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What Little Girls Wish Daddies Knew

Girl holding hand sepia2I’m spending the morning waiting for my car in the repair shop. Four men in flannel (I missed the flannel memo) and I sit around smelling tires and inhaling exhaust fumes while an enchanting little fairy is in constant motion around her daddy. She climbs on him, giggles, turns around, and then she’s back to twirling on the tile.

She’s bouncing and spinning around in her pink frilly skirt. Her black cable knit tights are sagging around her tiny knees, and her puffy coat makes her arms stand out further than is natural. To top off the ensemble is a shiny crystal tiara. It’s been tacked down to her head with what appears to be about 60 haphazard bobby pins.

She’s probably four years old. So little, so vulnerable. She doesn’t seem concerned about it as she sings about teapots and ladybugs in her black Mary Janes. I feel myself tear up as I watch her. I tear up as I watch him watch her. She could not possibly know at four what impact this man, his character, or his words will have on her for years to come. And, maybe he doesn’t know either.

So, to all the daddies with little girls who aren’t old enough yet to ask for what they need from you, here is what we wish you knew:

1. How you love me is how I will love myself.

2. Ask how I am feeling and listen to my answer, I need to know you value me before I can understand my true value.

3. I learn how I should be treated by how you treat my mom, whether you are married to her or not.

4. If you are angry with me, I feel it even if I don’t understand it, so talk to me.

5. Every time you show grace to me or someone else, I learn to trust God a little more.

6. I need to experience your nurturing physical strength, so I learn to trust the physicality of men.

7. Please don’t talk about sex like a teenage boy, or I think it’s something dirty.

8. When your tone is gentle, I understand what you are saying much better.

9. How you talk about female bodies when you’re ‘just joking’ is what I believe about my own.

10. How you handle my heart, is how I will allow it to be handled by others.

11. If you encourage me to find what brings joy, I will always seek it.

12. If you teach me what safe feels like when I’m with you, I will know better how to guard myself from men who are not.

13. Teach me a love of art, science, and nature, and I will learn that intellect matters more than dress size.

14. Let me say exactly what I want even if it’s wrong or silly, because I need to know having a strong voice is acceptable to you.

15. When I get older, if you seem afraid of my changing body, I will believe something is wrong with it.

16. If you understand contentment for yourself, so will I.

17. When I ask you to let go, please remain available; I will always come back and need you if you do.

18. If you demonstrate tenderness, I learn to embrace my own vulnerability rather than fear it.

19. When you let me help fix the car and paint the house, I will believe I can do anything a boy can do.

20. When you protect my femininity, I learn everything about me is worthy of protecting.

21. How you treat our dog when you think I’m not watching tells me more about you than does just about anything else.

22. Don’t let money be everything, or I learn not to respect it or you.

23. Hug, hold, and kiss me in all the ways a daddy does that are right and good and pure. I need it so much to understand healthy touch.

24. Please don’t lie, because I believe what you say.

25. Don’t avoid hard conversations, because it makes me believe I’m not worth fighting for.

It’s pretty simple, really. Little girls just love their daddies. They each think their daddy hung the moon. Once in a while when you look at your little gal twirling in her frilly skirt, remember she’ll be grown one day. What do you want her to know about men, life, herself, love? What you do and say now matters for a lifetime. Daddies, never underestimate the impact of your words or deeds on your daughters, no matter their age.

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How Far Are You Prepared To Go To Change Lives?

Sometimes problems can seem so big that we feel we could not make any impact. The video below shows one area where God is working, and how He may be calling you to join that mission.


So what can you do to make a change?

The Aussie Challenge

Cycling 400km per day for 35 days straight around Australia to assist children in poverty. This is what the Aussie Challenge is and it starts on the 9th March. It certainly won’t be easy for Reid Anderton the rider, but he is going to give it a go!

The event is an attempt to break the record for the fastest solo supported cycle around Australia. The goal of the event is to raise funds and awareness for Eagles Wings, a small Christian aid development organisation which assists vulnerable children throughout Southern Africa, but particularly Zambia.

