A message to fathers: How to love your daughters

7 10 2013

IMG_5450rvIt may not be what you think.

Little girls need snuggles and daddy-hugs. So do big girls. Little girls need to be told they’re beautiful. So do big girls.

Little girls need to know you delight in them and are proud of them and will protect them and care for them. So do big girls.

Now, more than ever.

Your daughters are facing an epidemic-level crisis like none we’ve ever faced. And the only person who can help is you.

Are you paying attention now?

It’s not what you think. It’s not the economic depression. It’s not the government shut-down. It’s not conflict in the Middle East or natural disasters or sky-high college loan debt. She’ll talk to you about those. She won’t tell you about this one. Not in so many words. So I’ll tell you my generation of Christian women and girls’ best-kept secret.

We are facing a missing generation. The Lost Boys, who never grew up.

They are missing from our pews. They are missing from the mission field. They were told in Sunday school, “Sit still.” They were told in high school, “Sit still.” And they’re still sitting.

Except for a few. When they saw the first glint of freedom they ran – and never came back.

We daughters of the Church grew up. Pursued our dreams. Got educated. Got a job. Changed from the ugly duckling into the proverbial swan. Finally, we thought, we are ready – ready to marry our prince and have cute babies and call our mom when the meatloaf burns.

And we looked around and realized: “Where are all the men?”

The truth stared us in the face. The Lost Boys are still lost. Still playing hero instead of learning how to be the real thing. Still sitting, just like they were told. They’re lost in a million realities and comforts and ambitions and fantasies, with no one to show them how to be the real deal.

Who will call them out? Who will invest in them and teach them how to be men?

We can’t. But you can.

The best practical way to love your daughter in this crazy, upside-down world is to love boys into men. I feel there has never been a time when the lost art of mentoring is less valued or more needed. With more and more children growing up fatherless, someone has to stand in the gap.

Someone has to lead the way. No more excuses.

What kind of person do you want marrying your daughter? Taking care of her? Pledging life and faithfulness to her? You’ve paid for her to have the best education. You’ve gone to her t-ball games and ballet performances. You’ve protected her and given her wings. Will you leave the second-most important decision of her life to chance? Teach boys to be men. You may be mentoring your future son-in-law.

Our generation of young women will thank you. Your daughter will thank you. And she will be loved well, long after you are gone.





Forces

22 02 2009

 

Everyone has plans for me. Everyone wants different things from me. Everyone wants me to live my life their particular way. Everyone has their time frame.

 

I feel pulled a thousand different directions.

 

What do you want for me, God?

 

My journalism professors and students want my life and my time devoted to reporting social injustice, the “high calling of being the voice of the people.” This project must be completed. I must get this internship, work at this job, have this mindset in order to advance in a kill-and-be-killed environment. My other teachers each think their class and their homework is the most important.

 

The world wants me to get the perfect job, have the perfect boyfriend, be friendly but not too friendly, get perfect grades and always have trendy clothes with matching accessories. I must embrace my individuality, but not so much it makes me different than others and makes them uncomfortable. It too wants my devotion.

 

My campus ministry wants from me more personal witnessing, more Bible study, more programs, more service and involvement—all worthy activities. I feel my church wants from me model behavior and a respectable level of passion for Christ (but not so much it might create change). Everyone seems to think they have the best way to follow Jesus and do ministry.

 

How long must I endure? Everyone wants all my time, all my devotion, all my heart. I feel opposing forces are spinning me in circles. In trying to go everywhere, I go nowhere.

 

Sometimes I wish to leave it all behind and simply walk in the dust of the Rabbi.

 

“Am I now trying to win human approval, or God’s approval? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ.”

                                                              Galatians 1:10

 





Questions

8 02 2009

I dare to say the Western Church is one of the world’s largest, mostly-untapped source of financial, theological and personnel resources for the cause of world missions. Why?

Why the disparity between available resources and actual outpouring and impact?

Perhaps we have been asking the wrong question.

When we think about overseas missions, unreached people groups and our role in the grand scheme of the advance of the gospel (if we think of it at all), we often consider questions like, Where should I go? Can I raise support? What about education for my children?

But mostly we ask – and this one’s the kicker – Is God calling me to go?

When we examine the Scriptures it seems obvious that God wants His people to tell of Him to the nations who have never heard. The Great Commission, found in Matthew 28:18-20, is a good example. This mandate is also found in the Abrahamic Covenant (Genesis 12:1-3) and throughout the Old and New Testaments. Look it up – be a good Borean. (Acts 17:11).

But the question remains: What is God calling me personally to do?

I realize I am straying into dangerous territory now – it’s true, each individual’s calling must be determined through great prayer and petition from God alone – but I do believe if a specific personal mandate is not been made clear to us, we are to follow Christ’s general mandate. His last marching orders, as it were, are found in Matt. 28: 18-19a: “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore, go and make disciples of all nations…”

I know many wonderful people whom God has called into ministry here in the U.S. However, I fear many of us stay not because we have been given a clear calling and ministry in the U.S., but because it is the expected and acceptable course – even in churches. We have missed the significance of God’s general mandate for our personal lives.

We have been asking the wrong question: Am I called to go?

What if we started asking a better question?

Am I called to stay?

 

“The question we should ponder is not, ‘How much should I give?’ but ‘How much should I keep?'” Linda Dillow, Donkeys Still Talk