She spins and she sways
To whatever song plays
Without a care in the world
And I'm sitting here wearing
The weight of the world on my shoulders
It's been a long day
And there's still work to do
She's pulling at me
Saying "Dad, I need you
There's a ball at the castle
And I've been invited
And I need to practice my dancing
Oh, please, Daddy, please?"
So I will dance with Cinderella
While she is here in my arms
'Cause I know something the prince never knew
Oh, I will dance with Cinderella
I don't want to miss even one song
'Cause all too soon the clock will strike midnight
And she'll be gone...
Steven Curtis Chapman’s song, Cinderella, is a beautiful portrayal of what a good dad looks like.
I’ve seen some bad dads lately: dads who are apathetic, abusive, or absent. It breaks my heart, because dads have such an important role to play in their children’s lives.
Even though moms are reputed to be the primary nurturers and caregivers, dads or dadlike figures are vital to healthy social and emotional growth. For little boys, dads are role models on what it means to work hard, to compete fairly, and how to lead others, among other things. They also demonstrate how to be strong, respect women, and take care of others.
For little girls, dads teach many of the same kinds of things, but also provide love, acceptance, and affection. Dads are not only role models, but set a pattern for what their daughters will seek in a mate. She will either seek someone to fill the void he leaves, usually to her own destruction, or seek someone who makes her feel loved and important like her father does.
It seems like a tall order, but the key is in Chapman’s song. Even though the dad is busy and has work to do, he stops what he is doing and spends some time with his daughter. He realizes that childhood is fleeting, and there will come a time when she will no longer look up to him in the same way. She needs his attention in her life every step of the way. No thing, no career, no hobby will be more important that those special moments engaging in a child’s life.
Fatherhood is a job to be taken more seriously than any other undertaking. It has the most lasting consequences, and the greatest rewards.