What is a Daughter?

Our last group project was a great success, but as I said then, I think we can do better.

I have another project, but of a very different sort.  I am going to raise the bar, and if your comment has nothing to do with the question, I will not post it.  Also I do not approve anonymous comments.

Here is the question:  What does it look like for a father to nurture his daughter?

I know we could drain the ocean of ink if we were to explore all of the non-fathering things out there.  I don’t want to hear what damaging fathering looks like.

But if there is a specific vignette where you, as a girl child, felt particularly fathered, please share that picture.

I am working on a new healing component for females who are highly accepted in the society as adults, but who have something missing in their womanhood.  Hence this exercise.

So send me some raw data and I will share the results with you.

What is the essence of being a daughter with a good father?

Copyright August 2011 by Arthur Burk

Written from home

This entry was posted in Daughters. Bookmark the permalink.

49 Responses to What is a Daughter?

  1. Donna Huckabee says:

    There’s no doubt in my mind that my own earthy father, while a Christian man, did not “delight” in me. He rarely spoke to me, even though he was present at home every day. It was as if I didn’t exist to him. The times that he did speak to me it was out of anger and in disgust of me, once saying, “You’re warped, and many times saying to me, “what is wrong with you”? He never touched me in an affectionate way, never one single hug in my entire life. And he never said the words, “I love you”, until four years ago, when he was dying. He told my mom then, “I think I’m a huge part of her problems”, and he told me, one time only and almost in a quick and joking way, “I love you Donnie”, which was a name of the closest thing I can come to as endearment as possible. And my name is Donna

  2. Willene Pursell says:

    Having just read this I want to express gratitude for all these comments that led me through memories and thoughts of my father, now gone for 17 years. His love of beauty and interest and curiosity about nature and history led him to provide us with many priceless experiences of travel, culture and wilderness. It helps me to remember how much more important this has been in the whole picture of my life than the deficits in his ability to relate to me personally as a child or a woman which had left me vulnerable in some ways.


  3. Darla says:

    I agree with the comment that a daughter needs to know that her Daddy delights in her (as the Eldridges said it so well in the Captivating book). I was blessed to have a Dad that delighted in me, told me I was loved, lovely, smart and called out “God qualities” in my life. He regularly encouraged me. He treated my Mom well and other women with honour. There were many special nurturing times of him singing me to sleep, taking me out on “dates” and making Friday “family nites” a priority. He also instilled a sense in us kids that no matter what we did we would always be loved and accepted as his daughter. So to summarize: unconditional love/acceptance, delight, encouragement & honour are nurturing qualities that all girls (big & small) need.
    Bless you for doing this project SLG team!

  4. Deborah says:

    My dad is a wonderful man. He loves me unconditionally and was able to comfort me when I was sad and didn’t know how to articulate the reason why. I remember how much his hugs would mean to me, how much acceptance and strength, love and understanding would be conveyed through a simple hug. I remember hearing stories of when I was a preemie newborn, how he would spend hours feeding me a bottle. My dad doesn’t talk a lot but I know his love for the Lord is strong and his greatest joy is knowing we are in a relationship with our heavenly Father. My dad spent time with us as children horsing around and laughing. I always felt accepted and loved. My dad taught me a good work ethic and to be responsible and accountable for my actions. My dad continues to be a loving part of our lives now. I love you Dad.

  5. sheryl gilley says:

    I am a daughter who needs fathering. There was a lack in my father’s ability mostly because he himself was not fathered. I know my dad did his best.

    I have general memories of my childhood with a few specific, one of which is of my dad.

    When I was a young girl, my dad told me several different times that I had a “good eye” or “sharp eyes”. I don’t remember what we were doing or looking at, but the impact of his words settled deep within me. With those two words, he expressed pleasure, recognized and validated a part of my identity. I treasure this memory!

  6. Megan Caldecourt says:

    One thing that comes to mind is that my Dad always respected (and still does!) my Mom and treats me the same way. He is the kind of guy who would open the door for both of us and make my brothers wait. Though he taught us to be self-sufficient, he would still step in and take the heavy load or groceries or whatever, giving that sense that a lady is treated differently. Another thing that was a tremendous gift is that I did not reach young adulthood thinking that having a guy was absolutely essential to my existence. This may have been a contribution from both parents, but I think my Dad made me feel like I was a worthy person by myself, and therefore could choose a mate out of desire, not desperation. I am incredibly grateful for that.

