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Submission for March 2021 the article
6 Ways to Prep for Your Daughter’s Suitors
By: Topher Wiles
Think back to your last Hulk moment. It was that time when some external life event triggered your internal gamma radiation to mutate you into a massive rage-fueled protector of innocence. When a young boy ran up to my daughter and kissed her on the cheek, other adults may have laughed at the cuteness, but my internal transformation was anything but funny. The beast I felt unleashed inside me in that moment would do anything to protect my daughter from any young man with nefarious intent. Damage and destruction is not my goal as my daughter grows but I do desire to positively guide her relationships with boys.
That is why I’m enacting my DPP (Daughter Protection Plan) now to prevent the raging Hulk inside me from doing more harm than good for my little girl in the future. Here are six tips we can use to prepare for our daughters’ suitors.
Pray for her and her potential mate - I began praying for my daughter’s future the night the doctor said, “It’s a girl!” I believe God knows the plans He has for my daughter; plans to prosper her and not to harm her; plans to give her hope and a future. The odds are that she will be married at least once in her lifetime, so I pray regularly that God’s plans come to light for my girl and her potential spouse. Specifically, I pray that God prepares a young man’s heart to be the perfect complement to hers.
Establish Her Identity – Sadly, too many young ladies fall for the first guy that flatters them with kind words and gifts. Set the bar high for your girl as you routinely take her on nice dates, buy her thoughtful presents, and compliment her as the beautiful young woman she is. Remind her throughout her developing years that she is valued as your daughter, that you are proud of her, and that she is beautiful to you.
Model a healthy relationship - The hard cold truth is, if we want our daughters to seek healthy relationships with young beau’s, we must show them years of what a great marriage looks like. When our wives feel physically, emotionally, spiritually, financially, and relationally stable with us, our daughters will witness that peace and likely seek out a similar relationship for themselves.
Present Expectations Early – Does her date need to meet with you before they ever go out? Does he need to come knock on the door rather than sit in the car and honk the horn to call her out? Does church need to be their first “date” together? Whatever your expectations are, discuss them with your wife and clearly present them to your daughter before the fellas show up.
Be Present in Her Life –You can’t encourage your beloved toward the good guys and away from the heart-breakers if you aren’t present in her life. Take time off work for her tennis matches so you can be present when those young guys start noticing more than her ground strokes. Volunteer to chaperone that band trip so she can have the time of her life in safety with her female and male friends. Be ready at the school football game to firmly shake hands and look him respectfully in the eye when she says, “Dad, I want to introduce you to my friend John.”
Prepare Surrounding Suitors – Invest in the lives of the young men around you. Throw football with the boys living in the neighborhood. Write an encouraging note to parents and sons when you see those boys serving others in church. Look for ways to grow faithful men in the fields around you in hopes that they will one day bless some young lady, if not yours.Dads, we are preparing our valuable girls to successfully leave the nest one day to begin families of their own. Be prayerfully proactive rather than hulking gamma-reactive when the searching suitors come and enjoy the gift of raising a daughter.