If you are a dad raising a daughter, you are signed up to take some long walks. The walk from your living room to the front door to welcome and greet some nervous knucklehead boy who is taking your daughter out for her first “ date”. The walk back to your car after dropping off your daughter in her freshman dorm or her first apartment. The longest walk of all, from the back of the church to the front of the altar where a young man is waiting for you to place her hand in his. These are Long Walks. These are walks we are meant to take and need to take. These walks take all of the grace, courage and wisdom we can muster. To be present before, during and after these walks is a gift we should not take for granted. If you are uncertain about this, ask any woman who has navigated these transitions without her dad present. We are blessed beyond our knowing to be on this journey with them.
There is a tension we need to hold and walk out in our roles as dads. We are called to both Protect and Equip our daughters for these transitions. Protecting comes pretty naturally for most dads. This is particularly true for our daughters. The impulse to dig a shallow grave in the backyard for the first person to hurt our daughters is fairly common. We can and should protect and defend our daughters from all legitimate harm. If you are a dad, and you are not doing this, get to work. If you are protecting your daughters then keep going and consider how you are equipping them. The world is a broken place, full of broken people doing broken things. The world is not likely to get unbroken any time soon. Are we preparing our daughters to live fully and completely in a broken world?
Those who follow Christ have a Living Hope that shines in broken places. We have not been abandoned in this world, left to circle the wagons and hold on until dawn. We are called to live in glory and joy and fullness. In the Gospel of John, Chapter 16, Jesus speaks of a peace that exists in the presence of worldly trouble. We are invited to “take heart” because He has overcome the world. Are we modeling this kind of Gospel living to our daughters? Are we asking them to find their courage and voice when they are afraid and uncertain? Are we asking them to do the hard and good work of resolving conflicts with truth and love? Do we believe in their capacity to live big lives that really matter? These are questions we should be asking our daughters and ourselves.
Lets keep pouring love, truth, courage and grace into our daughters’ hearts. Lets also call out their courage, their capacity, their hope and their joy. There is a Long Walk coming. Lets take the right steps now and trust Christ for our future and theirs.
Peace and Grace,
Dr. Don Worcester
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