The locket

The above clip is from my daughter’s rehearsal dinner on December 16, 2011. As my husband spoke, I was overcome with gratitude for the kind of father he has been to our children. I am so very blessed. Our kids are so very blessed. I’ve written and spoken extensively on the importance of the father/daughter relationship, but the 2 1/2 minute clip above sums it up more beautifully than any combination of carefully crafted words. The clip provides the answer to many of the concerns Christian parents have when it comes to raising daughters:

How can I raise her to have confidence and see herself through God’s eyes?

How can I model God’s unconditional love to her?

How can I discourage her from dating too young?

When she is old enough to date, how can I encourage her to refuse to settle for anything less than God’s best?

In a culture that bombards her with the message that it’s no big deal to have sex, how can I encourage her to save sex for marriage?

How can I help her guard her heart?

As I filmed my husband’s tribute to our daughter from behind the camera, I couldn’t help but wonder how different this world might look if more little girls had dads who asked them to go on ice cream dates from the preschool to teenage years. And played board games and Barbies with them. And took them on an annual weekend camping trip each year. And reminded them over the years that God appointed them to be the “man in their lives,” and “their protector” and “spiritual leader” until they meet their future husbands. And modeled for them what sort of standard they should have when it comes to choosing a future husband.

I dare say if we had more dads like that, we would see a dramatic decrease in many of the issues that plague our girls today: low self-esteem, eating disorders, negative body image, anxiety, rebelliousness, immodesty, promiscuity, and a desperate, insatiable need for male attention, just to name a few. The remedy for these problems cannot be found in more self-help books and Christian pep talks. The remedy is simple: We need fewer absent fathers and more “sweet-daddy-boy-dates.” We need fewer sad stories and more locket stories.


  1. Melanie Freisinger says

    I tried to convince my daugters dad to do this with her but he didn’t see the importance. Now she had kids of her own and I reminding her of it and hoping my granddaughters will benefit from this type of relationship with their dad, God willing!

  2. Sheila says

    I am so happy that the daddy/daughter dates worked out so great for your family! If only life and the daddy/daughter relationship were that easy and simple for the rest of us.

  3. Michele Bone says

    Precious and priceless!!! God is so faithful, when we obey Him!!!! Praying for my 4 daughters and their daddy/daughter relationship!

  4. Laura says

    My husband and I just wateched this together. We are both crying. Wow! Inspiring!

  5. Rogena says

    What a blessing for Paige to have such a loving father here on earth to show her a mere glimpse of our Father’s love for us in heaven. My husband has had father-daughter dates with our daughter since very young. Now at 16 they still enjoy their one-on-one time together. I hope their relationship continues to grow like Paige’s and her daddy until that beutiful day he gives her away. This was sooo precious! You could FEEL the love between Paige and your husband! There you went again…I’m bawling my eyes out on this early Monday morning! :) God bless you and your family.

  6. says

    You chose wisely. I’ll never get over the guilt of choosing a man I believed was a Christian, only to find that he was an alcoholic womanizer. I stayed, for 21 years, praying for a miracle. Finally, when our daughter was in 8th grade, we separated, divorcing at the end of her junior year of high school.
    My girl loves the Lord, she lives to serve Him, and she still adores her daddy, though she watches him as he dates married women, drives drunk and makes choices in all areas of his life that dishonor the Lord.
    It is incredibly painful to watch; to know that I caused this by unequally yoking myself to him. My daughter is now 22, teaching school, and watching as 18 (I’m not even kidding) of her friends have gotten engaged since September….and she feels very “passed over.” She’d never admit that, and she holds herself aloof from me most of the time, but I wish so much that she had a daddy who loves her the right way. I know your daughter is so thankful.

  7. admin says

    WendyB, I was so touched by your comment and your transparent honesty. I want to encourage you with something: As I wrote the post two days ago, God laid it upon my heart that many mothers reading the post and watching the clip (myself included), would feel emotionally conflicted. Conflicted because as women, regardless of our age and stage of life, we know that deep within our souls we too, longed for the kind of fatherly love my husband demonstrated to our daughter. And many of us missed it. But many of us, because of the loss, resolved to break the chains when it comes to marriage and choosing a husband. I want to note that it is not an earthly father (or a godly husband!) that brings the healing, but our heavenly Father.

    I pray that your daughter, like me, with be all the more grateful for her heavenly Father’s love…and all the more careful when it comes to choosing a future husband. You sound like a wonderful mother. God can work His good and perfect plan in any and every situation. I am living proof of that promise. And as for your daughter feeling passed over, my daughter felt that on many occasions, since she refused to date for sport like most girls do today. You might encourage her to read my post about Matt and Paige’s story. He was the first serious relationship she ever had…and God brought him into her life at a time when she too, wondered if she was being “passed over.”

    Thank you again for your honest comments. I pray that the single young women reading this will benefit from your wisdom. You have provided for them, a trickle down timeline of what an unequally yoked relationship can look like after the fact.

  8. says

    This is just beautiful. Thank you for sharing your families love for the Lord and each other to all of us who are big fans of the Courtneys!
    You all are leaving a legacy. Thank you.

