David Loh tells City News about his “date” with his daughter last year, and why he is looking forward to another one this year.
By Kenneth Koh
David Loh, 44, a doctor, was a little nervous about his date. The idea of going on this particular date was not his, but his wife’s.
Loh’s date for the day was his 13-year-old daughter, Rayna Loh. They attended Date with Dad, an annual event organized by Focus On The Family Singapore to give fathers a chance to openly show their love and commitment to their daughters. To make the event more significant, it is usually held on a weekend near Valentine’s Day.
When he first got to know about the event through his church, Loh was fairly interested. “Josh McDowell once said in his book that how a daughter is treated by her dad is one of the most important determinants as to how she will turn out in the future in terms of relationships. I had always wanted to build a closer relationship with Rayna, that’s why I thought bringing her on a date is a good idea.”
This interest, however, did not translate into immediate action. “It almost became a case of ‘wanted to, almost got round to it, but never did’. In the end, my wife was the one who saved the day. She registered us both and only told us about it after registration,” he shared.
“I was quite eager to have a first proper one-on-one date with Rayna, to show her how her dates of the future should behave and treat her—with Christian values, respect, gentleness and gentlemanliness. On the other hand, I was slightly anxious that it would be an awkward few hours.”
As it turned out, the date was more memorable than awkward. The fun began as the Lohs stepped into the restaurant at Changi Beach Club . As they took part in the meaningful sessions during the date, the father-daughter pairs ended up having more fun than they expected … And when the time came for a heart-to-heart talk, they found materials in their welcome pack to guide the interaction. David and Rayna discovered that they were able to discuss personal issues, like dating, sex, and their commitment to the Lord, that ordinarily, would not have taken place in their busy lives.
“In the conversation we had, I found out that she actually wanted to go out one-on-one with me! It was a pleasant surprise. I also found she knew more about the birds and bees, dating and relationships issues than I thought,” Loh recalled.
A pleasant surprise was in store for Loh when Rayna went on stage and read a poem dedicated to him. This little surprise, which was pleasantly engineered by Loh’s wife and a FOTF staff member was something Loh says he will never forget. “I was so overwhelmed with emotion! I felt my heart well up and almost burst with happiness and pride. Just then, I truly understood what a blessing my daughter has been to me, and I was very thankful to the Lord. I only wished I had thought of doing the same for her.”
When the day came to an end, Loh found that it was the first time he had had a chance to talk to Rayna about relationships in a cozy one-to-one setting. He also observed that many other father-daughter pairs were having just as much fun as they were, chatting and laughing.
This year, Loh and Rayna are looking forward to another time of bonding at Date With Dad 2012. “The date was a major milestone in my relationship with Rayna, as it marked a transition for her into young adulthood; it was actually her first date! It also deepened our father-daughter communication, and after the event, we felt like we’re closer to each other. It is so critical, because the relationship a girl has with her father will greatly influence her choice of a future husband.”
Date With Dad takes place on Feb.11 this year at the Regent Hotel. Besides a buffet of sumptuous hi-tea delicacies, the organizers have also lined up a photo-taking session, pack of questions for dads and daughters, performances, letter-writing, a fathers’ pledge and ring presentation.
If you would like to take part and build a stronger relationship with your daughter, register today at at http://hosted.family.org.sg/DwD/pghight.html.