Posts tagged teenage daughter

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.

After Miley: Thoughts on raising daughters

686030aWhen I first heard about Miley Cyrus’s performance at the VMA Awards last week, I heard a cynical, Oh, here we go again, go through my head.  Another young celebrity gone wild.

So, I started thinking, how can I make sure that I raise my own daughter so she will never turn out like that girl?

As shocking as they were, the writhing, pole-dancing moves made by Miley Cyrus may not be an anomaly.  Miley may just be the public face of what many of your young girls are doing at their own private parties every weekend.   Young girls need a lot of attention from their fathers when they are growing up, or they will look for it in the young boys and young men around them.  Not just Miley Cyrus, but every young lady out there.  So, dads, what can you and I do?

First, we need to give our daughters real, sincere affection.  Physical hugs and attention.  Raising daughters means building up their self-esteem and inner strength.  It’s up to us.  There is nothing that can replace the love of a daddy in a daughter’s heart.  Also, dads, we have to relentlessly pursue our daughters’ hearts for the Lord.  Keep tabs on where our daughters’ time goes, where they are, whom they are with, and what they are doing.  Be the dad.  Learn to say no when you need to.

Dad, it may be that if you have a teenage daughter, and she has not received the attention from you she needed, she may already be showing too much of herself to young men.  Try to find out.  Don’t sit her down and confront her.  Instead, take the advice of Dr. Meg Meeker, who writes in her book, Your Kids at Risk, that if we want to know what our tweens and teens are doing, we should not rely on asking them. Hate to break it to you, but sometimes kids lie.  Rather, we should ask them what their friends are doing, because that is what our kids are really doing.

Lovingly and casually attempt to draw out from your daughter what her friends are involved in.  Find out where and with whom she spends her time.  Change your behavior with your daughter.   Fill her needs for love, attention and self-value.  Let her know that she is God’s daughter and yours.  See if with a bit of time you see a change in her attitude and heart.

It’s always a great idea to have your kids and their friends spend their time at your house, rather than out and about.  Make your house the house to hang out at!  Have sodas and snacks on hand as much as possible.  Be hospitable. Yeah, even to teenagers.  If you can, have a fire pit, make s’mores, whatever.  But, we must step up and be there for our daughters.

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