Aaron, my husband, gets a little uptight about the ‘D’ word and the ‘B’ word. I think it’s the same for all dads of daughters. And, from what I hear, it’s the same for my friends and family who are moms of boys. But the ‘B’ word for my boy-mom friends starts with a ‘G’. You might already have deduced my topic of writing for today: Dating! And Boyfriends! Yikes!
I believe there is something special between dads and daughters (and moms and sons, but we will focus on the daddy/daughter link today).
When daddies think of their daughters dating, they see tiny, four year-old versions of their daughters smiling, laughing, and twirling through every room in their house dressed in too-big plastic play princess shoes and silky soft night gowns with ruffles up to their necks, eyes sparkling with the Cinderella soundtrack playing in the background. Suddenly, a loud, ornery, spike-haired teenage boy drives up in his too-fast sports car looking for the little girl so he can steal her away and never return. Jarring & SCARY! I think this is something like what Aaron sees when he looks at the little boys in our girls’ schools. No wonder he wants to string them all up by their toes already at the young ages of five. It is humorous to me, but then again, I’m the mom of these girls…not the dad.
Our girls adore their dad. It’s easy to see. Their hearts’ affections are for him. He doesn’t have to share that adoration and affection with any other man…yet. Someday his role as the number one guy in their lives will rightly shift to number two as they find homes with their husbands and daddy is dethroned as the King. I don’t fully understand how painful this must be. The training ground for this shift is probably the hardest for a daddy who is as invested in his daughters as my husband.
The thing is, I will probably be invited into conversations about the boys my girls like when that time comes. But, for Aaron, the story will be more informational than the gushing details I’m expecting to hear. They will be sensitive to their daddy, because they are sensitive, thoughtful girls who will not want to expose their dad (or the guys they like) to more stress over the situation at hand.
But, I started thinking, what if Aaron isn’t in his current line of work as a youth minister when our daughters start dating 5-10 years down the road? What things would I hope our girls’ youth minister would say to them about dating? So, I made a list.
8 Things I Want My Youth Pastor To Teach About Dating To My Daughter
1. Statistically, relationships in high school and jr. high/middle school will NOT end in matrimony. I’m sorry, but it is true.
2. Practicing divorce is a dangerous thing. If the person you are looking to date displays attitudes toward you and actions toward you or others that you do not want to invite into a marriage relationship down the road (a LONG TIME DOWN THE ROAD), don’t invite that person into your life as a person you are tethered to even for a short time through high school. Be thoughtful before you consider dating.
3. Stay away from practicing married things unmarried. He is not your spiritual leader yet. Your daddy still holds that place, privilege, and responsibility. Let him keep it until the day you become a wife, if marriage is for you.
4. Protect your purity at ALL costs! Not only do you need to be protecting yourself physically by abstaining from sexual activity (not just sex by the way). Protect your mind, eyes, and emotions from sexual activity as well. Purity is SO, SO much more than just not having sex.
5. Protect his purity at ALL costs as well. Set guidelines and boundaries with the parents and mentors who are closest to you both, such as what time of the day is a good time to stop texting or talking before bedtime. Discuss what is appropriate and inappropriate to text and talk about. Guard his heart by not leading him down a path that could give him an idea that you want more than what is appropriate for a girlfriend to want from him (I’m not just talking about sexual things here either). This will help you navigate through a relationship while at least having a safeguard against things neither of you want to look back on and regret. Speaking of regret…
6. Live out your relationship in such a way that you can look back and have no reason to regret anything about it. Even something as “harmless” as over-sharing and connecting too deeply emotionally and spiritually before there is a solid commitment (aka a wedding ring) can only lead to this.
7. Are you running the same pace spiritually? If you’re meeting with a mentor, having a daily quiet time and learning how to study the Bible for yourself, is he meeting with a mentor and having a daily quiet time and learning to study the Bible for himself? If the answer to any of these questions is no for him, (not matching the pace you’re at right now) KEEP RUNNING! Do not slow your pace so he can catch up! That’s not your job. Keep chasing after God and remember He is your prize, not that boy. And you’re not his prize. Jesus is his prize, too!
8. Have your parents (and mentor) given the green light? If they have, and all the other stuff is in check, go for it. If not, wait. It’s just not time yet.
There is time for all the dating and mushy-gushy stuff when the time is right. And, I’m ok with my girls dating when that time comes. The jury is still out as to whether Aaron will be ready. I’m guessing probably not. We will be teaching our daughters appropriateness in dating/relationships and hoping that there are young men out there learning the same things.
What do you think? What else would you want your youth minister to tell your daughters about dating? We would love some more suggestions!
About The Author: Cory Lynne Myers
Cory Lynne is a YM wife of 13 years to her favorite guy on the planet, Aaron Myers. Aaron and Cory Lynne have two sweet, spunky daughters; Elli Kate (8) and Ana Beth (5) and an "elderly" dog named Pokey who is almost as spry as the day they brought her home as a puppy 12 years ago. They live in Lawton, Oklahoma where Aaron serves on staff as a pastor to students. Cory Lynne has had a passion for ministering to students since knowing she had a special calling to the work of ministry as a 15 year old. She has pursued fulfilling that calling since then.