Posts tagged interviewing your daughters date

Interviewing Mister Maybe



This summer, I gave my two oldest daughters away in marriage to men who last year had asked for my blessing.

Today, I’m getting together with another young man, who has asked to date my youngest daughter. He’s the first one.

DaddyDaughterHandYou would think this would be old hat for me by now, but I’m still nervous and a bit unsure. I mean, talking about purity and honor is not the typical conversation you’d strike up with a relative stranger who’s 40 years your junior. But I’m also convinced that this is one of the best things I can do for any young man who has an interest in my daughter.

It’s not a “patriarchal” thing or a control thing. It’s really more about love and stewardship; about giving guidance and bestowing value.

Based on my experience, this guy probably won’t be the one who marries my daughter one day—the first one usually isn’t. But he might be. I want him to know that he needs to treat my daughter with the same honor that I treat her, and that I treat my wife. If he’s not the one who will marry my daughter, I still know that my daughter will likely marry some day, and the young man I’m meeting with today is likely to marry another young lady. So as early as this weekend, this boy and my daughter will each be on a date with somebody’s future spouse.

If marriage is years off for the two of them, why focus on that right now? Because in a woman’s search for Mr. Right, there are a lot of Mr. Wrongs who are more than willing to burden her with their baggage—some of which she’ll carry with her into marriage. But, mostly, it’s a focus because marriage is a good standard by which to teach relationship integrity.

Interviewing Mister Maybe

Before you get the idea that I’m going to screen this boy as a possible life-suitor or that I’m going to torture him with the third degree, it’s nothing like that. It will just be a friendly conversation over ice cream or a shake where we get to know each other and freely talk about our intentions and expectations. I’ll let him know that I’m not just interested in my daughter’s welfare, but his as well. He’ll know that my intentions are completely honorable. If I find that his aren’t, it will be a short meeting. If his are honorable, it should be a good time.

I’ll ask him about his family, about himself, and about his interests, including my daughter. I’ll compliment him on his taste in young ladies, and I’ll tell how much I think of her as well. I’ll let him know that I’ve given my life to protecting her and helping her become the young woman God created her to be. I’ll let him know that in giving him permission to date her, I’m also entrusting to him the responsibility of respecting her moral purity and putting her before himself.

I want him to respect her. I want him to respect me. But I also want him to respect himself. As a man-in-training, he needs to strive toward nobler standards of selflessness, protection and thoughtfulness. I want him to know that I’m calling him up, maybe even to be better than he thinks he can be. I want to call him up to be his best, just as his own dad would.

I actually did this with the youngest of my four sons when he first started dating. I met with the father of the girl he was dating and told him what standards I expected of my son in how he treated his daughter. I even gave him a copy of the book that inspired me to meet with any boy who was interested in any of my daughters.

Interviewing Your Daughter’s Date is a really quick read that’s encouraging and practical. Dennis Rainey gives dads eight points to cover in the interview that turn what otherwise would be an uncomfortable chat into a vision-building call to manhood.

  1. A woman is God’s creation, a beautiful creation, a fine creation.
  2. The attraction of a young man to a young woman is both normal and good,
  3. I understand and remember what the sex drive of a young man is like.
  4. I am going to hold you accountable for your relationship with my daughter.
  5. I’m going to challenge you to purity.
  6. I want you to respect and uphold the dignity of my daughter by keeping your hands off her.
  7. Do you understand all of what I’ve just said to you?
  8. When you’re a dad someday, I hope you will challenge your own children to abide by these standards and that you will interview your daughter’s dates. Can I count on you?

The book has more detail, including a sample conversation. It also includes personal reflections from Dennis based on the dozens of interviews he’s done, and thanks from his daughters who have avoided carrying baggage into their marriages.

I want my daughters to know that I value them and am willing to fight for them, and I want them each to find a lifelong spouse who will do the same. But above that, I want them to know that they’re valued infinitely more by their Heavenly Father who sees them for all their beauty and design and doesn’t want them to settle for anything less.

© 2015 by FamilyLife. All rights reserved.

STEPSeek - 10-point checklistYou just finished reading Scott Williams’ post, “Interviewing Mister Maybe” on the Stepping Up blog for men.

