But also because it was confirmation that Sara knows how important she is to me. She feels valued.
She knows that my love for her is as certain and constant as the gravity that holds us to the planet.
Sara is old enough now that she asks questions like:
“How old were you when you started dating?” (Sixteen)
“How old was Mom?” (I lied and said twenty-five.)
“How old will I be when you’ll start letting me date? (Thirty. And even that day is going to be here too soon.)
So I took last Friday as an opportunity to let her see how a young gentleman should treat her on a date.
- I opened doors for her.
- I gave her order to the waiter.
- I paid her compliments.
- I chewed with my mouth closed.
It’s vital that my daughter knows how much I – and her Heavenly Father – love her. Because as she grows into a young woman, if she doesn’t feel loved at home, there will be plenty of young men out there that will be more than willing to help her feel loved.
It’s my job to protect her from them.
And since I’m not allowed to shoot them… nor lock my daughter away until I find a suitable husband for her… and my wife won’t let me ship her off to a convent… the best thing I can do to protect my princess is make sure she feels loved and valued – by me – every day.
Someday, my baby girl is going to grow up and get married.
She’s going to choose a man whose treatment of her meets the standards she has of how she should be treated.
And the two biggest factors in how she develops those standards are going to come from how she sees me treat my wife, and how I treat Sara.
Think back to your relationship with your own father.
- What sort of example did he give you growing up?
- Did he make you feel special?
- How did your relationship with him affect you?
Share with your husband the impact – good and bad – that your father had on you. Have a discussion with your husband about how important he is to your daughter. If there’s room for improvement in his relationship with her, don’t beat him up about it, be encouraging.
If your husband wants to build on his relationship with your daughter, but doesn’t know where to start, here are some suggestions for him.
Take your daughter out to dinner. Not fast food. Not the usual places you go with your family, but somewhere special. If they take reservations – even if you’re going during a slow time – make them.
Pray out loud with your daughter every night. Thank God specifically for some of your favorite things about her. Pray that she and her future husband will love and honor one another… always.
Need more ideas? There are books that have a lot more to say on the matter than I do, and they aren’t hard to find; they have titles like “What a Daughter Needs from Her Dad” and “Daddy Dates: Four Daughters, One Clueless Dad, and His Quest to Win Their Hearts”
As I was tucking Sara in for bed one night last week, she took from her closet the small box that holds her most treasured possessions.
She placed it on her dresser, opened it, and with great care pulled from it a small elastic band adorned with ribbon and the shriveled remains of tiny red and white flowers.
It was the corsage I gave her from a Daddy/Daughter dance years ago.
A powerful reminder that the little things we dads do for our daughters matter more than we know.
REALITY CHECK: Dads… don’t underestimate the power you have in the lives of your daughter!
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