It was nothing short of a breakthrough. I have an eleven year old daughter. She is a beautiful girl full of laughter with gorgeous bright blue eyes. On one particular evening, we're sitting around the kitchen table having dinner, a traditional evening meal. We were enjoying our time together when all of a sudden things started to go south. My radar was up as the meltdown began to take place.
When things start to go down one must be aware that there is always more going on than meets the eye. What could have been easily misinterpreted as a child acting out, turned out to be stunning revelation. All fathers have wounded their children. There is no way around it. The question becomes how have we wounded them. With my daughter, I was preparing myself for exactly what I did not want to hear.
I want to be very careful and not reveal too much of my daughter's dilemma. It's her story and not mine to tell. That's not what is important. What is is how a man must deal with such a situation. It is a battle over the hearts of our kids and it must be fought with much cunning and discernment. Whether they are 7 or 75, we must learn how we can fight for our children. Most men would probably turn tail and run by dismissing it as unimportant. However, if we are to fight for them we must be willing to go there.
In the case of my daughter, I learned about how poorly I can relate to her at times. By admitting that openly to her and undoing the message she had been receiving from the enemy, the tears began to flow. Tears are necessary. They let us know that the pain we are experiencing is real. They were beautiful tears. Tears of an open heart, an invitation for restorative healing. They were tears of freedom.
A man must choose his words wisely. They can either aid in the process of healing or tear down very destructively. "I'm sorry, will you forgive me," were the only words that would suffice in that moment with my daughter--and the only words necessary. I go to her, lift her up, let her cry in my shoulder, and tell her everything she is to me. "I do notice you, and I love what I see." Here the healing begins.