“When a girl’s first date is with her father,
all other men must measure up.”
But what happens when a girl’s father is not actively engaged in her life?
Often times she makes poor relationship choices, becomes sexually active at a young age and spends the rest of her life questioning why her father did not love her enough to want to be a part of her life.
A teen girl tells us why:
We were discussing the “father issue” in class one day and a young lady gave the following explanation as to why many young ladies make poor relationship decisions and do not always demand to be treated with respect or recognize their value:
“A father sets the bar on how girls expect to be treated. Girls know their fathers are supposed to protect, love and cherish them. When fathers aren’t there for them in that way, some girls tend not to expect that from the guys they date. They figure if their own fathers don’t protect, love and cherish them maybe it’s because they don’t deserve it.”
I think there is a lot of truth to her observation. But I also think some young ladies make poor relationship and sexual decisions simply because they want to feel loved.
Looking for love in all the wrong places!
I cannot count the number of times I have read a letter from a girl who said the reason she had sex for the first time was because the boy was the first male who made her feel special.
In a healthy society, a girl’s father would be the first male to make her feel special. Unfortunately, we do not live in a healthy society. As a result, we have young ladies who are running into the arms of boys expecting the boys to give them validation, acceptance and value when that is not the boys’ role.
“My father has always been around but is very unsupportive of me. We argue a lot because he feels I’m not the daughter he wanted. We talk, but not very much. I feel that’s the reason I do the things I do because I’ve always kind of wanted to be loved and accepted by a male figure.”
Unfortunately, many young ladies who become sexually active in order to gain acceptance and validation from a male do not even realize the real reason for their actions until it is brought to their attention.
“I also have had father issues my whole life. That makes me look for love in all the wrong places now. After listening to everything you said, I feel like I now know why I did certain things in life. The reason for my wrong choices never really hit me until you came…I thank you so much for speaking with us and inspiring me to change for the better. If there is another girl out there like me, I hope she will hear your messages before she makes the wrong choices.”
A message to fathers
I say to all the fathers out there who are absent, rejecting or harsh, that you are setting your daughter up to be “picked off” by the first young man who comes along and tells her she is pretty and makes her feel wanted. She will be like putty in his hands.
How fathers help keep their teen daughters from becoming sexually active:
- Fathers provide the love and validation every girl longs for so she does not have to seek love and validation from another male.
- The teenage girl who has a good relationship with her father AND knows that her father disapproves of her being sexually active is more likely to refrain from sex to avoid disappointing her father.
- Engaged fathers “school” their daughters about what the average teenage guy is thinking. They also educate their daughters on the manipulative things some guys will do just to get what they want.
What can parents do?
- If you are a father, make sure you are present (not just physically, but emotionally as well) in your daughter’s life to model what REAL love looks like. Show her that she deserves to be protected and cherished by any young man who wants to be in her life. Be her first date!
- If you are a mother and your daughter’s father is not in her life, share this post with her father and appeal to him to step up in order to protect his daughter from making poor relationship/sexual decisions. If it is not possible for the father to be in the picture, find another older male WHO YOU CAN TRUST (older brother, minister, uncle, etc.), that can educate your daughter from a male perspective on this issue.
- Education is key! Share this post along with my previous post with your daughter!
I also highly recommend that fathers read Strong Fathers, Strong Daughters by Dr. Meg Meeker. In this book, Dr. Meeker shares ten secrets every father needs to know in order to strengthen or rebuild bonds with his daughter and shape her life, and his own, for the better.
What do you think?
Do you have any suggestions on what can be done to keep girls from making poor sexual decisions because they do not have a good relationship with their fathers? If so, please share them so others can learn from your experiences?