Friday, May 2, 2008

For My Daughters

Most of you know that I have two teenage daughters, Chelsea, age 16, and Lindsey, age 13. For a father of two girls, this is a difficult period in my life. Neither one of them are any longer "my little girl", though in my mind, they both will always be. Chelsea has matured into a beautiful young woman, vivacious, fun-spirited, and full of life and Lindsey is just entering into that stage in her life where she is "coming into her own" and maturing into a beautiful young lady as well with a heart to match.

Anyway, every day has it's new horizons or new bridges to cross when it comes to raising two young women and, I confess, I don't always know the "right" way to proceed or react in every new situation that arises. I have strived to be a Godly father modeling for them the man I hope they would ultimately seek - loving, caring, selfless, honest, with integrity - but fall short on a daily basis, which isn't a self-criticism, but rather a reality. My heart has always been, and always will be, for the best for them, to protect them and that they never experience any hardship or heartbreak, which I know is not humanly possible... even as their dad.

I know relationships with young men are inevitable and we've already entered into those phases of their young lives. That doesn't make it any easier for a loving, caring, and protective father to let go. What I do know is that had either my or Tammy's parents interfered with our relationship when we first starting seeing each other when she was only 16 and I 17, they could have potentially thwarted something that God had planned way before we ever knew each other. I try to be mindful of this with every new boy that steps across the threshold of our front door and to not be judgmental or formulate opinions based on first impressions. It is not my plan, but God's, in who He intends to pair my daughters up with ultimately and I don't ever want to get in the way of that.

While I would like to selectively hand pick my daughters' future husbands - after hours of grueling, under the microscope and flood lamp interviews - I know this simply isn't realistic. But, I do pray. I pray for the man that will honor and cherish them for the beautiful and lovely young women that they are... that God has created them to be. I pray that he cares for, respects, and adores them as I and our heavenly Father cares for, respects, and adores them.

So, when I when I came across the following passage from Kenna's blog (Pastor Mark's awesome youngest daughter, Lindsey's age, that I adore as if my own), it got me thinking about the man that my daughters will eventually make a life with and I pray, he is something like this:

Find a guy who calls you beautiful instead of hot ,
who calls you back when you hang up on him,
who will stay awake just to watch you sleep.

Wait for the guy who kisses your forehead,
who wants to show you off to the world when you are in your sweats,
who holds your hand in front of his friends.

Wait for the one who is constantly reminding you of how much he cares about you and how lucky he is to have you.

Wait for the one who turns to his friends and says, ...'that's her!'

Chelsea and Lindsey, it's not easy trying to mature as a father along with you both and, slowly letting go. I love you both so much... perhaps more than you will ever know, but... I hope not.

Love,
Dad

9 comments:

Kirsten said...

Aww...Rick, that is a beautiful piece of writing, and so true. Like you and Tammy, Derek and I met as teenagers. We did have to deal with some concerned pessimism from family on both sides--it's not common for 2 people to truly know at such a young age that they have found "the one." Or maybe it's not common for two young adults to be in the right place at the right time so early in life.

Anyone who finds someone like the guys described in that passage is very fortunate, indeed--regardless of age.

:)

Mar said...

That is so true, Rick. I hope your girls take your advice and wait for a man just like that:)

I added it to my blog so maybe some of my adult friends can benefit from that wise advice!

Alan said...

These can be scary times for sure but it sounds like you have great young ladies as daughters- rooted in the right things and still have a great relationship with them.
Continued blessings to you!

Jennifer said...

that was really sweet. I just showed my boys and told them, "that's what a girl wants." anything I can do on this end of the gender lines to help love succeed, is the least I can do. ;)

Gald to see you are still blogging!

Anonymous said...

We are tight there prayiing for the best for the girls, too. Not to mention you and Tammy as well. We love you all so much!! Mom

Sherry said...

Such a sweet post. Like you and Tammy, Scott and I first started dating when I was 16 and he was 17. I'm pretty sure our parents thought it was puppy love, but they trusted our judgement and let us run with it. :o) Nearly 15 years later and I still feel like the luckiest girl in the world.

The passage from Kenna's blog is dead-on... that's how a guy or girl should make their significant other feel FOR LIFE! Have you shared the passage with your daughters?

Rick said...

Sherry,

I think they read it here, but it wouldn't be cool to acknowledge it at their ages so, I've not heard any comments from them... also would not be cool.

The "poem" just happened to strike a chord in me. I have so much love for my daughters and am not always good at expressing it in meaningful ways to them so, I wanted to let them know how I felt in this post and what I hope their future holds for a mate that will HONOR and CHERISH them. If he's a stud too, that's just a bonus for them. :)

Jim Lange said...

Very well said my friend. I feel your pain!

Thanks for being an awesome example of a father to many, including me!

Lindsey said...

Dad, I love that post, and that is great advice about waiting untill you find the right guy, and I dont think you have to worry about me growing up because I will ALWAYS be your little girl! I LOVE YOU SO SO SO SO SO SO SO SO SO SO SO SO SO SO SO SO SO SO SO MUCH!!
Love,
Linds =] <3