Wednesday, June 18, 2014

on daughters and dating: how to intimidate suitors

I have two teen-aged daughters, so it was with some interest that I read a recent post entitled “Application to Date My Daughter”. It was pretty funny, playing on the idea of the stereotypical shotgun-toting father and the mortified daughter as they negotiate the tricky terrain of a first date.  Then Christian bloggers grabbed the concept, and for the most part, these versions were funny, too. There were some common themes: slouchy-panted unemployed suitors, dads breathing out Chuck Norris-inspired threats. I didn’t lose my well-developed sense of humor until I made the tactical error of glancing at some of the comments. And then I was just flat-out sad.

Here is the comment that made me the saddest, posted by a well-meaning young Christian father:

“Bro, this is awesome. My daughter’s only 2, but I am printing this for my fridge. Thanks for your godly example.”

Oh dear.

Okay, joke’s over. Bro. Let’s talk strategy for a second. Is that all you’ve got? You need a better plan than these low-level intimidation techniques. After all, she’s your DAUGHTER, for Pete’s sake. So let’s talk frankly about what you need to do to guard her interests when it comes to dating. Instead of brandishing a shotgun or breaking out an application, you need to build a wall.

That’s right, you heard me – build a wall. Go all “Rapunzel”. Build it so high that only the strongest of suitors can scale it. But don’t wait until your baby girl is a teenager, Bro  – start now. Start yesterday. There’s no time to waste.

build a wall

In Song of Solomon 8:8-9 we hear a family’s hope that their young sister will grow into a woman of strength and dignity. Can you guess what metaphor they use to describe that kind of woman? A wall. Their sister assures them in verse 10 that she is indeed a wall, complete with towers. Her statement indicates an assurance that she is not only strong, but able to defend herself against any unworthy suitors. That’s what you want, Bro – you want a wall.

Here’s the problem with shotgun jokes and applications posted on the fridge: to anyone paying attention, they announce that you fully expect your daughter to have poor judgment. Be assured that your daughter is paying attention.  And don’t be shocked if she meets your expectation. You might want to worry less about terrorizing or retro-fitting prospective suitors and worry more about preparing your daughter to choose wisely. And that means building a wall.

Instead of intimidating all your daughter’s potential suitors, raise a daughter who intimidates them just fine on her own. Because, you know what’s intimidating? Strength and dignity. Deep faith. Self-assuredness. Wisdom. Kindness. Humility. Industriousness. Those are the bricks that build the wall that withstands the advances of old Slouchy-Pants, whether you ever show up with your Winchester locked and loaded or not. The unsuitable suitor finds nothing more terrifying than a woman who knows her worth to God and to her family.

too strong?

But here’s a hard reality: if you raise that daughter, she’ll likely intimidate her fair share of “nice Christian boys” as well. Because a decent number of those guys have some nutty ideas about what it means to be in charge. I’m amazed and saddened at how often I hear young single guys say of bright, gifted single women, “Wow, she’s so strong I don’t think I could lead her.” At which point, too many bright, gifted single women begin to consider ways to “tone themselves down” or “soften themselves a bit”.

Raise a strong daughter, even if – no, especially if it means potential suitors question whether they can “lead her”, whatever that means to them. You’ve just identified those suitors as ineligible, without so much as an application process. Leadership is not about the strong looking for weaker people to lead. It’s about the humble looking for those whose strengths offset their weaknesses and complement their strengths. Strong leaders surround themselves with strong people, not with weak ones. Rather than finding the strengths of others threatening, they celebrate them and leverage them. This is Management 101, but I fear young Christian men and well-intentioned Christian parents of daughters have gotten a little fuzzy on the concept.

put down your shotgun

I often think that if we scrutinized our parenting with the same intensity we plan to turn on our daughters’ prospective suitors, we’d stop speculating about shotguns and applications and start building that wall. So, my well-meaning father of a two-year-old, please don’t hit “print” on that application just yet. Instead of cross-examining the man your daughter brings home, cross-examine the man who brought your daughter home from the hospital. She does not need the belated braggadocio of your intentions to protect her from slouchy-pants fools when she’s a teen. She needs you to hitch up your own and invest in her character - now.

So put down your shotgun. Pick up your Indian Princess guide book, or your coach’s clipboard. Take a seat at a tea party. Teach how to change a flat and start the mower. Discuss politics and economics and theology. Compliment a new outfit or an A in math. Tell her you think she is absolutely beautiful. Kneel at a pink chenille bedside and pray your guts out. Raise a daughter with a fully loaded heart and mind so that a fully loaded shotgun isn’t necessary. She shouldn’t need you to scare off weak suitors. Let her strength and dignity do the job.  Resolve to settle for nothing less than the best protection for your daughter. Resolve to be the kind of man you want her to bring home. Resolve to build a wall.


