My husband is not a perfect Daddy. There are many things he could do better, probably just like all the other daddies out there. He is rather impatient, too stern, too firm, kind of rigid, and worst of all, he tends to be inconsistent (the kiss of death in all the parenting books, which always recommend 'consistency, consistency, consistency).
However, there are two things he does fantastically well.
1) He takes the girls on 'adventures'. He'll get them bundled up in appropriate clothing and pack his back-pack with tang, cookies, granola bars, and candy. In the summer, he'll take them hiking by a river, or up a trail, or to playgrounds. In winter, he'll take them up to campus and they'll wonder around in different buildings. It's a daddy & daughter date, with wonderful benefits. They get fun free-time with daddy, and they get to be daddy's 'Adventure Girls'.
2) He tells them they are beautiful. In different words and in different ways, he repeats this over and over. I tell them they are beautiful, lovely, precious, wonderful girls, but it is different when it comes from Daddy. It means they are special. And right now, they believe him. They will dance and twirl for us to admire them and their beauty.
I don't know if I can explain how important being beautiful is to a girl, to a woman. I don't know if I can explain how central beauty is to our character... Not a fake or gimmicky beauty. A restful peaceful beauty.
I knew this in that secret place in my heart, but I honestly thought there was something wrong with me for needing to be beautiful. Until I read 'Captivating' by John and Staci Eldredge. In the book, the Edredge's talk about how women have been blessed with this part of God's character- the desire for beauty. That the restful space a woman creates around her is a reflection of God's desire for us to discover His beauty and peace.
Just think of a sunset. Why did God make something so factual so beautiful? The earth is spinning on it's axis away from the sun. Yet the colors of the sunset make something so simple, gorgeous. Like God is painting the sky with the colors of the atmosphere.
God romances us with the wonder and beauty He has placed all around us- a butterfly, a sunset, a waterfall, the beach, snow falling....
Of course, just like everything else, our sin warps our God-given desire for beauty. Plastic surgery, anorexia, hiding behind fat because we don't think we're beautiful... We are so good at messing up God's gifts.
I desperately hope that my husband's constant and consistent admiration of our beautiful little girls will help them face the years to come.
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