Sunday, October 17, 2010

Letters from a Father - GIrls 10 / 17

So I thought I would have a son first. Well, there was much mirth around this subject. Of course every Afrikaner father would have a son first — we all "knew that". I am so grateful that I did not strut that notion, nor threw in a scripture for good measure. We simply waited with bated breath for this little birth.

Then it all began. The steam of a natural birth that started to blow — 'fetal distress' was soon followed by an emergency caesarean section. There I was — in the surgery gown, shoes, head covering and all. It was not a pretty sight. I was not made for operating rooms.

The surgery was speedy. Expert hands met with skilled minds and soon a baby began to emerge from M's tummy. With great celebration the doctor proudly proclaimed: "He is a girl, he is a girl". Confusion reigned supreme. Even the umbilical cord look like a generous male endowment. But the little cry that gently came from my little bloodied baby's mouth settled my girl's arrival. Nasia was born. Our little 'miracle of God' was wrapped in cotton and comforted by her very delighted mother.

Well, time sped by as we eagerly awaited our next child. The tender, gentle Nas was soon joined by her joyous singing sister. It was at that time that I knew I had no clue how to raise girls. What does one do? What does one say? How does a dad play with little girls? Does discipline mean a spanking? Realizing that I had more questions than answers, I needed to get on my knees and engage the creator of their journey. Holding each in my hands, I cried out to the Father...

Heaven was filled with the cry of an enthusiastic but desperate father. My prayer went something like this: "Father God, I do not know how to raise these 2 little girls. You created them, each fearfully and wonderfully unique. Please teach me. I love them. They are little bundles of mystery and mystique and I need you to speak." As clearly as I have ever heard my heavenly Father I heard him say: "Prepare them for another." That was all, but I knew then. My fathering was revolutionized by just a pivotal moment where heaven and earth met.

My job was to get them ready for their heavenly groom who would sweep them off their feet one day — they were not mine. They were His. I was a caretaker of His girls preparing them to love Him passionately, serve Him sacrificially and save themselves for Him.

Then I was to prepare them for their 'man'. Every act of my fathering was to that end. They were not there to make me look good. They were not there to effect my dreams, nor to fulfill my desires. They were under my affection and leadership to prepare them for that moment when I give them away. That I discovered is a glorious moment.

That dear reader, transformed the way I lead churches — preparing them for another. However that conversation is for another time. Little girls are mysterious gifts who blossom under the scope of fatherly affection. They revel in beauty. They thrive on affection. They explore creativity. They need space to expand their uniqueness. Their fathers are a safe place where the challenge of a raw ravaging world is silenced by the presence of a father who protects them radically. I love my girls... and am deeply honored by their extraordinary love.


  1. Thank you Chris, over the past few weeks I have found myself in a similar position desperately crying out to the Father to teach me how to father my 4 and 3 year old girls. Perhaps I thought I had it figured up until now, or perhaps I'm seeing me come out in them more. Regardless, I'm sure my 4 year is disguised as a 14 year old drama queen. This is truly a sanctifying process.

  2. This time I thought...when I'm done reading this I'm not going to cry...well, there's always next time! So thankful to get to hear your heart through words!