Recently I found myself rummaging through special memorabilia and pictures of my daddy's life. After he passed away a couple of years ago, my mom gave me all the special gifts my boys and I had given him over the years. There is one gift that is very special to me because it truly describes him perfectly. It is a quote book entitled "Why a Daughter Needs a Dad." It describes all the special things between fathers and daughters. I gave this to my daddy for Father's Day in 2003 and wrote little notes and memories throughout it in the margins.
The quote that stands out to me in the book now is this ... "A daughter needs a dad who will influence her life even when he isn't around." I didn't realize while he was alive, but now I know his influence on my life is the absolute greatest gift my daddy gave me! Anyone that knows me can tell you that there has never been a bigger "Daddy's girl" in the world than me. Although I miss him more than words can describe, a piece of him lives on through me each day because of the influence he continues to have on my life.
Proverbs 10:9 ~ "The man of integrity walks securely, but he who takes crooked paths will be found out."
For some people, I think it is difficult to understand the love of our Heavenly Father. If they have not received unconditional love within their family, especially from their father, I can see where it would be hard to comprehend that kind of love. The father's role is to be the head of the family and lead by example. For me, I had an amazing father here on Earth. Showing unconditional love to his family was his strongest attribute. His example made it so easy to understand and embrace the love of my Heavenly Father.
A father plays a major role in his daughter's life. He begins to write on the slate of who she will become from the moment she is born. Fathers shape their daughter's self esteem, self-image, confidence, opinions of men, and their future relationships. The father's role is important throughout the daughter's life. Some dads start to shy away during the teen years because their daughters are standoffish and moody. The teen years are filled with life lessons and complicated issues. This is a time to build trust, show and give affection, and to offer support to daughters as they learn more about what kind of person they want to become. As daughters grow and mature the role of the father naturally changes, but she will always continue to need her father's love, support, and positive influence. That doesn't change with age.
Ephesians 6:4 ~ "Fathers,do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord."
My daddy was a wise christian man of great character and integrity. He was a kind-hearted, loving, giving, gentle-spirited, forgiving gentleman. He was humble, willing to admit his faults, and took responsibility for his mistakes. He made me a priority in his life by spending quality time with me, listening to me, celebrating my accomplishments, lifting my spirits when I failed, and teaching me self-worth and value as a woman. My daddy taught me how to be a strong, confident, woman who did not define herself by the situations around her. Regardless of what situation I faced, he was there for me and taught me to get up, dust myself off, and keep going. My daddy taught me by example to love deeply and value my family.
I am a better person because of the influence of my daddy. I can't imagine what my life would have been like without him. Having him here with me for only 36 years seemed far too short, but his influence and memory remains strong and well-defined in my life. We may have had a short number of years, but that time was quality time. My family and I consider ourselves blessed to have been loved and appreciated by such a special man. Because of him, we each truly understand and appreciate the love of our Heavenly Father.
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