1. Plan to spend unhurried time with your dad over an activity or a meal. Take time to consider what he would like to do and plan an afternoon just for him!
2. If possible, get your dad on board and get him to do the same for you.
3. Ask questions that you normally wouldn’t about his childhood, his greatest desire for you, etc, and share your greatest worries or fears at the moment that you would like his support in. Have fun!
Sarah – When I first received the challenge, I didn’t think much of it as I do spend time with my dad spontaneously. However, this time, I was supposed to intentionally set time aside to spend with him. I also had to think of something that my dad would like to do, and I realised that many times, my dad would just do what I like to do and go where I like to go. In the end, I decided that we would stay home and play Jenga because when my sister and I were younger, we would stay up late to play board games or card games. This was a nice option to go back in time to revisit my memories as a young kid.
Dad – When I first received the challenge, I felt really excited as this gave me an opportunity to spend quality time with my daughter. Throughout the years, we would occasionally have dinners together — just having fun and enjoying our time together. For my date with Sarah, I decided to keep it simple and go to one of our favourite places for dinner.
Sarah – We had our dinner the week before I went for my church’s poly camp. I ended up sharing with my dad about my struggles I faced as the IC for publicity for the camp. Everyone around me was super talented and I felt like others should have gotten this role instead of me. I was questioning if this role was really suited for me. After silently and patiently listening to me, my dad reminded me that in everything that I do, I need to remember who I am doing these things for — God. He also gently reassured me that he would always be there to support me in whatever way he can. That was really memorable for me; my dad did not try to solve the issue but he listened and assured me. After the first date, I was very excited for the next date that I would have with my dad because I really enjoyed the unhurried time together.
Dad – During the conversations we had over the two dates, I had a chance to hear from Sarah. I realised that her biggest struggle at this moment is finding herself and gaining confidence in all her tasks to carry them out to the best of her abilities. Despite her struggles, I was heartened to hear that she knows she serves a faithful God and does not need to fear. As her dad, my greatest desire is for Sarah to know her identity in Christ and to always give her best in everything she does. As much as possible, I hope to be her pillar of strength and support. With all the decisions that she makes, I would also like to respect and trust her through them.
Sarah – The second date took place after I came back from camp, and a few things that God had spoken to me about were still very fresh in my mind. I shared all of it with my dad, and I realised that for the first time, it was interesting telling my dad about all these details! Also, he was the rst person I was sharing all of these precious experiences with. Usually, I would share it with my close friends first over text and update my parents when I see them back at home but this time, it was different! I realised that my dad is a very good listener — he is never quick to jump in and give his input on whatever that I am talking about but always seeks to listen first.
From these two dates that we spent together, I realised how blessed I am to be in this family. I am grateful for a dad that fully supports the things that I am currently involved in now, and for showing me with his life what it means to serve God with everything that we have. I recalled all the times when he would wake up at 6am just to reach church at 7am to serve in different capacities in church. No matter the role, I always see the heart of excellence and joy that he has; that is admirable to me! He might not be the perfect dad, but because of the love he has shown me, I can have a glimpse of the Heavenly Father’s love for me too. If there is anything that I can do differently henceforth, it would probably be having more dates like these. Perhaps making it something more consistent would be helpful so that we can both intentionally set time set aside for us to have conversations over meals and activities.
Dad – I came to the realisation that parents can be very busy with work or activities too! Sometimes, our busyness causes us to reach home after our children or lack quality time spent with them. These two dates have taught me to learn how to slow down and to spend undivided time with my daughter especially because she grows up so fast! I would want to be constantly involved in her life and to know what season she is undergoing. All in all, I thoroughly treasure the time we got to spend together as father and daughter. In fact, for our next date, I would want to go on a hiking trip with her where we can head to a nature reserve and just busk in God’s creation.
Sarah – For other girls out there, I know the saying that being a “daddy’s girl” is very common. Perhaps some of you might even cringe at how cheesy this term might be. Or maybe you might not even have a very strong relationship with your dad. But I have come to realise that being a “daddy’s girl” can simply mean wanting to spend time with your dad to understand his heart and to hear him out too. Just like the 6th commandment in the Bible on honouring your parents, I believe honouring my parents includes the moments we choose to make intentional efforts to build stronger ties with them and love them in the best way we can, and I hope you can do the same too!