10 Reasons You Should Date Your Daughter

A great article for fathers with daughters.  It is written by Shane Pruitt.

“I’ve taken a shower, put on clean clothes, and have gone to the store to get flowers. Our plans have been made long in advance. We’re going to have a not-so-quiet meal at McDonald’s, then it’s off for an exciting night of games and tickets at Chuck-E-Cheese.

I pull up to my own house to pick up my date. With my flowers in hand, the door opens and on the other side is one beautiful girl. It’s one of my daughters. Yes, it’s date night with one of my special girls.

Here are ten reasons why I date my daughters:

1. The Day Draws Near: It’s only a short time before the knuckleheads come around – a.k.a. teenage boys!

2. Spiritual Health: Often my daughter’s view of her heavenly Father will be influenced heavily by how she views me as her earthly father.

3. Valued: The most valuable gift that you can give someone is your time. It is truly a gift you cannot take back, and I want my daughters to feel valued.

4. Fulfilled: If they have my attention, then they don’t have to look for someone else’s attention. If they are full from receiving my attention, then they won’t be starving for someone else’s attention…mainly boys!

5. Pursued: If they feel like they’re being pursued from an early age by their daddy, then there is not an immediate need to be pursued by other males.

6. Expectation: I get to set the standard. If I want her future husband to be a spiritual leader, a gentleman, and a tender warrior, then it is up to me to be that for her now so that those qualities will become her expectation from now on.

7. Teachable Moments: There are special moments over chicken nuggets that are profitable for teaching. It’s in those one-on-one times that I can speak words over her about true beauty being found on the inside, the place where integrity, character, and compassion reside. I can help her shape a healthy view of beauty, instead of culture giving her an unhealthy one.

8. Discipleship: It provides great opportunities and time for God-talks. A chance to talk about Jesus, church, and the Bible. She can learn from me, and I can learn from her. This also sets the standard of what she will expect in the future, when it comes to conversations with a man/ They should be centered on God.

9. Investment: I’m already investing in my grandchildren. Most likely, my daughters will raise their children in a very similar way to how I raised them. Remember, when we were kids and said, “I’ll never say the things my parents said!”How has that worked out for you?

10. Remembrance: So that she doesn’t forget how cool I am! I always want to remind her how fun, relevant, and smooth her daddy really is. I mean, after all, I did win her momma over! And, hopefully she will remember that she can always go to daddy, because even though I may not understand, I am there and I love her.”

“Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward.” – Psalm 127:3

Bring Your Children to Jesus

It’s summertime. It’s a busy time. We’ll be writing our own stuff. We’ll be sharing great stuff written by others. Max Lucado shared this on his UpWords email devotional last week. Great advice for all parents, but even more so for fathers who sometimes struggle with knowing how or what to pray for.

Lamentations 2:19 says, “Pour out your heart like water before the face of the Lord. Lift your hands toward Him for the life of your young children.”

“Dads– we can be loyal advocates, stubborn intercessors. We can take our parenting fears to Christ. In fact, if we don’t, we’ll take our fears out on our kids. Fear turns some parents into paranoid prison guards.

On the other hand, fear can also create permissive parents. High on hugs and low on discipline. Permissive parents. Paranoid parents. How can we avoid the extremes? We pray. Prayer is the saucer into which parental fears are poured to cool. When you send them off for the day, do so with a blessing. When you tell them good night, cover them in prayer. Pray that your children have a profound sense of place in this world and a heavenly place in the next.”

Being Their Father

I remember when my children were little. I’d come home from work, shout that I was home and watch them run to me with extended arms. We’d wrestle or play tea party. It was a very special time – my children let me love them. Times change…and our young children start to grow up. I was reminded of this when instead of extended arms I was presented with a finger in the air saying hold on a second. It is easy to think that you’ve been replaced and long for those past moments. It’s the hard part of being a father…making the adjustment. Our children haven’t forgotten us. They just need us in a different way. Stay close to them, but far enough away to let them stand on their own. Express your love for them, even if they don’t like to receive it. Pray for them. You’ll always be there father…..just remember to always be their father.

Psalm 127:3-5 reminds us, “Children are a heritage from the Lord, offspring a reward from Him. Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are children born in one’s youth. Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them.”

Be Strong. Act Like Fathers.

Great Parents Seem To Do This Well

A great (and incredibly funny) lady shared this article from Storyline. It makes a valid point about humility and teaching forgiveness.

“Secretly (until now), I’ve noticed a common theme amongst well-adjusted kids. The theme seems to be this:

Kids with parents who are open and honest about their own shortcomings are better adjusted, and parents who want to be seen as perfect have kids that often aren’t.