STEPThink - 10-point checklistA girl really desires a real relationship with her dad. Read “How to Really Know Your Daughter.”

STEPEmbrace - 10-point checklistDennis Rainey talks to dads of daughters on the FamilyLife Today broadcast about navigating the dating years 

STEPPass - 10-point checklistGet the book Interviewing Your Daughter’s Date to have on hand for your daughter. Share this post with other dads.

Protecting Your son from aggressive girls (part 3)



Aggressive girls and clueless boys. A dangerous combination. What should we do as parents? Dennis Rainey shares some insight.

Note: This is the third piece in a series of blog posts related to the growing cultural issue of girls becoming much more aggressive toward boys when it comes to relationships and sexual activity.  Yesterday, I outlined things you need to be aware of and some of the reasons we have come to this place in boy/girl relationships and how to protect your sons from aggressive girls.  Whenever I discuss this issue, parents ask me, “How do we address this issue with our daughters?”  That’s what I focus on today.

If you are raising a daughter, there are at least four things you should consider:

1)  Equip your daughter with a biblical, healthy, God-centered perspective of her sexuality. She needs to understand how her clothes and her behavior affect boys.  When girls are too flirty or too friendly with the opposite sex, they need to be told. If you witness this kind of behavior, rehearse it and relive it later on and talk about what it does to guys.  Explain what is appropriate in terms of a friendly relationship between a young lady and a young man. This needs to be done without being rude, but we cannot let our daughters get away with being overly friendly or overly aggressive.

2)  Moms, model what you teach to your daughters. You need to dress appropriately, the way you would want your teenage daughters to dress when they’ve matured. There is a mixed signal that is sent when a mom is telling her daughter to dress conservatively, but her own clothes call too much attention to her body.

3)  Dads, actively love your daughters.  Give your daughter words of affection, warm hugs, and gentle kisses that let her know that she’s sweet, you’re her daddy, and that no matter how big she gets and how mature she is, you’re never going to stop giving her those words and those hugs. No matter how threatening that may be as your daughter matures, you need to let her know that there’s a wholesome love through words and affection that occurs within a God-centered family.

4)  Appropriately correct inappropriate behavior.   Pray about how you should instruct her, help her, and correct her.  Then begin to train her as to what is appropriate and what isn’t. This could be everything from how she looks at guys, to the makeup she wears, to the clothing she wears.

One of the most important things I did with our daughters was to go shopping with them.  It was important for two reasons:  It showed me how difficult it was for them to find appropriate clothing that is modest and fashionable; and secondly, it allowed me to give my approval or disapproval before the purchase was made.

Whether you’re a mom or dad, and whether you’re raising boys or girls, your children need your love and guidance as never before.  They need to be loved when they don’t believe in themselves.  They need to be clothed in wisdom that morally protects them like armor.

What do you think about the nature of aggressive girls in relationships?  What have you done to prepare your sons, talk to your daughters and raise them both to honor God and His word when it comes to dating and relationships?

Check out this FamilyLife Today series on Aggressive Girls.

Protecting your son from aggressive girls (part 2)



Aggressive girls and clueless boys. A dangerous combination. What should we do as parents? Dennis Rainey shares some insight.

Note: As a follow-up to yesterday’s blog post, “Aggressive Girls, Clueless Boys,” here’s another article that shares more help about how to protect boys from aggressive girls. This is not a crusade against young girls; rather we are dealing with a relatively new cultural phenomenon that many parents didn’t experience growing up and may not be adequately prepared to educate and help their children to face.

One of my primary responsibilities as the father of four daughters was to help protect them from losing their innocence, especially as they approached the adolescent years.  As part of this effort, I met and talked with nearly every young man who wanted to go out with my girls. I asked specific questions and challenged these young men to a high standard of purity.

These experiences led to my book, Interviewing Your Daughter’s Date, which was published in 2007.  I received a lot of positive feedback from appreciative dads, but I also got something that I didn’t expect.  Quite a few parents contacted me to say, “I really appreciate the helpful advice for raising daughters, but we need something to help our sons deal with aggressive girls in this sexually-saturated culture.”