How can you help – go to the website [NOW CLOSED!] and consider what support you can give. Together we can achieve something significant.

One idea you may like to consider is the Simplicity Box for the 35 days of the ride live simply and save $12 per day. Perhaps you may go without a coffee or perhaps have simpler meals as a family.

Most of the kids in Eagles Wings are very happy to get 2 meals per day. Ried will be riding 400km per day let that sink in for a while that is 16hrs of riding every day!

Whist Reid does not like to have a title it may help you to know he is the Australian Director of Eagles Wings If he can put up with 35 days on the bike then perhaps it’s not too big an ask for us to skip a few luxuries for that time.



The Pill: Contraceptive or Abortifacient?

The Article: The Pill: Contraceptive or Abortifacient?

The Source: The Atlantic

The Author: Karen Swallow Prior, a professor of English and chair of the English and modern languages department at Liberty University

The Gist: It’s time to distinguish clearly—in terminology, thinking, and public policy—between contraception and abortion.

The Excerpt:

In addition to the linguistic clarity about contraception, clearer scientific understanding of how the pill works is needed. Many years ago, as a teenager, I decided to go “on the Pill,” as they say. I remember clearly my physician’s explanation of how the birth control pill worked: first, it was supposed to prevent ovulation; second, in case ovulation did occur, the pill’s backup mechanism was designed to prevent the sperm from fertilizing the egg; finally, the backup to the backup was to render the uterine wall inhospitable to any accidental zygote that may have formed if the first two steps failed. At the time, I shrugged off the last part almost as easily as the first two, having not yet arrived at the strong pro-life convictions I hold today.

But now I—along with about half of the nation—am pro-life, and the distinction between contraception and abortion is the difference between life and death. The labeling of birth control pills, in their various forms, for years has included information similar to that given to me by my doctor, information that has caused strongly pro-life people, as I am, to consider the birth control pill—and the morning after pill, which operates on the same principles—to be, potentially, an abortifacient and, therefore, to be rejected within a pro-life philosophy. My own relationship with the birth control pill is a picture with more strokes of gray than black and white. I didn’t go off it immediately after adopting my anti-abortion view but did in time with increased knowledge and conviction about its potentially abortifacient elements. Many conversations with like-minded friends reveal similar inner conflicts and downright confusion.

The Bottom Line: Many pro-life evangelicals who oppose the use of abortifacients such as RU-486 (Mifepristone) are comfortable with oral contraceptives, i.e., the Pill (a combination of estradiol and progetin). But what if the Pill is a potential abortifacient?

Currently, there is not enough scientific evidence to sufficiently resolve that question, which leaves the bioethical implications murky. Should Christians err on the side of caution and oppose the Pill since it may destroy life? Should we apply the principle of double effect and claim that since the intent is not to terminate a pregnancy use of the Pill is morally licit?

As Prior says, it is crucial for women to have as much knowledge as possible about how medication works and affects their body’s functioning: “It’s a medical issue. It’s a moral issue. It’s a political issue. It’s a women’s issue. It’s a human issue.” It’s also a Gospel issue, with eternal significance. It’s time we evangelicals start considering such questions with due gravity.

Skipping Adolescence: An Alternative to Self Indulgence

Skipping Adolescence

To kick things off, we need a pinpointed definition to frame our discussion. Let me give you one …

Adolescent: a person who has an adult’s body, wants all of the freedoms of an adult, but doesn’t want any of the responsibilities that go with being an adult.

Like … the teenager son who wants access to the family’s best car, with a full tank of gas, a parent’s debit card in their wallet, their personal smart phone in their back pocket (paid for by you), but considers it unfair that you expect him to get up at a reasonable hour on Saturday morning and spend a good part of that day doing various chores for you around your house.

… or the college student daughter who wants you to cover her tuition, room, books, and give her a weekly mad money allowance, but believes that her personal drinking habits and boyfriend sleeping arrangements are none of your business.

