*** Disclaimer- Before I begin, I don't intend to share this story to brag on my husband, or condemn others in what they are not doing. Rick and I make more than our fair share of mistakes, and we are often apologizing to our Father, each other, and our kids. Instead, I want to capture this beautiful moment, to remind others that in this crazy world, there is still good, and most importantly, to share my prayer that this draws you closer to our Heavenly Father! ***
For years, our town has put on a Father Daughter Dance, and for the first time, Rick and Charley had the opportunity to attend. I asked Rick before the event if he wanted to take both our girls, and he decided that with Charley being our middle daughter, there aren't as many opportunities for her to have one-on-one time, and he wanted to plan this special evening with just her.
After school, I took Charley shopping for a new dress, but to be honest, money is tight, and we couldn't find anything within our budget. So instead, we came home, and I let her pick out her favorite dress that she already had, and I painted her nails, straightened her hair, and put a little bit of makeup on her. It was so sweet to see her beaming as we spent this time together.
While we were getting her ready, Rick came in with a dozen red roses for her. He got on his knees and explained to her how God will always be his first love, Mommy is his next love and she's right after that. He reminded her how much he loved her and that he wanted this night to be so special for her.
It was interesting that as Rick was lovingly speaking to her, she seemed to be having a hard time accepting it. She thanked him, and then they both finished getting ready. Right before they left, Rick asked me to come into the room, and he took my hand, and prayed that the Holy Spirit would work through him during their time together -- that he could leave behind any stresses and be a shining example of the Father's love to our Charley. He prayed that she could get a glimpse of how loved she really is.
As Rick prayed, I stood there in thanksgiving, and I later shared with our son, Javed, about this sweet and humble position that his daddy took for his sister. I told Javed that I know we do a lot of things wrong as parents, but I pray that this will be a moment that he remembers and a moment that defines the true strength of a man–to humble himself and serve and love his family.
As I write all of this, I have a gentle voice reminding me that not everyone that reads this has an earthly father that yearns to reflect our Father's love. The reality is that as beautiful a moment as this was, it was a moment, and even though Charley felt like a princess last night, there will be a time that her earthly daddy lets her down (because he's human and never meant to fulfill her). Our biggest job as parents is to lead all of our children to the love of their Heavenly Father––the One who will never disappoint and the One who overflows with love.
The Bible reminds us:
- “See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!" 1 John 3:1a
- "And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God". Ephesians 3:17b-19
- “The Lord your God in your midst, The Mighty One, will save; He will rejoice over you with gladness, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing.” Zephaniah 3:17
These are just a handful of verses that remind me of our Father's love––deep and wide, overflowing, everlasting and unfailing. If you are a parent, I am praying for strength and perseverance as you actively teach your children. May you make time with the Father, so that His love will overflow from you and may you be intentional in those beautiful moments that God gives us with our children.
I also pray for each person that you would know that God is personally pursuing each of you and He loves you more than you could even imagine. He leaves the 99 to come after you. He delights in you. He willingly sacrificed His only Son so that you could be saved! May you rest in His powerful love.