One of my wife’s favorite movies is GREASE. The original 1972 release featuring John Travolta and Olivia Newton John. You remember the story – ‘Good girl’ Sandy and ‘greaser’ Danny fall in love over the summer but think they’ll never see one another again. Then, as fate would have it, they find themselves in the same high school in the fall. Danny puts on his “I’m too cool for you” act throughout most of the movie but they rekindle their romance by the time the credits are rolling.

Tucked away inside that classic movie is a line by Frenchie that I’ve stolen (as many dads have) and I’ve been teaching this to my girls for as long as they’ve been alive. “The only man a girl can depend on is her daddy.”

The full quote is, “Men are rats. Listen to me, they’re fleas on rats. Worse than that, they’re amoebas on fleas on rats. I mean, they’re too low for even dogs to bite. The only man a girl can depend on is her daddy.”

Frenchy was right, to some degree…some men are rats. But a little girls’ daddy…well, he’s the only man she can depend on. He’s the one who will be there for her, through thick and thin. He will be her rock. Her safe harbor. Her anchor. At least, that’s how it should be and that’s how it is in her mind and until he proves otherwise.

I am a father of four – three daughters and a son. The three girls came first and it’s a good thing our son was born or we’d probably still be having baby girls! My wife was so thrilled to (finally) get her boy! I love my son immensely, but there’s nothing quite like the daddy-daughter relationship.

Our girls are Jessalyn (26), Ariana (25), and Abigale (20) and from the time they were born I taught them that the only man a girl could depend on is her daddy.

Oh I know that there are other male family members that are reliable. In a healthy family, girls can depend on their brothers, their uncles, their grandfathers, etc. When all is right in the world a girl should be able to depend on her school teacher, her school principle, the Sunday School teacher, the bus driver, the policeman, and fireman, etc.

It’s not that other men aren’t reliable and trustworthy. But a daddy fills a need in a girls heart and life that no-one else can fill. A daddy can be, or should be, depended on. No matter what.

I know that in today’s society there is a belief in some circles that same-sex couples can effectively raise a child just like heterosexual couples can. I’m sorry but I just don’t buy into that reasoning. There are certain things a mother does for her children that a father simply cannot do, and there are some things a father can do that a mother just cannot do. A child needs both role models.

A daddy’s role in the life of a daughter, or a son, is immeasurable. Like it or not, as a dad, your little girl looks up to you. Here are a few quick thoughts on your role as her daddy.

You’ve heard it said that one of the most important things a dad can do for his kids is to love their mother. By loving their mother and treating their mother with respect and honor, daddy is establishing a strong family bond and providing security and stability, which are two of her greatest needs as she grows into adulthood. The role you play with your daughters’ mother helps set the tone for what she should expect in a husband. You play a key role in the type of man she should look for to spend the rest of her life with! Don’t abdicate that responsibility!

Your daughter wants to spend time with you. We often say in our household that love is spelled T.I.M.E. I think it’s an unrealistic expectation that you can be at every single sports event, band concert, or school performance, but I think it’s extremely important that you carve time out of your schedule and make it a priority to attend as many of her events as possible. Take the time to help her with her homework. Establish ‘date nights’ with your daughter and take her out for ice cream, or coffee as she grows older. Show her that she can depend on you to be there for her in the smaller things and she will know she can depend on you when she needs you the most!

As a dad, you are your little girls’ hero. YOU are the one she can depend on to get her out of tight spots. YOU are the one she calls when she’s afraid. When she falls off her bike and skins her knee, she runs to mommy. But when she’s regained her courage and ready to try again, aren’t you the one running alongside her keeping the bike steady?

Dads, if your family is anything like mine, you’re the one who clears the ‘monsters’ from under her bed every night. You’re the one shooting the video of her gymnastics performance, while her mother is cheering her on wildly. You’re the one outside day after day after day teaching her how to shoot a basketball. Or kick a soccer ball. Or fly a kite.

Dads, correct me if I’m wrong, but you’re most likely the one who taught her how to drive. You’re the one who models what to expect from a boy who wants to date her. And you’re the one who sat up late at night waiting for her to come home from prom. Ok, mom was awake too, we better give mom some credit here!

And when she got pulled over for speeding the first time…or got in her first car accident…or got her heart broken…who did she call? She called you – the only man a girl can depend on.

And that is one of the biggest responsibilities we have to those who call us Daddy.