So today, I honestly just need to vent. Last night, my daughter went out to a movie with a group of her friends. When I came to get them, they asked to go across the way to a frozen yogurt shop. I said go ahead and went into a local department store to wait for them. When I came back to get them I was just sitting in the car waiting a few doors down from the yogurt shop. Her and her friends suddenly came out and were coming quickly to the car and when she got in I could tell she was very upset.
The story unfolded that while at the yogurt shop, my daughter needed to use the restroom, but there was a group of guys standing in front of the hallway that lead to the bathrooms. She was afraid to go, but her friends encouraged her it would be fine and they would move to let her by. Well, this wasn’t the case and one of the guys started asking her how old she was and if she would take a picture with him. She said no, making an excuse about having a boyfriend. Of course, they didn’t leave it at that and kept asking her. She hurried back to the table, got her friends and they walked out. The guys also walked out and were apparently heckling them as they left.
So that would be enough in and of itself to really set me into “mama bear” mode. But the conversations that took place on the way home, made me even more angry! Now my daughter, is very small, she could easily pass for 12 even though she is over 16. She is also a very modest dresser for today’s standards. She usually wears leggings and long large shirts. Last night, it was very muggy out so she opted for a tank top instead of a the T-shirt. it wasn’t an overly revealing tank top, just a normal tank top with Marvel characters on it. It wasn’t a crop top it was plenty long enough and my daughter does not wear make-up or anything to try to make herself look older. Yet! She was blaming herself for what happened! Saying that she should have just worn a T-shirt instead.
Now believe me, I am all for modesty! I believe that as godly women, we should care about being modest, and I know that as women we need to understand that we live in a fallen, sin-filled world, where not every man has good intentions. However, to watch my daughter beat herself up about it was heartbreaking. Her friends were trying to tell her to stop blaming herself one of them taking the blame for telling her that they would just move. She then brought up the way she was dressed. This same friend, who happens to be a guy, and a really sweet young man so I know he said this with the best of intention, responded by saying well I guess the only think to do to make sure things like that don’t happen is dress like a slob, never look good, and never wear make-up!
Really! Dress like a slob so that we don’t have to be harassed. Ugh! Why is that always the answer that people come up with? Well just don’t dress like a woman, look like a guy and things will be fine. Really? somehow, this day in age, I don’t think that makes a difference!
Anyway, as we got home, and were sitting alone talking, my daughter finally just broke down crying and the first words out of her mouth were…why don’t I have a Dad? It seemed like an odd comment considering what we were talking about. Now of course, she does have a Dad, but I knew she was referring to the fact that he wasn’t around and lives hours away. I told her that it wouldn’t have made a difference either way, because they were just a group of punk guys and her dad would have done the same as me and just been waiting outside for her. But the bottom line was, that underneath it all, the hurt that she felt was one of abandonment. One of feeling afraid and when we are afraid as young girls, we look to the arms of a father for safety. In most cases as young girls, we look to our mothers for things, but in situations like this, we are looking for our father to be the one that is there, intimidating the guy who bothered us and making us feel safe and secure. My dad may not have been a great father in a lot of ways, but he certainly was intimidating and I remember feeling a certain security in that. But, getting back to her question, I honestly didn’t have an answer. I don’t know why her dad just decided to walk away after 13 years of marriage. I only know one thing and this is the answer to everything that she was dealing with. We live in a sin-filled broken world. The hearts of men(and women) are for themselves. The bible points this out to us in 2 Timothy 3:2-4 where Paul writes
“People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God—” 2 Timothy 3:2-4 ESV
The truth is, my daughter does have a father, not just an earthy dad who is around when his schedule allows it, but she has a heavenly Father. One who never leaves her side. One who loves her fully and complete. One who secured her future before time even began. One who she can trust completely, depend on fully, and One who is the only one any of us should truly fear.
“I tell you, my friends, do not fear those who kill the body, and after that have nothing more that they can do. But I will warn you whom to fear: fear him who, after he has killed, has authority to cast into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him! Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? And not one of them is forgotten before God. Why, even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not; you are of more value than many sparrows.” Luke 12:4-7
Talk about an intimidating father! These words Jesus spoke not only tell us that we need to fear God, but they also show that He is a loving Father. Today, I will remind my daughter that she does have a Father, one who knows how many hairs are on her head. One who holds her future in His hands, one who created her to be the amazing, beautiful young WOMAN that she is. Today I will again remind her, that we can’t control how others act, we live in a sin-filled world and all we can do, is keep our eyes fixed on Jesus and put all our hope and trust in him. Will this stop guys from heckling her? No, but it will teach her to put her trust not in anything that she can or can’t do, but in what Jesus has already done! I want my daughter to know that her security is found in the finished work of Jesus and that her Father is the all-knowing, all-powerful, sovereign, creator of the entire universe. And yeah, He is pretty intimidating!