Focus on the Family Broadcast

A Father’s Influence In His Daughter’s Life (Part 1 of 2)

A Father’s Influence In His Daughter’s Life (Part 1 of 2)

Dr. Kevin Leman and Kim Trobee share stories and thoughts on why the dad-daughter relationship matters, and how important it is to spend time and invest in this relationship wisely. They discuss how significant a dad’s influence is in a daughter’s life and how it impacts her future relationships with the opposite sex. (Part 1 of 2)
Original Air Date: May 20, 2013

Girl: My dad has always been a really intentional father, he loves to take his daughters out on dates, he loves to just spend time with us. We’ll be, like, “Oh, dad, you wanna play a game or watch a movie,” and he jumps right on it. Um, I just, I want to be with him, I want to spend time with my daddy.

John Fuller: Well, I think those words would bring a tear to every father’s eyes to, uh, hear his daughter saying she wants to be with him. And, really, there’s a key there that we heard that has to do with being intentional in the relationship and, uh, on today’s Focus on the Family we’re gonna explore that a bit. Our host is Focus president and author, Jim Daly, I’m John Fuller. And- and, Jim, uh, there’s a very special bond in that daddy, daughter relationship, it’s unique, and we’re gonna hear about why it’s so important today.

Jim Daly: Uh, John, I’ve heard that. I’ve got two boys, so I don’t have that beautiful experience of having a daughter. I would have loved to have had a daughter, I think the Lord probably knew I couldn’t manage (laughs) having a daughter. But it is an important topic, and there is a lot of, um, loss, and a lot of gain in that relationship, and we want to explore it today. I know a lot of women listening perhaps didn’t have a good relationship with their fathers and others had a great relationship, so we want to talk about that today, we want to talk about, uh, the way dad’s should treat their daughters and, uh, what the Lord expects out of that relationship. And to do that, we’ve invited a very special guest, Dr. Kevin Leman, who’s written a book to this topic, What a Difference a Daddy Makes: The Indelible Imprint a Dad Leaves on His Daughter’s Life. And, Kevin, it is great to have you back here at Focus on the Family.

Dr. Kevin Leman: Well, great, thanks so much for the warm welcome, I always love being here and, uh, this is a great topic for not only mommies, but for daddies as well.

Jim: Well you bring, what I would say, is the straight wood. You don’t, you don’t bring the crooked sticks, you bring the straight wood to talk to us, uh, like a dad would about the truth of life and what we experience, so I’m lookin’ forward to that. We also have a special guest, Kim Trobee, who has been on the staff at Focus on the Family, left us for a little while and worked up at New Life Church in the area of women’s ministry, and now is back with us here at Focus. Kim, it’s great to have you here.

Kim Trobee: Thank you so much for havin’ me on the broadcast, this is just a real treat for me.

Jim: Well you’re a lifesaver because with three guys sitting at the desk- (laughs)

Kim: (laughs)

Jim: … we needed your-

Kim: You-

Jim: … perspective today-

Kim: … you need me, yeah.

John: (laughs)

Kim: (laughs)

Jim: … and it’s good to have ya. Kevin, yeah, let’s talk about the uniqueness of this relationship. Uh, why is a daddy daughter relationship different from all others?

Dr. Leman: Well, it’s got its unique specialness for sure. A daddy represents not only what men are all about to this young daughter growing up, but he’s the safety net, he’s the one you can trust. Basic trust in relationships with the opposite sex is formed with guess who, with daddy. He also represents almighty God.

Jim: That’s a big leap. Well how is that?

Dr. Leman: Well, when you think of God, do you think of a feminine God or do you think of a masculine God? People think-

Jim: Masculine.

Dr. Leman: … of a masculine God, you know, like or not, that’s what we think. And I had a fight with a publisher over the word indelible and they said, “That’s too strong of a word,” and I said, “No, it’s hardly strong enough,” that’s how important this is. I talk in this book about father hunger. Kids who don’t have daddies, daughters who don’t have daddies, will invent a daddy in their mind.

Jim: Hm.

Dr. Leman: They’ll invent a daddy, that’s how strong that need is to have a dad in their life.

Jim: Hm. Do, well talk about that dimension, what, uh, let’s talk about the healthy father relationship, what’s happening when it’s working well, what is dad doing right?

