I love having little girls! But as any parent knows well, they are very different from little boys. And, I must admit, because I was a little boy, I get boys. I understand them. I know how they think and what they want. I once thought like they did, and frankly, I sometimes still do. Because of that, early in our kids’ lives I found it easier to engage the boys.
My little girls are beautiful, creative, sweet, caring and sometimes silly. They like to dance and sing. They want to read books and play dress up. They draw pictures, pick flowers, dream of being a princess, and think about their wedding day. I had to adjust to all this. But, they have my heart so it’s been a happy adjustment!
They need me to be as interested in what they love as I am interested in what the boys love. But this simply scratches the surface of what they need from me. They need deeper things, bigger things, and life giving things. Here are some things my little girls need from their daddy.
- To know that they are beautiful, valued, and loved. It’s certainly true that all kids need this, but this is something fathers should be especially mindful of with their little girls. Our culture, and many cultures throughout the world, diminish the dignity and worth of women. Woman have been marginalized, ignored, mistreated, and now in the wake of the sexual chaos of our world, they are treated like objects which gratify the cravings of perversity and shame. Fathers must be intentional to build their little girls up. Dads, your little girl needs to know that you love her, that she has value, and that she is beautiful. No one on earth can make them believe that more than you can. No one can positively shape and impact them more than you can. No one!
- To see how a man treats a woman. Little girls often see the improper ways men treat women, and come to think that it is OK to be mistreated or disrespected. Our little girls need to see a model for how men are supposed to treat women. They need to see us doing things like opening doors for our wives and bringing flowers home for them. They need to see men paying attention to women in the right ways so they will form the right expectations for their own lives.
- To learn what wholesome affection looks like. I’m no psychologist, but I have to think that snuggles, hugs, kisses on the cheek and affection from daddy are good things. Our little girls need this from us because it allows them to learn about affection in a wholesome and safe environment. If they don’t get that from us, they will look for it in the arms of a boy that’s consumed by his hormones. No thanks. I’d much prefer them to find affection in our home where they are loved and where we have their best interest at heart.
- Affirmation of their talents and ability to contribute. In a world that tends to marginalize them, our little girls need us to affirm their talents, gifts, abilities, and intellects. They need our support in finding their place in the world and how they will contribute to it. They need to know that God has made them so special and has great plans for them.
- To see their daddy’s love for Jesus. Finally, they need to see us love Jesus. Too often the dad is the least spiritual person in the home. It is too common that dad is absent spiritually and there are others who point them to Jesus and shepherd their souls. Brothers, may this not be true of us. May we model faithfulness and affection for Christ in what we do before their watching eyes.
I’m certainly not perfect at any of these things. And, as I’ve said, being a dad to little girls didn’t come as natural as being a dad to little boys. But boy is it worth it! My little girls need me, and your little girls need you. Let’s be faithful to them!