What’s the lesson that dads learn about their daughters way too late? Or never learn?
They need you.
But that’s the short answer.
Here’s the deal. One of the most educational and eye-opening things that ever happened to me was having female friends.
Tenth grade is when it happened. I started listening to girls. As a result, they became my friends.
Combine those friends (who opened up their hearts to me) with a caring and wise stepmother who helped put the peculiarities of girls in the proper context, and it was like taking a pill in The Matrix.
I was never the same again.
I never saw girls, and eventually, women, the same. Ever again.
And the one overarching truth that I saw manifest itself with every single female I have known, was this.
They need their dad.
I mean, really, what are women?
Girls who got a little bit older.
Their personalities stay the same.
Their temperaments and bents stay the same.
And so does their need for their dad.
It got old watching girls, and women, I loved do horribly self-destructive things. And what pained me even more was discovering that in every situation, my friend was looking for something. With quiet desperation, she frantically searched for something that always seemed to elude her.
A meaningful connection with her dad.
Ladies, you know I’m right. Even if you haven’t felt nagging pangs to do something crazy to fill a void, or heal a wound, left by your dad, I guarantee that you know someone who has.
Women who put undue pressure on themselves to produce financially often had a dad whose financial realities pushed them to that point.
Ever see a girl do things sexually just to experience the accepting touch of a man? Often she never experienced healthy affection from her dad. And if her dad was affectionate, he probably stopped once she started developing.
Know any women who have trouble feeling like God loves them for who they are? Or that they are never good enough for God? Yep, fellas, our love toward our daughters affects their perception of their heavenly Father.
Still not convinced?
Catch the message from Dr. Meg Meeker. She wrote a whole book about a daughter’s need for her dad. It’s called Strong Fathers, Strong Daughters. And oh, yeah, it’s a best-seller.
Why would a book connecting the strength of a woman to the strength of her dad’s love be a best-seller? Since women buy about 75% of the books out there, I contend it’s because all the grown women understand the eternal impact a dad has on his daughter, and they are buying the books for the men in their lives.
Why do I think this?
Because the same phenomenon happens with my father-daughter retreat. Most of the dads who come are prompted by their wives who impress upon them the magnitude of importance of the special memories created by dads with their daughters.
“Hogwash!” you say? “Phooey!” you shout?
Okay, let’s open the book Dr. Meg Meeker wrote, and just look at some evidence. Between pages 23-25 she lists the measured impact an active father has on his daughters.
An active dad’s impact on young girls:
- Toddlers are better at solving problems.
- Six month old babies score higher on mental development tests. (Hey dads, do you believe the lie that your children don’t need you when they are babies? WRONG!)
- Better able to manage school stress.
- Higher academic success
- Less anxiety and withdrawn behaviors.
An active dad’s impact on older girls:
- It’s the #1 factor in preventing girls from engaging in premarital sex and indulging in drugs and alcohol.
- More assertive. (This means she is better able to say “No” to bad stuff, and has higher standards so she can say “Yes” to the good stuff.)
- Significantly less suicide attempts.
- Fewer instances of body dissatisfaction, depression, low self-esteem, substance use, and unhealthy attitudes toward her weight.
- Twice as likely to stay in school.
- Stronger self-image and self-esteem. Doesn’t think too high or too low of herself.
- Fewer growth and developmental delays, learning disorders, emotional disabilities, and behavioral problems.
- Greater ability to control impulses, delay gratification, and have a weaker sense of conscience or right and wrong.
- More likely to confide in dad and seek his emotional support.
- Perform better academically.
When will we stop the madness?
There are so many dark influences trying to seduce the hearts, minds and souls of our daughters, it’s time that we stand up.
It’s time we created a culture of “Fight For Your Daughter Manhood.”
And you wonder why I created a father-daughter retreat? Because it is the absolute, no holds barred, most powerful way for a dad to create a memory so powerful in its poignancy, so compelling in its love, that it completely overshadows any other experience in her life that competes for her heart.
And if dad wins, that means that dad wins her heart.
And if dad has won her heart, she’ll come to him with her problems, seeking his advice and counsel.
And if dad has won her heart, that means she’ll listen to him when he guides her in what kind of man she ought to marry.
And if dad has won her heart, then he gets to give it away when she gets married.
If dads wins, daughters win. Because they get what they need from the person who she is supposed to get it from, and not some bozo.
If dads win, God wins.
That’s why I created this father-daughter retreat. Because the activist in me got sick and tired of watching girls/women I dearly loved make stupid decisions that merely caused them to try to climb a mountain during a mudslide–trying to meet her needs with counterfeit solutions instead of what she needed most.
I got sick and tired of watching friends of mine, dads, say, “I wanted children, not babies. I’ll get involved in their lives when they are older and can actually have an adult conversation with me.”
Or, “I’ll get involved with the boys, but the girls? Well, my wife will take care of them.”
It’s a lesson that many dads never learn. And of the ones who do, many learn it too late.
Dads, your daughter needs you.
Not when she’s older. Not when she is _______(fill in the blank).
Right now. She needs you now. Today.
Do something about it.
If you don’t know what to do, that’s exactly what our father-daughter retreat is all about.
Todd Wilson and I will help you.
But whether or not you come to our retreat, please just do something about your daughter’s need.
She needs you.
I hope you don’t learn that lesson too late.