Read this mother’s frustration:

I have a very outgoing, charming, attractive 15-year-old son.  I have literally been chasing the girls away from the door ever since the seventh grade. The phone calls, identified by caller ID, were left for the answering machine to answer. The aggressiveness and promiscuity of young girls nowadays is beyond words. Their dress is so alluring and inviting to a young man, what’s a guy to do? Moreover, what’s a mom to do?

Another mother wrote after hearing the FamilyLife Today™ broadcast we did on my book:

After listening to yourInterviewing Your Daughter’s Date program today, I’m wondering if you have been on a high school or junior high campus recently. While I agree with your points today, I have a seventh grade son. Let me tell you that the girls are relentless. So aggressive. He’s at a Christian school, and this is a problem. I can only imagine what it may be like elsewhere. Please address this issue.

Back when I was growing up, there were some girls who were called “boy crazy,” but very few were as forward and aggressive as what we’re seeing today.  Based on my conversation with parents, and what I’ve seen through research on the Internet, I think parents are facing some serious challenges.  We’re seeing more girls taking the initiative with guys at younger and younger ages, and aggressively attempting to lure them into sexual activity.  As I’ve done research on the issue, parents are telling me about groups of girls getting together and targeting young men.

Of course, I’m not talking about all young ladies.  But the situation has changed enough in recent years that we need to ask: How can we prepare our teenage sons for dealing with the attention and temptation being thrown at them by some sexually aggressive girls?

What in the world is happening?

What is going on in the hearts of some young girls that causes them to be so assertive?  I think there are several reasons for what we are seeing:

First, the culture is supporting it.  Movies, television shows, commercials, magazines, books … they all glamorize sex and intimacy and the right of young women to go after whatever it is they think will make them happy.

Second, we have a whole generation of young men who are confused in their own sexual identity. Are they supposed to be sensitive or aggressive? Leaders or helpers?  Many young men today are not being taught how to treat a young lady with nobility, dignity, and respect. Many are growing up without a father or male figure to provide guidance.  As a result, some of these young men have no idea how they should expect to be treated by a real young lady.

Third, the breakdown of the family has resulted in a whole generation of daughters who have been abandoned. And in the absence of a healthy, emotional attachment to their fathers and mothers, they’re trying to fill their emotional gas tanks with the opposite sex.

Finally, there’s little or no preparation for adolescence occurring among parents of preteens or early teens.  This may be the core problem.  When you ask parents of preteens how many of them would like their children to have the same experience they had in adolescence, there aren’t many hands that go up.  But those same parents often become increasingly detached as their children move into the adolescent years.

Teenagers need training to understand the culture, peer pressure, what’s happening internally with their hormones, and what’s happening with the opposite sex. That’s why we have resources like Passport2Purity® to help parents ground their children in the Scripture that anchors their hearts to withstand the winds of culture and peer pressure.

Protecting your boys

There are six assumptions you need to make in training and educating your sons in how to handle aggressive girls:

Assumption #1: Young boys are clueless to a lot of what is going on around them.  They need to be prepared for the reality of today’s world, and this preparation needs to start while they are still boys. This is why I’d suggest that mothers and fathers talk with their 10- to 12-year-old sons about how they relate to the opposite sex before they face the temptation.  There’s a much greater probability of success if you can have these conversations before the hormones hit.

Assumption #2: Aggressive girls will likely come into your son’s life.   The problem is that most parents won’t know it, because teenage boys don’t talk about anything. But it could be taking place in your son’s life and he’s just not letting you know, so you have to pursue him in the process.

Assumption #3: You, as a parent, need a proactive plan. That plan will involve fathers and sons, but …

Assumption #4: Moms, that plan needs to involve you. You know how girls think and you can help your son understand girls in ways that a father can’t.

Assumption #5: With a son, this instruction, teaching, and call to accountability doesn’t end with the adolescent years. It continues on into adulthood.  (And in my opinion, it doesn’t stop after they get married.) Why? Because there are women who are still preying upon men who are married, and every man needs an older man in his life who is asking him, “Remember those conversations we had, Son? You’re a married man now, but that does not exempt you from temptation. How are you doing with that?”

