Where Have all the Daddies Gone

Yesterday during worship at church I noticed, two seats down, our friend with his pre-teen daughter on his lap. Her legs dangled down, almost to the floor. She was completely comfortable laying back against  her dad, singing her heart out. I could hear his voice and hers and when I stole a glimpse I was moved. She was so content, feeling so safe. My first thought was that I’m supposed to feel like that when it comes to my Heavenly Father…all safe in his care. Then I realized that this wasn’t some super-spiritual thing, it was a human, flesh thing. This is one blessed little girl. Her dad loves her and his other three children so deeply and so well. He invests in his family. That is evident by observing their children.

There will come a day when you give your little girl away. What you taught her will make a difference in her marriage.

I felt an ache in my heart and tears welling up. I thought of the deep loss so many girls experience, with never having their daddy make them feel safe. I grieved for the years my girls lost with their dad. It wasn’t a complete loss, but there were years they missed out with him. He missed out too and today, its still his biggest, most painful sorrow.

I’ve sat across from those women who are now in their twenties, thirties, forties and even fifties, still mourning, still searching for their father’s love.  I’ve seen how a girl will go looking for affirmation somewhere, anywhere and most often, everywhere she shouldn’t.  I spend a lot of my time challenging women to do what God has called them to do, to own up to their sin, to be more about holiness rather than concerned with their happiness. But, I’ve also seen the power a father has in my own life, my own home, in the schools, on the playgrounds and the affect it has on our society.

I’ve lost track at how many times a sobbing woman tells me her husband won’t engage with their children, won’t give of himself, won’t stop long enough to see the devastation all around him.  Maybe it’s just too painful for some men to stop and notice. Maybe they feel inadequate and ill-prepared. Maybe they had no example of what being the daddy looks like. I cannot imagine the pressure men feel. I cannot imagine attempting to understand your wife and daughters when all you have to go on is…being a man. But I know that seeing a man be tender and loving towards his daughter, no matter what the age causes a woman (no matter her age) to feel something inside…a great loss or relief.

I’ve thought a lot about all the women I’ve walked-along-side, counseled and cried with. We aren’t meant to remain in the past and we are responsible for our own actions as adults. Having an absent or distant father isn’t an excuse to sin. However, if dads understood just how powerful their impact is on young daughters…maybe we’d have a lot more “daddies” in the world.

Where have you gone, daddies” Where are the men who will stop working, stop moving, thinking, long enough to dance with their little girls?

Take me for a walk, put me on your knee, give me a hug, hold me when I cry. Hold me for no reason, just because you love me. Tell me that I’m special. Tell me that you love me. Tell me that you will always be there for me, protect me. Show me that I’m worth your time. Show me how I’m supposed to be treated by other men. Teach me that I’m beautiful…just the way I am, simply because God fashioned. Love my mommy well. Treat her with respect. Please don’t yell at her and be harsh, that scares me. It makes me feel like love is angry. Daddy, teach me about God, pray with me, tell me about God’s Word. When I need discipline, do it lovingly, but do it. Please take time for me, I won’t be here very long. I will be in another man’s arms before you know it and how you loved me may decide what kind of man I end up with. Please, daddy, show me I’m worth your love.

I’ve always thought it interesting that especially in the Old Testament, God allows us to see that the condition and fate of the family depended upon the father. Most often, the wife and children aren’t mentioned with some Bible characters, but the actions/attitudes and choices of the father are felt for generations. I don’t think that has changed one bit. A society without fathers will eventually be a lost, chaotic and ruined society. It begins at home, one daughter (or son) at a time. Pray for the fathers in your life, that they may understand the magnitude of their role.





May friendship, encouragement and grace abound!