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Guest Post by Rachel Karman. Rachel is a good friend & avid blogger about things that matter with a huge heart for the less fortunate. Check out Rachel’s BLOG HERE! You will love the content with always a hint of humor.

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Read below as she shares about her Dad and paints us a picture for what a great Dad looks like.

Not too long ago I went out on a date with a guy that I felt pretty optimistic about, he seemed nice, fairly normal and from what I’d seen, appeared to have a pretty decent sense of humor. After the date when recapping for a friend I explained, “The night was fine, he was nice and everything….but he didn’t open the door for me, so I don’t think I’ll see him again.” She responded with a laugh, called me the Christian female Seinfeld and told me that perhaps that shouldn’t be a deal breaker. And it hit me. I am going to be single forever. And it’s all my dad’s fault.

Dads out there take note, here are five great ways to ensure your daughter will never say “I do” (at least not to the wrong guy).

#1 My dad is hilarious (but please donʼt tell him, heʼll get a big head). Heʼs great with a pun and also instilled in me at a very young age the importance for me to laugh at life a little and laugh at myself a lot. Not only is my dad quick to laugh at his own mistakes, he has always encouraged me to do the same. For example, when I was roughly 10, my brother and I decided it would be fun to make my parents Valentineʼs cookies, I (being the gourmet chef that I am) accidently used tablespoons instead of teaspoons of both salt and baking soda to make some of the worst tasting cookies youʼve ever had in your life (not to mention a quick way to retain water). My dad, being sweet, ate one and then being honest, laughed and revealed to me my mistake. This is still brought up every holiday (in which I am usually charged with “cooking” the salad or bringing beverages).

#2 My dad is my #1 fan. He truly (although sometimes falsely) believes that I can do anything I set my mind to. Whether softball, choir or running track, my dad was not only always at every event (that I allowed him to be), he actually still believes I can sing (he and my dog are honestly the only ones) and is certain I could have gone further than I did in my softball career (I was and still am afraid of the ball). That encouragement, even if sometimes I think heʼs nuts, has carried into my adult life; in my job, my ministry and even relationships, my dad is one of the first people I go to when I am frustrated and/or want to give up and he is always there to reason with me and remind why I started in the first place. I can honestly say I would have missed out on many opportunities in my life had I listened to my inner voice over his.

#3 My dad is not afraid to tell me when I am wrong (lovingly). One of my favorite examples of this comes from a few years ago, I was in a relationship that was at a bit of a crossroads, I was angry and ready to give up (see #2) and my dad sat me down and explained to me where and how I was being selfish and one-sided. As you can imagine, I was a bit livid and responded with “Youʼre supposed to be on MY SIDE!!” To which he replied, “I am, placating you is not what being on ʻyour sideʼ looks like, Rachel.” Iʼm not sure if you have ever had to knowingly make your 20-something year old daughter angry at you for her betterment, but believe me, itʼs not pretty and itʼs not fun, but it is love.

#4 My dad still opens the door for my mom. He loves her. He supports her. He defends her (even against me, which was much to my chagrin in my bratty, rebellious years). My dad still brings my mom flowers and surprises her with gifts. He calls in the middle of the day to say hello and he genuinely likes spending time with her, even after 30+ years. There aren’t too many words to express the value that this example of a husband is, for a girl at any age, but itʼs huge.

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#5 My dad loves my friends….and they love him. Many of my friends have nicknames for him…which sometimes I think is really weird. He is funny and approachable and unafraid to have tough conversations with people, while also knowing and respecting when not to. Iʼll be honest, I didnʼt always love this quality (see bratty, rebellious years mentioned in #4), but it is now one I strive to possess and one I greatly value in other people. I think he’d also appreciate me saying that he doesn’t try to be the “cool dad,” yet somehow became that when he began wearing Airwalks when I was in Jr. High and has held the reputation since….which again, I find sort of weird.

Above all these things, the greatest way that my dad has loved me and created gigantic shoes for any guy to fill is that he loves Jesus more than he loves me, my mom or my brother and has modeled that for me my whole life. He has always encouraged me to find Christ in all things, even when it was difficult. In each of the aforementioned facets he brings them to the table with the light and love of our Savior in a way that is confident, steadfast and gentle, much like Jesus himself. He is an excellent example of why the father-figure role is so important and how new dads can treat their daughters, as he’s remained present, not perfect.

All that being said, perhaps the next time I’m at a wedding/family reunion/grocery store/ etc and someone inquires as to ʻwhy Iʼm still singleʼ I will pull out a picture of my dad (and thus insure I will probably never date again because that would be creepy and strange….but you get the point).

