I remember when we received the news that we were going to have a little girl. It was a mix of joy and anxiety. I was excited about the opportunity, but I was really nervous about the weight of having a daughter.
I had heard many horror stories about young ladies going to find affirmation that they did not get from their fathers, elsewhere, and usually not a healthy substitute. I heard many stories about how intentional you had to be with your daughter and letting her know how awesome she is and if you did not, she would go and find a tattooed gentleman, with a piercing and a rebellious attitude and make him your son-in-law.(For the record, I love tattooed people, I have a few of my own.)
All these things were swimming around in my head and I was a nervous wreck. I did not want to ruin my daughter; I did not want my failure to give her what she needed to push her into a place she did not need to be. I did not want to fail at being a great daddy, the kind of daddy you see on Father of the Bride.
Many times, I allowed the pressure to become too much. Not only did I also feel the pressure of being the perfect dad, but the added pressure of being a perfect dad and pastor (we have all heard stories of rebellious pastor kids). I did not want my daughter to be a stereotype.
The day finally came that where I was going to meet my daughter for the first time. I was both ecstatic and very nervous. I was holding my wife’s hand and cheering her on as she brought our daughter into this world. Finally, after some intense moments, Ava-Grace Michelle Person was born.
The doctors and nurses began to clean her up and I went over to her and I held her hand and in that moment, a lot of my anxiety and angst dissipated. Not because I felt like I knew all that I needed to know to raise my daughter, but it went away because I just wanted to get to know her.
I wanted her to know me and know how much I love her and that I was for her. I wanted to spend time with her and take her on dates, not because I was suppose to do that as her father, but because I wanted to. I wanted her to know I much I cherished her and how a guy should treat her when he cherishes her. I wanted to hear her laugh and I wanted her to know that she meant the world to me. I wanted her to hide those things in her heart so that she would be able to recognize an imposter. I wanted to show her that I treated her heart like a gift, so that she would be aware if someone was not treating her heart that way.
It says in Exodus 33:11,” 11 The Lord would speak to Moses face to face, as one speaks to a friend.” I love this verse; it’s simple yet profound. Moses knew the worth he had because his heavenly father spent time with him face to face. This encourages me, it gives me hope, hope that when I spend time with my little girl face to face that she will know that she is loved by her Father.
Dads, that is why we must date our daughters, because the enemy is quick to whisper lies to her heart. But when we meet with them face to face we can remind them of what is true and that not only are they loved by their earthly father, but by their heavenly Father as well.
Nick Person works in Dallas, Texas as the Next Gen. Teaching Pastor at Cross Timbers Community Church. He is married to Laura and has been blessed with three amazing kids, Ava-Grace, 7, Jackson, 5, and Nash who is almost two. He loves investing his life into the next generation coming up so that they can steer clear of the potholes that life may present and be able to take the reigns of leadership. He loves to read, play Top golf, and have dance parties with his family.