My wife Nanci and I raised two daughters whom I respect deeply. When the first was born the Christian doctor said to me in the delivery room, “Sorry, dad. It’s a girl.” I looked at him without appreciation and said, “I prayed we’d have a girl.” A girl was what I wanted and I’ve never had a moment’s regret that God gave me girls instead of boys. I look at Karina and Angie, now moms in their thirties, and I am delighted to see their hearts for Christ and the ways God has gifted them.
What a joy and privilege to have entrusted our precious daughters to the lifelong care of two godly men who seek to honor our Lord Jesus. Nanci and I couldn’t be happier with the fathers of our treasured grandsons. To have the husbands of my girls be the kind of men who honor and serve and lead them is a blessing and answer to prayer that overwhelms me at times and brings me to tears of gratitude to our Lord.
In this blog, Jen Wilkin shares some excellent thoughts on raising daughters who will attract the right kind of men:
On daughters and dating: how to intimidate suitors
I have two teen-aged daughters, so it was with some interest that I read a recent post entitled “Application to Date My Daughter”. It was pretty funny, playing on the idea of the stereotypical shotgun-toting father and the mortified daughter as they negotiate the tricky terrain of a first date. Then Christian bloggers grabbed the concept, and for the most part, these versions were funny, too. There were some common themes: slouchy-panted unemployed suitors, dads breathing out Chuck Norris-inspired threats. I didn’t lose my well-developed sense of humor until I made the tactical error of glancing at some of the comments. And then I was just flat-out sad.
Here is the comment that made me the saddest, posted by a well-meaning young Christian father:
“Bro, this is awesome. My daughter’s only 2, but I am printing this for my fridge. Thanks for your godly example.”
Okay, joke’s over. Bro. Let’s talk strategy for a second. Is that all you’ve got? You need a better plan than these low-level intimidation techniques. After all, she’s your DAUGHTER, for Pete’s sake. So let’s talk frankly about what you need to do to guard her interests when it comes to dating. Instead of brandishing a shotgun or breaking out an application, you need to build a wall.
That’s right, you heard me – build a wall. Go all “Rapunzel”. Build it so high that only the strongest of suitors can scale it. But don’t wait until your baby girl is a teenager, Bro – start now. Start yesterday. There’s no time to waste.
Build a wall
In Song of Solomon 8:8-9 we hear a family’s hope that their young sister will grow into a woman of strength and dignity. Can you guess what metaphor they use to describe that kind of woman? A wall. Their sister assures them in verse 10 that she is indeed a wall, complete with towers. Her statement indicates an assurance that she is not only strong, but able to defend herself against any unworthy suitors. That’s what you want, Bro – you want a wall.
Here’s the problem with shotgun jokes and applications posted on the fridge: to anyone paying attention, they announce that you fully expect your daughter to have poor judgment. Be assured that your daughter is paying attention. And don’t be shocked if she meets your expectation. You might want to worry less about terrorizing or retro-fitting prospective suitors and worry more about preparing your daughter to choose wisely. And that means building a wall.
Instead of intimidating all your daughter’s potential suitors, raise a daughter who intimidates them just fine on her own. Because, you know what’s intimidating? Strength and dignity. Deep faith. Self-assuredness. Wisdom. Kindness. Humility. Industriousness. Those are the bricks that build the wall that withstands the advances of old Slouchy-Pants, whether you ever show up with your Winchester locked and loaded or not. The unsuitable suitor finds nothing more terrifying than a woman who knows her worth to God and to her family.
Randy Alcorn (@randyalcorn) is the author of over sixty books and the founder and director of Eternal Perspective Ministries.