Letter From Renee Behr
For the past 20 years, A Daughter’s Heart has connected fathers to their daughters through our annual dinner dance. In reflecting on all those experiences, it has been such a joy and privilege to serve the Colorado Springs community in this way.
A number of years ago I shared my story with 1,800 fathers and daughters. In the process of developing that talk, I discovered a forgiveness for my own past hurts, and also a renewed passion for strengthening the father-daughter relationship.
As this year’s 21st A Daughter’s Heart dinner dance approaches, I again pondered the unique influence a father has upon his daughter’s life.
At every age and stage, a daughter’s most important and influential relationship is with her father. I have witnessed restoration in broken relationships that I didn’t think possible. I’ve seen a deepening of love and true affection where before there was nothing but empty dryness. I’m convinced this not possible without the power of Christ. When we come to love Christ unconditionally, we then can love others in the same way. It allows us to love in a way that breaks down impossible barriers and shreds the unmovable obstacles.
Fathers, how can you love your daughters like that…
One-on-one quality time together (without distractions, multitasking or cell phones)
Asking the open-ended questions (and listening without giving in to the urge to comment or “fix”—just to listen for your daughter’s heart).
“Getting out of the car.” We played a scene from the movie Courageous a couple of years ago. In that scene, the daughter Emily asked her dad to get out of the car to dance with her in the parking lot. He declined. A few months later Emily died in a car accident. Don’t miss opportunities to step out of your comfort zone and share a moment with your daughter even if it makes you feel silly.
Words of encouragement. Every one of your words holds power. Power to shape her perception of herself, her body, her relationships. Your words can help your daughter blossom into a woman of strength, or cause her to shrivel and wither on the stem. Which will you choose?
Abundant grace. Recently I spoke to a young Christian lady who made a poor decision. Her father is an elder at his church, the mother the church secretary. They were engrossed in serving the church so when she told them she was pregnant. They turned their back on their young unwed daughter, and told her they can never love this grandchild the same way as their others. They could not let go of their “disgrace.” I broke down in tears for the both of them. Be lavish in your grace that God is to us.
Relationship with Christ. Is there anything more crucial? God is our Father, our Savior and our Redeemer. He will never leave or forsake us. He sees us inside and out. Having a relationship with the Lord, reading His word and teaching your daughter about faith is a no-brainer. Being raised in a Roman Catholic home and attending a Catholic school through 8th grade grounded me in obedience. My dad was so strict, I was afraid I wouldn’t measure up to his standards. Looking back, I can see he tried his best for his children (even if I didn't like it at the time). And I have also seen the heart of my Heavenly Father at work as well in bringing me closer to Him.
So what does this have to do with fathers and daughters getting dressed up to eat dinner together and dance?
What happens at A Daughter’s Heart really is remarkable. Dads who tenderly embrace their daughters, escort them into the room, and pull their chair out for them.
Daughters who beam with amazing joy as they bask in the attention from their daddy. The smiles of the two of them during the program as they talk together.
And, you’ll see grown men dancing for two hours straight with their daughters, or taking the long skinny balloons we give them and twisting them into hats and flowers for their daughters.
All of this comes down to one simple thought: “Seize the moment.” It’s all we have. Tomorrow is no guarantee. Seize it now. A Daughter’s Heart is just one opportunity—one venue—for you to take hold of this moment and cement it in your daughter’s heart forever. So please, grab hold, and come along with us for the dance!