Archives For Alan Smyth

Actions Speak!

Alan Smyth —  September 28, 2015 — Leave a comment

Yes, we should be giving lots of verbal instruction all the time. However let’s not forget the pecking order of impact. The picture below spells it out perfectly.

father lived

Today’s message is a very quick and simple one. Our actions speak much louder than our words. Of course we should relay lots of verbal instruction. Words are important. They are powerful. We should use them intentionally and wisely. However, people will watch our actions to see if our words are trustworthy. You can turn your words into nothing more than a joke with contradictory actions.

This is never truer in the lives of your kids. Live a life of integrity, presence and honor and your kids will listen to what you have to say. Be absent, angry and dis honorable and you will lose your kids. (And wife, friends, family & coworkers)

YOU are the first and best class room your daughter will ever attend. Make sure the lessons you are living out are consistent, life giving and productive.

Another way to say it is:

“Lead always and when necessary use words”

Talk is cheap friends. Your kids are watching even when you don’t think they are! They will follow your example in spite of what you say.

Press On

Book Banner

Store 2 button

A Voice That Carries

Alan Smyth —  September 22, 2015 — Leave a comment

I was recently contacted by a phenominal group of women who are working on what looks to be an amazing project. The content matter immediately resonates with us at MyFatherDaughter and our audience. For that reason, they asked if I would mind helping them promote their project and the documentary they are working on. I have seen the trailer and this looks to be a very worthy project. Please read on and go to their website to learn even more. Thank you – Alan



As a group of women who treat individuals who struggle with body image and disordered eating, we wanted to make a difference. As mothers, we wanted to make an impact on the world for our daughters and for all girls, helping them to grow up in a world where they could feel good about themselves and how they looked.


Much of the research on healthy body image development focuses on the importance of the mother and daughter relationship. Most of us have heard how important it is for moms to be a good role model about appearance by trying to not make negative comments about their own appearance and being a healthy role model. As professionals, we had frequently shared the importance of this relationship in our own outreach programs ad presentations.

        But, what about dads?

As treatment professionals, we realized that the value of the father and daughter relationship is often overlooked. As we researched, we found countless studies showing the great importance and impact the father daughter relationship can have. We recognized that fathers’ truly can make an amazing positive impact in their daughter’s life that can protect them from the countless media messages they will receive that will tell them they need to look a certain way or that they don’t look good enough. Father’s play a great role in their daughter’s sense of self and body image.

But, many dads may not have this awareness and those that do may not know how best to act.

We also knew there were many amazing stories out there about father’s making a positive impact on their daughter’s life and body image. Kelly Flanagan, who is featured on our teasers, wrote a letter to his daughter about the multiple messages she will receive about beauty and appearance. In his letter, he wrote about challenging these messages and being true to her self. The letter went viral.

We knew these stories had to be shared. We knew that fathers needed to be made aware of the amazing impact they can have on their daughters

This was the impetus for our desire to create the documentary “A Voice That Carries.” Through stories from fathers and daughters, our documentary hopes to show every father and father figure, the important role they play in their daughter’s life and how they can help foster a positive body image. Our goal is to provide education and inspire others to take positive action. We hope that this film sparks a movement to provide greater awareness of the important role a father plays.

We are beyond excited and honored to have Brett Culp, an award-winning filmmaker of Legends of the Knight, as our filmmaker for this project. His vision and story telling ability will help share these stories in a powerful manner.

Now, all we need is your support and your stories. If you have a story you would like to share, we would love to hear from you. Please visit our website at or follow us on twitter:

For more information on our campaign, please go to


Thank you very much!

Heidi Limbrunner




A friend tagged me in this article saying that “Alan Smyth will love this.” She was correct. I did love this. I loved it so much that I wanted to re post it here so you could see it as well.

The below post originally appeared on


Dear Little One,

As I write this, I’m sitting in the makeup aisle of our local Target store. A friend recently texted me from a different makeup aisle and told me it felt like one of the most oppressive places in the world. I wanted to find out what he meant. And now that I’m sitting here, I’m beginning to agree with him. Words have power, and the words on display in this aisle have a deep power. Words and phrases like:

Affordably gorgeous,


Flawless finish,

Brilliant strength,

Liquid power,

Go nude,


Instant age rewind,

Choose your dream,

Nearly naked, and

Natural beauty.

