Interview With My Daughter, Final Entry

So, I was at a conference in Atlanta for work and at one of the main sessions, they interviewed the children of well-known ministers about how their parents fulfilled their roles as parents…

…so, I stole the idea from them, recorded the questions and asked my oldest daughter (the youngest declined, wisely, because she still lives in this house & goes to that church) to respond to them. She did, and I’ll ask the questions and have one entry every day this week.

And, for those of you interested, you can check out Kelsey’s personal blog with lots of her art and thoughts…

Question 6: What did your dad do for you as a daughter that you would encourage other pastors who have daughters to do?

“I could write a book on this question. There are a lot of really hard realities that come with your father being a pastor: even more with being the daughter of a pastor.

First, my father never made a single comment about my appearance. At times, I find the flaw in this as that I feel that he was much more affirming of my sister’s appearance than of mine.(This of course being because she looks exactly like the woman he fell in love with). But now my approval idol is showing. The beauty of my father never talking about our appearances, is that my father never made Christianity legalism on any front. Seek God. That was the rule. If I wanted to wear a tiny little bikini, well, he may not have liked it, but my spiritual growth was more important.

Secondly, my dad respected me. As an intellectual, as an adult, as a child, and as a fellow believer. Never was my opinion discounted because I was young, but more importantly for me, never was it discounted because I am a woman. This is less applicable to less traditional churches of course. But I have met SO many pastors daughters who are always talking about submission: to boys, to their fathers, to members of authority. But my dad made it really clear who I am to submit to. I submit to the Lord. I seek Him. This will lead me to follow my father’s wisdom, and to listen to the wisdom of my future husband. However, he never devalued me. He never taught that because I am a woman I am weaker or less important or less valuable.

Finally, he pursued me. In what my father considers an act of rebellion and I consider spiritual growth (haha), I have recently switched my perception of theology. I’ve become a Calvinist, which I guess is why this is so important to me. My father pursued me as his daughter and as a woman in ways I cannot even express. He loved me, he served me, and he went out of his way to make me happy. My father, for a time, went to coffee with me once a week just to talk to me and know me. He approved of me when I made mistakes, and he loved me when I failed. He was able to counsel me and teach me and admonish me because he understood me. The absolute most important thing a pastor with a daughter can do, is pursue his daughter the way Christ pursued you. Go after her. Learn what makes her tick, and what the desires of her heart are and you will be able to minister to her and provide her with wisdom better than anyone else.”

Well, there you have it…I hope you enjoyed it. And thanks for being a good sport, Kelsey! It was pretty cool (and, well, truth be told) as well as kind of scary to have the reality of your parenting put out there largely unedited.

And, if any of you are wondering, she said she’d use the same word she used on Tuesday if she were ever on a stage at a big ministry conference. What I wouldn’t give to see the reaction of 5,000 evangelicals at that moment! 🙂