My daughter is about to become a teenager. I could probably end this article there, and you would be able to sense the deep need I have for your prayers. As a youth minister, I work with teens all the time, and I can tell you that they are some of the world’s most amazing people. One day they can be changing the world, and the next day they can be destroying it. Life is an adventure with a teenager.
I want to tell you a little bit about my daughter. Since birth she has been a relatively easy child to raise. She didn’t fuss all the time, and it was pretty easy to soothe her. She minded pretty well when she was little, and I rarely had to spank her.
I went through my divorce when she was turning three years old, and I can remember leading worship on Sunday mornings with her sitting in the pew next to the preacher’s wife behaving better than the teenagers in the same church.
For a while I lived in a hunting cabin on 40 acres. When she would come over we would go out in the boat on the lake or cook hot dogs and s’mores in the fireplace. I even remember getting up on lazy Saturday mornings and going for walks in the woods in our pajamas with her on my shoulders enjoying the wonder of another morning in God’s creation.
She was quick to accept her step-mom into her life, and they have grown in their relationship through the years. That relationship makes me a proud daddy. I cannot detail in this article all the fun stories and fond memories I have of my oldest daughter (like the time we went to see Shamu and she got unexpectedly soaked as Shamu swam by). There would be no room in the paper for all of them.
You must know something about me. Before I was ever married I wanted to be a dad. I have always longed for someone to call me “daddy”. So, the day she was born I cried the moment I heard her sweet cries of life – before I even saw her beautiful face. I knew at that moment that I would always love her unconditionally. It was that day that I understood more fully the love God has for me as His child.
She turns 13 at the end of this month, and there are a few things that I pray for her as she makes this step in her life.
First, I pray that above all other things, and in spite of everything that may or may not happen in her life, that she loves God with all her heart, soul, mind, and spirit, and that she dedicates her life in service to Jesus, the Christ. When this is her primary focus then the world can throw whatever it may, and she will not be broken for she will be strong in the power of His might.
Second, I pray that she has an understanding of her value as a daughter of the King of kings. She is my daughter, and I love her truly and value her immensely, but my love for her and value of her is shadowed by that of God. When she can see that, then she will have no need to settle for some guy that is going to seek his own needs first rather than hers. She will not give herself to anything less than a man of God who seeks to serve God first and serves her wholeheartedly. So many girls today settle and give themselves up to guys who only have self-interests in mind. In the end they realize they have made a mistake they can never change. I pray protection from these decisions in her.
Third, I pray that whatever she does is done to the glory of God. I pray that whatever she does is done to the best of her ability as a gift of worship to her Creator.
I pray these things (and others) continually for her, and I tell her these things as well. This is a big transition in her life – a rite of passage.
Maybe you have a daughter, or maybe you are a daughter. If you have a daughter, make sure she knows these things about her. Make sure you never miss an opportunity to tell her you love her unconditionally. Show her in your actions how you want her to be treated by others then she will settle for nothing less.
If you are a daughter, remember the promises of God. The world is making promises too, but they hold no weight compared to the incomparable promises of the King. You are a PRINCESS of the Kingdom of God. Live as such, and raise the standard so that the men in your life treat you as such. You are amazing – God Himself said so.
So this is my tribute to my daughter. May you be blessed as you contemplate your place in the kingdom of God as Princes or Princesses set to inherit that kingdom with your brother, Jesus. May you bless those around you with your words and life. And may you pray for me and my family as we start this journey of raising a teenager – should be fun!
If there is anything I can do for you or pray with you about, please let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 245-1611. God bless you!