I’ve never known a world where my Daddy didn’t think I could do anything I set my mind to.
I know that’s a rare thing.
And I mourn with you and for you – those of you who struggle deeply with your relationship with your father, those of you who have never known your father, those of you who have been abused or hurt by your earthly father.
The rarity of my experience is actually why I’m writing this today. In a world that feels so full of tragedy and pain, there is still some goodness, and this is it: the fathers who truly love their daughters.
People always told me I was more like my Dad than my Mom. When I was a kid, it drove me crazy. What eight-year-old girl wants to be told (over and over) that she acts like her dad?
This twenty-two-year-old would love to hear that again.
My father is the most passionate, hard-working, honest, principled, righteous man I know.
There is not a single trip home that I don’t hear from at least one friend or co-worker about how much they admire him.
I truly have never quite outgrown my stubborn belief that my Daddy is the absolute best at what he does. (Even though I honestly could not tell you exactly what that is.)
But none of that really matters anywhere near as much as this simple fact: My Daddy loves Jesus.
My Momma has worked in plenty of churches and taught a lot of Bible studies, and I love giving her credit for how her faithfulness has shaped my life and my relationship with the Lord. But I rarely pause to recognize an equally important influence on my life: my Daddy.
I grew up with two parents who loved Jesus dearly, and I grew up with a Daddy who was just as involved in my spiritual life as my Momma. I grew up with a Daddy who worshipped next to me in church – hands raised and voice booming, unashamed. I grew up with a Daddy whose Bible was worn from use, whose morning prayer I sometimes accidentally interrupted.
But here’s the other incredible thing:
I grew up with a Daddy who supported the ministry of my Momma, in a church culture that often insists that he should teach and she should bring brownies.
I grew up with a Daddy who argued with his daughter about politics, not to dismiss her passion but to make her sharper.
I grew up with a Daddy who taught me to believe I was smart and capable and loved.
It would be to my great sorrow for my words to cause anyone pain, as they grieve their own experience with their earthly father. Instead, I hope that you will hear my heart here: I want to live in a world where every little girl knows these things. I want to live in a world where her first brush with sexism comes as a shock, because in her home, she is just as valuable as any little boy.
It is my hope and prayer that I will spend the rest of my life fighting against all kinds of injustice, including the pervasive sexism that still haunts our world. But on this particular day, I want to honor the man who raised me with the audacity to believe in my own value, the passion to take on injustice, and the knowledge that my ultimate hope is in Jesus.