  7. Caroline says:

    Just can’t help but want to brag about my Dad so here’s another memory that surfaced:
    My Dad was like the wind in my sail that helped me go farther in life. At the end of my senior year in college, a classmate planned to return home to Singapore and invited his college friends to join him and make it a 2-week trip via Tokyo and Hong Kong. I’ve never been to Asia before and wanted to go especially so I could explore my generational roots. My Dad was completely supportive of my desire to join my college friends on this adventure. He saw the value of experiencing new places and cultures when young as I heard him often recount how he had traveled when he was a young adult. Thinking about it now, I don’t recall him questioning who, what, or why; there was a implicit trust in me. My parents weren’t rich; they were solidly blue-collar, middle-class but he fully financed this trip for me. It was my college graduation gift. Later, I learned that my parents gave up their own planned vacation to Japan to finance my trip.

  8. Verdene Keller (Krahn) says:

    It is interesting that I read this post as I sit at my ailing father’s bedside. I use to be one of the women who had all those holes in their adult life from not being nurtured by her father. But my heavenly Father gave me a gift a few years back as I was in the position of having to walk my father through those tough times of losing his independence and seeing the insecure man that had hidden behind all the masochism. As I began to chose a walk of real forgiveness and asking the Lord to show me who my father was in His eyes, a true honor and love for the man that my Heavenly Father had chosen to be my earthly father, grew in me. Even though my father had spent his life serving the Lord, he had never know what it was like to live as a true son but had lived as a slave. So I saw that he had raised me with that same mindset, that I was a slave.

    So as I had years back started on the journey of changing that mindset in myself, thanks in a large part to many of the teachings God gave Aurthur, I now began to see and treat my father also as the son he was in God’s eyes. I was able to encourage and challenge him to see himself as God truly saw him. As he engaged in that as much as an 88 year old man could, he also began to see me differently. There has been much repenting and forgiveness on both of our parts.

    I was blessed this afternoon to have a sweet prayer time with him as he literally lays days away from heaven’s door. In it God showed me clearly that the man he was back during my childhood was not able to love himself let alone nurture me. And in turn I didn’t honor him, let alone myself. But He showed me the true gift He has given both of us of bringing us both to the place of truly honoring and loving who we both really, are this side of heaven. There is a healing and a peace in both of us.

    God showed me a picture of me running into my father’s arms and curling up in his lap in safety and security. I saw my father look at me and truly see me and the significance of who I am. I thank the Lord for this precious gift.

    I am releasing my father into my Heavenly Father’s hands with a heart full of gratitude, wholeness and peace.

    Verdene Keller

  9. Christie Bertram. says:

    Looking back on my childhood, I am grateful for my father’s fierce protection of me. At times this used to embarrass me but as I got a bit older, I came to appreciate it. My dad had/has this uncanny ability to spot a predator and take it out without repercussions for us kids. For example, he knew how to deal with false accusations from nasty neighbours or misguided teachers, corrupt tradesmen or business men, home invaders (of which we had a few). I really admired that he didn’t play ‘nice’ but went straight to the truth (he’s a prophet) and got to the bottom of the issues in record speed. Shady characters never bothered with retaliation because they were so frightened of my father and yet, he never hit anyone or did anything illegal. A superb fighter. His ability to enforce safe boundaries was outstanding.

  10. Pat Tack says:

    It was a dark day in my early teens when I gave in to the preditor spirit, left my loving home and precious dad to live with my mom and step dad in their hell run home. Though my dad was greived, there was merely patient release without harshness. Because of his great love, he came once to see if I would come home. But his life was threatened and he allowed me to make the choice. He always wrote and never condemned. I finally woke up and realized what I had done. When I got in touch with him, he again had only love for me and said that I was always welcome home. He received me back with open arms and heart. And though that was not the end of my testing him, he never brought up my past or berated me for the wrong choices I made. When he had to bring punishment it was fair and based only on relevant issues.
    Though my dad does not yet know the Father, his example gave me a very vivid picture of my loving and forgiving heavenly Father when it came time for me to receive His love.
    How awesome is our God!!!

  11. Olivia says:

    My father was intellectually curious. Our home was filled with music, art and books. I too have the same intellectual curiosity. Somehow, there were always books for me – and not just library books. He nurtured my intellect, and made me feel smart.

