The Greater Work
It’s not easy for a Dad to take his little girl to a Purity Ball, and it’s not easy for a daughter either. It’s a date to a ball, and it’s not like those come around very often. Then there’s that level of awkward in the idea of talking about sex and waiting. Some Dad’s in the room have walked the straight and narrow and have never fallen and made a mess of things. But for alot of Dad’s it’s a struggle because we are far from perfect and we have made some pretty big mistakes and poor choices. But really I think the idea is about trust, and by that I mean trust in God. If you lower your eyes to men, men will let you down. There are none that are righteous, not even one.
But if you raise your gaze to Jesus, trust Him with your relationships and not yourself or your peers, there’s a sweetness to be found, a blessing to be grasped. Your Father thinks the world of you and wants the absolute best for you. You are beautiful to Him, the apple of His eye, and He wants to always be the rock you run to in the good times and the bad.
I think that’s where a Dad can resonate, and I think it’s why all these Dad’s brush off the awkward unsettling and instead view this a beautiful opportunity in time to teach a truth that is immovable. We feel the same way about our girls. My own girl is the keeper of the dance. She is truly a father’s joy, and if I could do anything for her it would be to help her keep her eyes on Christ and not on man.
At this Purity Ball put on by Alpha Center and the Abstinence Clearinghouse, I photographed what I think are my all-time favorite Father/Daughter shots. They were of a Dad, dancing with his girl, and praying over her while they danced. Hoping the best for her, praying the best over her, desiring the best. Dad’s, it’s not about us and our baggage, thank God. It’s about Him and His righteousness. Oswald Chambers said prayer does not fit us for the greater work; prayer is the greater work, and I think that’s what I love most about that image. You don’t see a man with flaws, you see a teacher demonstrating to his daughter the importance of appealing to Christ on her behalf. She is there, in perfect peace wrapped up in her Daddy’s arms as the song plays, hearing his words spoken over her as he presents his requests. Finally, Christ is there, and the Word of God speaks over their entire dance as He calls them both His masterpiece. More than the dance, the dresses, the cake, the speaker, or any of the other words spoken that night, that prayer at that moment was the greater work.