One of my wife’s favorite movies is GREASE. You remember the story – ‘Good girl’ Sandy and ‘greaser’ Danny fall in love over the summer but think they’ll never see one another again. As fate would have it, they find themselves in the same high school in the fall. Danny puts on his “I’m too cool for you” act throughout most of the movie but they rekindle their romance by the time the credits are rolling.
Tucked away inside that classic movie is a line by Frenchie that I’ve stolen (as many dads have) and I’ve been teaching this to my girls for as long as they’ve been alive. “The only man a girl can depend on is her daddy.”
Frenchy wasn’t exactly right, but a little girls’ daddy…well, he’s the one who will be there for her, through thick and thin. He needs to be her rock. Her anchor in a storm. At least, that’s how it is in her mind and until he proves otherwise.
I am a father of four – three daughters and a son. I love my son immensely, but there’s nothing quite like the daddy-daughter relationship.
Our girls are Jessalyn (26), Ariana (25), and Abigale (20) and from the time they were born I taught them that the only man a girl could depend on is her daddy.
Oh I know that there are other male family members that are reliable. In a healthy family, girls can depend on their brothers, their uncles, their grandfathers, etc. When all is right in the world a girl should be able to depend on her school teacher, her Sunday School teacher, the bus driver, the policeman, and fireman, etc.
It’s not that other men aren’t reliable and trustworthy. But a daddy fills a need in a girls heart and life that no-one else can fill. A daddy can be, or should be, depended on. No matter what.
A daddy’s role in the life of a daughter, or a son, is immeasurable. Like it or not, as a dad, your little girl looks up to you. Here are a few quick thoughts on your role as her daddy.
You’ve heard it said that one of the most important things a dad can do for his kids is to love their mother. By loving their mother and treating their mother with respect and honor, daddy is establishing a strong family bond and providing security and stability, which are two of her greatest needs as she grows into adulthood. The role you play with your daughters’ mother helps set the tone for what she should expect in a husband.
Your daughter wants to spend time with you. We often say in our household that love is spelled T.I.M.E. I think it’s an unrealistic expectation that you can be at every single sports event, band concert, or school performance, but I think it’s extremely important that you carve time out of your schedule and make it a priority to attend as many of her events as possible. Take the time to help her with her homework. Establish ‘date nights’ with your daughter and take her out for ice cream, or coffee as she grows older. Show her that she can depend on you to be there for her in the smaller things, and she will know she can depend on you when she needs you the most!
As a dad, you are your little girls’ hero. You’re the one she can depend on to get her out of tight spots. You’re the one she calls when she’s afraid. When she falls off her bike and skins her knee, she runs to mommy. But when she’s regained courage and ready to try again, aren’t you the one running alongside her keeping the bike steady?
Dads, if your family is anything like mine, you’re the one who clears the ‘monsters’ from under her bed every night. You’re the one shooting the video of her gymnastics performance, while her mother is wildly cheering her on. You’re the one outside day after day after day teaching her how to shoot a basketball. Or kick a soccer ball.
Dads, correct me if I’m wrong, but you’re most likely the one who taught her how to drive and what to expect from a boy who wants to take her out on a date. And you’re the one who sat up late at night waiting for her to come home from prom. Ok, mom was awake for that one too.
And when she got pulled over for speeding the first time…or got in her first car accident…or got her heart broken…who did she call? She called you – the only man a girl can depend on.
Dependability – one of the biggest responsibilities we have to those who call us Dad.
Jason and his bride Debby have been married for 27 years and have co-authored "Discovering Your Amazing Marriage." They are marriage mentors and public speakers, telling their story of how they survived infidelity and encouraging couples in all walks of life.