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Fathers and Daughters
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Although my mom and I were very close while I was growing up, my dad also played a very important role in my life. Dad and I shared things that Mom and I didn’t: a love for horses, playing the guitar, a passion for pastoral ministry and a sense of adventure. And though I’m now grown with a family of my own, he is still a very important part of my life.

So much is made of the mother-daughter relationship, that we sometimes don’t realize how important the first man in our daughter’s life is—her father. Parenting specialist Michael Grose strongly believes that dads play an important role in the lives of their daughters.

He writes, “The notion of a father who is home and available affords a sense of security for young girls even if the only protective behaviors men actually indulge in are the removal of the occasional spider from the bedroom wall or to reassure children that they are quite safe from those things that go bump in the night.”1 Yet he believes that a dad’s role can, and should, go far beyond this.

Daughters learn major lessons about the world of males from their dads. Although they may grow up watching super heroes on TV, or watch men in various roles in movies, it’s their own dad who will be a model of how ordinary, everyday men think, act and speak. And according to Grose, the thought of this is a bit scary. In a sense, dads are teaching their daughters how they should expect to be treated by the males in their lives as they grow up and eventually marry. How daughters and their mothers are treated will send a strong message to girls and young women about the male-female relationship.

Marry Men Like Dad

Grose writes that, “The high proportion of girls who grew up with violent fathers who marry similar men or live in relationships with violent men is testament to the strength of this type of conditioning. The message for dads is simple--be gentle, be respectful and allow your daughters to be assertive towards you.”

What if dads used God the Father as their role model? How would they then treat their daughters? Dads would have a listening ear. They would be compassionate. They would be accepting and forgiving. Dads would be willing to teach by words as well as example. And they would love—always love--no matter what.

If you have a daughter, treasure her. You will not always see eye-to-eye, but you will only have her for a while. And when the day comes that you walk her down the aisle towards the new man in her life, you don’t want to be filled with regrets. Rather, you’ll want a close relationship that never ends, regardless of distance or time.

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By Nancy Canwell. Copyright © 2009 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines

1 http://www.positivepath.net/ideasMG7.asp

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