Do you remember the day she was born? The moment that shear panic gripped your soul because you held in your giant hands a tiny baby girl? What's a man to do with a girl? Doesn't raising boys come more naturally? Yet somehow that baby girl grabbed a hold of your heart with her tiny fingers, squeezed it real tight, and hasn't let go since!
Raising girls is a different kind of challenge. I know, I have two and I was a girl once myself! They can be emotional, dramatic, hormonal, and unpredictable. You're doing your best. You provide for her, comfort her, and protect her. Those are all important things but there's more...much more.
As a woman, I have met a lot of broken women. Not all of them, but quite a few of them have this in common...they lacked the presence of a father in their lives. In some situations the father wasn't around at all in others he was too busy or too focused on other things. Don't ever underestimate the importance of being a present active participant in your daughter's life. How she experiences love and acceptance from you, will shape her view of how she should experience love and acceptance from men when she is older.
Be the kind of husband to your wife that you want your daughter to marry some day. She's watching whether you realize it or not. How you treat her mother is how she will think she ought to be treated. Does she see you being affectionate, respectful, helpful, and encouraging with her mother? Are you the same way with her?
Do you build your daughter up the way you cheer on your son when he hits a home run? Does she know that she is smart, kind, beautiful, talented? In a world that regularly tells girls and women that they are not skinny enough, pretty enough, etc. does she know that she is more than enough in your eyes?
Love her like God our awesome Heavenly Father loves you. Extend her the same grace and forgiveness that you have received from Him especially when she disappoints you. If you do this then she will always know that no matter what she can come to you and find open arms instead of judgement. Loving her like God loves you invites her to learn from her mistakes, grow wiser from them, and receive forgiveness from her Heavenly Father as well.
I know it's a tall order. It's impossible without God's help but you can do it. All of us women who were once Daddy's little girls know that you can. You look in the mirror and see a mere man. We look at our dads and see Superman... that's how confident we are in you. So grab your cape and head out into the great unknown of raising a daughter, but go knowing that God's already given you all that you need to do the job.
Happy Father's Day to all of you wonderful Dad's out there. Thank you for your love, leadership, presence and the many sacrifices you make day in and day out! Your daughters love you!