There seem to be a number of urban myths that prevail about men trying to understand women. Are you familiar with any of those myths? Like the expression “Who can understand a woman?” or “Women!!!” said in an exasperated tone. Or movie titles like “What Women Want” as if it’s kind of a secret you might find out if you go to the movie, right? Or book titles like “Men are from Venus and Women are from Mars”, is that what it is? Women are people from another planet, so really, how could you be expected to understand them?
Dr Prout thinks that this kind of language, these kinds of expressions, these kinds of movie titles, book titles, kind of perpetrate the idea it’s just going to be too scary or it might be too hard, or maybe it’s just plain futile, to try to understand how to be a Dad to a daughter. It might make you feel like you could just give up, it’s a losing battle, and you are probably not going to make much progress. So here is some encouragement that being a Dad to a daughter is actually quite straightforward. Perhaps even enjoyable, and probably quite rewarding, as she is certain many of you will echo, if you are a father to a daughter.
Think about the women in your family. Think about daughters, if you have daughters, and think about your hopes for them. What kind of people do you want them to be? When you think about their future, what would you like to see?
Some men say that they don’t find it easy to put into words, what it is that they’re hoping for, that there’s some vague ideas, but it’s difficult to put words on them. Dr Prout is interested in what the ancient Jewish and biblical scriptures say about a good woman. First of all they say she’s hard to find. But secondly, there’s a list of qualities, and she wonders if these resonate with you.
Charm is not the quality to be searched for
Here’s the list – it’s paraphrased of course, it’s the gospel according to Phyl, but this is the paraphrase of Proverbs: 31. It says:
- she is trustworthy
- she is proactive
- she’s organised
- she’s generous
- she takes initiative
- she’s industrious
- she’s discerning
- she’s compassionate
- she’s a self-starter
- she’s practical
- she attends to herself and she knows how to treat herself
- she’s strong
- she’s creative
- she’s stylish
- she’s resilient
- she’s interpersonally skilled
- she’s a good manager
- she’s spiritually switched on.
It’s quite a comprehensive list, isn’t it? By the way, one of the things it also says is that charm is not a quality to be searched for. And also beauty is not a quality to be searched for because they are misleading, and not very permanent. Kind of interesting, isn’t it, when you think about our culture.
As a father you hope that your daughters, and women that you have contact with, can be all that they are, all that’s in their potential.