I don’t blame him anymore; for a while, I did. He left, so it was easy to pin everything on him. My anger, insecurity and porn addiction could be traced back to one man—the man who left this daddy’s girl without a dad. The years have helped me see my choices are my own, just as his were his own. But things might have been different if he had never left.
I thought I was fine without a dad, but five years ago, God brought a ‘second dad’ into my life. This man and his wife took me into their hearts as one of their own. He avidly pursued my healing and restoration. Having gone through that experience, I think I speak for every daughter when I say, “Dad, we need you.”
There is something unique and incredibly powerful about the love between a father and daughter. When I talk with women who struggle with pornography, or even women in the porn industry, many (though not all) speak of having an absent father. It was not always divorce or a single-parent home. Sometimes dad was there but just not involved—too wrapped up in his job or even his ministry to take the time needed to nurture his daughter’s heart.
If a dad is disconnected, it leaves that little girl searching to fill that void. Yes, we could turn to God, but in a society full of sexed-up men and empowered women, it is far easier to run to lust. It is not enough to simply live in the same house. Your daughter needs your presence more than she needs you present.
So, how can you protect her from pornography and lust in a world that is out to conquer, destroy and use her?
Be a living reflection of God’s heart
Godly. You are her gateway to understanding God as a Heavenly Father. The way you treat her colors her view of how God views her. Paint the clearest picture of Him that you can. Hint: you’ll probably need His help.
Overtly-Protective. Overtly means to be obvious. Think of it as mirroring God’s jealous love. She is your daughter; protect her and be obvious about it. Yes, guard what she sees on TV, what she does on her phone or on the computer, but also protect her heart.
Determined.Your daughter is living in the middle of a world that is determined to get her. There are men in her life determined to wear down on her morality. There are women in her life determined to stretch her boundaries. Sin is actively pursuing your daughter’s heart. You need to be purposeful in keeping it.
Sexually pure. By all means, love your wife; the world needs good godly marriages, but please, ditch the porn. Boys will not be boys, and it is not OK. If you view women as objects for your desire, that is how you will treat them. You cannot protect her from pornography and lust if you are the one letting it into the house.
Her Hero. When’s the last time you rescued her? This is a lot easier to do with younger girls. All it takes is a cardboard sword to be her knight in shining armor. When they get older, it involves changing a flat in the pouring rain or purposefully rescuing her from a bad day at work. She needs to know you are there for her and that she matters to you.
Engaged. It’s not being nosy; it’s love. Know what’s going on in her life. Put away the laptop, ministry notes, office transcripts, tool box, golf clubs, and hunting gear long enough to know your daughter. Know what she knows. Know her friends and be aware of situations where temptation may come.
Approachable. What if she messes up, dad? Are you someone she is comfortable approaching or would you fly off the handle? If she is afraid to ask for help, she will retreat and often turn to things like fantasy or erotica in order to escape. Be approachable; pray with her. Show her what it looks like to turn to God in our times of need, because He is always approachable.
Real. This may seem bizarre but porn offers false connections—a false reality. Porn is full of ‘perfect people.’ She needs real people, not perfect people. My friend Matt Fradd just released a DVD on being a real man. Real men do not necessarily cry, and they do not actually have to wear pink. Real men love the Lord and embrace His calling on their lives. They experience failure, joy, pain, sorrow, victory, loss, hope—humanity. Let her see how you handle the reality of life.
The man you want her to marry. Many of you just cracked out the shotgun and said, “No one is coming anywhere near my baby girl!” Chances are some man will win her heart. Whether good or bad, she will likely end up marrying someone like you. Be the kind of man you want her to marry.
It isn’t a foolproof formula, because we live in a fallen world. There are women who have fallen to porn while growing up in great Christian homes with a loving Christian father. They fell just because. ‘Just because’ does not happen much, but if ‘just because’ does happen, you want to be the father that can help rescue his little girl from pornography. Do not give up on her, Dad. Do not ever believe that she is in the clear. Never walk away. As long as she is your little girl, she is going to need you.