Dr. Leman: Well, he affirms her femininity, number one. He affirms the fact that she’s a little girl, that’s she’s not a little boy, you know, and, uh, he takes time to listen to her. Now this is not late breaking news, folks, but women use three and a half times the number of words that we men use in a given day or week.

Jim: (laughs) That is not-

Kim: Do you, do you notice-

Jim: … late breaking news.

Kim: … how quiet I’ve been on this so far?

Jim: You- (laughs)

Dr. Leman: Huh, that’s right.

Jim: … you’re doing a great job-

Kim: (laughs)

Jim: … Kim, we’ll be d-, gettin’ to you in a minute here.

Kim: (laughs)

Dr. Leman: 7,000 words a day for women, 2,000 for us men-

Jim: That’s all-

Dr. Leman: … okay.

Jim: … that’s all we do, 2000?

Dr. Leman: So, as a man-

John: Hm.

Dr. Leman: … we have a mentality that says, “Hey, just tell me.” We say this to our wives, “Just tell me what you want me to do and I’ll do it,” you know.

Jim: (laughs)

Dr. Leman: With women you gotta be patient, you have to listen, they have a need to talk, to share, to communicate feelings, ideas. Most men aren’t real big on that, most men thrive on arms-length relationships, but the last thing your daughter needs from you, gentlemen, is an arms-length relationship.

Jim: Talk about that time, though, when a lot of those, uh, relationships between a father and a daughter, the distance starts at puberty. Uh- uh, fathers, for some reason, start to withdraw, they get, uh, uneasy or what is happening with a dad who, you know, sees his little girl blossoming into a woman and say, “Okay, I’m gonna back up here.”

Dr. Leman: Well your typical dad says, uh- uh, “Oh, hey Marge, I see the daughter is beginnin’ to, uh, sort of, fill up there on top there a little bit, uh- uh, maybe you ought to have a little talk with her about life.” Well, gentlemen, let me say this, if anybody should talk to your daughter about life it’s you. “Me?

John: Hm.

Dr. Leman: I don’t know anything about those feminine things.” You know, your wife can take care of the feminine things, but who better to talk to your daughter about how a man views a woman. Every woman listening to us, let’s go back to age 10, 11, 12, that weird awkward age, and a boy in your school likes you, what does he do? He hits you, yes, he pushes you, yes, he makes a fool of himself with two or three other little boys in front of you, yes, he pulls your hair, yes. Now, who better to teach that little boy, okay, about how a boy should treat a young woman than you, mom. So I’m not letting anybody off the hook. Mommies talk to sons, daddies talk to daughters-

Jim: Hm.

Dr. Leman: … okay, but I’ll go back to when I first became a daddy and Holly came home from the hospital. And I love to tell this story, because it’s just symptomatic how stupid the husband can be. But, I turned the heat up in the house, all the way to the right, and my wife was out in the kitchen and she came in, she said, “It is so hot in here,” and she walked over to the thermostat. She said, “Did you turn the heat all the way up,” and I said, “Yes.” I said, “My little daughter is not gonna be cold.”

John: Hm.

Dr. Leman: And with profound wisdom she looked at me, she says, “Now, honey, I understand, but we really don’t wanna cook her do we?”

Jim: (laughs)

Kim: (laughs) Uh, yeah.

Jim: No, you don’t want to cook her.

Dr. Leman: So, sometimes I think, as a young … I remember as a young dad, I’ve got, uh, four daughters and one son, I’ve talked to three of my four daughters today already-

Kim: Wow.

Dr. Leman: … and we have a close unique relationship. And I’ll tell you, there’s all kinds of bonuses, daddy, when you s- stand up to the plate and be the dad you need to be with his daughter.

John: Hm.

Dr. Leman: Are they different from you, yes, are they different from your son, very much so, but you need to enter your daughter’s life gently, thoughtfully, prayerfully, you gotta be there for her.

Jim: So stay engaged, don’t pull back.

Dr. Leman: Oh yes and I got news for ya, I mean one of the most touching moments of my life was a publisher was coming in town to try to get me to sign on the dotted line and- and that morning our daughter lost her baby.

Jim: Hm.

