By Scot Thigpen
Because You’re Worth It
I may be speaking out of line since I do not have daughters, but I do have my beautiful wife of 28 years, Kimberly. And I have two beautiful daughters-in-law and two precious nieces that I would die for. Also, as a volunteer youth group leader in years past, there are quite a few young ladies who I hold dear to my heart and would consider them very, very special. So I hope that gives me some rights to share some thoughts.
This is not a political post. It is only what I would like to say to young girls who have to grow up in these days and times, and might need to be reminded of this: YOU ARE SPECIAL. YOU ARE A COSTLY TREASURE. YOU ARE CREATED IN GOD’S IMAGE AND ARE LAVISHLY LOVED BY HIM. YOU ARE HIS PRIZED POSSESSION. YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL IN ALL THE WAYS THAT MATTER. YOU ARE THE PRINCESS. THERE IS NO ONE ELSE LIKE YOU. YOU ARE A DREAM COME TRUE. YOU HAVE GREAT VALUE AS A PERSON. YOUR CHARACTER AND GODLINESS IS THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD.
One day you might walk down the aisle to meet the man of your dreams and it will be a picture to the world of Christ and His bride. You will be escorted by a proud man that you are clutching his strong arm because he is your daddy and has loved you with everything he has since the day you were born. Just imagine his thoughts as he presents you in all your beauty. Those in attendance will have tears in their eyes and lots of chill bumps because of how radiant and beautiful you are.
I wish you felt like this every day of your life but I guess that is why it’s called your “special day.” This man you are walking with would gladly die for you because he loves you that much and always has. He has protected you, provided for you, been there for you, wanted the best for you, and cherished you as no one ever has. And he is walking you down the aisle to the one you have chosen—who will do the same for you for the rest of your life.
I would bet that there are many treasured pictures that your daddy has of you. They will be pictures of him holding you as you came home the first time from the hospital. Or a picture of you as a little curly haired girl on the beach. Or cute as a button in your first sports uniform. Maybe it’s a rose he gave you after a special part you played in a school program, or you sitting in his lap hugging him as he read you a story. That’s the little girl that he will always see. And that is the little girl that I hope might hear a few things from an outsider like me.
I thank God that your daddy tells you this stuff all the time, but if there is just one little girl who has never heard it, let her hear it at least from one father who loves and cares about her.
First of all, it is never right for a male to disrespect you in any shape or form. You don’t deserve that and it is wrong. Please know that not every male in a locker room thinks of you as an object and those that do have a brokenness about them that has nothing to do with you. There are good, good men in that locker room and all around. You deserve nothing less than the best one of them. You are too wonderfully made to settle for anything less.
Don’t ever let some belittling thing a man says about you bring you down. It’s nonsense! It’s a messed up lie and you need to know it is. You are wonderfully made in God’s image and that distinguishes you with all honor and glory. You are God’s child and His beloved. You have been beautifully made and are one of a kind. He created every detail of you and so it is perfect in His eyes. Don’t ever listen to somebody who talks bad about God’s perfect creation. He made you the way he did on purpose and for His glory that you reflect.
Because your identity and purpose are in God, don’t ever fall for any kind of manipulation attempt that any boy tries to get you to waiver in your convictions. You remember you are not somebody’s object to satisfy his selfish desires. Instead, you remember who you are and where your value comes from. It ain’t him.
Know that real love has come and has been modeled by Christ. It’s called agape love and it is other-oriented and never about a “me first” mentality. Agape love is what you deserve and nothing less because you are that special.
Next, I have no idea at all what it is like to walk a day in your shoes, but it has to be incredibly hard. I can’t imagine all the pressures you face these days. Pressures from friends, parents, society, and a misguided culture—you get it from every angle and it must press you down tremendously. I don’t have a clue about how it feels, as a young lady, to have to live up to some image or standard that the world wants to place on you.
Everybody wants to fit in and not just feel loved but be loved. And where that happens 24/7 is in the arms of God. He wants his “little girl” to sit in his lap forever. Rest there. When life gets tough, when the pressures mount, when you tire from performing, God can’t wait for you to come have some more “daddy time.” He is always there, always faithful, always loving, forgiving, nurturing, teaching, hugging you—because you are His beloved.
Lastly, I want you to know I hate seeing women disrespected, but I want to apologize to you as one man who has let culture get this way and has not done my part enough to stop it far too long ago. It’s my passivity that has contributed to culture eroding and resulting in the environment that you have to deal with every day of your life in very difficult ways. I apologize that men don’t always see you and treat you as what you are—a beautiful person made in the image of God that reflects his glory.
I apologize to any woman who feels objectified by men. I commit to taking an active stance to do my part to create a better world for you to thrive and flourish in. I commit to being open to seeing the errors in my own ways and how they contribute to the problem and change them. I commit to being active in the “locker rooms” of life to shut down any degrading comments about women. Where given the opportunities, I commit to teach boys about true and authentic Christian manhood, and what it looks like and doesn’t look like.
And I commit to praying for you that you would become a beautiful woman of God and enjoy His calling in your life, and enjoy his fellowship, as you abide in Him.
A concerned dad who cares deeply about you.