As children, I would say we have a more pronounced need or desire to be loved and accepted for who we are on the inside (in our hearts), not for our external beauty (our bodies), our brains (our ideas and intelligence) or the amount of influence we have (how popular we are).
When I was little (maybe six or seven years old), my sister and I used to take the bus to and from school. There were some very popular girls on that bus. They were beautiful, they were rich, they were very influential and popular. Everyone (for some reason) always looked to accommodate them, please them and follow them. I will be honest with you, I am not a rebel but, at the same time, I have always had a hard time being a follower.
So I was a neutral party there: no instigating and no seeking to please these girls. In spite of it all, they must’ve felt pretty insecure about themselves, or maybe not very satisfied with the amount of influence they had on others, so much so that they felt that they needed to belittle and make fun of others. I was one of their “victims.”
They seemed to pick targets every so often and have at it, if you will. It was awkward and difficult to stand up against them. One given day, I was selected as their target. They started to mention my “brown spots” and how ugly they looked. They told me that I looked like I had burn marks and that as I grew, my marks would get bigger and uglier until my entire face would be deformed. Children can be so cruel sometimes!!!
I went to the back of the school bus and was trying so hard to ignore them and hold back my tears, but I could still hear them going on and on about my “ugly brown spots.” My sister (three years younger than me), who might not remember this right now, went to the back with me and tried to console me.
I shook my head and she stopped talking. She just sat there next to me, keeping me company. I knew that if I talked about it or dwelt on it, that I wouldn’t be able to dry my tears. Finally, they got off the bus and I could let a few tears out (I felt like I was going to explode).
The Words Every Little Girl Should Hear from Her Daddy
When we got home, my dad was there. This wasn’t commonplace. He was always at work when we got home from school. I am not sure why he was home that day, but I think God made sure he was because what he said to me changed my life forever. He is such a practical and pragmatic man. He sees things from a very subjective point of view.
This time, he was all that, but with a big, big heart. When he saw me and could tell that I had been crying he asked me what had happened. I told him everything. His immediate response was, “Oh, don’t worry about them! They are just jealous because WE are chocolate chip and they are plain!”
Whoa! Did he really just say that?! That was the coolest thing my dad had ever said…ever! Granted, since the “chocolate chips” come from his side of the family and he is also very “chocolate chippy” himself, I am comfortable betting that he must’ve had something similar happen to him at one point in his life. His response made me feel safe.
It made me feel that I wasn’t alone. I felt secure. I felt self-confident. I felt beautiful. Can you imagine? Trading a vision of a deformed face with burn-looking marks to one of a beautiful porcelain face gifted with chocolate chips was definitely something that I gladly accepted.
See, every girl wants to hear how special she is, even when she looks different, even if she isn’t the most beautiful, the most popular, the most intelligent. She wants to hear this from her daddy. This means so much. His words carry so much weight. His influence contributes to how she will see her Heavenly Father, too.
My daddy’s words changed my life forever. His words were simple, yet deep. He loved me, he encouraged me, he saved me from so much sadness hat day and many to come. The next time they made fun of me, I can honestly say that it didn’t faze me at all. I simply remembered what he had said, I smiled and walked away. I was at peace, complete peace. I have never forgotten what he did for me that day.
Now, my children pretend to be picking my chocolate chips and eating them. We laugh about it. The other day, K discovered a “chocolate chip” on his leg and oh, you should’ve seen how excited he was! He asked me if I had shared my chocolate chips with him. I guess I did. He said that was so special. He made me cry, but in a happy way. Daddys, don’t forget how much you can build your little girls up and how easily you can tear them down! Don’t forget that they look up to you and that one day they will either look for a man just like you (because you were so wonderful) or one exactly the opposite of you (because of the negative influence she received from you). Relationships don’t have to be perfect to be positive.
Even though not every girl needs to hear that she is special because she is “chocolate chip,” she still needs to hear she is loved. Be the daddy she needs. Be there. Bless her. Laugh. Speak positive things over her. Take her on dates (give her attention). Connect with her. Smile. Tell her she makes your eye twinkle. Support her no matter what. Make sure she knows you have her back, always. You are the only daddy she’s got. Be the best one!