Dr. Leman: I was miserable. We prayed with her, we cried, we do all the things you do, I mean never felt so helpless in your life. Went to dinner that night and I’ll never forget that moment as long as I live. My- my thoughts weren’t on book contracts or anything else, it was, it was on Krissy. And we walked out with the publisher and two other people, three, peo-, five of us at dinner and saw my son-in-law’s car come up. And he rolled down the window and he said, “Dad, Krissy had to talk to you just one more time.”

Jim: Hm.

John: Mm-hmm.

Dr. Leman: What do you do? You hold her, you know? We didn’t say hardly (laughs) 10 words to each other. But the point is, a daddy’s there, and he’s always there, and you’re never off the hook, dad. And just like mom isn’t off the hook, especially with your son, that’s that powerful relationship, and that’s why what a difference a daddy makes and what a difference a mom makes in her son’s life, I think, just scratch where parents itch, ’cause they know there’s something special about that union.

Jim: Hm.

Kim: Hm.

Jim: Kim, you’re hearing this, um, you know, you’re representing the daughter here.

Kim: And trying not to cry. (laughs)

Jim: And, yeah, is what Kevin’s saying resonating with your heart?

Kim: It does. Um, you know, my dad, uh, was older when they had me. There was four girls and a boy in our family and I was born way late. He was a World War II veteran, an amazing man. And, you know, we’ve talked about not wanting to dishonor him at all in this show, because he did the best that he knew how to do. He didn’t hurt me at all physically or- or, you know-

Jim: Hm.

Kim: … in those ways, he just didn’t have the words to tell me what I needed to hear. And as Kevin is, uh, saying these things, my heart is feeling it-

Jim: Hm.

Kim: … because, um, we just did a video chat, you and I did, Jim, and I watched it last night, I had a chance to. And, uh, God was just dealing with me because what came up in me is, “I’m not pretty enough to do this, I’m not smart enough-

Jim: Oh.

Kim: … to do this-

John: Hm.

Kim: … I’m not enough-

Jim: Uh-huh.

Kim: … to do this.” And I know those are all lies up here, but I think that there’s a, we talk about the God-shaped hole, I think there’s a daddy-shaped hole sometimes that doesn’t get filled and that’s where we miss out on those. And a lot of my friends have those same questions-

Jim: Hm.

Kim: … am I enough?

Jim: How did that play out as a little girl? Take us back all those years and you-

Kim: Mm-hmm.

Jim: … do, you talk very positively about your dad.

Kim: Mm-hmm.

Jim: And so often, Kevin, as we grow up in a generation, uh, what Kim is describing there is a generation that said the best way I can love my family is to put food on the table, I can provide. You’d come home, your dad would be buried in the newspaper, “Hi dad I’m home,” “Good to see ya,” and go back to the newspaper-

Kim: Yeah.

Jim: … watch the news, sit down at dinner, grunt a few times perhaps-

Kim: (laughs)

Jim: … just a little bit of conversation-

Kim: We’re- we’re you-

Jim: … but.

Kim: … there-

Jim: Uh, no, but I- I

Kim: … in my house? (laughs)

Jim: … know, I know the letters that we receive here at Focus.

John: Yeah.

Kim: Yeah.

Jim: This is a common-

John: Very typical.

Jim: … story.

Kim: Yeah.

Jim: And taking you back to that little girl time, wh- what was going in your home when you wanted your dad to say, “Aren’t you pretty?” You didn’t hear that, did you?

Kim: No- no and it wasn’t because I don’t think he thought that, maybe, I just … Uh, at- at some points I think that my dad grew up in an era where you didn’t give your kids a lot of positive reflection ’cause you didn’t want ’em to get a big head, you didn’t want ’em to become this egotistic thing. “I told you I loved you when you were born, if anything-

Jim: (laughs) Yeah, right.

Kim: … changes, I’ll let you know,” you know, it’s sort of that sort of thing. And then I come along, and I wasn’t exactly low maintenance-

Jim: Hm.

Kim: … let’s just say that, I’m very dramatic.

Jim: Uh-

Kim: And, um, I think he just didn’t know what to do with me, and he just did the best that he could with what he knew how to-

Dr. Leman: What-

Kim: … to do, and- and I didn’t hear what I needed to hear.

