5.01.2009

Courtship - preparing daughters



Courtship can't happen without the daughter's buy-in. She should trust her father, and he should establish that trust by leading well over her whole life - Colossians 3:21. She still needs to obey him, even if he hasn't led well, but he should make it easy for her to obey and trust him to have her best interest at heart - not his own.

Dad has to train his daughter in modesty, not seeking the attention of men by how she dresses. The young man seeks a sexual relationship with the man's daughter - no point denying this. Dad doesn't protect her from this - it is the whole point! - but from improper sexual attention and attraction at the outset.

But we should affirm feminine beauty, since Scripture does (Gen 12:11, 14; 24:16; 29:17; 1 Sam 25:3; Esther 1:11; 2:7; Job 42:15; Song of Solomon). Make-up is not inherently sinful (Ezek 16:6:14), but can be applied ostentatiously and sinfully. Find the balance between Islamic restrictiveness and worldly wantonness.

Dad should live in a way that daughter respects him, and seeks a suitor she can respect similarly. She will then be glad to be given by a godly man to a godly man.

Daughters should know how to (1) reject firmly sexual advances; how to (2) stay distant from opposite sex friends who happen to be around a lot, mildly flirting; how to (3) point honorable suitors to her father. Parents and daughters both should be careful not to favor the suitor who does everything by the book (going to dad, first, e.g.), but to judge his actual character. Parents should render tentative and initial assessments of young men in the community to their daughters. Don't let siblings' tease your daughter about courtship possibilities, or keep her from discussing them with parents/family.

1 Comments:

At 3:33 PM, Blogger Margaret in VA said...

Parents need to teach a daughter what kind of man is a desirable husband - not just by Dad modeling it but by it being actively taught.

Romeo is not the ideal here! A young man who submits to authority, both parental and ecclesiastical, a young man who is careful to guard the young lady's reputation by not paying undue attention before he's talked with her Dad. And a young man who is willing to work hard to get ready for marriage, putting the "fun" of pursuing a relationship on hold until he's ready to take over the covenant responsibility of marriage.

 

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