My daughters Megan, Emily, and Hannah know my voice. When they were younger, they climbed into my lap and listened to my voice as I read bedtime stories and prayed with them. They heard my voice as I cheered them on at the soccer game, piano recital, or school play. They heard my voice as I instructed and encouraged them. As they grew, my daughters began to notice other voices of the world…voices from people and sources who would never love them like I do. In fact, those other voices were telling my daughters things that weren’t good for them and could harm them.
So my job was to do my very best to ensure that my voice of truth and love was heard loud and clear, above all others, by my girls. And if you have sons, here are 8 Things Every Father Must Teach His Son. Here are 8 things every father must teach his daughter:
1. “You are immeasurably valuable.” We need to impress upon our daughters that their immeasurable value rests in who they are, not in what they do, what they wear, what the drive, where they live or how they look. They are valuable because they are our daughters and were created by God and for God.
2. “You are beautiful.” Every daughter needs to hear, and here often, from her dad, “You are beautiful.” Our daughters need to hear that they are not only beautiful on the outside, but also on the inside where true beauty finds its source. It doesn’t hurt to write it down either.
3. “Be a Lady.” Teach her to be a lady in the way she dresses. Girls can be modest and still be trendy. It means to use lady-like language…crassness and cussing are very unattractive. It means to use good manners. It means to draw physical boundaries and let men know that her body is reserved exclusively for her future husband.
4. “Command honor and respect from men.” The best way to teach her about the kind of man she should develop a relationship with and ultimately marry is to show her by your example in your marriage and other relationships.
5. “I Love You Unconditionally.” Our daughters need to know that we love them no matter what, and that nothing, absolutely nothing, can ever separate them from our love. We need to continually tell them, and show them, that we always love them.
6. “You can Always Count on Me.” No matter what, my daughters know that they can count on me to always speak the truth to them. If they ask me a question, they will get the truth. They can trust what I say because of my track record over time. They can also count on me to do what’s in their best interests. On many occasions, I have sat down with my children and advised them on someone or something they should avoid—a bad relationship, a questionable movie, an inappropriate party…or, someone or something they should embrace—a new opportunity, a good event, or a faithful friend. When I do so, I often preface my comments with something like, “You know that I am saying this because I have your best interests at heart. And, I want you to help you avoid pain and prosper in life.”
7. “Love Others.” Loving others is our great and eternal duty. Love is all about giving selflessly and sacrificially to others. Remind her how she must take time to look beyond her own world and care for those who are hurting around her.
8. “Love God.” We were created by God and for God. We are to love him with all of our being—heart, soul, mind, and strength. This is absolutely the most important thing I must teach my daughters.
So let your daughter hear your loving voice on each of these 8 things. What are some other things you’ve taught your daughter over the years? I’d like to hear your thoughts below.