I just finished reading a great review for a new book by Meg Meeker entitled Strong Fathers, Strong Daughters: 10 Secrets Every Father Should Know (Hardcover, Regnery Publishing). In short the review encourages men, well, to be men. Not passive, girly men, but men for the sake of their daughters.
For one, I have two little girls, ages 5 and almost 3. I love those little girls with all my heart and want them to know, see, observe what a man is and what a knucklehead boy is. I pray they see me love their mother passionately, walk with conviction, have both the tender hand of grace, and the firm hand of discipline. More than anything, I want them to see my life and not think my prayers and exhortations of them towards our heavenly father are groundless. Even writing these words humbles me to no end.
Basically the review communicates the reality that Dad's are essential to their little girls destiny. A few interesting excerpts.
Reality on the ground:
Simply put, children need their fathers as well as their mothers. This may sound like common sense, but it’s common sense that’s increasingly ignored. Today, more than one-third of American children are born out of wedlock. More than half of teenagers live in homes without married biological parents. Reversing this trend is critical to our society’s long-term health. Policymakers have taken notice, as they grapple with proposals and initiatives aimed at encouraging men to become more actively involved in their children’s lives.
On the need for our daughters to see manhood and masculinity:
Dr. Meeker’s advice to fathers is both reassuring and challenging. She urges men to spend time with their daughters, to listen intently to them, and to realize that they will set their daughters’ expectations for future relationships with men. It’s up to dad to show his daughter what a responsible, humble, courageous, and good man really is.
Perhaps most encouraging, there is a great exhortation on men being, strong, courageous, men who lead, not just males who are hanging around like extra family furniture.
Dr. Meeker emphasizes that dads don’t have to give up being men to nurture their daughters — in fact, their maleness is their strength:
Most of you out there are good men as well, but you are good men who have been derided by a culture that does not care for you, that, in terms of the family, has ridiculed your authority, denied your importance, and tried to fill you with confusion about your role. But I can tell you that fathers change lives… You are natural leaders, and your family looks to you for qualities that only fathers have. You were made a man for a reason, and your daughter is looking to you for guidance than she cannot get from her mother.
I'll close with some great advice for parents. Some I personally took to heart:
Many parents make the mistake of trying to stay in the background. Parents fear being too controlling or overprotective. We don’t want to embarrass our daughters… Every model for Playboy is someone’s daughter. Don’t let it be yours. Protect her beautiful body as only you can. She may hate it in the short term, but when she is an adult she will thank you. … Stay in the battle.
Yes indeed, men, battle for your girls. Make them Daddy's girls, stand for your princesses. Pray for each other and strengthen one another to this end. Those little ones are precious gems to our Heavenly Father, let us model his love, strength, and sacrificial servant-leadership in our homes.