Since today is April Fool’s Day, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to connect two powerful yet hopefully mutually exclusive themes: fathering and foolishness. This seems as good a day as any to once again give you a “what-NOT-to-do” approach to succeeding as a dad to your daughter.
Let me begin with a story from three decades ago. Right after college, at the age of 23, I attended a conference in Kansas City that was life-changing. It was the first time I’d gathered with 30,000 other college students with a goal to soak in amazing teaching about our faith in God while being challenged to actually live it out. One highlight that week was hearing from a woman by the name of Elisabeth Elliot, a woman I’d come to greatly admire after reading one of her books. As she stood up and told stories from her life and that of her late husband Jim (who had been murdered in the mid-1950’s), she shared a quote of his that has stayed with me ever since:
“He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.”
She said that Jim lived his life with that kind of eternal focus constantly in view, knowing that he would never lose if his actions focused on investing in that which lasts.
And now I will do my best to apply his words to fathering. My translation of Jim’s quote is simply this:
A father is profoundly wise when he:
- intentionally and consistently gives of himself
- deposits daily life into the heart and life of his daughter
- is fully aware that every positive investment yields dividends that will extend past her generation into the next, which then...
- leaves a rich and lasting legacy.
I realize that’s a lot of words, but the essence of what I’m getting at is that when you, Dad, choose to daily attend to the life of your girl, you are the wisest of the wise, the best of the best, and the most strategic of men because your focus as a well-invested father will last beyond the here and the now.
After all, there’s not much that lasts after we’re gone; so why not leave heart deposits that last a lifetime, right?
The reward for being a dialed-in dad like that is not only having a daughter who thrives now, but who soars into the future. CLICK TO TWEET
My friend, Joe Kelly, cofounder of DADS (a national nonprofit organization called Dads & Daughters) says it this way:
“Fathers are the key to a daughter’s well-being, healthy development, and resilient self-image...and our greatest untapped natural resource.”
I love this description of you, Dads. This really is who you are.
So today, why not turn this into a ANTI-FOOLS DAY by proving to yourself that you have it in you to wisely and proactively connect with your daughter’s heart needs. Why not take the next five minutes and put your loving words, the ones you carry in the depths of your heart, into a text, email, or written note to your daughter telling her THREE THINGS you love and admire about her.
That is how you can actively invest in her heart space anew today, while making this the best-ever, non-foolish April 1st you’ve ever had, as you give what you cannot keep to gain what you cannot lose.