Written by: Mike Donehey
Written on: March 25, 2013

Becoming a father has made me a softy.
I mean, I was a crier even before I had kids, but now?
I was choking up watching a Subaru commercial last night.
A Subaru commercial?! Seriously?
I know, I know.
My man point stock is crashing with every key stroke,
but before you condemn my whimpering,
have you seen this one?
Dude is sitting at the bus stop in the morning with his little girl
when the bus suddenly screeches to a stop and the doors swing open.
His daughter proceeds to give him the most achingly forlorn look I’ve ever seen in the history of the world, as she drearily ascends the steps of terror to cruel and certain elementary isolation.
So what does he do?
He jumps in his car and races beside, constantly peering through the school bus windows to make sure she’s getting along.
And in slow motion you see her with new found friends, laughing at the brilliance of rainbows and all things bright and beautiful.

Punch me in the face.
I’m hysterical at this point.
And why?

Well, it’s taken me all night, all morning and a particularly large cup of coffee to work it through, but I think it’s starting to become clear.
That commercial gets to me because no father ever said, “I hope my daughter becomes a porn star when she grows up.”


Even as I’m typing this, my two year old girl just ran up and snuggled her face against my chest. She touched my face, looked in my eyes just along enough to melt me into man-mush, and then scampered off.  I don’t where she just went but I’m pretty sure she was scampering.
And I think,
“God, I will do anything to protect her.  Even if I have to get my school bus driver’s license and drive the thing myself.  Even if I have to clothe her in burlap and cover her in an impenetrable coating of quinoa, I will do anything to keep her safe.”
But a chill runs through me.
I can’t.
No matter how many Subarus I buy, or how many baths in Organic milk she takes, I cannot control what happens to her.
And perhaps even scarier? I can’t control what other people will do to her.
Sure, I will educate her.
I will read her stories and applaud her.
I will tell her I’m proud of her.
I will hold her and esteem her.
I will pour myself out to fill her with all the love that I can.
I will arm with her the gospel.
I will cover her in an armor of prayer and joy,
and in every way I can,
I will strive to cultivate the kingdom in her,
and show her how to bring it with her wherever she goes.

But at some point, I will have to let her go into the world.
A world that has seem to forgotten that every girl has a father,
and every woman is some father’s little girl.

Let me talk to the fellas for a second.
I know you’re scared.
I know you don’t feel as loved or as valuable as you long to.
I know you try to push those feelings down by achieving and belittling.
You cover them up with swaggering and bragging.
I know because I have and still do.
But remember.
Please remember, that if you use some “chick” to make yourself feel valuable, you are using somebody’s baby girl.
Ok. Sure that’s melodramatic.
But it’s true.
And you know it.
Deep down you know what drives you to the computer.
You know what drives you to take advantage.
You know what fuels you to forget that the picture is a person.
As Steinbeck surmised in East of Eden,
The greatest terror a child can have is that he is not loved,
and rejection is the hell he
Rejection is the hell we fear.
Our clamoring for retweets is like cracks in the concrete.
Let’s stop with the excuses.
No more of this “boys will be boys” nonsense.
“If boys will be boys then girls will be garbage.”
-Ann Voskamp
Let’s own up and let down.
Let down our defenses, pull down the masks.
Own up to the love you’re really after.
We must stop viewing each other as commodity for use and misuse,
for selling and trading, for rule and conquest.
We must present ourselves to one another as gift,
if we are going to stop using one another like currency,
we need to lose our need for such a system.
If we could just;
be filled to overflow,
to bless instead of take,
to gift instead of steal,
then we might just find the love we were always after.
And in the process, we might dry up the fuel that gives demand for girls like mine to become porn stars.

I don’t want my daughters to become porn stars,

and neither will you.
Learn from Steubenville.
Learn from the endless demand and consumption of pornography.
Learn from the millions of trafficked women and children around the world.
Sex will never save you, so save yourself.
And save someone’s daughter in the process.

I fear for my daughters like a man driving a Subaru,
but I also believe in the power of Christ to fill the void that drives our lusts.
And this morning I pray specifically to that end.

I trust you.
And I trust you with these daughters you’ve given me to raise.
But tender Christ you see what has become of us.
You see how we use one another.
We manipulate.
We exploit.
Men and women both, we turn each other into objects.

Taking, always taking.

So I come to you Lord asking that you would fill us.
I ask that you would fill the emptiness and the lack of love we feel.
May we know that we are yours, and look upon each other with those eyes.
Sons and daughters, daughters and sons.
Give us life to give.
Give us new eyes to see.
In Your Life-giving name,