Jim: Hm.

Dr. Leman: You’re right about that generation, that’s how they were brought up. Uh, you talk about arm’s length, I mean it was triple arm’s length back in those days.

Jim: Hm.

Dr. Leman: And, uh, they not only told their daughter they loved, and they told their wife once, and that would-

Kim: (laughs)

Dr. Leman: … suffi-, that would suffice. But, I described it in the book, it’s, like, making a cake and leaving out one major ingredient-

Jim: Hm.

Dr. Leman: … and it looks like a cake, but there’s something amiss. And what you heard from Kim, “I should do this, I should do that,” second guessing yourself.

Kim: Mm-hmm.

Dr. Leman: And, see, people who don’t have the positive male imprint on their lives tend to struggle with relationships of how worthy they are as a person, how worthy they are, and- and specifically in my relationship with God, in my relationship with my husband, two most important relationships right there, one, two-

Jim: Hm.

Dr. Leman: … and they struggle in ’em. And it’s, like, they get three steps forward and then two behind, okay? There’s always that little self-doubt, there’s always that wonder if I couldn’t have done that a little bit better. So they have hard, a hard time being still. The scriptures says, “Be still and know that I am God.” You know, uh, sheep are supposed to be stupid, but sheep, the Good Shepherd, what, He- He leads us beside still waters, not raging rivers. You know, sheep are afraid of … I found this. I wrote a book about the w-, The Way of the Shepherd-

John: Mm-hmm.

Dr. Leman: … once in leadership, and I use this and I, uh, I thought it was amazing that sheep are afraid of running water but not still water. He leads us by still … And sometimes I think you have to be still, and concentrate on … You know, I understand that my dad, he did, God bless him, he tried. My dad tried, I mean my, um, I didn’t have much of a dad growin’ up-

Kim: Yeah.

Dr. Leman: … until later in life, and that’s why, uh, I enjoyed that last 20 years while he lived that we had a great relationship. But you know what, you compensate for that, is what you do, um, mentally, emotionally, but is there a price you pay? I’m here to tell you there’s a price you pay.

John: This is Focus on the Family with Jim Daly and our guests are Dr. Kevin Leman and Kim Trobee, and we’re discussing how influential a father is in the life of his daughter. Dr. Leman has written a terrific book called, What a Difference a Daddy Makes: The Indelible Imprint a Dad Leaves on his Daughter’s Life. Get a copy today. This is a fantastic resource with practical advice that will help you really boost your relationship with your daughter. The book is available at or when you call 800, the letter A, and the word FAMILY.

Jim: Well, and the, and the key question is, like in Kim’s case, there are many other women, uh, in that regard. You can, uh- uh, underestimate the power of that and- and, therefore, you start making poor decisions, perhaps. You … The classic is, you start looking for that affection, that affirmation in relationships with men in your teen years and in your 20s, and that can lead you to some very poor decisions, um, and it, uh, yeah.

Dr. Leman: Well, look at a young girl who really doesn’t have that father attachment or maybe she’s got a really negative impact from that dad.

Jim: Hm.

Dr. Leman: You don’t have to let your mind wander long, folks, to figure out how an 11 to 14 year old girl can act out-

Jim: Right.

Dr. Leman: … to get someone to pay attention to them, someone to love them, show them any kind of affection, which they will perceive as love, which obviously isn’t love, but that’s where young girls get used by over-hedonistic young boys, I mean that’s the seeds of it. So you, gentlemen, you put the protection on your daughter by being a good dad.

Jim: Hm.

Kim: Yeah, definitely. Uh, I was gonna bring that up as well, because what you begin to do is you begin to look to adolescent young men who have no idea, themselves, how to be in relationship and you’re just constantly looking for another guy to tell you the answers to those questions and many of those young men, they don’t even know the answers to those questions themselves yet, um, let alone-

Dr. Leman: And then you have the, and then you have the-

Kim: … telling me.

Dr. Leman: … scenario where here’s this grown woman who marry guess who, her father, not in a positive way but in a negative way. I love to tell the story about Mrs. Uppington, uh, that’s my affectionate name for my bride of 45 years-

Kim: (laughs)

Jim: (laughs)

Dr. Leman: … who has thrown out the grossest slippers you’ve ever seen. Uh, one of the mysteries of these slippers is they have paint on them and I’ve never painted a thing in my life.

