Do you remember the day you met her? Everything about her was so small and helpless, yet representing so much hope, grace, and love. Think back to that day and remember how you felt holding her in your arms. So tiny and so innocent. So loved and so perfect. A living treasure straight from the hands of the living God.
When you accepted this delicate, precious blessing from God, you accepted the enormous responsibility to protect her heart, guide her steps toward God, preserve her virtue and mold her into a woman of godly stature, substance, and service. This is no easy task. Some tremble at the thought.
A father must be strong and diligent, while being kind and gentle enough to win the heart of this precious girl. He is to become her strength, and her hero, while providing loving stability in this materialistic world that is constantly telling her to find her own way. If he succeeds in this mission, he will have accomplished his goal of raising his precious little girl into a worthy woman of the Lord, and ultimately strengthening the kingdom of God.
So, what about her? What does the daughter see in her manly example? Does she see a picture of spiritual leadership and family devotion? Does she see honor and love? Does she see someone who no longer has time for her? Has he ever had time for her? This unique bond with her father will help her to define her role as a woman, her responsibilities as a wife and mother, and her relationship with God. It will impact how she sees herself as well as who she will seek to marry.
Will she marry a man like you? How would you feel if she did?
Will she marry a man with opposite values from yours? How would you feel if she did?
Would you behave the same toward her if you knew that your behavior influenced her opinion of God? Why or why not?
Do you have your daughter’s heart? Does she have yours?
Whether you are beginning your journey of fatherhood, strengthening the values of your teen, or are on the verge of giving your daughter away in marriage, the Fathers of Faith and Daughters of Excellence Retreat can be a time of spiritual refreshing, renewal, and revitalization for your special relationship of father and daughter.
Dear Fellow Dads,
The father-daughter bond, as defined by God, is unique among all relationships. Fathers have a duty to love, guide, train, protect, and teach their daughters. He is to provide for her, and he is to prepare her for marriage. In many ways, how a father loves his daughter will affect how that daughter interprets God’s love. A daughter’s role and responsibilities also are critical to fulfilling God’s plan. In a very real way, how a daughter embraces her place in the family, particularly her relationship with her father, plants the seeds for how she blossoms as a wife and mother. With God as the divine architect of the family, He has given fathers the charge to lead the efforts to build, fortify, and stabilize the home. In light of that, Satan’s societal influence has pierced the heart of many families.
So here is the magic question for dads who want to follow God’s plan—
If you were alone on a desert island, and all you had was the Bible for your life guide, what kind of relationship would you have with your daughters?
All too often, dads have lost sight of, or have never learned, the scope of their spiritual responsibility as the father of a daughter. In addition, daughters are being taught by our society to ignore the blessing of a godly father, and to search outside the home for people to influence and guide their development into womanhood.
It is my belief that such challenges can be conquered with personal commitment, prayer, trust, fellowship, and by searching the scriptures. That is the purpose of the Fathers of Faith and Daughters of Excellence Retreat—to engage in a focused renewal of the relationship between fathers and their daughters, all to the glory of God.
Consider this—while we as dads may delegate the responsibility of raising our children, we can never delegate the accountability we have before God for how they are raised.
While recognizing the God-given sovereignty a father has in the methods he uses to implement God’s plan, the Fathers of Faith and Daughters of Excellence Retreat will look at the principles, teachings, commands, examples, and lessons that are found in the Bible. This will all be done in a context of examining our culture’s influence on the father-daughter relationship in contrast to God’s plan for the family
So, who am I and why do I care?
My name is Frederic Gray, and I have three daughters. But growing up it was just me, my brother David, and my dad. I didn’t know the first thing about living with girls. Yes, in our house, the seat was always up.
Fist-fighting with my brother was our way of saying, “I love you.” As my brother and I would fight, my dad would stand next to us and watch, never saying a word except for the occasional, “No fair, kicking.”
Now, looking back, I wonder if he would just watch us fight for entertainment. (That was before everyone had cable, when we only had 3 ½ TV channels, and they all would turn into static shortly after bedtime.)
I never knew that in homes with girls, crying was as common as fighting was in my house. My brother and I never complained about clothes making us look fat. And I never even knew there was such a thing as a dust ruffle until after I got married.
But I did learn a few things over the years. When I started having female friends, I mean really good friends that opened up to me, at age 15, I immediately started seeing a pattern. I mean, I wasn’t the sharpest tool in the shed, but some things are so obvious they smack you in the face and force you to pay attention. So, what was this great revelation? What was this pattern I saw in all my female friends? What trend did I see in my friends in high school and college that impressed me so much that when I had daughters I was scared to death enough to start a father-daughter retreat? Ready for it? Here it is.
The girls who made the worst relationship choices had the worst relationships with their dads.
Yes, I know, that is not always true. But it is ALMOST always true. And as my daughters get older, the fear that my mistakes and bad choices as a dad will drive them to marry some bozo who will mistreat them is more than I can bear. The very thought of it literally keeps me awake at night, on my knees. And as I pray, I get in touch with my own shortcomings as a man in the most intimate of ways…and I beg for God’s forgiveness, mercy, and grace. Forgiveness, because I want it. Mercy, because I need it. And grace, because my girls need it to help them overcome my mistakes.
And that brings me back to this retreat. I am hosting this retreat because I care about my girls, and I want to give them an unforgettable memory of us coming together in the most powerful way possible. I am hosting this retreat because I care about you, and I want you to create the same kind of unforgettable memories. And I believe we can achieve more together than we ever could alone. If you join me and the other dads in reaching out to the hearts of our daughters, you will be changed forever…and so will your daughter.
I am giving this retreat to God, for Him to do something so life-changing in our father-daughter connection that we have to experience it to believe it.
The Fathers of Faith and Daughters of Excellence Retreat will be a time of spiritual refreshing—a time of renewal for fathers and daughters who want to celebrate their special relationship by growing it in ways that honor God and shine a light to the world.
Do you want your daughter’s heart? Do you want her to know that she has yours? Do you want to glorify God through your father-daughter connection? If my words are speaking to you so that you are still reading this letter, then this father-daughter retreat is for you.