When you have a daughter, you start to realize she’s just as strong as everyone else in the house — a force to be reckoned with, a soul on fire with the same life and gifts and passions as any man. But sitting in this store aisle, you also begin to realize most people won’t see her that way. They’ll see her as a pretty face and a body to enjoy. And they’ll tell her she has to look a certain way to have any worth or influence.

make up isle

But words do have power and maybe, just maybe, the words of a father can begin to compete with the words of the world. Maybe a father’s words can deliver his daughter through this gauntlet of institutionalized shame and into a deep, unshakeable sense of her own worthiness and beauty.

A father’s words aren’t different words, but they are words with a radically different meaning:

Brilliant strength. May your strength be not in your fingernails but in your heart. May you discern in your center who you are, and then may you fearfully but tenaciously live it out in the world.

Choose your dream. But not from a department store shelf. Find the still-quiet place within you. A real dream has been planted there. Discover what you want to do in the world. And when you have chosen, may you faithfully pursue it, with integrity and with hope.

Naked. The world wants you to take your clothes off. Please keep them on. But take your gloves off. Pull no punches. Say what is in your heart. Be vulnerable. Embrace risk. Love a world that barely knows what it means to love itself. Do so nakedly. Openly. With abandon.

Infallible. May you be constantly, infallibly aware that infallibility doesn’t exist. It’s an illusion created by people interested in your wallet. If you choose to seek perfection, may it be in an infallible grace — for yourself, and for everyone around you.

Age-defying. Your skin will wrinkle and your youth will fade, but your soul is ageless. It will always know how to play and how to enjoy and how to revel in this one-chance life. May you always defiantly resist the aging of your spirit.

Flawless finish. Your finish has nothing to do with how your face looks today and everything to do with how your life looks on your last day. May your years be a preparation for that day. May you be aged by grace, may you grow in wisdom and may your love become big enough to embrace all people. May your flawless finish be a peaceful embrace of the end and the unknown that follows, and may it thus be a gift to everyone who cherishes you.

Little One, you love everything pink and frilly and I will surely understand if someday makeup is important to you. But I pray three words will remain more important to you — the last three words you say every night, when I ask the question: “Where are you the most beautiful?” Three words so bright no concealer can cover them.

Where are you the most beautiful?

On the inside.

From my heart to yours,



Alan Smyth and Kristy Fox have appeared on the Hugh Hewitt radio show

Hugh Hewitt

Our Interview can be heard on the home page of our website:


Book Banner


Store 2 button

Recetnly my wife and I both turned 50. About a year and a half ago, we started planning an epic adventure for our 50th year. We started planning an unforgettable trip to Africa where the pinnacle would be the climb of Mt. Kilimanjaro. Now, we are NOT big hikers or climbers. We wanted to do something big, crazy, fun and out of the box. So last week, me, my wife and our daughter made this huge trek to the other side of the world!
Through Young Life, we were connected to some great hero’s in Tanzania who are reaching out to the very poor. The first half of our trip consisted of serving these folks in a poverty stricken village. It was awesome.


The second half of the trip consisted of this crazy attempt to summit Mt. Kilimanjaro. The adventure was HUGE. The stress was massive. The victory would be epic!

On this climb, we travelled through 5 different ecological zones starting out in a rain forest on our way to the summit of 19,341 feet. Kili is the tallest free standing mountain in the world. The views were spectacular and the effort it took was massive. What an incredible thing to share with my family.


Night 5 was our “summit attempt.” We left our base camp at 12:15 am and hiked all through the night. Freezing temperatures, gusty winds, isolated in your thoughts, seemingly endless assent through the night.

sun rise

Then, after 6 hours of hiking, the sun began to rise over Africa. We were near the top! As the air got warmer and thinner, we could finally see our final destination.

We made it to Uhuru peak, the “rooftop of Africa.” The highest point on the continent. What an accomplishment! And further, what an experience to share with my wife and daughter. During the final ascent, there were struggles for all of us. Our guide referred to this final ascent as “entering the battlefield.”

There is no replacement for your presence when your family is in the middle of a battle. We now share a deeper bond than ever before because we fought through a significant battle together.


I couldn’t miss the opportunity to have a little wardrobe change on the summit. I wanted to let Africa know that we have a few “rules” involved if you want to date my daughter!

There were many take-a-ways from this adventure:

1. I can do more than I thought I could. (and so can you)
2. I don’t need to be afraid of trying something big (neither do you)
3. When alone in my battle, God gave me strength to press on. (and will also to you in yours)
4. Embarking on a HUGE adventure with my daughter was HUGE for both of us.

Disclaimer: Do not be intimidated by this African/Kilimanjaro adventure. Start small and plan a very attainable adventure. It will do wonders for your relationships if you would stop long enough to take your loved one’s on some kind of adventure.

