Sunday, August 24, 2008


Fathers Are Different Than Mothers

Fathers are different than mothers. It’s so obvious that we don’t even stop to think about what the difference means. As a mom, your relationship with your child develops quite literally from the inside out. For nine months, you and she are together in a physical symbiosis that defies comprehension. On the most elemental level, you share in the unfolding miracle of the baby’s creation, and the day of birth is but a first important milestone in your already established connection.

Fathers, on the other hand, come to their children from the outside from the very beginning. Dads can participate in the progress of mom’s pregnancy; they can place hands in strategic spots to feel the kicks and jabs, listen to the swooshing heartbeat through a stethoscope, and now, thanks to the marvels of technology, dads can watch videos of their child floating gently within her embryonic world. But a father’s experience is always filtered; no matter how he participates, a father never holds his child inside his own body. His first real contact with his child is when he picks up his newborn and cradles her in his arms.

In some profound way, Dads’ biological placement, in the process of birth, mirrors the challenges fathers face throughout their children’s lives. For most mothers, the primary struggle of parenthood is stepping back far enough to allow the child room to grow and develop. The challenge for most fathers, on the other hand, is coming in close enough so that they can build a strong and lasting bond.

Adapted from The Pocket Idiot’s Guide to Being a New Dad by Joe Kelly and used by permission.

A friend forwarded the link to this website to me because daughters and their daddies have been on my heart lately. I think the relationship a daughter has with her Dad soooooooooooo defines her. I know this from my own life experience of losing my Daddy at 17... I have a father-figure hunger that was not satisfied until the Lord said, "Hey... I AM Friend. I AM Saviour. But I'd love to be FATHER, if you'll let me in." I say "have" a hunger because, honestly, I still find myself craving affirmation and encouragement from my husband, from my uncles, from my brother, from J.R., from our pastors, from our peers. I just do. The father-daughter relationship is foundational in the development of character and security in every girl.

I also see this in ministry, as I listen to the struggles of my teenage girls. Many of the issues that they struggle with can many times be traced back to how close she is with her Dad and whether she's getting godly love, affection, and adoration from her Papa Bear.

Daddy lifting Kennady up...
so she can "fwy" like a butterfly at her 2nd birthday party in 2006.

It's my heart to see that Bryan loves on our three daughters in a way that will enrich their little hearts and make them feel safe and cherished... that they know he thinks they're perfect in every way. Every girl wants her Daddy wrapped around her finger, right? :) Our sweet girl Kennady wants to be Daddy's princess... and she'll always need his encouragement and him speaking into her life, sculpting her character, lifting her up, pointing her to The [perfect] Father.

"For most mothers, the primary struggle of parenthood is stepping back far enough to allow the child room to grow and develop. The challenge for most fathers, on the other hand, is coming in close enough so that they can build a strong and lasting bond."

So, what do you think about the above quote? Do you think it's accurate? How has the relationship with your Dad defined you and your life choices? If you're a Mama, do you have a hard time giving your children room to define themselves? Do you think you encourage your husband to step in and step up, and do you give him the space to do so?

That our sons may be as plants grown up in their youth;
That our daughters may be as pillars,
Sculptured in palace style;

Psalm 144:12


a woman found said...

Wow! That's a great quote. It's funny cause as a mom of sons and a wife of a husband who I often get worried won't be the godly example I so want my boys to have, I find myself very concerned about the impact a father has on his sons and the seeming impossible hope that as a mom I'll have much of an influence on my sons.

I have a neighbor who has two daughters and often shares her worries and concerns about how her husbands influence is effecting her girls. After with talking with her I often think that if I had daughters I'd probably been even more worried!

But the Lord always reminds me that He is the God of the impossible, and it's His pleasure to work through my weakness as a mom and wife (and I very knowingly agree I AM the weaker vessel...I KNOW I am!). In the same way, though the impact of fathers is tremendous on both daughters and sons our hope is not that our fathers will do well or even that husbands will (though we pray and strive for that) but that God will do His amazing grace work through the weakness and lack in our fathers and our husbands.

I know much of my own "hang ups" come from the poor influence I had from both my parents...neither one of them realizing that they themselves were created in the image of God and had great purpose and pleasure in Him, so therefore they didn't pass that knowledge on to me through their actions. But through all the odds being against me, even in running off with the first boy who gave me the time of day (my husband) God has saved and delivered me!

Our hope is in Him! And I pray Psalm 144 ALL THE TIME for my boys!

Transformed said...

I find it very interesting that God commands the mothers to "love thier children"--Titus 2 and fathers to "train" thier children--Ephesians 6:4. In the Hebrew culture, fathers began teaching thier children the Word at a very young age. It was the ministry of the mother to love and nurture them. Of course, the men would teach a trade to the boys and the mother to teach the girls to be godly wives/homemakers. But, the majority of spiritual training was done by the father. Today, fathers are to busy to train thier children. God's ways are always the best. And they produce peaceable fruit.

I grew up with a dad that was always gone. My mom tried to raise my brothers and I nearly alone. And I attempted to fill in where my dad lacked. I can now see in my marriage where I have allowed the enemy to bring fear from the past. I am often scared that Zane will not be around enough for the kids needs. Now, this is not the case, but the fear is still there.