Daddy's standard.

::  by Rachel McGowan [gallery link="file" columns="5"]

The reason I have such high expectations in my future husband is because of the way my daddy loves me.

I am my father’s first born, his only daughter, a full-blooded daddy’s girl, and the second most important woman in his life. When I was little, he used to call me “pumpkin”, and I loved it. It still slips out from time to time.

Days after I was born, he wrote a song for me on the guitar. It’s a sweet little melody that rocks my soul to sleep and fills me in the best ways.

From the start, my daddy has loved me well. He tells me I am beautiful at every opportunity. He always answers my questions, and he laughs at my jokes. He calls me to say hello and remembers the details of my life when I tell him. He fights for me against all odds; he would take any bullet for me, just to know I was safe and happy.

He supports everything I do. When I went off to college in another state, he helped me get there, so that I could have the opportunity of a lifetime. When I worked in a restaurant, he frequently asked me about work, so that I could feel purpose behind what I was doing. When I wanted voice lessons, he paid for them in an instant, so that I could grow my passion for music.

But the most important thing my daddy has every done for me is pray for me.

In the song I mentioned he wrote, my daddy asks God to keep me safe, to watch over my life. My daddy submitted me to the Lord before I was even cognitive enough to know it. And as I grew, he discovered my heart, and showed me where it aligned with God’s promises. He showered me with prayer, in any situation. He led the family in a way that put God first, above everything. He so passionately delighted in praising God, that it compelled me to know Jesus deeper. He pursued my heart over the first 24 years of my life in subtle and consistent ways that I am only now beginning to realize. And he never stopped getting to know me. He still takes my heart’s corners and points me back to God’s promises.

I wish I had known that if a boy couldn’t hold a candle to my daddy’s love for me, then he wasn’t worth a second of my time.

As I look back now, I can see ways in which I am sure I broke my daddy’s heart. I spent time with boys just because they were cute, boys who did not understand guarding my heart or preserving my purity. Of course he knew better than I did, but I did not listen to him. So he graciously and gently allowed me to expand the spectrum of my experiences, and allowed life to teach me lessons that only life can. He was there for me when my heart was broken; he stood up for me at all cost.

I have met the man I want to spend the rest of my days with, and I am not surprised that he reminds me of my daddy.

He is kind to all, giving to all, and loving to all. He supports whatever I do and he cherishes me as incredibly important in his life. He values my purity, and is a consistent source of grace, joy, and love. Our relationship is so sacred, so patient, and so focused on God’s promises.

But the most important thing this man does for me is pray for me.

He wraps up our evenings or our conversations in a prayer. He loves Jesus so furiously and passionately, that I am compelled to know Jesus deeper. His love for God inspires me. His showers of prayer strengthen me, and point me back to the meaning of it all.

My standards for a man were set long before I knew it. They were set before I even knew I wanted to get married. Before I knew what I would need in a relationship, before my heart would be broken by boys who were undeserving of my attention, before I undoubtedly recognized my own inner beauty, my daddy instilled those truths within me. My daddy planted deep-rooted seeds in my heart that harvested good fruit in my life. With constant, “I’m proud of you, exactly how you are.” moments, my heart knew what kind of ground to stand firm upon.

I know my worth because my daddy never let me believe I was anything less than wonderfully made; cherished; lovely; enough.

A girl is worth a daddy who resembles the steady love of Jesus, and she is worth a husband who reminds her of that love.


Rachel is a writer, reader, laughter, dreamer, shower-singer and car-dancer who lives in Dallas, TX and works with hundreds of college students who are figuring out life. She is passionate about women’s issues, the struggles of faith, and is seeking ways to give a voice to the untold stories that have the potential to change lives. She believes in the healing powers of authenticity, acoustic music, and whole bean coffee.

She blogs at and you can keep up with her here:

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