Just last week my daughter Laura posted a picture of her newly pruned grapevines on Facebook to ask me if she had pruned her year-old grapevines correctly.
Laura and her family live in Dallas, Texas, nearly 600 miles away from our farm in Nebraska, so now we do our garden discussions via cell phone and the internet. Laura always had my keen interest in vegetable gardening and growing fruit, whether that be peaches, apples, grapes, raspberries, etc … and we are often emailing each other information on the best and the newest varieties that are on the market.
Gardening has always been one of the ways I can connect with my lovely daughter. We literally can spend an hour on the phone planning the orchard; pondering fertilizer and soil makeup, and how to process the bounty we are getting from these productive plants. It has and will continue to be a source of joy and wonder that will also keep our relationship close and fun.
As dads, we need to understand what our daughters love to do and how to encourage doing that within a godly context. Much like young grapevines, our daughter’s tendencies and interests are like the tender shoots of the grapevines and reveal their God-given bent. “Train up a child in the way she should go and when she is old she shall not depart from it.” A God-given bent is often a place where we dads are able to show interest in our daughter’s life. It shows we care enough to stop and share her life, and then as we walk that road with them, we can teach and share the deeper things in life such as our own walk with the Lord and how she can have a strong walk with God also.
Men are skilled at coming alongside, usually in a work context. You can use this gifting to come alongside and love your daughter by showing interest in this beautiful creation God has made. Today, my daughter is not only getting her hands dirty in the Texas soil raising vegetables and fruit, but also she is busy raising now four little boys. Just another area she and I can connect and enjoy.
Ladies, I encourage you to share this article with your husband and discuss ways he and your daughter can pursue their interests and connect! Go ahead, comment on the ways he is already connecting with your daughter. He would appreciate the encouragement and praise and it also helps others get creative ideas for staying acquainted.
Bob Noonan has been married to Shelley for 38 years. He farms the dark rich soils of northern Platte County Nebraska that have been in his family for four generations. He and Shelley homeschooled their three children for 13 years. Bob teaches Agronomy at Northeast Community College in Norfolk, Nebraska. Bob and Shelley also co-authored The Three Weavers Plus Companion Guide ~ A Father Daughter Bible Study