Thoughts Regarding the Father-Daughter Relationship
Editor’s Note: The following remarkable letter was written by Miss Katherine Bradrick in preparation for the Vision Forum Ministries 2004 Father and Daughter retreat. Katherine provides both practical examples of the importance of the father—daughter relationship and demonstrates the wonderful relationship she has with her beloved papa.
As I shared in person, I enjoyed listening to the 2003 Father—Daughter Retreat tapes. I personally know that retreat was a big blessing for a father and daughter in our fellowship, and the tapes have inspired others we have loaned them to. Our family had prayed for that event a great deal as we are for the upcoming one in St. Louis. We are keenly aware that father—daughter relationships are dangerously and desperately lacking in the church. Even parents who already desire to raise their daughters to be keepers at home, etc. need to realize that unless they have a relationship with their daughters their well—meaning intentions will likely fail. We are so thankful that the Lord is using you to address these areas.
Here are some additional thoughts I pray will be a blessing and encouragement to you as you raise your daughters for Christ, and possibly as you encourage other Christian families.
Practical Application Ideas:
We are blessed with a wonderful, devoted father who inspired and encouraged us in so many ways.
For many years growing up Papa took a different one of us children out to breakfast each Saturday morning. This sounds very similar to your “afternoons with daddy”. Every time he would take us out though he would ask, “What questions do you have for Daddy? —— What have you been wanting to talk to me about?” After being encouraged to have questions ready to ask him it was amazing how many weighty or personal questions we could store up for the next special outing!
When I was seven, I was privileged to take over the important job of washing all the laundry in the house. I was happy to have so much responsibility trusted to me, and my relationship with Papa had a lot to do with that. He noticed our hard work, held us accountable for our jobs, and praised us for a job well done. On Mondays I washed the master bedroom laundry, and I lived for the thrill of Daddy coming home and going to his room. He would inspect his drawer and when he reappeared he would wrap his arms around me, look down into my eyes, and tell me how proud he was of his little girl. “The socks are straight as soldiers and the T—shirts stand up in a perfect stack.” Doing your very best for Daddy (and Mommy) is a quality that prepares you for a proper relationship with the heavenly Father.
Since we girls have been in our twenties, one way that Papa has applied his role as protector and spiritual leader is to give us a blessing each time we leave home for the day. Before we pull out of the driveway, to go spend the day helping Grandma or ministering to a family in the church, he places a hand on our shoulders and prays for us. It is sweet to have an earthly father commit us to our heavenly Father and send us off with his blessings.
An encouragement for fathers with older daughters might be for them to be involved in directing “higher education” at home. Having daughters that have graduated from high school still at home is usually something parents have not prepared for. For some families the encouragement needed is for the young ladies to learn all the homemaking and mothering skills required to create an inviting, Christ—honoring home. But, many girls have worked on these skills for years and seem to lack inspiration and vision to study God’s Word in depth and become firmly grounded in theology, church history, world—view, child training, philosophy of education, etc. for themselves. We feel that these are crucial issues for fathers to take responsibility for and direct their daughters in.
We see how a break down in a father—daughter relationship affects much more than just their relationship with each other. Our family is praying that God will mightily use this weekend in the lives of many — redirecting families to Christ and instilling them with hope for the future.
God bless you! Your family remains continually in our prayers.
Your sister in Christ,
A picture of the Bradrick family taken during a visit to the Phillips home.
“We see how a break down in a father—daughter relationship affects much more than just their relationship with each other.”