This morning I woke up thinking about important lessons I’ve learned throughout my young life.
I think I’ve learned a lot about life. I’ve messed up enough and hurt enough people to know that for a fact. But this was the lesson that came to my mind before anything else.
‘Fathers be good to your daughters/daughters will live like you do
girls become lovers/who turn into mothers
so mothers be good to your daughters too.’ – John Mayer
My daughter Eliana (aka The Kid) turns two in a few months and I’ve seen how my priorities have changed since she was born. Doing high school ministry for most of my life, I’ve seen the affects of a dad who’s not there, especially for their little girls. The search for ‘daddy’ hurts, confuses, conflicts and breaks their hearts. That voice of daddy means a lot, to daughters AND sons. And this doesn’t count only for the dad who LEAVES because the dad who’s THERE in body and home still causes damage if he’s not THERE in HEART and SPIRIT. Kids will go one of two ways, either they will act out and seek attention constantly OR they will become recluse and afraid. And in my home, it’s my God-given call to be here with and for Ellie. To teach what I know about God, life…boys…(they all suck, Kid), you name it. Because it’s true, she will live like me. For better or worse.
I have a group of friends at my church. Three sisters named Kathy, Christine and Margaret. Three awesome women of God with awesome gifts, abilities and smarts. And each time I see them, whether its at church or on something like twitter, I always see their dad and mom in shining through. Always. I see the care that their parents show me and my family shine through them constantly. It’s cool and it’s something I look up to constantly. I remember sitting down with Mr. Lim (their dad) and asking him about raising three girls. He just said you love them, serve them and help them. His pride in them shines greatly and I admire that.
I hope that when Ellie is their age, people would say of her that she got the best of Rebecca and I. And that would only happen if we make time to MAKE time. So I have to be good to her.
Love her always.
Shield her from harm.
Discipline her when she goes off track.
Remind her of her Creator in the days of her youth.
Help her find herself and think for herself.
Give her tips on how to sense when the One is calling & challenging her
Expose her to the wonders of music, art and other good stuff our world has to offer
Teach her to love others as she loves herself.
Encourage her to work hard, try hard, learn from failure and grow through defeat.
Simply: Be a good dad.
And in most cases, she’ll be looking for a guy one day who is a little bit like me…OR if I do it wrong, the COMPLETE opposite. This is either a preview to the best story ever OR an epic fail blog waiting to go down. And like Shawn Carter, I will NOT lose.
Run and tell that. Thanks John Mayer.
IMPORTANT P.S. If you grew up without a parent, this isn’t a slam against you or your story and I hope you don’t read this think that. I’m more than glad that you made it through and shout out to the resilence of your single parent and family support system for helping you through.
ANOTHER IMPORTANT P.P.S. Shout out to ALL SINGLE PARENTS doing that work on your own. You are heroes. Period.