She was lucky. She escaped and managed to call her mom and dad. Many are not lucky and become statistics associated with the epidemic of pornography and sex-trafficking. For her, it started off innocently enough – a new “friend” told her how attractive she was and encouraged her to visit a photographer that might be able to help launch a modeling career. Modeling sessions became compromising photographs which became leverage for control over her. Scared and intimidated, she saw no way out.
Three things girls need to hear from their dad are: You are my daughter whom I love very much; You are beautiful and worth fighting for; and, You have what it takes to glorify God through the unique gifts you have been given. When dads bless their daughters with these words and live them into their lives every day, young ladies perform better academically, are more confident in their own skin, do not succumb to peer pressure and are generally more successful in life. That is the power of a father used for good.
Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the Church and gave Himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to Himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. … For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh. … Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord. – Ephesians 5:25-26, 31 & 6:4. As a bachelor, Jesus set the standard for how women are to be treated. He did not take advantage of the adulteress (John 8:11), but called her to a new level of relationship through forgiveness and repentance. In Ephesians, Paul calls husbands to a new level of relationship with their wives, to be a living example of how Christ loved the Church. When the marriage relationship operates in this realm, healthy sexuality is exemplified daily between husband and wife and children are brought up in the training and instruction of the Lord. Jesus’ call is to get it right upstream because it can get pretty muddy downstream.
Evil is alive and well. But it is not happenstance that one of the early questions from a new “friend” or even a recruiter for an erotic dance establishment is, “How is your relationship with your dad?” Evil knows the void it needs to access a young mind and wastes no time initiating schemes to take control of a life. Downstream, the lucky ones get home or to a recovery house to begin the long journey of rebuilding a life that was meant to be. Upstream, dads are called to step up to the call of being a father, to embrace the window of opportunity from birth to age 18 to be the Heavenly Father’s representative in the home and in his children’s lives. Faithful fathers are upstream dads that reflect the triune nature of God by prioritizing physical presence, being engaged emotionally and leading spiritually by example.
Prayer guide: Father, thank You for Your word and the blessing of marriage and children. I confess that I have allowed cultural norms to distract my thoughts from You and the mandate for husbands and fathers spelled out clearly in scripture. Forgive me. It is only through selfless, sacrificial living in marriage that I can set the right standard for my kids to catch. Help me always point my children to You to fill any voids I inadvertently create on this journey as a man, husband and father. Equip me as an upstream dad to PASS the BATON of faith and family well to the next generation. Amen.
A faithful father invests well upstream in marriage and the lives of his kids.