The following is an excerpt from Dan Elliott, the individual who photographed the Abstinence Clearinghouse’s Purity Ball event on Saturday, January 27:

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 a lot of dad’s it’s a struggle because we are far from perfect and we have made some pretty big mistakes and poor choices.

At this Purity Ball put on by 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.

Dads, 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.