  9. Mewaw & Poppy says

    Oh, wow, did this bring tears!! And we were there!! Thanks to our precious Lord for the parents He gave to Paige!! Thanks for remembering for us so we can save it!! Love, M & P

  10. says

    Beautiful, in everyway! I’m thankful for the blessing my husband is to our children. He has always shown them love and they know what a blessing that is.
    Sweet tears, for Paige!

  11. says

    This is such a beautiful, moving post and piece – thank you so much for sharing. Love your books, your Between and other magazines have been such a blessing in our family – thank you so much for all you have done! (A very grateful British mama!) xxx

  12. Amy says

    I too had a very hard time watching that clip…and actually took a few minutes before I could press the play button. Never having a father who was there physically or emotionally for me or my sisters, it was something I wanted for my own girls. Unfortunately, even though my husband is here physically he is not there emotionally for my daughter. I see her pain and longing to please him and be the apple of his eye and it breaks my heart when he isn’t. I think it’s even harder because he is here physically. I often remind her of her Heavenly Father and the amazing love He has for her and that is where she needs to place her trust and her worth. What an incredible blessing you have and what a wonderful legacy he is passing down to his sons. God bless.

  13. CS says

    Mrs Courtney what did you write the post for when we wouldn’t be able to see it after watching the video, you should have put a warning on, read post first major tears with video! But on the serious side, I’ve had a somewhat abusive dad, I’m not trying to make him out to be a baddy or anything but yelling, sometimes at each other, him calling me a swear word and unsupported of many things I’d like to do, and sometime emotional abusive has left us with a bad relationship, (as well as for similar reasons though now swearing and yelling I have a bad relationship to my mum) also seeing my dad leave my sisters in tears many times, shout at them, and hurt them emotional as well as my brother leaves me hurt, my dad it’s a bad dad, but he’s just not really the dad so all of us wanted and needed. This left me in total tears, please tell your husband that even though I don’t know you the testimony of his parenting (and your) touch my heart and gives me hope that maybe someday through the mighty grace of God I mighty be a parents like you two.

  14. Kim says

    Well that just made me bawl! That is the sweetest thing ever! No wonder Paige married such a wonderful godly man – she wanted someone just like her daddy :)

  15. says

    I posted this video on our mentoring FB page along with the following “This is a BEAUTIFUL story; however, even if this is not your story God wants the same love and joy for you. Allow him to be your father if your real father is not your life for whatever the reason. Allow God to place godly people in your life (mentors) who can and will demonstrate the love of God to you, by loving you unconditionally and to help keep you accountable to the ways of God. His ways are not grievous they are to protect you from the ugliness of sin! Esther and Daniel are examples of how God can turn very bad situations into something good, when you place your life in His hands!” So many don’t have this type of story but it is SO refreshing to see and know that when done right we bring honor to God! Thank you for sharing!

  16. donna attaway says

    So touching and special…trying to think of fathers I know who might be inspired by this ….and can give their young daughters a locket like your husband did.
    Also very touching your response to Wendy B. above…
    Thanks for reminding us all of our heavenly father who is the perfect one.

  17. says

    Wow! Thank you so much for sharing this! We have two sweet girls who are still small. Thank you for reminding us that time does indeed go by quickly and what we do today will influence their future! Crying my eyes out over this immense sweetness of daddy/daughter love!

  18. says

    Absolutely delightful and heartwarming and so TRUE! I can’t wait to share this with my son and daughter-in-law for my precious 19 month old granddaughter. I raised sons and love them dearly – but I’m still a daddy’s girl to this day.

  19. says

    This is beautiful! As a mommy of two little girls, 5 and 8 year old, my heart melts when they go out for dates with their daddy. I pray that we will share moments like your video, in the future. God is so good!!!

  20. Amber says

    Wow. So bizarre how I was looking up lockets for my 4 year old daughter, just because I knew she would love it and then I stumble upon this. I was just going to put pictures of out family in it, but then my husband and I saw this and changed our minds for the pictures. He wants to go pick out a specila locket himself now. As a woman who was abandoned by my dad as a 3yo, I know the importance of a daddy’s role in their sweet lives. We are so blessed to have my husband/their daddy and this was truly inspiring!

  21. Bev says

    Vicki, this made me cry…thank you for posting it! My youngest daughter Emily who is 17 has this very same relationship with her daddy! When she was 2 I would find them both up in her room playing barbie’s
    My husband still takes herto the movies and out to dinner!! All this to say but this relationship has delayed her dating…she has yet to have a boyfriend! She has high standards and she knows what she is looking for!
    her two older sister’s didn’t have that. I divorced their father when they were young due to infidelity and other things. My now husband did an amazing job of raising them. However, they knew that he was not their “real father”. They knew that their “real father” abandoned them and so left real hurt and pain.
    They both have suffered greatly for not having this father/daughter relationship. My husband tried to make each of them feel loved and special but the hole couldn’t be filled. They both are Christians and KNOW the Lord….slowly they are allowing their “Heavenly Father” to fill this is deep!!!
    Vicki I thank you for your work with girls and writing books on issues surrounding their precious souls!
    God bless

  22. says

    Thank you, Vicki, for continuing to inspire. I wept uncontrollably when I watched this…a violent shift from the giggles that escaped when I saw the pictures of your husband, son, and grandson under the baby gym! Sent this video to my husband…father of our three daughters. Great is his role in their lives! May God continue to bless your family and your ministry!

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