I watched as the tent was filled up with daddys and daughters enjoying their meals and one another. Chick-fil-A provided a booklet to work through together to spark communication and stories. Obviously Rylee can't work through a booklet right now and as she gets older she won't really remember the event more than likely. We did take pictures and I'll be happy to share them with her when she's older. But for me, it wasn't about doing something she would personally remember. It was about doing something to spend time with my daughter and to be a constant reminder that her daddy loves her and always will. Through my studies in counseling and pastoral ministries, a common theme continues to pop up. One of the most important relationships in a woman's life is the relationship she has with her father. She finds her worth in the way her daddy talks to her, values her, and acts towards her. She watches the way her daddy treats her mother and internalizes those actions and will grow to expect her future mate to treat her in many of the same ways. A father becomes a place of refuge, comfort, strength, and protection for a daughter and when that influence is absent in the home, it has been proven time and time again that a daughter will seek those feelings out elsewhere. A father shapes his daughter in ways that extend throughout her early, middle, and late development. It is a relationship as old as time. You might would say it's pretty close to being the oldest of relationships as Adam and Eve find their paternal relationship in God the Father.
Saying all that, news broke several days ago of a Daddy - Daughter Dance having to be cancelled due to the protest of a woman in Rhode Island. A long standing tradition in this community, the dance was deemed to be offensive to those daughters who did not have a father or a father influence in their lives. Liberal responses have favored the cancellation of this event and all other events. CNN News anchors have lauded the decision to cancel the event. The women of "The Talk" TV show on CBS suggested these events didn't really have a place in today's culture. Sharon Osborne stated, "It's lost its relevance. That was another generation." I have to beg to differ. I'm a dad. I have a daughter. Timeless truths of a father and daughter's relationship doesn't change just because years go by and self-proclaimed gurus suggest it's old fashioned. No ladies, as long as a man still impregnates a woman who in turn gives birth to a baby girl, the relationship between a daddy and his daughter is relevant.
We've become a bubble society to the point where we become so offended by the simplest things. How in the world did we ever become a society that seeks to eliminate timeless truths to protect our feelings and emotions? We've misunderstood freedom in the most grievous ways. Freedom doesn't mean you don't have to be subjected to things you don't like. Freedom doesn't mean your shoulder cradled feelings can never be infringed upon. Scripture found in 2 Timothy 4:3 has long been ascribed to the church. The verse simply states that there will come a day where people will push off sound doctrine and will instead chase after doctrines that makes them feel good. They'll have "itching ears" for perceived truth that props up their ideologies. However, I truly believe this verse not only applies to the church, but also now to the secular realm. Regardless of our desires, we can't change nature. God instituted certain natural laws that despite our wimpy offenses to them will eternally exist. We've become a society so inwardly focused and selfishly motivated that the least little thing which threatens our superiority in our mindsets causes us to not only discredit such a thing, but to attack it.
If indeed the daughter of this woman felt slighted because she didn't have a father, then I absolutely hurt for the little girl. Every girl needs her father or a father figure. But the idea that one girl's offense should carry over to negate the countless other daughters from having a special night designed to be specifically spent with their fathers is astonishing. How is it remotely just for the feelings of one person to override the feelings, desires, and rights of hundreds and thousands of others? We don't know the whole story behind this girl's inability to have a father at the dance. Did her father walk out on her? Was there a nasty divorce? Does she even know her father? Worse and hopefully not, did her father pass away? All answers to these questions would be extremely unfortunate and saddening. Nevertheless, the dance did not discriminate girls from bringing a father figure should their natural father not be in the picture for any number of reasons. This alone should have ended any claims at discrimination. Unfortunately, there are many in this world that don't have the treasure of having a father for a number of reasons. The fact that the school district allowed others to come in the place of a father should have been generous enough and showed the ultimate desire to not discriminate. Instead, one person's offense ruined a yearly tradition.
Where does this end? When do we realize being politically correct is completely adverse to being absolutely truthful? As long as men have the ability to father a daughter, the relationship should be honored, valued, celebrated, and encouraged. Instead, our society would like to tear down all things which are Godly, absolute, and natural and burn them at the altar of offense and self-idolatry. We are continuing to see the degradation of the family, God's first ordained institution. Do any research you can and at the core of all of our problems both locally and nationally is the disintegration of the family unit. And while this has proven true time and time again, we are transforming into, and may already be, a society that continues to celebrate this disintegration all in the name of freedom and love. We continue to watch TV shows that attempt to show us a "New Normal" as a new show on NBC will attempt to do this season. ABC continues to try to show us what the "Modern Family" looks like and it's apparently working as the show racked up Emmy Awards just a week or so ago. We continue to support companies, celebrities, shows, and music which contribute to the decay of Godly principles. This isn't a holiness message I'm preaching. This isn't about unplugging your TV for Jesus and forbidding mixed bathing. This IS about recognizing the tactics of our enemy to desensitize us from recognizing right and wrong and ultimately making us so passive to truth that we not only lose the ability to defend it, but we lose the ability to even recognize it. WAKE UP CHURCH! WAKE UP AMERICA! The fabric of our society is unraveling like a lose thread at the bottom of a hem.
If there is any good news in this at all, it is that the power of one is still evident. It took one woman to cause this annual celebration of a much needed relationship to be cancelled. It took one woman to take prayer out of school in 1962. It took one woman to claim rights to an abortion in 1973. These women ended up garnering support for their cause, but it originated with one woman. In America, as in times past, it appears one individual can still make a world of difference. Biblically speaking, one person has always been able to make a difference both for the good and the bad. See Elijah and Jezebel to see the conflicting and contrasted results. And if indeed this is still the case, then what are we waiting on? What is the church waiting on? If one woman can undermine the father / daughter relationship . . . if one woman can remove prayer from a nation's schools . . . if one woman can help usher in a law that has resulted in the murdering of over one million babies, what kind of impact will a spirit-filled church, comforted by the Spirit, led by the Spirit, and empowered by the Spirit, be able to make if we will make our voices heard and fight for what is right?
Passivity should not be confused with meekness. We are in a war for the souls of man. Our enemy has shown the ability to assault God's creation with one person. God has called the church for such a time as now to become uncomfortable in our padded pews. He's called us to be uncomfortable with our doctrines of condemnation. He's called us to become uncomfortable with our services as usual. He's called us into action. We must examine the sincerity of our confession and the meat of our message. Some of our sermons are so "denominationally" saturated that we've not preached the Kingdom message in some time. Some churches seem to only exist to preach about how other churches and ministries have it wrong. There is too much infighting in the Kingdom of Christ to make any difference against the kingdom of darkness. We must examine our hearts and be led by the Spirit of God. Our future depends on it. We must pop our bubbles and push in love the truths of Christ. May it start right now and may it start with me.