On a recent night, where as a family we gathered to say goodbye to a daughter moving to the other side of the country, it struck me just what does the Father feel for His daughter. Yes, this is not really about me as a father to my daughters, but it is a pondering into what the Father must want for His daughter.
I think about what I want for my three daughters; for them not only to be responsible adults and loving and respectful partners, but to be safe and respected and loved and cherished by the men in their lives; by all men in society – and all women.
As a man I very well know how men think and how they feel and the challenges that a man faces simply in treating women with the respect they deserve; that all humanity deserves. I know as a pastor, a counsellor, and as a chaplain just how far I have fallen short in my thoughts and feelings and actions, as a man I mean.
I rationalised that, even in endeavouring to live a godly life, I still struggle to attain to the standards of thought, feeling, and action that I would like to meet. I am so fortunate that the women close to me have been gracious in understanding that whilst my intent reveals potential, my deployment is occasionally awry.
In recent days I’ve seen attacks on feminism as if every male who speaks up for females in society has fallen for some trick. These, as a response to almost global support for viral videos deploring violence against women. These men and women against ‘feminism’ are deluded. Of course, violence against anyone is unacceptable, and women are not immune from being violent, but men own the stake in how to move forward if the world has any hope beyond violence.
I find it a ridiculous argument that men denounce women’s rights to safety when they use an aggression cloaked in all sorts of vile devices, including inappropriate humour that is supposed to be funny but is just simply disgusting. And weak women join in. Some people are beyond loving anyone.
What must the Father want for His daughter?
Surely, he wants His daughter to be treated as if she is a princess. Because she is a princess.
Does a man lose anything for treating a woman like a princess?
Where has the chivalry gone that says, ‘I choose to treat you as beautiful for who you are.’
Every father worthy of being called a father should want goodness and favour for his daughter. And that is just the earthly father. How much more does the Heavenly Father want that for His daughter? Of course, we can ask what the Father wants for his son, and the Father must want his son to prosper as the protector of life, and to revere the Father’s glory in the women about him.
To be properly egalitarian, I think it’s crucial we get the gender differences right.
As the father of three daughters, having seen them interact with the men close to them, having seen them interact with me, I know that it is not their nature to abuse men. They follow their men, always desiring their men to lead by way of respect and protection. I know few women who would be remotely capable of abusing men for the want of it. Sure, I have seen women who are capable of abusing men, and I wonder what role men have played in the development of the women in question. Men are not blameless.
The Father wants the best for His daughter.
The Father wants His daughter to be safe. The Father requires that His daughter be loved by being respected. The Father wishes no fear against His daughter. The Father seeks that His daughter would flourish. The Father is a gentle nurturer. And the Father promises to travel with His daughter.
And if we care anything about God we ought to do His will.