Being a mom of three teenage daughters, I find myself always trying to figure out girls!!!  I’m sure most of you are thinking that figuring out girls seems next to impossible!!!  Well recently, my husband and I had the opportunity to get to know a young engaged couple who were preparing for marriage.  Each time I was with them I found myself more intrigued with this young lady and who she had become.  As I spent time with her and saw her character I realized that her father was very instrumental in whom she had become.  I then started to reflect on my own three girls and their relationship with their father.  As I was pondering this thought, I heard a book review on Dr. James Dobson’s new book, Bringing Up Girls.

The relationship between a dad and his daughter is so different than a daughter and her mother.  The role of a father is absolutely critical in the person she will become as a young woman.  The influence a father has with his daughter will be with her the rest of her life.  This relationship that is developing with her father will be the first attempt at a masculine relationship.  The time with your daughter will develop her as a young teenager, a girlfriend, and possibly a mother some day.

If a father is physically and emotionally withdrawn from his daughter, she will think there is something wrong with her. If she does not know or hear you say “I love you,” a girl will automatically think, “Would anybody love me?” When a father is caring and protecting she will seek these qualities out in her future relationships with men.

I see in my own girls how they so desperately want to please and to have the approval of their father.  A daughter will view her relationship with her Heavenly Father in a similar way as she views her relationship with her earthly father.

There is always the chance that you have done everything you can think of and your daughter can still go her own way.  We all have our own free will.  However, there is always hope.  Always make deposits into her life.  Make an effort.  Sometimes a girl will rebel to test you.  She wants to see if you care.  I have found so often that God has given my husband the role to protect and provide for this very reason.  When our girls are emotional and relational, they need their father’s stability, protection and discipline! Remember, this means not always making your daughter happy! She will thank you later.  Girls need balance and boundaries.

Now, if you are anything like my husband and are task orientated, the list below may help to build these relationships:

  1. Listen
  2. Touch
  3. Time
  4. Make memories
  5. Seek God

When our third daughter was born, I remember thinking about our responsibility of raising all these girls.  I felt overwhelmed with the task ahead of us. As a mom, I thought it was my primary responsibility to teach and train our daughters.  As I reflect back, I can see it takes a strong relationship with the mother and the father, but there is something special about what they have received through their relationship with their father.  Our culture is at war with the family and we must work together to raise up our daughters to glorify God.  I encourage all dads to pick up a copy of Dr. Dobson’s book or pass a copy on as a Father’s Day gift this year!!!

– Mary

*image courtesy of Ben Earwicker, Garrison Photography,

Disclosure: Grace Church has not received any compensation for writing this post. Grace Church has no material connection to the brands, products, or services that I have mentioned. Grace Church is disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”