… or the 35-year-old son who’s living in your basement, hasn’t paid rent for years, hasn’t applied for a job in months and doesn’t understand why you’re frustrated that he spends all of his waking hours in his Star Wars pajamas playing video games.

We skipped all of that with our kids. Obviously they had momentary pockets of adolescent behavior (just like their dad still does), but for the most part they moved from being children, to young men and women, to adults fairly seamlessly.

It wasn’t hard. In fact, helping our kids skip adolescence was a lot easier than what it would have cost us in emotional agony had we let them give adolescence their best shot. We just followed a few basic steps that incline a kid to transition from childhood to responsible adulthood without feeling they need to wade into the swamp of self-absorbed irresponsibility along the way.

Step 1. Understand EXACTLY what forward thinking love for a child requires.

If love is the commitment of a parent’s will to their child’s needs and best interests, regardless of the cost, then it is NOT in a child’s best interests to accommodate their laziness, disrespect, self-indulgence, or irresponsibility. If we put up with or encourage these kinds of bad behaviors, it’s usually because we love ourselves more than we love them. We love our comfort, our public image and our artificial peace more than them. Obviously, they’re going to want to give adolescence a try. Just don’t make it easy for them to achieve. The first time and every time you see adolescent attitudes or behaviors respond with strong, deliberate, and memorable pushback to it. We’ve got to make it far more personally costly for our kids to take the adolescent path than the responsible one. Disadvantage, discomfort, and discipline have a way of making the correct path much more attractive to them.

Step 2. Don’t allow anyone or anything to rob your children of their years of childhood.

Kids who aren’t allowed to be kids when they’re kids, often grow up to be adults who feel cheated (think: a typical childhood starlet’s adult track record) How does this dilemma show up in a rank-n-file family? Regardless of how the Kool-Aid of public opinion tastes, having a kid so one-dimensionally focused on academic or athletic success that they never get to actually record a balanced childhood often sets them up to act childish once they’re supposed to be taking on the mantle of responsibility. (Think: the number of professional athletes and entertainers who make enormous amounts of money but end up broke once their star power fades).

Step 3. Adult freedoms are earned; not assumed.

Freedom has always had a quid pro quo arrangement with personal responsibility. You want the use of a car, a smart phone, a debit card, a college classroom, dormitory accommodations, and a meal plan at the university? Simple; demonstrate the respect, responsibility, and gratefulness that goes with them. Otherwise, buy your own car, gasoline, smart phone, tuition, dorm room, and meal plan. When we supply these things to irresponsible or disrespectful kids, it’s not giving them freedom to mature but license to self-destruct. Proverbs 17:16 says, “It is senseless to pay tuition to educate a fool, since he has no heart for learning.”

Step 4. Raise them focused upward and serving outward.

When kids are raised in an environment that encourages them to assume they’re the axis of their universe and the center of the world’s attention, we shouldn’t be surprised when they behave childishly as adults. On the other hand, when kids are raised in an environment that is focused on God and where serving others isn’t an occasional event of the family but rather its default mode, these kids are far more apt to move into an adult’s body ready to handle the privileges and potentials that go with it.

It’s really simple math. Whether you raise your kid in a way that makes it easy for them to pull off-road onto the treacherous terrain of adolescence or move them directly onto the respectful, responsible and reliable thoroughfare towards adulthood, the fact is that both options will require a lot of effort on your part. But when you factor in the human toll, the lost years, and the relational regret that goes with that adolescent journey, the sweat-hard work of raising kids who skip adolescence looks more like a cake-walk.



Tim Kimmel

Dr. Tim Kimmel is one of America’s top advocates speaking for the family today. Over the past three decades, Tim has spoken to millions of people throughout the country through the Raising Truly Great Kids Conference, Family Life Weekend to Remember Conferences, radio and TV. In addition to speaking, he has authored several books including best seller Little House On The Freeway and award winning Grace Based Parenting.