As dads, we love to get in touch with our emotions. NOT! But when it comes to relating with daughters, dads that up their game in this area will mature well in the father-daughter relationship as daughters mature from being their “little girl” to becoming a young lady.
I was blessed this past weekend to watch dads navigate through emotions that would help strengthen the relationship with their daughters on a father-daughter retreat. As dads invested time with their daughters, and the daughters with their dads, the Lord worked through the topic-specific sessions, the one-on-one time for dads and daughters, and the various fun physical activities, to facilitate a new level of relationship.
Philip said, “Lord, show us the Father and that will be enough for us.” Jesus answered: “Don’t you know Me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen Me has seen the Father. – John 14:8-9. “… among you such a long time” – Jesus invested time with His disciples. They witnessed water being turned to wine, the healing of the leper, feeding of the 5000, the interaction with the adulteress and the woman at the well and the overturning of the tables to name a few. They heard the parables and listened to His teaching. And they were confused when He spoke of eating the flesh of the Son of Man, and drinking His blood (John 6:53). As a result of Jesus’ investment, the disciples indeed saw the Father and moved on with His ministry to glorify the Father after His death, resurrection and ascension. Similarly, as a dad invests time with his children, they will witness how the Lord has been working in his life. They will hear his teaching. And they will be confused between what the culture says and what the word of God says. A dad’s investment of time to connect physically, emotionally and spiritually with his children, will open their eyes to the Father. And the baton will be passed for them in turn, to move on in ministry to glorify the Father in their families.
As weekend retreats wrap up, I like to share a montage of pictures with my daughter from the time she fit in one hand to when I walked her down the aisle at her wedding. The emotions run high. The message to young dads, from one in the Counselor season of fathering, is to slow down and invest well every day. The unique investment of one-on-one time on a weekend retreat provides a powerful marker on the father-daughter journey. Some family history and past events are discussed, the present fun time together is enjoyed, and plans are made for how the relationship will continue to grow and mature. Dads are charged to navigate through emotions to nurture a father-daughter relationship that glorifies the Father.
Prayer guide: Thank You Lord for Your word and the opportunity to reflect You in my family. I confess that I have not been as physically present or emotionally engaged with my daughter as I should have been. Forgive me. Help me not dwell on the past but enjoy where You have me with my daughter. I commit to be involved daily as practicable, invest in regular one-on-one time and schedule weekend retreats or other getaways as she matures. Grant me strength and discernment as I navigate through emotions and seek to lead spiritually by example in my daughter’s life. That is the dad You call me to be and that is the dad the next generation needs. Amen.
A faithful father navigates through emotions to mature in the father-daughter relationship.