Dads, we need to talk. Your daughter is growing up. She’s blossoming into a young lady now, with her own sense of fashion and independence and emotions like a rollercoaster you never bought a ticket to ride. (Neither did she, by the way.) We know you might be perplexed by some of her moods and behaviors, and maybe you’re leaving a lot of the “girl” stuff up to her mom right now. But she still needs you.
Possibly more than ever before.
As girls grow into their tweens and teens, they’re becoming more aware of who they are and, sadly, who they’re not. The world is going to throw messages at your daughters telling them they’re not enough. Not pretty enough, not smart enough, not strong or popular or talented enough. And you know what? Those are all lies. You, Dad, have a major part to play in showing your daughter who she really is in God’s eyes. Here are some key ways you can make a difference.
- Date your daughter. Set aside time just for the two of you. Show her she is a priority in your life by actually carving out time from your busy schedule to dedicate to her alone. Be a safe place where she can talk openly and express who she is.
- Listen—and don’t judge. Dads are fixers. They want to solve problems. But sometimes what your daughter needs more than a solution is acceptance. Let her know she is heard, then work together to create a solution. You might be surprised how much you learn about your girl just by keeping your mouth shut. Then when you do offer advice, make sure it’s meant to build her up, not tear her down.
- Tell her she’s beautiful. It’s inbred in every girl—the desire to be lovely, cherished, and pursued. And she’ll seek it somewhere, no doubt about it. So make sure she knows her worth is in Christ (and not in boys or shopping or alcohol) by loving her as Jesus does. Constantly remind her how valuable she is. Teach her to believe without a doubt that our perfect God created her on purpose and for a purpose, and she is a treasure “worth far more than rubies” (Proverbs 31:10).
- Have fun! Girls love to be silly. Don’t be afraid to enter your daughter’s world and play, laugh, goof around. Take an interest in what interests her (Philippians 2:4). Watch her favorite television shows with her, play her favorite board games, compliment her latest craft project or hairstyle. Then encourage her to explore new activities that are of interest to both of you. She’s old enough now to be your golf partner, your assistant chef, or your gardening apprentice. You can teach her a lot about how to live a life of integrity just by modeling it side-by-side.
- Dad, this is the single most important gift you can give your daughter. More than anything, she needs your prayers. And you need God’s help, too. Your daughter’s Heavenly Father is the One who can fill all your gaps and cover all your flaws. Where you let her down (and you will), God holds her up. So pray fervently for your daughter’s character, her heart, her future. Because “the prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective” (James 5:16b).
Happy Father’s Day to Faithgirlz dads everywhere. You are raising the next generation of godly women, and it’s not an easy job. But you’re never doing it alone. God is with you.
“The righteous lead blameless lives; blessed are their children after them.” (Proverbs 20:7, NIV).