As he shared his story with a group of dads there were tears running down his face. His daughter had turned sixteen and the transition from being his “little girl” to becoming a beautiful young lady was hard on him. The clothes, boys and the dating were new dimensions to what had been a very simple dad-daughter relationship. There were some arguments and he decided Mom was much better at relating to the situation so he pulled back a bit. When his daughter began dating a 19 year old young man, his gut said this was not right. He voiced his objection but the arguments flared again. He was told, “This is a fine young man from a Christian family. It is a good relationship.” Dad pulled back again. Within a couple of months his daughter was date-raped in the basement of this fine young man’s parent’s home. The message to us dads from our wounded brother was to stay alert, be ready and never pull back from a gut feeling until you have done due diligence on the matter.
When Hezekiah saw that Sennacherib (king of Assyria) had come and that he intended to make war on Jerusalem, he consulted with his officials and military staff about blocking off water from the springs outside the city … he worked hard repairing all the broken sections of the wall and building towers on it. He built another wall outside that one and reinforced supporting terraces of the City of David. He also made large numbers of weapons and shields … In the square at the city gate Hezekiah told his people, “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or discouraged because of the king of Assyria and his vast army for there is a greater power with us than with him. … with us is the Lord our God to help us and to fight our battles,” and the people gained confidence from what Hezekiah said. – 2Chronicles 32:2-8. Hezekiah was ready! He saw the threat, anticipated the intentions of the enemy, initiated action to strengthen defense of the city and reminded the people of who they were and Whose they were. The media today make the Assyrians look like rookies. As dads, it is our role to be ready - to understand the threat to our home and family, know the intentions of the enemy, strengthen defense against the 24/7 attacks and continually encourage our family in who we are and Whose we are in relationship with the Father through Jesus the Christ.
A dear friend has a t-shirt with the letters D.A.D.D. on the back – Dads Against Daughters Dating. I love that shirt! The trouble is that it gets in the way of me being a grandpa someday. And I hear that is a pretty good gig. Navigating the road ahead for the next generation is not for the light-hearted. Our Lord shares the moniker “father” with us because He expects us to stand ready for Him in this world. When you have a gut feel or just know something is not right, do the due diligence on the matter and turn to Him for clarity. Then step up as a Kingdom influence in this confused world.
Tips to Be Ready:
- Date your daughter regularly; stay engaged to know her as she matures; let her get to know you; and help her know the Father through you;
- Meet with the youth leaders of your church and ask how you can be of help;
- Read “Girls Gone Wise in a world gone wild” - Kassian;
- Encourage an open dialogue in the home but stand firm as the spiritual leader.
Prayer guide: Lord, forgive me for pulling back, for being passive toward an enemy whose focus is to distract and confuse. I have opened the door of our home to many distractions and in turn abdicated all things spiritual to the church. Grant me discernment to recognize the enemy and strength to rebuke the evil influences in our family. Under the influence of the Holy Spirit, I will step up as the spiritual leader You expect me to be and stand ready to protect the hearts of my children. Amen.
A faithful father will be ready at the gates of his home and the hearts of his children.