I really enjoy being a daddy to three girls. I love that they are girly and love to dress up in princess outfits. I love that they would rather wear dresses than jeans. I love that they enjoy dancing like ballerinas in our living room. I also really enjoy dating my daughters.
We’ve done simple “Coffee Dates” (more like coffee for daddy and hot cocoa for the girls) and even big to-do, get dressed up and go to nice restaurants dates. Aside from the fact that I truly enjoy going on daddy dates, I also do this intentionally. Here are a few reasons:
1) Some day some snot-faced teenager will want to take my daughter on a date and I want her to have been on a real date first.
The dude will roll up in his mommy’s car with too much cologne on. He will then proceed to take my daughter on what he thinks is a date. I don’t want my girls first date to be with this doof. I want them to have experienced dates with a guy who truly loves them, serves them and frankly, has a bit of experience.
2) I want my girls to get plenty of male attention from me and not other guys.
It is my desire that my girls grow up not needing male attention and affirmation apart from what they get from me. Often times little girls grow up with very little positive attention from their dads and when they are older they will seek out attention from other men. I don’t want this to happen. I want them to know that I am accessible to them, I want to allow them one-on-one time with their daddy routinely. I spend so many hours each week in one-one-one meetings with people from our church and other pastors. The one-one-one time I spend with my daughters is far more important than any of my other meetings.
3) I want my girls to know how a guy is supposed to act on a date.
When I go on dates with my girls my phone is never out (unless mommy calls, she always has access to me). I open doors for my girls, I pay for their food and I make sure that I walk on the outside (closest to the street) and them on the inside like a man is supposed to. I pray with them, I listen to them, I look them in the eye and we laugh a lot. Any dude who dates them and is playing games on his iPhone while watching the football game over their shoulder will be ditched faster than a dirty diaper.
4) I want to build memories with my daughters.
Memories matter more than stuff. I know so many dudes who dream of making a ton of money so they can give their children stuff. Stuff burns, decays and breaks. Memories speak. I want my daughters to cherish memories with me in various places. I want seasons to remind them of times we spent together and I want those memories to spur them on to build memories with their own children one day. I want our memories to speak the truth that I love them dearly and they are beautiful, loved and valued.
5) I want to get in years of dates before someone else takes them on dates.
Maybe this is just the competitor in me in addition to the aforementioned reasons, but I just want it to take years before her husband has outnumbered me in the dates category. No dude in high school or college will ever be able to touch me in the number of dates, only their husbands will have that honor. And that is an honor I’m willing to concede to them.
6) I LOVE seeing how excited they get when they hear me ask, “Do you want to go on a daddy date?”
They jump up and down, spin in circles and generally go a little crazy, and it makes my eyes water and heart race. It’s one of my favorite things to see them go so crazy for one on one time with their daddy. Sometimes, when it’s (regrettably) been a long time since our last daddy date, my girls will even come to me and tell me that they think it’s time we went on a date. I love that they enjoy spending time with me, because I love spending time with them! There are times (shocking I know) when I have to discipline my girls, tell them “no” and put them in time-out. I can’t only discipline, but I must love, this is one of the ways I show them love.
7) I truly enjoy spending time with my girls.
This is the most important reason. My daughters are a blast to be with! Just ask my parents, they will often give Jill and I gift cards with babysitting attached as incentive to leave the girls with them. Many dudes ask me if I really do like being a daddy and I always emphatically answer “yes!” I love watching them as we enjoy dates, I love hearing about their day in their broken English, I love to watch their expressions as they tell me about the adventures they had with their favorite Disney character that day, I love being with them! Furthermore, my daughters make me laugh! They have their own distinct senses of humor and I love laughing with them.
Bottom line: I love spending time with my kids and it’s important that they know they have access to me. I spend so much time with other people counseling, coaching and teaching that they need to know they are more important than all these other people. They need to know that it’s important to me to be with them as well.
So current dads, spend time one-on-one with your kids. The earlier the better! To the single dudes: kids are awesome, important and not something to be afraid of.
-posted by Pen Cook, pastor at Paradox Bible Church, husband to Jill, and Daddy to 3 beautiful little girls.