“What shall we do for our sister in the day when she shall be spoken for? If she be a wall, we will build upon her a palace of silver…” Song of Solomon 8:8-9

95 comments:

  1. This is fantastic. Thank you so much for sharing Jen! As a daughter and a sister, I couldn't agree more.

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    1. Your Dad didn't want to micromanage your dating because he said he hadn't raised fools for daughters.
      You and Faith are these kinds of women.

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    2. Lydia: I would like to quote you!

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  3. SO incredibly well said Jen. I hope someday God allows me to meet you in person. Love every word of this post.

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  4. Another home run, Jen. I love your insight and this really struck a chord with me. I am so thankful for these thoughts and the way you expressed them. Beautifully written.

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  5. I have sons, but this is the kind of daughter I want them to marry.

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  6. This is the kind of daughter I want Hannah to be and the kind of woman I want Luke to marry! Thank you so much for this post!

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  7. Sis, this is awesome. My daughter’s only 1.5, but I am printing this for my fridge. Thanks for your godly example.

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    1. This is probably my favorite blog comment of all time.

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  8. Jen, this made me cry! Powerful and beautiful.

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  9. Yes yes yes. I echo you wholeheartedly as I am in a season of seeing your perspective ring true with our reality. The investment of character building over shot-gun toting is worth it!

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  10. Phenomenal post! This one is going in the archives for repeat reading. Thanks for this!

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  11. My husband asked me today if I had read your latest post because "it was awesome", and I couldn't agree more. Thanks so much for speaking to this!

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  12. "Raise a daughter with a fully loaded heart and mind so that a fully loaded shotgun isn’t necessary." - YES! Thanks for this, Jen. I'm keeping this one not just for raising my daughter, but for raising my sons to aspire to date well-walled women.

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  13. My daughter is 7 months. I am not going to print this out. Instead I am going to do the dishes, because that is how she is going to learn about what a man really needs to do in the home.

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    1. I also hope your daughter learns that men are to lead , provide and serve their families!!!

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    2. I think doing the dishes fulfills all those things, if you think about it :) Particularly leading, in an example of self-discipline and hard work, and in serving his family, by not leaving all the housework to his wife and others. I'd say he's hit the nail on the head in regards to being a godly male example to his daughter.

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    3. Well doing dishes is not the definition of what a man does in the home, like he seems to want his daughter to learn

      I know plenty of men who do not work at all to provide for their family. do not lead their wives and families in Prayer or encourage them to pursue Christ but do dishes...

      by this definition such a man would qualify as "Godly" and thus would be a suitable dating candidate, and since the author has called for father's to NOT look out for their daughters , it could lead to bad consequences.

      Everything I have said has biblical backing, enlighten me and show me the verse that says doing dishes is the mark of a Godly man!!

      sorry just annoyed, every complementarian either on CBMW or here seems to be defining Godly men as men who do housework ( not saying men should NOT do housework- but never realised this was the defining value, I would rank provider Godly leader etc as higher and should not girls be taught that?!!)

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    4. John 13. Jesus washes his disciples' feet and commands them to wash others. Housework is an act of humility; it doesn't advance you in the eyes of the world like a career, it simply honors your family by making their lives a little nicer. So yes, it is Christlike and Godly for both genders to pitch in around the house.

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    5. Read what I am saying not what I did not say....
      Men can do housework, and yes looking after the yard, fixing the roof, maintaining the gutters etc is also housework just like doing the dishes is.

      All I said is doing housework should not be what a daughter is taught to see in a man.

      I know you would be enraged if a mother taught her son that doing housework is what a real woman does, teaching them it is their defining characteristic.

      What a real man does is lead, provide protect - doing dished may be one aspect of it.
      A man should have a career not for the world, the world believes in career before anything else, a Godly man knows his children and wife come first, but he also teaches his sons especially the importance of working hard and taking responsibility and his daughters to expect no less of a man.

      Slaving away all day for some worldly organization and using all you earn't for the wife and kids is an act of humility,..

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    6. You asked for a scriptural example of a man doing housework, and I found one of the only perfect man. Jesus never had a career, he had a ministry. And he used the washing of feet as an example of his ministry and love. Are you saying that Jesus isn't a real man?

