I am a father to five… but four of those amazing kiddos are princesses… While I love my boy, especially since I only have the one, there is something different about my love for my daughters and I admit I think a lot more about their future than I do my son. One day my son will bring me a girl that he will present as the one and I’ll discuss with him the expected scrutiny from the potential Father In Law. With my girls however, I get to do the scrutinizing.
My girls are not allowed to date until they are at least 16, and then it is conditional on where they are emotionally, spiritually, etc. I have only had one reach that age thus far. She fought our strictness for a while, and as beautiful and intelligent as she is she had plenty of options and boys try. Now as she’s about to turn 18, she’s only had one real interest and they both feel the same way about dating so they haven’t. She did go to her junior prom with a boy, who I waited for on our porch holding a FN-SCAR-17… yes sir I am that dad, but he was just a friend. She has enjoyed that freedom and simplicity of only having friends. Somewhere along the way she got what we were instilling in her. Happy Dad. Happy Mom. Happy Daughter. One who will be graduating soon as valedictorian of her school, college in the bag, no deep emotional scars from boys, the assuredness to know a relationship does not define her and the ability to be choosy when the time comes, and most happily, she’s not a teen mom! And I have 3 more young ladies coming up under her that have hopefully learned what to expect and shoot for.
My second oldest is now approaching the age where boys became a battle. The age where there were boys who were interested, and boys she was interested in, and the constant “WHY” and fits and secret notes and texts. Yesterday she and I went and ran errands in town and much to my chagrin, she’s also starting to be noticed while out in public. I look at her and see this, yes gorgeous, but LITTLE girl… not someone to be ogled. Yeah I’m talking to you guy at the local super market. I will help you put your eyes back in your head if I need to. The other two are still oblivious, and the youngest is still convinced she’s going to marry me when she gets bigger and bigger. But that day will come when some boy… ahem… man… will come and ask for my little girl’s hand. And he better be prepared.
For some reason I was thinking about that this morning and while I have a battery of questions, test, rules, advice, etc. I had the thought of one sure fire initial test that should make sure he had the ability to not only fit in with our family, but also be man enough and Godly enough for my little princess… so pay attention all you revivalists out there with daughters. I think this may just work. So when that boy/day comes, I will remain calm, walk him to our camping gear, and promptly tell him to begin loading the truck.
After he is done we will head out for the woods. I will not tell him where we are going, nor why. We will head deep into the woods and once we are far enough I will tell him to make camp. If he can’t do that, well… there’s no reason to proceed really… but once that is done, I will invite the boy to pray with me and seek God’s face and voice. That’s it. That’s the test. Think about this… Alone in the wilderness, just us and God. I will know what kind of man he is, how he prays, what he prays, his heart for God, how transparent he can be, does he burn for God? Is that fiery relationship already there? Is he full of fear or of confidence? The good? Holy Spirit invades camp, this man is passionate about God, his heart and prayers reveal his love for God, and assures me of his love for my daughter, and he knows how to open the heavens above and bring Heaven to Earth… or he could flop… In which case I just leave him there.
I figure a few things could come out of that. Either the poor boy would learn to pray after being left alone in the wilderness, or he’d give up and somehow find his way back to civilization but no longer be interested in my little angel, or he’d starve to death not knowing how to live off the land and too locked in fear to venture out until I got back to check on him… in which case, hey… he’s still out of my hair. See, it all works out.