Four qualities of a good father and “Daddy’s Little Girl”

L-O-V-E provides the basis for four qualities of a good father.

L-O-V-E provides the basis for four qualities of a good father.

On June 15, the day before Father’s Day, my daughter, Melissa, and I shared at a Father/Daughter Luncheon/Tea, which was part of a 2-day conference in Columbus, Ohio sponsored by Girls Night Out Slumber Party (GNOS). Phillippa Singleton Jackson, Founding President and Director of this community resource for young girls, had invited me to speak at their luncheon, and Melissa “just happened” to be in town for Father’s Day and my birthday as well as for a wedding reception in her honor.  Even though she is getting married soon, I realize that she will always be “Daddy’s Little Girl.” She reflected on what’s it’s like to be “Daddy’s Little Girl,” and I shared four qualities that make up a “good father,” the kind of father I strive to be.

These four qualities are embodied in the word “love– L-O-V-E” the foundation for building healthy father/daughter relationships. Each letter represents a specific characteristic of a “good father.”

L stands for Love.

First and foremost, a father loves.  As a verb, love connotes action, for love is a decision.  Love leads by example, in that love moves first. . . God so loved that He gave, as John 3:16 so clearly reveals. Following the example of God, our Father, a father loves because God is love, and He tells him to love. The poem by John Oxenham also reinforces this message:

Love ever lives/outlives/forgives

And while it stands/with open hands/

It lives/for this love’s prerogative/to give and give and give

It has been said that you can give without loving, but you cannot love with giving.  A father loves and shows his love by giving . . . his time, his attention, his resources, all that he has he is willing to give to support his family.

O is for “Observes and looks out for”

 A “watchman” in Bible times stood on guard to protect the community from those who might come into take from the resources of the people. Similarly, the father observes who’s coming in and who’s going out of his environment.  A good father is especially keen in checking out any young man who is trying to come in take away the precious treasure that is his daughter. Fathers have an application process in place, a series of interviews and preliminary requisites leading up to the first date and beyond.  A good father is always on the lookout and always looking out for, praying interceding for his daughter.

V is for “Values and esteems highly”

Fathers wear a jeweler’s glass –In the same way that an expert gemologist keeps a jeweler’s glass around his neck when examining precious gems, I keep my eyes open, ever watchful for those rare “blue diamonds” whose color adds to their value and rarity. Diamonds are precious gems that are of great value, but blue diamonds are even more valuable because they are even more rare than white diamonds.

A good father is always looking for those hidden qualities or traits that others might not see. Indeed, he finds them and bring them to his daughter’s attention, and reminder her of just how special she is. She is unique, one of a kind, a priceless treasure that he values and thanks God for, and he tells her so.

E is for “Encourages”

A good father is like a coach—who supports—cheers onward—celebrates success and is present to comfort and console when things don’t turn out as you had expected.  Despite the results of any endeavor, good fathers show unconditional love and continual affirmation.  Anea Bogue in discussing “9 Ways Dad Can Help their Daughters Self-esteem” makes this statement:

“Studies confirm that a girl’s self-esteem is directly impacted by her experience of unconditional love and affirmation from her father. Not a day should pass without her knowing, through word or action that you love and appreciate her. Acknowledge her accomplishments and express your confidence in her ability to do better when she falls short of her best.”

Fathers remind their daughters of the motto which is used in athletics, academics, and all of life, a poem by James Casey:

Good, better, best

Never let it rest
Until the good is better

And the better is best

Review   

The essence of a good father is found in the verb “L-O-V-E” which reveals four characteristics of a good father, four broad strokes of a self-portrait of the good father I aspire to be:

Like God, the ultimate example of a good father, each individual who strives to be a good father will love because God is love, and He tells us to love one another with a pure heart fervently.

Like a watchman on the wall, a good father observes and watches out for his daughter.

Like a jeweler, a good father is always on the lookout for special qualities that make a precious gem even more valuable, as he values and esteems highly his daughter.

Like a coach, a good father encourages and supports and celebrates each victory and comforts and cheers up any shortcoming along the road to success.

Closing thoughts on “Daddy’s Little Girl”

I conclude this blog entry with a poem “A Blush of Innocence.”The original inspiration for the piece was an experience that occurred more than 30 years ago when I taught Children’s Fellowship, and I had gone away for a period of time and returned a few years later. One of the young girls whom I taught had blossomed into a beautiful young lady, and I was amazed at how quickly she had grown up. She was not even aware of my presence, and she probably didn’t even remember me, but I marveled at her poise and maturity. After a few moments of talking back and forth with her friends, someone said something humorous, and she began to blush. In that instance, I recognized that glimpse of innocence in her eyes, a precious glint that you wish you could freeze frame and keep forever in your heart and mind. Later I came to recognize a similar look in my daughters’ eyes, and when I completed the poem inspired by the experience with the young girl, I dedicated it” to them.

Blush of Innocence

 For Melissa and Angela

 A blush of innocence upon the face

 Of budding girl at a tender age

 Is the rare reward of those who trace

 The essence of youth to its purest stage.

 The heart of a child is an open garden

 Where the rarest of flowers flourish and grow,

 Though time schemes and devises to harden

 The heart with weeds and walls that hide the glow.

 Pure innocence blooms in a young girl’s eyes.

 Look upon the glowing face and cherish

The petals, the bud where such beauty lies,

 For fruit shall come and the blossom perish.

 Though beauty spans beyond adolescence,

 No smile outshines a blush of innocence.

 “A Blush of Innocence,” offers a fleeting reminder that Melissa will always be “Daddy’s Little Girl.”

As I was preparing to make my presentation for the father/daughter tea, I came across this wonderful recording by Michael Buble who sings “Daddy’s Little Girl.”

 

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