Press On



Book Banner

Store 2 button

Last Monday, I wrote about an encounter I had with a young man who was showing interest in my daughter. As promised, today I will share with you the second half of the story and what happened after my Dark Parking Lot conversation. In case you missed last week click HERE to get caught up.

dark lot

After I dropped the young man off at his house, he promptly got on the phone to Brittany and retold our conversation. Only, he told her that I said he could not spend time with her anymore. WRONG! That is not what I said. I simply gave him the conditions upon which he could do so. He then said his version of my expectations on their potential physical relationship. He told Brittany, “Your dad said that if I touched you, he’d kill me!”

Brittany responded, “Well, I’m sure he didn’t mean that…”

But the boy interrupted her. “No, he did! And he could, too.”

When Brittany relayed his words to me, I said, “Perfect! Then it looks like we have an understanding. Mission accomplished!”

I have never seen Brittany as mad as she was at that moment, and in the days to come.  She was furious that I would step in and put an end to this relationship.

After a few days, when she had cooled off a bit, Brittany came into my bedroom one night as Sharon and I watched TV. During our conversation, I reiterated that this guy was bad news, and that spending time with him was a mistake. She asked me why I couldn’t just let her make her own mistakes.

Niagara Falls

“Think about what you are asking me to do,” I said. “You are asking me to sit on the bank of a river, and wave at you as you float by on a raft, when all the while I know that just around the river bend is Niagara Falls! You are asking me to smile at you and watch you go over the falls for the sake of letting you make your own mistakes.” I told her that was something I was simply not willing to do, and that it was my job as her dad to defend and protect her whenever possible. In the end, I said, I was willing to have her mad at me now and then if it meant keeping her safe.

My primary goal was not to have her happy with me. My primary goal was her safety. I also reminded her that I did not tell this guy he couldn’t see her again. I simply said that he needed to begin treating her like a princess. “Doesn’t that sound pretty good?” I asked. “Don’t you think you deserve to be treated like a princess?” If my suspicions were correct, we might never see him again, and we would know for sure what his real intentions were.

I’ll let you guess what happened.


Press On

Alan Smyth


PS: This story is told in greater detail in our book “Prized Possession”


Store 2 button

There was once a certain young man who started showing interest in my Brittany. This guy was good-looking, athletic, and charming. He was smooth and outgoing. He was extremely confident and sure of himself and was a couple of years older than Brittany. He was extremely attractive to Brittany, but he was extremely dangerous to me. I saw right through his game. He was a first-class “ladies’ man.” The last thing in the world I wanted for my daughter was for a guy like him to see my daughter as another conquest.

Ladies man

I had two choices. I could either abdicate my role as defender and protector of my daughter and let things play out, or I could engage. I’m guessing you know which one I chose. I did a little research, asking around to people who knew him. I heard things like, “always has a girlfriend,” “seems like a player,” and “seems like bad news.” Translation to me…GAME ON.

I have been a Young Life leader to guys for some 30 years. I know well what they talk about and what they think about. I knew this was going to end badly if I didn’t step in.

So, I had a little conversation with the young man. He was over at our house one night, watching TV. I knew that Brittany would have to drive him home late because, of course, he didn’t have a car. I was sitting downstairs with them and I said, “Hey, how about I drive you home tonight?”

Brittany glared at me. She said, “I can take him home later.”

I said, “No, that’s okay! I’d be happy to take him home now. Don’t worry about it.” They looked awkwardly at each other, and with a slight eye roll, he got up and followed me out to my car. We made a little small talk as we drove, until I asked, “What are your intentions with my daughter?” He talked about how much he liked her and said he wanted to pursue a relationship with her. I could see this was going to take a while, so we pulled over into a dark parking lot and continued our conversation.

dark parking lot

I told him that Brittany was more valuable than anything that I had.  Then, I shifted the conversation to the potential physical side of their relationship. I let him know that we had raised Brittany with a certain set of values and expectations, and that I expected him to honor those values and expectations. I told him that, while in a parked car, in a dark parking lot, late at night, if he was to somehow cross that line–I gazed into the dark with a long, pregnant pause–that I “wasn’t sure what I’d do.” Then, I shook his hand, said I hoped we were clear on my expectations and his path to spending more time with my daughter, drove him home and thanked him for the conversation.

In next week’s blog, I will share with you his response, Brittany’s response and what happened next. See you next Monday!

Press On

Alan Smyth

PS: This story is told in greater detail in our  book “Prized Possession”


Store 2 button