Rachel Karman

 

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I was stopped in my tracks with an alarming statement made to me. I recently participated in seminar for High School age girls alongside my colleague Kristy Fox. We spoke to the girls about the pressures they face as a girl and How God sees them and values them.

Kristy Fox, co-author of this blog and the book Prized Possession developed much of this seminar for girls and then I added my two cents into it from a Dad’s perspective. In fact, our book Prized Possession, which can be purchased by hitting the link at the bottom, goes into great detail on this seminar in chapters 4 & 5.

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After we conducted this hour long seminar, we were flooded with positive comments and were told how important this time was. Without fail, a meeting like this is overwhelmingly impactful. Sadly there is still a HUGE need for truth to be spoken into the lives of these girls regarding their true beauty, value and worth.

I expected to hear great things from the girls and their leaders. What I didn’t expect to hear was the following statement. An adult guests who was sitting in the back of the room observing came up to me after. With tears in her eyes, she grabbed my arm and said “I have to talk to you.” She then said this: “I am 54 years old and I still struggle with this.” She was referring to the need for a Dad in a girl’s life and the gap she felt due to her lack of a positive father figure. She went on to tell me a few more details.

Ok Guys, this is one more reminder of the incredibly important job we have. WE have a sacred responsibility to love, encourage and cherish our daughters. What we do when they are young WILL absolutely affect them for the rest of their lives.  How we relate to our daughters will either cause them to live in blessing or recover from a wound the rest of their lives.

Can we all promise that none of our daughters will be in tears at the age of 54 when thinking about the relationship they have with us?

Press on

Alan Smyth

 

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Think it Over

Alan Smyth —  June 27, 2016 — Leave a comment

In our book Prized Possession, we pose some very important questions to consider. Below are a couple of them.

 

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“Girls are created, different than boys, to admire their fathers. Girls are made to be adored by their fathers and to adore their fathers. Their hearts are shaped for this and there is no replacing it.”

“This is the primary lens they can see God the Father through. Without a dad, God is distant and absent. Girls see God the way they see their dad. If a girl has a disinterested dad, she will sense that God is disinterested in her. If a girl senses their dad is disappointed in them, they will sense that God is also disappointed in them.”

Some questions: Dads, did you realize that your daughter will view God as she views you? Did you realize that your actions & attitudes are the personification of God in her life?

Would it change your interactions with your daughter if you thought your daughters potential faith might possibly be connected to what kind of Dad you are?

If you thought that were true, would that change your effort level as a Dad? Might that change how present you are in your daughter’s life?

Einstein

Think it over Einstein!

Alan Smyth

PS: The above quotes are found in Chapter 1 of the book “Prized Possession.”

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Happy Fathers Day

Alan Smyth —  June 20, 2016 — 8 Comments

Happy Father’s Day to all of you GREAT dad’s. How do I know you are a great dad? If you are reading this, you are engaged and interested in doing the best you can. That is a great dad! It’s not about the finished product, it’s about the trajectory you are on. I am proud of those Dad’s who follow this blog. I often get messages from many of you sharing highlights, pictures and stories from your journey.

This blog post is a simple shout of encouragement and affirmation to the hard work you are putting in regarding your role as Dad! This past Sunday was Father’s Day and so I salute you for taking your job seriously. I also want to challenge you to KEEP GOING! Stay after it! Even if things are tough, keep chasing your daughter.

1 Corinthians 15:58 talks of being “steadfast and immovable, always abounding in the work the Lord.”

2 Timothy 4:7 talks of “Fighting the good fight, finishing the race, keeping the faith.”

Do those things… be steadfast and immovable in your parenting patients and effort. Fight the good fight meaning it takes work and there is opposition. Finish the race meaning DON’T QUIT doing the right things. And keep the faith meaning know that God is working in and through you and your daughter even if you can’t always tell.

As you may or may not know, my kids are pretty grown. Trevor is 23 and Brittany just turned 28. I was really blessed this weekend to get wonderful Father’s Day wishes from them. I thought I would pass them along to you as an example of what your kids might be saying to you after they have grown through adolescence. For many, things are so turbulent (or will become so) that you can’t envision the other side. I don’t share these to say “look at ME” I share them to say “Look at YOU” and see the potential and victory that lies ahead. Be encouraged and press on!

Stay at it and God will bless….

Facebook message from Trevor that I got Saturday night…

Trevor fathers day post

What Brittany wrote on her card to me

Brittany fathers day card

 

Be steadfast!

Alan Smyth

 

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Apparently Jada Pinkett Smith is working on a documentary focused on Human Trafficking. I ran across a home-made video made by Jada after her first day on the job. It appeared to be late at night and she was simply talking into a personal camera or maybe a computer. She seemed to be deeply affected by what she had experienced that day.