Assumption #6: Your son needs a call to manhood.  Ultimately, the call to a young man is to step up and become a noble man, a moral man, a spiritual man, God’s man. You’re going to call your sons as they move through adolescence to step up to maturity and step up to real manhood. And to do that, they need a mother and a father repetitively teaching Scripture and encouraging them as they do take these steps toward maturity.

I think one of the finest illustrations of this is in Proverbs, chapters 5-7. In this passage, the writer was reflecting back on conversations he had with his son about aggressive women. And over and over he basically says, “Listen, my son. Hear my warnings. Embrace what I say, because it’s important.”

The writer concludes the whole passage by saying in 7:24-27, “Don’t fool around with her, Son. Don’t go near her. Because she runs a halfway house to hell, and she has your grave clothes and your coffin, Son. Heads up. This is dangerous stuff we’re talking about here” (my paraphrase).

One other Scripture your son should be familiar with, and commit to memory, is 2 Timothy 2:22: “Now flee from youthful lusts and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart.”

That passage is equally helpful for young men and young women. And while we’re on the subject, what if you have daughters — how do you keep them from being drawn into this culture of aggressive girls?  (Come back tomorrow to learn the answer.)

Aggressive Girls, Clueless Boys (part 1)



Aggressive girls and clueless boys. A dangerous combination. What should we do as parents? Dennis Rainey shares some insight.

It was just a routine check. When Susan and Tom gave 13-year-old Josh his first cell phone, they told him that they would occasionally look through his text messages. But Susan was completely unprepared for what she found that Saturday morning.

She waded through a couple hundred short, inane messages, more than slightly confused by the shorthand that kids use when texting. She was struck by the fact that Josh and his friends seemed to text each other more than they actually talked. And then something different popped up. There was no confusion about this message: “If you could have sex with me, would you?”

Her mind spinning in disbelief, Susan continued looking through the texts. And a story began to emerge: While hanging out with some friends a couple of weeks earlier, Josh had met a girl from another school. They began texting each other the next day, and it was clear that she had quickly begun pursuing him sexually. With suggestive language, she talked about what she wanted to do with him, and within a few days she lured him into sneaking out of his house in the middle of the night so they could meet for sex at a relative’s empty apartment. “I’m wearing a thong,” she wrote. “Can you sneak out tonight?”

Susan was so stunned that she could hardly breathe. Josh has never had a girlfriend, never even kissed a girl, she thought. We’ve raised him in a good home. How could this happen?

In a daze, she found her husband and filled him in. He was just as shocked. They knew they would someday need to talk with Josh’s younger sisters about how to handle boys who wanted sex, but they never expected this.

A shift in our culture

Sex among teenagers is old news, unfortunately, as are the trends of aggressive boys pursuing girls, men pursuing women, and adult women pursuing adult men. But a growing number of parents like Tom and Susan are learning that something has shifted in our culture over the last few decades.

Increasingly, girls are aggressively pursuing boys — in high school, middle school, and even earlier — in numbers we never saw in the past. The rules have changed, and many parents are asking for help in how to protect their young sons. This shift has caught them by surprise, and they don’t know what to do. (Check out this story from the New York Times written back in 2002) here’s an excerpt from the piece: “Many girls attributed their forwardness with boys to the gains of feminism, which promotes parity between boys and girls in fields like sports and education. The message of empowerment has been translated by 15-year-old girls into the worlds of dating and sex, and while many girls approve, some of their elders are skeptical.”)

A few years ago, I wrote a book entitled Interviewing Your Daughter’s Date. I challenged dads to man up and take steps to protect the purity of their daughters. Interviewing a young man who wants to date your daughter is a good way to filter out the undesirables, so to speak, and call young men to treat a young lady’s sexuality with respect and nobility.

After that book was published, I heard stories about fathers who stepped up and had some great heart-to-heart conversations with young men. But what I didn’t expect were the messages from readers and FamilyLifeToday® radio listeners asking for help in protecting their sons from aggressive girls. Here is a sample:

“We have three grown daughters and a 16-year-old son. You would think our family would have experienced plenty of aggressive behavior from boys toward our daughters, but nothing compares with what I see our son going through.”

