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How to be a better daughter to your father
Posted June 17, 2008

This Father’s Day, we and our father would like to suggest 10 Ways a Daughter Can Bless and Honor her Father.

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Honour thy father and mother; (which is the first commandment with promise;) That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth. — Eph 6:2,3

1. Be grateful for your father

Gratitude is the beginning of honor. Fill your mind with gratitude for all that your father has done for you, beginning with giving you life. Consider
all that your father sacrificed to be a father to you, and the responsibilities that weigh on his shoulders. Think of him as the man chosen by God out of all the souls on earth to be a father to you, because in His infinite wisdom, He knew that you and he would be the perfect father and daughter for each other. Study to understand how this is a peculiar blessing to you both.

2. Appreciate his strengths

All fathers, whatever their level of maturity, have strengths. Be quick to notice them, appreciate them and praise them. You may have to discipline your mind to correct old thought patterns — train yourself to think of your father’s qualities before his frailties.

3. Pray for him

All fathers also have weaknesses. When you notice your father’s frailties, think of them as things to pray about, not things that annoy you. In addition to this, you should ask your father what he would like you to pray for him. This shows your father that you are serious about helping him and that you are dedicated to seeing him become the kind of man he should be. It can also help him think about his faults and how to overcome them.

4. Be content in his protection and provision and leadership

Don’t panic if your father makes a decision you don’t agree with. Have faith in God’s ability to lead through your father, imperfect though he is,
knowing that God will bless your obedience.

You can help your father by being different from the average girl who is never content and pressures her father to give her a more “normal” life. Some fathers are afraid to lead their families into more biblical paths because of what they know would be their daughters’ response — “No, Dad, that would make us look too different, and all my friends think I’m really weird already.”

You can also help your father by letting him know that he has a daughter who wants to give and not take, and isn’t thing-hungry. Some fathers can’t focus on leading their families spiritually or on fighting the Lord’s battles because they have to work themselves to death as wage slaves to satisfy their wives and children, who are clamoring for more things.

When husbands and fathers know they can depend on their wives and daughters to be content and confident in their leadership, it gives them the confidence to be more peaceful, more visionary, more entrepreneurial, more full of faith, and more bold in their leadership.

5. Ask him to help you pray for your weaknesses

Your father isn’t the only one who’s not perfect… Let your father know that you desire his help and prayers for your character, and be humble enough to tell him what faults in particular you need help with. …and ask him what he thinks you need help with.

6. Repent and confess any sins against your father, if necessary

Think back on past interaction with your father, for either unconfessed grievances of yours, or unforgiven grievances of his. Examine yourself for any bitterness you may be harboring against him.

Many girls have lamented to us that their fathers are not involved in their lives and refuse to offer guidance. In some cases, the reason fathers become afraid to “interfere” or “intrude” in their daughters’ lives is because their leadership and guidance have been pushed away in the past. If this is your story, repentance is called for. But it’s not enough to merely repent in your heart and then expect your father to automatically reciprocate; you need to confess your error and ask him to forgive you, and then you will need to demonstrate in word and deed that you have repented, that you have given him your heart, and now seek his guidance.

7. Communicate with your father

Build the kind of relationship with your father that involves a lot of comfortable communication between the two of you. Develop habits of talking together about everything. So many problems daughters have with their fathers could have been solved by talking freely, deeply and frequently all along — by talking about issues before they become “issues.”

Go ahead and initiate the communication yourself. Our father says it is often difficult for men to know how to reach their daughters, and it’s helpful when their girls come to them with a seeking heart. As Deuteronomy 32:7 says, “Ask thy father, and he will show thee.” It’s a father’s duty to tell, but it’s our duty to ask.

8. Give your father your heart, learn his ways and delight in them

Proverbs 23:26 says, “Give me your heart, my son, and let your eyes delight in my ways.”

The heart, called “the seat of the affections,” is the source of all passions, desires, loves, interests, likes and dislikes, convictions and opinions. Our hearts and all that they contain need to be surrendered to our fathers, someday to our husbands – and ultimately to God – to be molded and directed. You don’t need to give your father a perfect heart. Give him an imperfect heart, and talk to him openly about your struggles and your weaknesses.

How do we let our eyes delight in our fathers’ ways? We should begin by wanting to really understand who our fathers are and why they do the things they do and think the things they think. Develop an interest in the things that are important to them, and the battles they are fighting.

Again — initiate. Don’t wait for your father to come down to your level — step up to his.

9. Treat your father with respect and humility even when it’s hard

No father will be consistently honorable and respectable in his daughter’s eyes. What do we do when our fathers aren’t behaving like Christians (or aren’t Christians)?

In times when you may have to make an appeal to your father, make sure your words and manner solidly reaffirm your respect and loyalty. Your father will be more likely to hear you if he knows he can trust you to honor and not defy him.

Of course all earthly authority is limited, and there are biblical grounds for disobedience to an authority who’s trying to play God. A father’s unbiblical demands may be impossible for a daughter to obey, but they do not negate her duty to be respectful and honoring. Remember the attitude of young David as he continually appealed to his insanely jealous and murderous father-in-law as “My lord the King.”

10. Remember that your relationship with your Heavenly Father is the most important thing

The ultimate goal in all our earthly relationships is to please our Eternal Father, the Father to the fatherless. Whatever kind of father the Lord has given you, remember that it is to honor the Lord that you honor him. If we love Him, we will keep His commandments — all of them — including the commands to honor our father and mother.

This is important to Him. Remember why God sent John the Baptist: “to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just; to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.

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