Have you ever sat down and really thought about the influence your father had or has on your life? Better yet, if you are a father have you taken the time to think about how influential you are in your child’s life? Becoming a father for the first time when my son was born changed my life; however, when my daughters were born it turned my life upside down, in a good way.
A few years into my first daughter, Samantha’s life, my wife, Jennifer, asked me to read a book that opened my eyes to the impact and influence I would have in my daughter’s life. The book was Dr. Meg Meeker’s Strong Father’s, Strong Daughters: Ten Secrets Every Father Should Know. Here is just an example that has stayed with me.
When she is in your company, your daughter tries harder to excel. When you teach her, she learns more rapidly. When you guide her, she gains confidence…Boyfriends, brothers, even husbands can’t shape her character the way you do. You will influence her entire life because she gives you an authority she gives no other man.
After reading this book I found myself seeing this influence I have start to unfold before me. I would arrive at church early to prepare for the morning gathering and when Samantha would arrive she would run past everyone saying, “hi” to her and search the entire building until she found me. Once she found me she would dance around for my attention and ask “do I look pretty, daddy?” as she spun around in her pretty dress. It hit me like a ton of bricks. She wanted me more than anyone else to think she was pretty and she was coming to me for my affirmation of how she already felt.
Another time I came home after a meeting and before I could get out of my car Samantha had run out of the house to greet me. Earlier that day she had gotten her hair cut short. She was so proud of her hair cut as she bounced around the house asking me over and over “don’t I look pretty, daddy?”
It is in instances like these that God has given me the influential power to impact my daughter’s life. How I respond to her in moments like these will teach her what to expect from every other man that comes into her life. The degree to which I show my daughter’s they should be treated will influence how they expect to be treated by other people.
I want to look at a father’s influence from another degree of perception for a moment. What degree of influence do we allow God, our Father, to have on our life? When someone tells us we are not valuable do we believe them or do we know that not to be true because God says there is nothing more valuable than we are. God sent His son, Jesus, to die for us so that we could have life to its fullest degree. Who do you allow to influence your life? The God who gave you life or the people who only wish to show you a life of a lesser value?
Who influences how hard you work at your job? Who influences how you treat the lady at the check out counter at the grocery store or the person waiting one you at the restaurant? Who influences how you spend your money? Who influences how you prioritize your time?
Does your heavenly Father influence who you are or does society dictate who they think you should be?