“I have a 14-year-old son. He is contacted by girls all the time on Facebook and texts. One went so far as to take pictures of herself in scant clothing (in my opinion) and send them to him. This occurred without the knowledge of her parents and when my son was in seventh grade.”

“My 10-year-old son was enticed by another fifth grade girl via e-mail to open another e-mail account so that I couldn’t monitor it. But I found it and canceled it. She is sending e-mail messages and e-cards to him and two of his friends in a love quadrangle that she’s brilliantly orchestrated.”

“I have two sons who attend public school. Recently, they were talking at the dinner table about the girls that grab their butts in the hallways. My husband and I were shocked. They said, ‘Welcome to public school, Mom!'”

“I have a 13-year-old boy, an 11-year-old boy, and a 7-year-old boy. All of them have been pursued by girls. I think what shocks me the most is the encouragement from the parents of the girls who mistakenly think it is ‘cute.'”

“We recently were hunting for a church nearer to our home. We found a good one, except that girls in the youth group zeroed in on our son like heat-seeking missiles.”

There have always been girls who are flirty and crazy about boys, even some girls who could be labeled as “bad girls.” You probably remember a few from your own days as a teenager. But now, the “bad girl” problem is becoming more commonplace. Over and over, parents are expressing the same concern: Girls are pursuing their sons more openly and relentlessly than ever before. They are calling, texting, sending suggestive photos, setting up romantic liaisons … and they’re doing these things at a younger age.

I want to make it very clear that I am not placing all the blame for teenage promiscuity on girls. I also understand that parents need to protect their daughters from aggressive boys, especially as those boys move into the latter years of high school and beyond. A shocking number of men and boys have, and continue to be, sexual predators. I make absolutely no excuses for them. But I’ve heard from enough parents to realize that we also have a growing problem with aggressive girls.  And most parents tell me they just aren’t prepared for it.

The need for a plan

The fact is that many parents just don’t realize how little training they are giving their adolescent and pre-adolescent sons in how to relate to the opposite sex. I’m not just talking about sex education; our boys need to learn what to expect in adolescence — and beyond — and how to handle it. Temptation, lust, and sexual attraction are bearing down on them. They need to be prepared. You need to prepare them.

I wrote my recent book, Aggressive Girls, Clueless Boys, to offer time-tested counsel to empower you to teach and equip your son to understand a biblical perspective of sex and how to protect himself from seductive girls who would do him harm. I write about three commitments you need to make as a parent that will keep you engaged in your son’s life as he moves through the years of high hormonal temptation.

And I discuss seven conversations you must have with your son. Six of these are founded on passages from the book of Proverbs and focus on helping your son understand what God says in the Bible about maintaining sexual purity. These conversations are intensely practical and will help you establish boundaries for your son and also prepare him for specific situations he will face with aggressive girls both now and later in adulthood. Each of these chapters ends with a suggested step-by-step guide for directing the conversation with your son.

They thought they had more time

Tom and Susan, the parents in the story at the beginning of this article, found themselves dropped in the middle of a minefield. Their son, Josh, had never even been on a date, so they were shocked to find that he had become sexually active. When they met with Josh and told him that they knew what was going on, he tried to deny the extent of his involvement. But the evidence was clear, and he finally admitted what he had done.

Tom and Susan immediately took away Josh’s cell phone, shut down his Facebook page, and grounded him from going out with friends for a period of time. They made sure he kept busy with school and sports, so that he wouldn’t have idle time. And they moved him out of his downstairs bedroom into a room upstairs with his little brother.

The wounds were still fresh when Susan related the story. “Josh knows this isn’t what God wants for him.” But the future seems unclear. How do you restore a child to a path of purity after he’s already lost his virginity … at age 13? They are praying that God will use the experience for good in Josh’s life.

“I wish we had known these things were going on,” Susan said. “I think we would have been more prepared.”

 

Adapted by permission from Aggressive Girls, Clueless Boys, by Dennis Rainey with David Boehi.  ©2012 by Dennis Rainey.  FamilyLife Publishing.

Check out this FamilyLife Today series on Aggressive Girls.

 

Subscribe via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.