I get it. Being a girl in this generation has been tough. It’s probably always been tough for different reasons, but being known as the fatherless generation sure seems to say a lot.
Most of us girls who had good dads could probably say we are or were a daddy’s girl at some point. Those of us who never had the opportunity, just wish we had.
There is something in us, as girls and as daughters, to want the love and affirmation of a father. Not only that, we wanted him to love us and protect us by telling us “no” even when everything we did and said was contrary.
Proverbs 13:1 puts it like this, “A wise (son or) daughter desires a father’s discipline” Passion translation.
We would probably never admit it out loud, but there are times we push the boundaries to test love’s response.
Have you ever talked about another guy in front of your boyfriend, just to see if he’d react? Because you want him to react. You want him to be protective and jealous, right?!
Have you ever asked your best guy friend about another boy, just to see if he’s really just a FRIEND?
Did you ever step just over the boundary of a rule your dad had, just to see if he’d pay attention? And if he didn’t, did you take it even a step farther than that?
We want discipline. We want to be protected. We want someone to help us when we don’t know how to stop destructive cycles. We want someone who truly loves us to intervene and show us a better way. We were built this way on purpose.
But here we find ourselves in a fatherless generation, mostly for two reasons. First, because of single parenting and mostly by a mother. Whether it be mom’s unknown partner, divorce, death, or abandonment there are now 12 million single parent families and 80% of those are single moms (Source: Single Mother Guide 2016). Second, because fathers are less like fathers and have reduced their fatherly role into friendship (Source: Coaching Millennials).
However, though moms are rockstars (not minimizing by comparison) and having a dad that seems like a friend is cool, what we need as daughters is a true father. One that provides structure, protection and provision. A father who cleans his gun when your new boyfriend comes over, just so he knows who’s boss. A father who loves you enough to tell you no, even if it breaks his heart to see the fall out.
Whether or not you have a good dad, I want you to be reminded that you have a perfect Father.
A Father who adopts the orphan and places them in a family, His family. A Father who was the happiest dad when you were born, who draws lines for your ultimate good and eagerly desires to meet your every need.
As much as we honestly desire His discipline, if you’re anything like me, you also want His approval. Not the kind that says, “I’m going to do what I want and I hope He’s okay with it,” but the “I’m trying my hardest and I just want Him to be proud.”
You know, like when we do bring a guy home, we want our dad to approve of him, because in a way, it affirms our choice. And if he says no, we might fight it kicking and screaming, all the while knowing in our hearts that he’s totally right. Been there done that? Yeah, me too.
You can hear and know your Father’s discipline and His approval through His Word. And actually, it will be far more real and touch much deeper than any natural father’s love could ever penetrate.
So, from a Father’s heart, inspired by His Word, I would like to share a few thoughts that us as daughters could use from time to time.
My sweet girl,
Watch what you say. If you only knew the power of your own words; your very life is directed by them. So when you get down on yourself and speak thoughts that contradict how I think of you, you actually become them, instead of becoming like Me. You are far more valuable than the self-criticism you judge yourself with. Quick judgements, harsh accusations and gossip will ruin the good I have planned for you. See, your life follows the words that you speak. So even if you say, “I’m going to go here and do this,” your life will begin to follow in that direction, even if it was an aimless conversation or thought. So guard them. Watch what you say. If you slip, it’s okay, just replace it with truth and speak the words I’ve already spoken over you. They’re just as powerful coming out of your mouth, as they are coming out of mine.
“Guard your words and you’ll guard your life, but if you don’t control your tongue, it will ruin everything.” 13:3
Be quick to listen and understand because once you feel like you know it all, that’s the moment you cap the potential of your growth. Once you shut yourself off to wisdom and insight, you become a closed channel; like a pond with nothing flowing in and nothing flowing out. Stagnant water becomes septic and a closed heart to wisdom becomes wicked. When you refuse to hear the truth, it only brings more grief and the friction will steal your last drop of peace. Instead, open your heart to My voice. Let the counsel you choose be wise. You will know it is wise when it sounds like my Word and looks like my Son, Jesus.
“Wisdom opens your heart to receive wise counsel, but pride closes your ears to advice and gives birth to only quarrels and strife.” 13:10
Your friends really do matter. I know you’ve held on to friendships for the sake of familiarity, loyalty and obligation, but they determine how your life is going to turn out. See, who you choose to walk alongside determines the path you walk on. You can’t pick your path and choose to be friends with those going in a different direction. Can you be divided? Does your spirit and flesh not remain together until death? If you want to grow in your relationship with Me, spend time with those who love Me. When you choose to walk with those who think they have no need of Me, scoff at Me, use Me and ignore Me, you will begin to do the same. You’ve heard the phrase, “you become who you hang around,” and how true this is. So look at your friends, do you really want the life they have? Their broken hearts, empty souls, angry-at-the-world, striving for a better life they never seem to reach; is that what you really want? Then come away from them and make new friends with those who are friends with me.
“If you want to grow in wisdom, then spend time with the wise. Walk with the wicked and you’ll eventually become just like them.” 13:20
The more you listen to those who do not really love me, the further they lead you down a path of destruction. But the more you listen to those who walk with me, your life becomes rejuvenated by My truth; that discipline and affirmation you truly desire.
“When the lovers of God teach you truth, a fountain of life opens up within you, and their wise instruction will deliver you from the ways of death.” 13:14
I know the desires in your heart. I know your every hope and dream. I have heard your every prayer. Trust my faithfulness to fulfill your every longing. If you do, when it comes, sweetness will fill your soul. But those who do not trust me, those who resort to doing it their own way, will never get what they truly desire. They may get what they went after, but it can never be My best, unless I am entrusted to bring it about. So rest, sweet girl, you are mine. You are so intimately known by Me and not one concern will go unmet if you’ll come and remain in Me.
“When God fulfills your longings, sweetness fills your soul. But the wicked refuse to turn from darkness to see their desires come to pass.” 13:19
I am here, for you.
He’s sitting, waiting, in His favorite chair, for you to come climb up on His lap and tell Him about your day. He’s eager to listen, to love and to be present with you. So, go once again, into the arms of your Father and allow your heart to be open to His every thought towards you. He convicts without judgement, corrects without anger, and heals without scars.
In this with you girl, Shelley