  12. Laetitia Van Der Spuy says:

    What is the essence of being a daughter with a good father?

    I believe it means to sincerely KNOW that your father delights in you.

    I fit this picture of being a daughter to a good father … actually I had two good fathers!
    I received a double blessing.

    My own dad (who was quite mature and in his late forties when I was born) built a deep sense of value, worth and belonging into me up till he died (just when I turned 14).
    I felt so safe with him … more than safe actually … I felt confidently me!
    He celebrated me in many ways: as a person and as a girl. I was a very shy child but always had the boldness to be spontaneous and confidently me in his presence. He always had time for me and I remember well how I would light up when he was coming home from work. We had lots of fun together and it was pure joy to be with him. He shaped my views about so many things because I trusted him.
    He showed his love and acceptance not only through verbal affirmations but also with hugs,
    kisses, and the way he often picked me up and held me. It felt good to be in my own skin and I knew my place on his lap was reserved just for me!
    He really liked me and I knew that without any doubt.
    It was his habit to go with us when I needed clothes and he would buy me stylish and beautiful clothes. He had an affinity (like me) for texture and beauty and would see to it that I look my very best.
    I highly valued his approval and believe that is why I felt no need to give in to peer-pressure.

    I was the youngest in the family for 12 years (and the only girl) and then came my baby brother, but that did not change my position of favor with my dad.
    There was no desire in me to compete.
    At this stage my father kindly acknowledged that my years of puberty arrived by telling me that he would honor me as a young woman now, and give me more privacy.
    The way he acknowledged my “growing up” was another level of affirmation and approval.
    He also taught me about Father GOD not only by teaching me from Scripture but also by his example.
    FATHER GOD was real to me.
    When my dad died it was a great loss to me and yet I did not feel lost!
    He so beautifully showed me the WAY to my HEAVENLY FATHER and therefore GOD became my secure place from where I could reach out to life.

    My mom remarried a real “gentle” man soon after I turned 16.
    (I sensed that my own dad was a strong leader and visionary and my step father was a kind and practical servant.)
    My stepfather was also a very safe person to be with, but in a different way.
    I did not bond so closely with him though, and he honored that. (I was used to my own dad’s demonstrative and passionate way, where as my stepfather was more reserved.)
    Yet again, I was fully accepted and lovingly provided for. My stepfather had such a good sense of humor and I believe that saved me from my naive sense of seriousness in the kindest of ways! He often made me laugh!

    It is so difficult to dissect the ways I was nurtured by my fathers, since they both lived a nurturing life style on a daily basis. I can only describe it this way…
    I always felt welcome and cherished at home!
    And home was the place to be and the place where my friends were welcomed too.
    I also had the confidence to reach out to the unknown world out there!

    I am deeply thankful to Father GOD for showing me HIS great love and kindness through both my fathers.
    It prepared me to be confidently me in my close and intimate relationship with my husband over 34 years, and to experience true fulfillment in marriage.
    It also anchored me enough to be objective towards others as I allow them to be themselves … without affecting my own identity, even though they don’t have the same values as I.
    I am glad I am a woman… that is part of being confidently me.

  13. leoniehoward says:

    He loves his wife ( my mom) as Christ loved His bride. He displays unconditional love to me. He is perfect love but also perfect justice

  14. anita says:

    When i was a little girl, my father would walk me to the the bus stop which would take me to school each morning. He would always hold my hand, he was so big and i was so small. I remember particularly well the cold winter’s mornings when i would put both my little hands into his one big hand. This gave me a huge amount of pleasure being able to fit both my hands into his right hand. I fondly remember and treasure this memory because of the safety and warmth of being with him gave me….

  15. Sue says:

    There are so many memories of my dad’s fathering, many of them have already been expressed. One thing that I would say is that fathering is a life long adventure. As an adult my dad would talk with me, sharing his thoughts, philosophies, his spiritual wisdom, his business practices, etc. I learned much from him, still am, actually! As I said, fathering is a life long adventure. He has always been there, encouraging, loving, supporting, praising and giving. I am thankful, every day for his fathering….which he learned from THE Father!

  16. Delia Athey says:

    Thank you for doing this. I’m one of those daughters who needs what will come out of this.

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