Today in Fathering Daughters I have the privilege of introducing to you all Andy King. He is a husband of 8 years to an amazing lady, who have 4 kids ages 6-1. His oldest is a boy and then he has 3 girls. Andy is on staff with the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and he doesn’t write enough at JustUsKings.com. You can follow Andy on Twitter as @thefatrat
How many daughters are you raising and what ages are your daughters?
I have 3 daughters. Ages 4, 3, 1.
At what stage of the birth announcement did you realize you had no idea how to go about raising a daughter?
I was super excited when we found out that our second child was going to be a girl. I was really looking forward to raising daughters. I had prayed and asked God for a son first and now I was thrilled to be adding a little girl to the mix.
Now, I am the oldest of 4 boys with no female cousins, so it wasn’t until I was changing my first diaper in the hospital that I quickly realized I was in unchartered territory. I remember asking my bride, “How do I do this?” I eventually figured it out (with a little help) and have loved every minute of being a ‘Daddy’.
What has God shown you about the makeup of a daughter? Was it different than you had once thought? How?
My daughters are still very young, but one thing that God has shown me is that no two girls are the same. I had this preconceived notion that all girls were quiet and still. I have one of those and maybe another. But one of my daughters completely breaks that mold. She is the sweetest, dearest, most encouraging little girl. She is also loud and full of it. She is currently in the running for ‘First One To Break Something’.
One thing that all three of them have in common though, is that they look to their Daddy for approval.
How important do you think dating your daughters is/can be? How often do you do this?
I don’t think that I can stress enough how important I think that it is that fathers spend as much time as they can modeling what it means to me a man to their daughters. ‘Dating’ your daughters is an excellent way to do this. Take her out, just the two of you. Listen to her ideas. Know what she likes and do it with her. Show them how to treat a woman in public. But more importantly, model this all at home. The way you treat their mom will be a lasting lesson on what a man should be. I try to spend special time with each of my girls as often as possible. Sometimes it’s as simple as taking one of them with to run some errands together or go see a college sporting event. But I make sure that they know they are important and cherished by their father.
In your daughter’s life, let us in on one or more examples that you have seen God move through her/them.
So, the most recent way I have seen God move in my daughter’s life is through salvation. My 4 year old came to us a few months ago and said that she had asked Jesus into her heart. And because of this, she said she wanted to be baptized to “let everyone know that I love Jesus!”
My 3 year old has a gift of compassion and encouragement that really blesses us as parents. We talk about having those qualities, but it is a natural outpouring for her.
What is the most important thing God has given you in your day in and day out with your daughters?
The joy of hearing them come running when I come home.
The joy of seeing their faith grow. I really love reading the bible with them. They ask for it at every meal.
The joy of watching them make believe. I love seeing the worlds and adventures they come up with while they play. God has blessed them with incredible imaginations. My oldest will sit and thumb through a book “reading” it out loud, making up her own story as she goes.
The joy of their sweet kisses at night before they go to bed.
What resources have been invaluable in the raising of your daughters? Making you a better father?
Hands down, other fathers have played the biggest part in who I am as a father today. Watching the example of older, wiser men raise their girls has been a huge influence. Also, the book ‘Letters To My Daughters’ by Paul Friesen had a big impact on how I treated my bride and thus how I modeled what a man should be for my daughters. It changed the way I treated my bride.
The all to familiar question. What is one thing you would take back or change about raising daughters thus far?
As of this writing I have no regrets. I wouldn’t change a thing.
What would be some parting wisdom for father’s out there raising only daughters?
Teach them that their worth comes from their Creator. Teach them that they are incredible because God made them that way. Teach them about His love and how much He longs for them to be with Him. Teach them that their beauty comes from the way they treat people, serve others, and the way they speak to and about people. Never let them forget. Don’t let the world dictate who they are. You make sure they know so they don’t go looking for it in other inappropriate ways.
Any closing remarks or anything we missed out on?
Ultimately your daughters will use you to compare and size up their future husband. What kind of son-in-law do you want? Be that kind of husband. This will be a blessing not only to your daughters but to your bride as well. See if it doesn’t change your marriage.