Last Saturday was Valentines Day. I made big plans. I got all dressed up (dress pants, a tie, the works). And I set out for one of the more romantic establishments in Greensboro…Cracker Barrel. Don’t judge, that’s where my date wanted to go. Because where else can you get pancakes and mac and cheese?
It might help to know that my date was my five-year-old daughter.
She was dressed up in her favorite dress – I got her a dozen roses in her favorite color – and we set out for a night on the town (well, a night that ended at 7:00 because I had to get her home and in bed). As we sat at the table waiting for our food – talking about the finer points of life (princesses) it hit me…where did five years go? Life goes by fast…really fast – a fact that I know doesn’t escape anyone. But in moments like the one on Saturday night, in a packed restaurant, life slowed down just for minute. Just long enough for me to reflect on the opportunity or calling I’ve been given as a father.
The calling is one of stewardship. In his insightful book on raising daughters (Bringing Up Girls), James Dobson writes:
“Children are a gift from God, and we are stewards of their welfare. Training up our daughters in this sense implies helping them to navigate the cultural minefields that lie in their paths – teaching them eternal values, talents, and perspectives. It means instilling within them an appreciation for truthfulness, trustworthiness, self-discipline, self-control, generosity, and sweetness of spirit. It means teaching them modesty, morality, and manners. It means helping them overcome their natural inclination towards selfishness, aggressiveness, violence, and slovenliness. It means teaching them to work and learn to think. This is just the beginning, which is why parenthood is such a daunting responsibility, requiring careful forethought and planning.”
Dobson is right…it is daunting. This is why, as fathers, we are to be constantly proactive in our parenting approach to our daughters. The Apostle Paul instructs us to “Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is” (Eph. 5:15-17). Dad, how are you doing? What traditions, what habits, what life-rhythms have you put in place to steward the time with your daughter well? As one father to another – my prayer is that we give much thought to this so that we will not waste one minute.
If you are a father of a daughter (or multiple daughters – God bless you) – join us Saturday, March 7th for our Father/Daughter dance. Here is an opportunity to spend quality time with your daughter and connect with other dads. Click the link here for ticketing information.
– Jeremy Dager (Pastor of Age-Based Ministries)