This past Saturday my oldest daughter and I had one of our Date with Dad nights. We went out to dinner and had a great time talking and laughing, then went to our favorite ice-cream shop. Mikayla had a scoop of Jamoca and I had a scoop of chocolate almond and pistachio (no regrets, I promise). Then we went to move where she sat on my lap the entire time... I love it when she rests her head on my chest and I rest my chin on top of her head!
The purpose of these Dates with Dad isn't just to create great memories, but to fill her heart with healthy self confidence and respects, as well as demonstrate how she is to be treated as a lady as she gets older. I know it seems crazy, because she is still young (2nd grade), but I want to have proactive influence, not just reactive. I may sound arrogant, but I want to set a high standard and model that standard specifically for both my daughters so they don't have to guess later and experience avoidable mistakes.
I take fathering pretty serious... isn't it? Being a father is more than providing food, clothing and shelter; more than getting along as we live under the same roof. I will always be her father, but the reality is that my fathering has different seasons. From now until she's out of school, I'm laying a foundation in her life from which everything else will be built upon. Only for a season do I make decisions for her... but I will forever make decisions that will impact her. I want her to be the woman of God and person of influence that He has desired her to be. The wife that will know how to keep herself pure for a Godly man and create a Godly home. Who loves life and lives it to the fullest in spite of the challenges that come her way.
I am a father... her father... not by chance, and not someone else. God has chosen me... to nurture and raise her with integrity and to discover her purpose; her bend towards God and life. One day I will release from my hands. Either it will be with fear and trepidation, or faith and confidence.
I ask myself these questions: What does it mean to be a father? What does success as a father look like? What can I do to increase my potential of success? When should begin? If I don't do this deliberately, how will this happen?
Yes there's a weight of responsibility that I carry as a father; but my love for them allows me to carry it with joy, not as a burden!