Depending on your family convictions you may only have 14 years. Then your baby girl will be choosing the young man she’ll/you’ll allow to take her out. That means you have very limited time to demonstrate for her the kind of young man she should look for. There are a number of characteristics you should demonstrate for your precious young lady.
- Chivalry – I want my baby girl to fall in love with a man who understands the importance of tenderness and gentlemanly care in the little things like opening her door, walking her on the side away from traffic, showing her honor in public and in private. If this is what I want, and it is, then I need to help her get used to being treated like that so she’ll be turned off by young men who don’t. As she grows up in my home accustomed to the respect she deserves my prayer is that she’ll expect nothing less from her potential husband.
- Selflessness – This is perhaps the hardest to demonstrate and for young men to exemplify since it scrapes against our fleshly nature. It will be my job and privilege to demonstrate to my daughter through years of daddy daughter dates initiative that seeks to serve her rather than myself. This may mean silly dress up dates and pretend picnics rather than a ball game or golf outing. This may mean a night at the playground pushing her in the swing rather than a day in the woods shooting paint balls. I want to train her to search for a young man who is mature enough to take initiative yet selfless enough to serve her rather than himself in that initiative.
- Purity – At the appropriate time this is not just a discussion for moms to have with their daughters. Dads have a unique perspective they’re able to offer on this subject. How certain dress attracts uninvited attention, how certain touch provokes unintended desires are both topics dads can disciple and give wisdom to their daughters in ways different than moms are able. It is essential for us to help our daughters see the way men process external appearance and touch and perhaps how different it is from the way women intend.
- Affection – God has wired our daughters to seek affection. Sadly many daughters seek it in wrong places because they never received it from daddy. These are great opportunities to show how you love them, respect them, think they are pretty, care for them, and desire to serve them. As their young wells of affection are filled to overflowing our prayer is that it encourages patience and discernment in the dating process.
- Devotion – Not to our daughters but to Christ. The previous four could be met and we still weep over our daughter’s choice if this final one doesn’t motivate them all. Ultimately our desire to love and serve our daughters flows from our devotion to the one who loves her more, Jesus Christ. Dates with our daughters provide excellent opportunities to sow seeds of the gospel and regularly bring them the refreshing life giving water they need as we talk about the glory of Christ and show the love of Christ by how we serve them.
The days are evil. The young men our daughters will one day marry are inundated with images, thoughts, ideas, and advice that would appall us. While we humbly do our best to demonstrate in our marriage relationships the man they should choose and persistently set the example through regular daddy daughter dates it’s been said God doesn’t do a thing but by the prayers of his people. May we be just as persistent and bold as we lift this young man perhaps only weeks or years old at this point to the throne of grace, pleading on his behalf for God to develop and grow His love and devotion to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. May his parents prepare his little heart to one day passionately serve Christ as he passionately serve my baby girl.