Jim: (laughs)

John: (laughs)

Dr. Leman: But she caught me rescuing ’em from the garbage one day and with hands on hip, and just a disdain in her voice, she said, “Lemy- Lemy- Lemy, why do you insist on wearing those gross slippers?” Well what do you suppose I said, because they’re what-

Kim: Comfortable.

Dr. Leman: … comfortable.

John: Yeah.

Kim: (laughs)

Dr. Leman: See, we all said it together-

Kim: (laughs)

Jim: Yeah.

Dr. Leman: … in unison. And- and, yet, see that’s what people gravitate to. If they haven’t had good relationship, uh, in this primary relationship between daddy and daughter, lots of times they’ll migrate to uncomfortable relationships with men and I’ll go as far to say this, that many of those women, if the dad has been abusive, and mean spirited, and physically abusive, they’ll marry exactly the wrong person who will-

Jim: Yeah, it’s so true.

Dr. Leman: … reinforce-

John: Yeah.

Dr. Leman: … the fact that she’s no good. So, what Kim talked about with the lies, I mean she, there’s a whole gold mine there of lies that we tell ourselves, based on not having all the proper nutrients in the emotional diet as we grow older.

Jim: Mm-hmm. Kim, let me ask you this question, because, uh, I think it helps to unpack it. When you’re a teenage girl and you haven’t had the nurturing and the nutrients, uh, Kevin as you have just said. What is it that that girl is actually looking for in those adolescent boys who, I think we all know, we don’t have to be geniuses to figure out what they’re lookin’ for. But for a woman what, a young girl, what is she looking for in that relationship with that boy that she’s not getting with her father? What do you expect? I’m sure it’s not the physical aspect, it’s something much different and much bigger. What is it?

Kim: You know, I don’t think that we consciously know when we’re that age. I think we just know, innately, that something is wrong, something’s missing. And so dad’s a guy, so if- if it’s not gonna come from there, then maybe somebody else can tell me the things that I need to know. And that’s one of the things we know about women is that we want affection, we want affirmation, we want emotional, um, uh- uh, relationship with-

Jim: That you’re good enough-

Kim: … someone.

Jim: … pretty enough-

Kim: Yeah, we want-

Jim: … acceptable.

Kim: … to know all of those questions, we want to have those answered. And what I said before really rings true, guy, you’re right, guys are looking for the physical because that’s how they operate, you know, and so you throw these two adolescents together who have no idea what they’re talkin’ about or what all of this means, and you have, you know, an implosion, immediately, because we’re just constantly, each one of us, looking for whatever is gonna fill that thing. And as a teenager, you don’t know, cognitive, what you’re lookin’ for. You’re, like, everybody else is goin’ out with guys, everybody else is doin’ this, this must be where the answers are.

Dr. Leman: Hm, women, young women, they need affection, but I agree with Kim, they don’t have a clue either. But as they grow older, a woman needs and wants affection, okay, and she does want to have it. She- she nailed ’em, she want, they want affection, conversation, commitment, and affirmation, those are the four things that almost all women want. Well, uh, can I read somethin’ to you?

Jim: Yeah.

Dr. Leman: I brought this along just for fun. This is, uh, from my daughter, Hannah, who today serves in a ministry, she’s serving God in a very realistic way, uh, basically in Zambia, Africa. But there’s one line in here you guys gotta listen to and she says, “Happy Father’s Day to my dad. This is always the hardest card to write because I can hardly put into words what you mean to me. I can’t believe in just a few days you’ll be walking me down the aisle. I’m so glad you’ll be right by my side on the most important day of my life. I want to thank you for preparing me for this moment since I was a little girl. You’ve taught me how to love and shown me by your actions what a loving marriage looks like. I never want to disappoint or let my dad down. I’ve always trusted every word of advice because I know my father knows best. And because of that,” listen to these folks, or you’re worried about your daughter, “and because of that I’m so thankful I saved myself for my husband and him for me. I know I was able to make that decision because of my relationship with you and that’s a blessing I am beyond thankful for.

