Spoiled Daughters


_ She has those big brown eyes. Mine are blue-green and never quite certain which they want to be. Blue-green eyes aren’t any good for begging; brown eyes were made for it. And my daughter has them, inherited from both her father and her great-grandmother, who once was told (perplexingly) that they looked exactly like the eyes of a St. Bernard.

Big, brown, eager, expectant eyes. Eyes that melt a daddy’s heart.  

Now, I wouldn’t say that my husband plays favorites, but that--just like any daddy who loves his daughter--he has a particular weakness toward her and those brown eyes. And she, as a result, has a particular confidence and boldness that comes, not from being spoiled, but from knowing his love.

This confidence is a beautifully engaging thing. She comes to him, climbs into his lap at no invitation, and draws him into her world of fairy princesses and delightful impossibilities. She knows no fear, no boundaries, no limits to his acceptance.  And why should she? Isn’t this the man who comforts her, carries her on his strong shoulders, and works to fulfill her needs? Isn’t this the man who rescues her from bugs, big dogs, her brothers, and thunderstorms? Even his correction confirms that she belongs to him.

But I’ve seen others who do not have this confidence. Girls and women who are sometimes shy and awkward and other times angry and defensive--often an inscrutable mix of both.  Women whose girlish eyes never moved their daddies’ hearts, whose pleading eyes made no difference, whose tears one day simply ran dry--emptied, drained, exhausted. Women who would give anything in the world to have the kind of eyes my daughter does.

But then maybe they do. Maybe we all do.

While it’s easy for us to focus on the roles we play, we must not forget that none of us ever became wife, sister, aunt, teacher, mother or confidante without first being a daughter.Without first being His daughter. I don’t mean this in a primarily academic, theological way. I mean it the way C.H. Spurgeon did when teased his wife Susannah after she had received something she had been secretly praying for. He said, “I think you are one of your Heavenly Father’s spoiled children, and He just gives you whatever you ask for.”

 What if you could know, believe, and embrace that reality? The reality that the Father has drawn you to Himself, wrapped His arms around you, looked deeply into your eyes and said, “I love you.” That your Father has chosen you to be His daughter and has moved heaven and earth to make that a reality. That He is a good loving Father who can’t ignore your pleading eyes.

Few of us can imagine this. Fewer of us are crazy enough to believe it. But for those of us who do, this father-love births a deeply rooted, flourishing confidence that comes when you know you’re loved. It’s a confidence that lets you climb into your daddy’s lap uninvited and share your dreams. It’s a confidence that lets you pursue those dream with Him as your guide. And it’s a confidence that explodes when you realize that your daddy is as delighted in your fairy princess kingdom as you are.