Is it just me, or have you noticed this, too?

Many of my friends who’ve confessed to me they’ve had problems in life come from families in which parents (and mostly the Dad, honestly) have a hard time admitting they’re wrong. Often they come from religious families in which the parents felt they had to be a model of perfection.
Of course, there are many reasons kids struggle in life. But truthfully I’m not talking about kids. I’m talking about adults. People in their twenties and thirties who come from grace-oriented families with parents who do not control with guilt and shame simply do better in life.
My friend Paul Young (who wrote The Shack) is more open and honest about his shortcomings than any person I’ve met, and his family is simply amazing. Paul keeps no secrets from his kids. He doesn’t hide his shortcomings and yet he has grace on himself and others. This is the main way Paul teaches his children that it’s okay to be human.
Imagine having a dad who’d be willing to say something like, “You know, you get your temper from me. It’s one of the terrible things I’ve handed you. I’m so sorry about that. Here’s how I’ve learned to handle it. Let me know if you need help. I love you so much I would hate for you to have to feel any pain on account of me.”
If you sit down with a fully transparent parent they have absolutely no problem admitting their faults. And this gives children a sense of comfort because they realize it’s okay to be human. In fact, they can really connect with their parents because they’re vulnerable and honest and open.

On the other hand, there are many kids who wander through the world lost. And often, secretly (until now), I’ve noticed their fathers are men who are constantly spinning the truth to make themselves look good. If anything negative happens in their families, they blame it on some other factor. They never admit their mistakes. They are constantly trying to “set an example” by hiding their true humanity.

Kids who grow up in homes like this don’t feel permission to be human or flawed and don’t trust God has forgiven them. Can you imagine living in such pain and isolation?

If we want families that are less ordinary and more healthy, lets teach our kids, by example, that it’s okay to be human. When they’re old enough, lets begin to confess our sins to our children, even letting them know how sorry we are that our humanity has hurt them in some way.

Kids who have parents who confess their sins grow up believing in grace, in honesty, in transparency and are much more likely to connect deeply with others rather than hide.

Lets teach our kids how to be transparent, open and human by being transparent, open and human ourselves.”

Be Strong. Act Like Men.

No – With a Purpose

It is important that we tell our children – no.

It isn’t always easy. It definitely isn’t fun. But it is necessary for my sanity, my bank account and most importantly my children’s emotional health.

Our children have plenty. And if you look around – you’ll see that many children today aren’t working for what they have and even more that lack a general appreciation for what they have. The reality is that the odds are stacked against a child that goes through life never wanting for anything or having to deal with the emotions associated with denial and disappointment. As this type of child grows into an adult, they are almost guaranteed to encounter issues around self-esteem, depression and anger as they try and navigate a world which has no interest in accommodating their every want and need.

It is crucial that children encounter denial and the emotion of disappointment on a frequent basis. This is especially important to do this when they are young (although you can start anytime) and the things to which you are saying “no” to are small and insignificant. It is during this time you have the opportunity to help your child experience disappointment in a safe, nurturing environment while you teach them appropriate responses and behaviors associated with this emotion.

As your child grows and the things to which you need to say “no” to are more significant, your child should respond in an appropriate manner. What is perhaps even more rewarding is that when you do say “yes”, your child may actually feel genuine gratitude and perhaps even joy as a result of your generous accommodation of their request.

We are accomplishing a number of things by denying her request.
• We are giving them the opportunity to be disappointed.
• We have an opportunity to teach them the appropriate response to being told “no”.
• It allows them to come to terms and to cope with this denial.
• It teaches them that simply because they want something, does not mean they will get it.
• It teaches them patience. (good things come to those who wait)
• It allows us to set expectations and criteria which need to be met before we will even consider offering them what they want.
• It provides us the opportunity to teach a lesson about gratitude.
• It teaches them about self-respect and bolsters their self-esteem.

It is simply common sense. Giving children everything they want does absolutely nothing to prepare them for their lives as adults. Life is about earning your way not about having everything handed to you

Be Strong. Act Like Men.

8 Simple Rules

John Ritter starred in a show called “8 Simple Rules”. The rules were:

1. Use your hands on my daughter and you’ll lose them after.
2. You make her cry, I make you cry.
3. Safe sex is a myth. Anything you try will be hazardous to your health.
4. Bring her home late, there’s no next date.
5. If you pull into my driveway and honk, you better be dropping off a package because you’re sure not picking anything up (Alternative rule #5: Only delivery men honk. Dates ring the doorbell. Once.)
6. No complaining while you’re waiting for her. If you’re bored, change my oil.
7. If your pants hang off your hips, I’ll gladly secure them with my staple gun.
8. Dates must be in crowded public places. You want romance? Read a book.