In the process of doing some research she visited a post Human Trafficking treatment center. She sat with young girls who had recently been rescued from this hideous experience and was blown away by who she met and what she heard.

Jada

Here is a screen shot of Jada as she searches for the words to describe what she had experienced that day.

During this VLOG that Jada Pinkett Smith recorded, she recounted these words from a young woman who had recently been freed from the Human Trafficking trade.

“Manipulating men into giving you money for your body is ok because of what the music tells us. It’s almost expected”

Wow, can you believe that a young girl, recently out of sex trafficking said this about the music she heard?

I wonder if you are aware of what the hip hop/rap scene is teaching our kids? Are you aware of how these “artists” are talking about our daughters? Are you aware of the training they are providing for our boys?

I will not reprint the vulgar, dehumanizing, disgusting and degrading song lyrics here which are typical of the hip hop/rap music culture. You will have to take my word for it. Or, if you are feeling particularly curious or adventurous, google “Degrading song lyrics about women” and see what comes up. You can also search for song lyrics from the likes of “Dr. Dre”, “Lil Wayne”, “Cadillac Don”, “Ja Rule” and the infamous “Eminem.” “Eminem” has actually taken it a bit farther and infused a strong element of violence against women in many of his songs.

By the sounds of this music, you would think these guys regard our daughters as nothing more than disposable garbage.

Of course not everyone who listens to this music is as tragically affected as the young girl that Jada met. But studies show that such lyrics are certainly a negative influence which should be monitored by engaged parents.

Am I somehow crusading AGAINST a particular type of music or artist? NO! I am crusading FOR engaged, caring parents who are aware of the environment their kids are growing up in.

One side note: Thinking you can simply say “we don’t allow that music” will keep it away from your kids would be incorrect. It is everywhere and it’s impossible to control short of moving to a cave in the mountains.

The key is YOU being engaged, aware, caring and involved with your kids so you can interpret, shield and protect. Enter in conversation about these and other important topics.

Stand up Men. Your daughter needs you. Your son too!

Press On
Alan

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Our book Prized Possession goes into great detail on what I call “The Assault on our Girls.” You can pick up our book by hitting the link below.

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End Goal #weddingday

Alan Smyth —  March 13, 2016 — Leave a comment

I met Stu Graff over 30 years ago. He has been a friend and more importantly has done a phenomenal job in raising not one, not two, but three daughters. I felt like I had my hands full raising just one daughter. He is teaching the rest of us how to do it by excelling in raising three.

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Because I am friends with Stu & Tessa, and have known the family over the years, I can personally attest to the grace, beauty, humility, sense of humor and heart to serve in his girls. They have all turned out great and I know Stu is a very proud dad.

This past weekend, Stu reached a milestone. He achieved an end goal of sorts. He gave his oldest daughter away to another man… Stu walked down the isle with Kayla clinging to his arm. He then gave her hand to Derek and after a few words, he watched his daughter walk back down that same isle clinging to her new husband.

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Not that we will ever stop being a parent, but our daughters wedding day is certainly a huge milestone and in some ways an end goal. Every dad dreams of this day and those thoughts are usually filled with a mixture of joy, dread, celebration, fear and maybe a little bit of loss. It’s all about your daughter choosing the right guy. Someone who will love her as much as we do. Someone who will protect and defend our daughter as we would. Someone who will honor her as a precious masterpiece like we do. I know that Stu has welcomed his new son in law to the family and Derek has “passed the test.” Whew…. One down, and two more to go! Congrats Stu, you did a GREAT job!

So here is my question….

How will your daughter know the difference between a frog and a prince?

How will your daughter be able to sniff out a fraud?

How will your daughter be able to know what a great husband should act like?

Being a woman, how will your daughter know what she should expect from a man?

You’ve probably guessed it…. Yep, the answer to all of these questions is YOU. She will see what a real man looks like by watching you. She will be able to tell the difference between authentic and fake by watching you. She will know what to expect from a great husband because of watching you. And she will expect to be treated by men in the way she has watched how you have treated and talked about women.

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The answer is YOU. So, with God’s help, lets rededicate ourselves to being the best version of ourselves that we can. Let’s be the best husband and man we can and let’s circle back with our daughters and invest in a deep way with their lives.

Your future son in law and grandkids could depend on it!

Oh, and work on your dancing skills too!

Alan
PS: Stu was a contributor to our book Prized Possession. Pick up the book using the link below and hear from Stu and others what their strategy was for raising great daughters.

 

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