I’m a father of three young daughters. They are an absolute joy; and my wife and I thank God for them daily. There’s not much a father would not do for his daughter; but often times dads just simply don’t know how to father their daughters. So I’m always thankful for material geared to helping dads father their little (and bigger) girls. The Mars Hill Blog has ben publishing a series of articles on parenting daughters and I have found them very helpful (and slightly entertaining).
Today, I read an article about how to father your daughter as they enter into a dating relationship. Being a father of three girls, I constantly hear things like “oh boy, these girls are cute…those teen years are going to be rough” or “wow Heath, you better get your gun ready.” Though I understand the sentiments (after 15 years of student ministry and pastoring teenage girls and their parents, believe me…I KNOW!), I’m also hoping that groundwork being laid now during my daughter’s early years will begin to fortify not only my relationship with them, but, more importantly, their relationship with the Lord. But if I have to tactfully threaten a few boys here and there, believe me, Papa Heath won’t pull any punches.
It will probably go something like this: “Look kid, I’ve been to prison before…I don’t mind going back. Remember that throughout the night.”
But seriously, I’m grateful when older and more seasoned dads, who have gone before us in raising godly daughters, are willing to pass their lessons and experiences on to the younger generation of fathers. Today’s article by Pastor Dave Bruskas entitled “Poor Pablo | Parenting Daughters #7” was very helpful. Here’s a blurb:
Dads must carefully consider the following as they shepherd their daughters through the minefield of romantic relationships:
- Idolatry is a greater initial threat than sexual immorality for your daughter as she relates to boys. Spiritually and emotionally immature young women will always struggle to love Jesus more than a boyfriend when given the chance. And Jesus teaches us it is from the heart (the place of worship and idolatry) that immorality flows (Matthew 15:17-19);
- It is most important that a young man respect you and fear the consequences of mistreating your daughter. You can’t be a buddy to your daughter’s boyfriend and her bodyguard simultaneously (1 Timothy 5:1-2); and,
- An exclusive and serious relationship really can’t go anywhere profitable for your daughter until she is mature enough for marriage (Song of Solomon 3:5).
[So,] I gathered myself and went to work on Pablo. I explained to him that I played three roles as Lisa’s dad: I was her pastor, her protector, and her provider. And if he was willing to accept a mission for this night only, I would deputize him to protect her. I made it clear I would gladly die to guard her from harm and expected him to do the same. His eyes widened while hers fell to the floor as she blushed. He nervously accepted my terms now aware of the seriousness of his responsibility.
Being in youth ministry for 15 years, I’ve observed (and partnered with) many parents trying to help their daughters navigate through the teen years unscathed and pure. I’m aware of the struggles. But, to the praise of God, I’ve seen many parents and daughters do it well and, with God’s help and by his grace, they come out the other side of the teen years with a vibrant devotion to God and Kingdom work. May we, the body of Christ, continue to support one another as we strive to raise our children for the glory of God.
Heavenly Father, guide us and aid us as we pursue your very best for the daughters you have entrusted to us. May they come to know you and love you more and more. Amen.