Fathers, daughters and boys…

Our girls are precious cargo, treasures, like fragile crystal.

HANDLE WITH CARE.

My husband is protective, cautious, wise and strong, and he will go out of his way to make sure our daughters are treated like beautiful creations of God.  My husband used to joke with the girls about the day they brought home a boy. “I will be cleaning my guns.”  He would say, and they believed him.

Many people have asked us what our “policy” is on dating.  Well … that is a deep, deep subject.  I am not going to go into all our “policies” since they are still being formulated, however I will try to share some of our thoughts.  For the first time, we are thinking about this on a serious level as our oldest daughter approaches 16 (gulp) and seems to have a special interest in her life.  While we don’t believe in “controlling our children” and setting up unrealistic rules that will lead them to a life of rebellion and bitterness, we fully plan on locking our girls away until they are 30…ok, not really.  Lets move on.

First of all, we trust our girls. We have had 50 million conversations on the subject of dating, what is a boyfriend, what is just a friend, and what is the purpose of dating.  We thought we had properly indoctrinated our girls to believe that they were made with sugar and spice and everything nice and boys are made of greasy, grimy gopher gutts, and that having a boyfriend before they turned 30 was simply unnecessary.  For the first 10 years of their lives, they bought this, but things changed with the onset of puberty.  Darn it!  On a serious note we have talked with the girls openly and honestly on the subject of dating, asking them lots of questions so they could think through the issues of dating for themselves rather than completely imposing our views.  We wanted them to have buy-in.

A side note – Did you know that many parents, especially dads, tend to reduce their affection for their children during their child’s puberty?  I read this somewhere, and I wish I could remember the article, but it stuck with me.  It’s true that some kids resist affection, no longer do they want any kind of PDA from their parents at school or church etc.  However, during puberty, a child goes through a rollercoaster of emotions and insecurities, and confusion, and lack of understanding of what is happening to them, and outbursts, and crazy head spinning hair-brained moments.  So imagine what happens when a young girl going through puberty doesn’t get hugged and held at home.  Where is she going to go?  DUH!

Back on subject now.

Secondly, my husband has spent the last 16 years of life investing in his girls.  He purposely takes them all out on dates, and treats his girls the way he wants any boy to treat them.  He prays over his girls, and he would die for his precious cargo.

He told Julia, “Any boy who wants to date you will date me as well.”

This is not a scare tactic (though I admit it may be intimidating).  Rather, Stephen wants to know the person who makes his daughter’s heart pitter-patter and he wants any boy to know that his daughter is precious.  There will be expectations passed on.  He wants the best for his daughters.  Nothing wrong with that!

How does Julia feel about this?  She smiles because she knows and loves her dad and trusts him.  She loves the Lord and she wants to do things right.  It makes her a little uncomfortable, but she is not the least resistant to this idea … for which I am grateful.

So my friends, our dating policy is still being formed, but it has Biblical standards attached.  Our ways may not be popular within this world, but we have never worried about being popular in the world.  We don’t have rose-colored glasses on and believe our daughters will never make mistakes, but we will do our best to help them have healthy friendships and relationships with the male species.  As Grace said so well the other night to her older sister, “Let’s keep Jesus between you and your friend.”  J

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11 Comments on “Fathers, daughters and boys…

  1. Julia,
    You’ve got all the right and wise motivations. Stay true to all you’ve written here. Rock on!

  2. I’m Patricia’s oldest daughter. In our family, we like to have strong family bonds that are filled with love and trust, I want my dad to like any guy I bring home. I want to have a trust from my parents, that show’s me that they know I am responsible with a guy. I personally am choosing not to have sex until marriage because I believe that this is something for me and my future husband. I want my parents to approve of any guy I choose to date, because I don’t want to date for causal reasons, and I don’t want to give away my innocence to anyone who I am not in love with. My family means the world to me so with any relationships I want my family involved.

  3. As long as they are being treated well, and are being safe, with proper safe sex techniques, why does it matter if you and your husband like them?

  4. I’m an advocate for group dates…more get to know each other. I’m not sure I yet know the purpose of dating. But I think that if we have friends and then build from there. Maybe we can find whether or not God has a purpose in a further relationship.
    I may be lame; but I didn’t think my parents helped me here. So I want something more reasonable and easy to live with for my kids.
    Chastity is a good thing.

  5. Oh I how would love to be there to see all this happen-truly!! I will be taking notes because you and Steve are such great parents to your girls. Rock on!

  6. Oh boy, here you go. Thank heavens I have three sons. But let me tell you that I was talking to those boys since 5th grade abount unwanted babies and how NOT to become a parent to soon. They must have listened because I still don’t have any unplanned grandchildren. I was very close with my boys and always invited their friends over (girls and boys), I became friendly with their parents and I know where they were at all times. I was strict but loving. Keep those lines of communication open and really LISTEN to what your teens are saying and their body language. I’ll say a few prayers for you Patricia

  7. Grace is very wise LOL Coming from a girl who lost her dad at 12, having him there is soooo important. And I love that they “date the family” that’s what we do over here as well. We’re such a close-knit family, especially since the loss of our dad, that if a guys not willing to meet our family within a couple dates then they are O-U-T! LOL

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