Jim: Hm.

Dr. Leman: Thank you for being supportive of Josh and me, I know he is gonna love and take care of me as you have for the rest of my life. I love you and I will always be your little peanut,”-

Jim: (laughs)

Dr. Leman: … love Hannah.

Kim: (laughs)

Jim: That is good, Kevin.

Kim: Aw.

Dr. Leman: But see-

Jim: That’s gotta fill your heart though.

John: Mm-hmm.

Dr. Leman: But that’s what-

Jim: Huh.

Dr. Leman: … that’s what sets it up-

Kim: Yeah.

Dr. Leman: … it’s my daddy believes in me. And I’m tellin’ you, parents, kids want to please you, that’s late breaking news. I mean, you, kids are a handful sometimes.

Jim: Mm-hmm.

Dr. Leman: And, um, we’ve had talks, you know, away from these microphones about our families, and we know sometimes we all have challenges in ’em, and it- it’s not a piece of cake, but that daddy. I’m tellin’ ya, if we could reach daddies, and they’d stand up to the plate and be the dads they need to be, we’d have a different nation on our hands.

Jim: Kevin, that is such a profound statement, I- I want to emphasize it. Uh, it’s hard to do this, but when we, when we look at the ills in our culture, and we rail against the things that are failing, as Christians, we need to point the finger at ourselves don’t we-

Dr. Leman: I think so.

Jim: … and say, “Hey, we’re not doing it so well.” Christian families that are unhealthy, that aren’t operating in a way that God intended. And we all need to look at that and, uh, yeah, we’re not pointing the finger outwardly, but saying, “You know what, if we did the job that we need to do as fathers, there’d be less harm, less hurt in the culture today.” Do you think that’s fair?

Dr. Leman: Yes. Uh, I had a publisher once, and I was drivin’ him out to the airport, and he said to me, he said, uh, “Kevin, uh, how- how- how- how do you do it,” and I said, “What are you talkin’ about,” and he said, “Well how do you have such good kids? They really, I mean they really seem to be what you say they are.” I said, “They are, they’re all givers, there’s not a taker amongst them.” I said, “Well they watched us, Sande and I, and how we- we live our lives, number one.” But, you know, we didn’t give ’em things, and I’m a father who could afford to give their kids, quote, “anything they ever wanted.” Uh, I take great pride in not givin’ ’em-

Jim: Mm-hmm.

Dr. Leman: … squat, diddly, jack.

Jim: (laughs)

Dr. Leman: They all worked, they all gave back to the family, uh, they lived in a home and not a hotel, everybody gave back. Uh, we didn’t snowplow the roads of life for ’em.

Jim: Hm.

Dr. Leman: If you love your child, you’ll discipline ’em. But we need discipline as adults, that’s where it starts, it starts with how we live our life.

Kim: As you guys were talking earlier, I was thinking about a- a friend that I have whose dad began systematically sexually abusing her-

Jim: Hm.

Kim: … at age 10-

Jim: Hm.

Kim: … and she was 26 when I knew her. And he was, um, still sending her horrific text messages. And my husband one night picked up the phone and- and showed it to me, and you know up where the names shows up, it said, daddy.

Jim: Oh.

Kim: And my husband looked at me and said, “She would even rather have a monster and call him daddy then to not have anything in his life.” Now that’s an extreme example, but I could-

Dr. Leman: But it’s father hunger, that- that’s-

Kim: It is a father hunger.

Dr. Leman: … what we’re talkin’ about. They create a father-

Kim: Mm-hmm.

Dr. Leman: … that they didn’t have in their fantasy, that’s how important it is and how-

Kim: Mm-hmm.

Dr. Leman: … needy young women are to have that dad.

Jim: And in it-

Kim: Yeah.

Jim: … that case, even endure the abuse-

Kim: Mm-hmm.

Jim: … in order to have that figure in their life-

Kim: Yeah.

Jim: … even if he is a monster. Uh, that seems so counterintuitive. Where does a woman find the strength to straighten that out, where does she begin? How does a woman go back and fix the potholes that have been created in that relationship with her dad?

