Friday, July 6, 2012

When It's Hard To Be a Dad

So my teenage daughter wants to go to a concert. OK. Haven't had to face this one before. What is the concert? OK, that doesn't mean too much to me. Where is the concert? New Jersey (we live near DC). That's a four hour drive. It's an all day concert, with lots of bands there. Hmmm. Her friend's Dad is going to drive them. Hmmm. Please? Please?

My heart is telling me to let her go, for she really wants to go and I want her to be happy. But my father's gut is telling me no - it's too far away, I don't know her friend or her friend's father, and while I trust my daughter, I do not trust whoever else may be at that concert. So I tell her no (of course, my wife was in on the decision too, not just me). She is disappointed, but I am sad too. I don't like saying no, but I love her too much to say yes. Seems to me this falls into the category (of the olden days!) when you father would get ready to spank you and say, "This is going to hurt me more than it's going to hurt you." You never really believe that until your on the other end, then you realize how hard it is to discipline, to say no, to be a father.

To her credit, my daughter is taking it well. No tantrums, no yelling. I am proud of her for that. How often am I that mature when my heavenly Father says no to something I want? I hope someday she'll realize that saying no is a way of saying I love you, whether that's from me, from her heavenly Father, or from her to her boyfriend who wants to go too far. Of course, I'm still learning that, too. It's a hard lesson to learn.


Bill Douthwaite said...

Don't know the dad or the friend. No question, you either get to meet them, or it's a no. Especially 4 hrs away. I would start slow with a concert in DC, then work up from there. Nice call.

Pastor Peasant said...

Thanks Bill.