Just a little humor to end our week…..

The Interview

“Brace yourself like a man; I will question you, and you shall answer me.” – Job 38:3 NIV

I wrote yesterday about an interview I’ve conducted numerous times with young men who have wanted to date our daughters. Lots of parents have asked me to share some of the things I cover when I meet with these young men. Here’s a “high fly by” list:

1) A woman is God’s creation, a beautiful creation, a fine creation. You’ve certainly noticed that my daughter is pretty, is attractive and has a cute figure, haven’t you?
2) The attraction of a young man to a young lady is both normal and good. I’m glad you like her and want to be with her.
3) I understand and remember what the sex drive of a young man is like. Believe me, I’ve been there, I know what you’re dealing with.
4) I’m going to hold you accountable for your relationship with my daughter. Expect me to be asking to see if you’re dealing uprightly with her.
5) I’m challenging you to purity. I want you to guard her innocence, not just her virginity.
6) I want you to respect and uphold the dignity of my daughter by keeping your hands off of her. Keeping this one precaution in mind will help keep you from getting into further trouble.
7) Do you understand all of what I’ve just said to you? Are we clear on what I’m expecting and what you can expect from me?
8) When you’re a dad someday, I hope you will challenge your own children to abide by these standards and will interview your daughter’s dates. My prayer is that you will never forget this conversation.

One of the greatest privileges God has given me is to stand alongside our four daughters and honorably and gently attempt to protect their innocence. Meeting with these young men has been one of the highlights of being a dad

Boys Among Men

“Brothers, I urge you to bear with my word of exhortation.” – Hebrews 13:22

God gave us daughters who need to be protected. God made fathers to protect their daughters. And one of the ways we can do this is by getting to know the young men who ask them out.

As of today, I’ve conducted a sit-down interview with my daughters’ dates somewhere between 30 and 40 times. A few of them have been what you might expect: boys nearly fainting in our living room. (These talks have a way of revealing the fact that even wimps can have good taste. Some boys who couldn’t last one round in a character contest at least have the good sense to know a great girl when they see one.)
For the most part, however, these encounters have allowed me to get to know several young men who would make their parents proud. And I’ve come away from every one of these interview experiences feeling like a real man.

Even more important, these interviews have helped spare my daughters from the predatory passions of even well-meaning boys, while also protecting them from their own human natures. As a result, Barbara and I have watched our daughters enter into marriage with their virtue, not just technically intact, but also reserved–heart, soul and body–for the man God had given them to marry.

It is one of the most important investments dads can make in our girls’ lives–challenging their boyfriends to be men, making sure they’re clear on the high value God has placed both on them and our daughters.

These young men who like what they see in our daughters need us to look them in the eyes, man to man, and hold them accountable. When you call them to high standards of personal morality, you not only protect your daughter. You help boys become men.

Purity on the Line

Where there is no vision, the people are unrestrained, but happy is he who keeps the law.
Proverbs 29:18 NASB

A dear friend, Pat Orton, who once worked closely with me at FamilyLife, wrote me a letter several years ago to tell me about a line her parents had drawn in the sand for her as a teenager.

The waistline.

Pat’s mom and dad told her that whenever she was out with a young man, the only place he was allowed to touch her was on her back, from her shoulder to her waist. Anywhere else on her body was totally off-limits. And never–never ever–was he to put his hand on her knee. It was a way for her to know–immediately–that if a boy’s hands ever strayed out of bounds, watch out! This was leading to trouble!
Funny what boundaries can do once they are clearly established. Crossing them is still quite possible, of course, but not without knowing you’re breaking trust. And for Pat and her boyfriend-turned-fiancé, this simple, clearly defined expectation remained in force throughout their four-year courtship.

Back only. Shoulder to waistline. Nothing further . . . until their wedding day. As they pulled away from the church on their way to their honeymoon, he tenderly reached over and placed his hand on her knee. “I’ve been waiting four years to do that!” he said with a grin so big it made her smile, too.

Isn’t that just delightful? What purity! What innocence! What a testimony to the joy we help our children preserve for themselves when we draw the right boundaries, enforce the right restrictions and keep an eye out for their obedience.

That’s how to start a marriage. And Mom and Dad, that’s what you’re here to help happen.