How many times have you been frustrated with one of your daughters? How often during that frustration have you reached a point when your frustration turns to anger? The point when you know your blood is beginning to streak through your veins at Indy 500 speeds? Your temper gets the ‘best of you’ and whether you blurt it out or not you want to shout out … WHY CAN’T YOU JUST…
… Keep your room clean? Pick up after yourself? Do your chores? Stop putting mom and dad on the spot? Be responsible? Be kind to your brother? Save your money? Behave yourself? Be where you say you are going? Do what I ask you to do?
Sonja and I are very blessed with daughters that understand the truth of life … they don’t lie very often, they are usually very respectful, they help others, work hard, they are kind most of the time, have some humility, and so on … but they are NOT perfect, far far from it. They do ‘good’ things, but they will NEVER do everything right every time, not even close.
One of our daughters seems to have always had a strong pull toward ‘needing’ a relationship with a boy. If my memory serves me right I started to notice in about 7th grade her affection and desire toward a young man. It began with a normal crush, but was quickly escalating and as a family for that age we had a no boyfriend rule. So, as a dad and mom you work through it with her. You ask questions, you listen, you talk , you explain, you pray and leave the conversation feeling great that will now all will be good in the world .. she gets it!
Then next week arrives and it would appear that she has gone absent minded. Did we not talk last week? Did we not set some guidelines? Did she not ‘got it’, when she said she did? What in the world just happened? So again, you ask questions, you listen, you talk , you explain, you pray and leave the conversation feeling great that will now all will be good in the world .. she gets it!
Wash, rinse, repeat!
As a parent you realize that the movie Groundhog Day is now a reality show your daughter is playing the lead role in, and at some point I reach the moment where I shout out … Why can’t you just do what you are supposed to do?
After years of moments like these with our three daughters it finally occurred to me that it wasn’t going to change, that each of them would never be perfect, but the most revealing lesson was that I as a parent was never going to be perfect, that I had messed up more times than my daughters combined, that I was attempting to hold my daughter to a standard that no one was ever going to achieve.
As a dad, a mom are you caught in the ‘holy’er than thou’ rut of communication with your daughters? Are you constantly in pursuit of the ‘perfect daughter’? In Lamentations 3 it reads… “His (God’s) mercies are new every morning”. In 2 Corinthians 12:9 it says… “His (God’s) grace is sufficient”.
Your daughter will never be perfect. Like you and I they are born sinners and struggle with the same earthly temptations and failures that you and I face each and every day. The good news … just like God forgives us (grace) and withholds back from us what we deserve (mercy), the same God … our God, does the same for our daughters.
You don’t have to raise perfect daughters. In fact it’s an impossible task. Our job is to raise daughters that know and understand the truth of life, applying appropriate discipline and encouragement in their life-long pursuit of it.
What has been your experience? Share, comment below…