Kim: Well I think for me one of the biggest gifts was, um, my own husband and the gift that God gave me in him, because Gary was able to come alongside of me, and he loved my dad very much, and respected him very much. But Gary was open to giving me the things that I needed in order to heal, in order to- to make this situation better. So, while I would say to women out there, you cannot find it in a man, and I don’t lean on Gary for that, your husband or your, um, uh- uh- uh, your significant other, if you’re not married yet, if he’s a really good believing Christian, should be pointing you toward your Heavenly Father.

Jim: Hm.

Kim: That’s where I found healing for a lot of things was that my earthly father is not gonna get it all right. Kevin did a great job, but I can guess that you didn’t do everything 110% perfectly, but my Heavenly Father gets it right all the time-

Jim: Yeah.

Kim: … and that’s where the healing came for me. And that’s where I would point women, too, is your relationship with Christ needs to be one where you are in love with Him and allowing Him to love you and fill those.

Dr. Leman: I ran over one of my daughter’s feelings one day at the breakfast table, she was 11 years old, I’ll never forget the moment. And she teared up and I knew I had s-, was a jerk. What I said was downright inappropriate and wrong and she said, “You know what you oughta do,” and show you how stupid I am, I said, “What,”-

John: Hm.

Jim: Hm.

Dr. Leman: … and she said, “You oughta read your own book.”

Kim: Oh, (laughs)-

Dr. Leman: And sh-

John: Hm.

Kim: … ouch.

Dr. Leman: … she nailed me. That one hurt-

Kim: (laughs)

Dr. Leman: … big time, but she was right and I apologized-

Jim: And she was only 11.

Dr. Leman: … to her. Oh yeah.

Kim: Hm.

Jim: That’s pretty good.

Dr. Leman: But you know, well I don’t think you ever look bigger and more godlike, if you will, I- I don’t say that very often, then when you say to your kid, “Hey, I’m sorry, I shouldn’t have said that,-

Jim: Exactly right.

Dr. Leman: … uh, you’re right, forgive me, I acted in haste, or in anger, or whatever. I had no business sayin’ that. I love ya more than life itself.” And when that thing is genuine, kids, my experience have been, kids have the resiliency in them and the ability to flat out forgive you for bein’ that stupid idiot.

Jim: And hopefully we, as dads, have all had that wonderful experience of, uh, saying you’re sorry to your child. I know that has happened for me and it-

Dr. Leman: Mm-hmm.

Jim: … to see the- the twinkle in their eye when they look at you, like, “Okay, it’s okay not to be perfect,”-

Kim: Yeah.

Jim: … there’s a lot that they learn in that. Dr. Kevin Leman, author of the book What a Difference a Daddy Makes, uh, Kim Trobee, Focus on the Family, we have scratched the surface. I think we’re getting there, but there’s more to talk about. Uh, can we stick with it, come back next time, and get a little deeper into the daddy daughter relationship, can we do that?

Dr. Leman: Sure.

Kim: I would love to do that.

Jim: Okay, let’s do it.

John: And that’s how we concluded the first part of our conversation with Dr. Kevin Leman and Kim Trobee. And I loved how they ended with the humility, uh, that we as parents need to have in order to foster that close relationship with our children.

Jim: Yeah, John, uh, it is so important. And I don’t have daughters, but as a father myself of sons, I know that being intentional, uh, in their early years has a huge influence on the way they see a future partner when they’re older, it’s so- so important. Here at Focus we want to support you as you seek to boost your relationship with your daughter. One way, uh, you can do that is by getting a copy of Dr. Kevin Leman’s book, What a Difference a Daddy Makes: The Indelible Imprint a Dad Leaves on His Daughter’s Life. And this book gives great insight into the role a father has in his daughter’s life and helps you to be the most present father you can be. In fact, if you give a one-time gift of any amount, we’ll send you a copy of Kevin’s book as our way of saying thank you for being part of the ministry and helping others.

John: Yeah, support Focus on the Family today, donate and request that book when you call 800-A-FAMILY, uh, 800-232-6459, or visit Well thanks for joining us today for Focus on the Family. Yeah, on behalf of Jim Daly and the entire team, I’m John Fuller inviting you back as we once again help you and your family thrive in Christ.

Today's Guests

What a Difference a Daddy Makes: The Indelible Imprint a Dad Leaves on His Daughter's Life

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