This post was inspired by a recent post at Raising Arrows…because my creative brain is not being inspired on it’s own these days…
When my oldest child is two months from the age of four do I have the right to share my opinion on dating? I say yes, simply because…I have a child, three actually, that will one day cross this road. As everything else in my heart, my view on dating has changed over the years. God has a way of doing that you know. I also feel I can share my opinion because I was in the dating world for close to ten years before getting married and was smothered in the “boyfriend-girlfriend” way of life from a very early age.
The actual idea of courtship is very new to both Nate and me. We are still learning the basic idea and have a better understanding of why the traditional role of dating is not what we want for our children than why so-called courtship is the answer. I pray that we both grow on this issue as our children’s need for our guidance on this issue grows.
That being said, allow me to share with you a story that is rather eye opening from Voddie Baucham’s What He Must Be...if he wants to marry my daughter. I will attempt a paraphrase so as not to be too lengthy.
Jack sits by the fire with all the pieces of his gun cleaning kit lined up. Tonight, cleaning his gun has a dual purpose. One to clean his gun, two to scare the lights out of the sixteen year old about to arrive at his front door. Jack has been waiting for this day since the day he brought her home. He knew the day would arrive when the young men would come. At 6:59 the doorbell rang and Scott was at the front door. After a handshake, Scott enters. Jack sat down, picked up his two-tone Kimber Custom .45 caliber semiautomatic pistol, and proceeded to field-strip and clean the weapon. He asked Scott, “Do you have any idea how much she means to me?” Scott could only manage a nod. “I just want to make sure we’re on the same page. Do you remember what time I told you to have her back?” “Yes sir, 11:30. Don’t worry, sir. I’ll take good care of her and get her back long before that.”
Jack stood up, walked up stairs, and disappeared. Moments later he reappeared. This was the moment Jack had waited for. He could barely contain himself. Resolved he had done everything he could do to impress upon this young man the importance of taking great care and showing the utmost respect for his baby, Jack turned around, reached into his pocket, and handed the young man keys to his brand-new 6.5 liter, 12 cylinder All Wheel Drive, $354,000 Lamborghini Mucielago. “I want her back without as much as a scratch.”
Now, the point Bauchman is making? No man in his right mind would hand over the keys of this machine to a 16 year old young man? But Bauchman asks, is this car more valuable than a daughter? How many fathers are trusting their daughters with a young man that he would not trust with this same car?
This is where we have decided to prepare our children a little differently than the current culture. Lily and Anna’s father has set to mind to protect his precious treasures and not follow the same path that is typically taken. He supports Bauchman in his belief that “modern dating is no more than glorified divorce.”
We believe the decisions, words, and even thoughts we have now impact our young daughters and son. The different path we are choosing supports our daughters being modest in dress even at an early age. We encourage modesty in action. We have begun to encourage our son to always place women first, even his sister and especially his mother. We discourage the idea of “boyfriends” and “girlfriends.” I reinforce that Lily belongs to her father and he is her protector. We pray for our children’s purity and sometimes even for their spouses. (I’ve got two in particular I’ve been eyeballing but I’ll keep that to myself.)
In the future, we hope to encourage platonic interactions with the opposite sex that builds friendships and not intimate relationships. We pray that by God’s grace we can lead our children on a path that intimacy will not play a role in their lives until they are given over to their future mates.
With God’s grace and will working in our lives, we pray we walk against the grain and give our children and their future spouses the purity that is a rare jewel today. And we pray that, unlike us, the first person they are emotionally and physically given to…will be his and her last.