One of the many climactic moments of a wedding is the entrance of the bride. All eyes in the church turn and gaze at her. Although most eyes remain on the radiant bride on her special day, one cannot forget or overlook the man next to her, who escorts her to her soon-to-be-husband. In an article published by Verily Magazine, a women offers her personal reflection on her own relationship with her father. The author highlights how a father’s love is truly transformational in every aspect of a girl’s life, especially concerning the men who enter in and out of her life, as she grows older.

She reflects, “The security that my dad gave me meant that I didn’t feel like I had to go out and seek validation from guys before I was ready for romantic relationships.” On top of a personal experience with her father, the author notes that recent research also validates influence a father can have on his daughter. “Daughters who perceive that their fathers care a lot about them, who feel connected to their fathers, have significantly fewer suicide attempts and fewer instances of body dissatisfaction, depression, and low self-esteem,” writes Dr. Meg Meeker in her book Strong Fathers, Strong Daughters. Daughters who have a strong and healthy relationship with their fathers are also proven less likely to drop out of college and more likely to abstain from sex before marriage. The author additionally states that her close relationship with her dad served as an example for what she looks for and expects in men. This can ultimately help women to avoid “settling” for relationships that strip away their worthiness, and cause them to stray from the truth that they are good, beautiful, and loved.

The loving and steadfast presence of a father or father figure is vital to a healthy and wholesome upbringing of the child. It is never too late to invite a daughter or son into this love, to escort them to the reality of what they so desperately seek and desire.