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    7. a ministry is a career, it is something someone does, Pastor's missionaries etc , washing someone's feet is a perfect example, so is slaving away unrecognized to provide for one's family , protecting them and using resources to ensure the family is taken care of. Jesus himself was a working " career" man for most of his life. His father taught him the trade and the importance of work .
      I never said a man should not do housework.... do please read.
      Seriously you equate doing dished with washing feet of a man who lived 2000 years ago?!! also if you truly understand the concept you would not expect others to do stuff for you instead you would wash the dished etc...
      I said it should not be the sole definition of a Good man

      you would be extremely offended if the comment was reversed- that is the best part about egalitarians their double standards against men are brilliant- proof their goal is to reverse roles.

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    8. You're point is an excellent addition to Jen's. Remember the religious aren't always Right on.

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    9. Akash I hear you. I thought Jen's point was good yet devoid of how important the dad is. You make an extremely valid argument.

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    10. Friend - the post was, from start to finish, about how important the dad is. Thank you for reading! Jen

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  14. Thanks for this. This is not only a great read for parents of young daughters but also a great read for this 27 yr old single woman. :)

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  15. Let's convert this into a two-way street. We need to do the same with our sons. They need to be as strong and have the same morality walls built as our daughters, to protect them from the teenage girls whose values are lacking.

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    1. Absolutely. Some young women are every bit, if not more, aggressive than young men. I know well.. I had 3 sons.

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  16. as a father of a daughter we need to start early preparing our children for life. part of that is praying for them to have a godly spouse. godly men & women are rare so invest your time in your biggest legacy, your children!

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  17. Amazing blog post. I especially liked the part about strong men should be looking for strong women. My husband and I are both strong personalities and we have learned that where one of us is weaker the other is usually stronger so we shore each other up. We also learn from each other so that our weaknesses get stronger. and no matter what our weaknesses we know the Lord will show Himself strong. We are currently expecting our first child and while we don't know if it'll be a girl or a boy, I believe that this could apply to both sexes so I'll be sharing this with the hubby.

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  18. Dang, I just got taken to the woodshed. What a word. This is worthy of a expansion into a book.

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  19. I get that it is well intentioned and it is better than most, but it is still so very, very off. First of all, we don't build the wall, we don't set the boundaries, our kids do. PERIOD. We don't decide who our kid dates. They have the autonomy.

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    1. Hi Lyz, thanks for your thoughts. I'm using the metaphor of the wall to communicate (as I believe the Bible communicates) that we are to raise childern who are capable of choosing well on their own. That was pretty much my point - that it's far better to raise a daughter with good judgment and integrity than to try to manage her dating life with a shotgun. I do believe that we help build our children into that kind of young adult, with the guidance and assistance of the Holy Spirit. I'm sorry if that wasn't clear. Warmly, Jen

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    2. This blog post completely supports Lyz's point. Standing on the front porch with a shotgun is setting a boundary. Building a child's character and sense of self-worth is giving her the tools to set her own boundaries. I was expecting to hate this post, like so many other simpering "how to raise a godly woman" posts on the internet, but I loved it. We are seeing this play out very powerfully right now with a young man who has decided to woo our teen daughter. She has rebuffed him quite clearly but he persists in making grand "romantic" gestures which are backfiring terribly. She is offended that rather than respect what she has said, he thinks he can pester her into giving in. The gates have come down and her fortress is now impenetrable to him. God sent a child into our life in possession of a self worth the strength of a hurricane. Somewhere a young man worthy of being her mate is out building his own wall with the strength to match her. I feel sorry for the parent who wrote the "application to date my daughter" with a heart full of dread because I now look forward to the future with eager anticipation after seeing our daughter handle this young man's advances. Parenting early and often pays off!

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  20. Stay strong in your convictions. Remember expectations led us all in to areas that we never saw coming!

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  21. Bro- I'm gonna print this and hang it on my fridge. My daughter is only 2, but I don't want to forget this.

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  22. Great post! Thanks for writing this!

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  23. What a fabulous article! I SO enjoyed reading it! It is SO VERY TRUE! Girls & Boys just thrive in their daddy's love & want to please them! (That goes for our earthly fathers & our heavenly father!) :)

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  24. Phenomenal post! I loved every word! As a mother of twin girls it is my prayer that we raise them to be strong women of God and I hope they do intimidate every man who is not the one God intends to make their husbands!

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  25. As a daughter of marriageable age (upper-mid twenties): Thank you! Especially the part about your daughter paying attention when you set low expectations and low value on her judgment.
    I'd like to add (or request) a nuance: Is the wall part of me or are my parents the wall? You mentioned suitors scaling the wall. Is there a gate? Does he get a key if he achieves this feat of strength or does he come in the window a la the Rapunzel story?
    Thank you again so much for writing this!

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    1. Hi Heather - you are the wall! Godly parents build strong daughters with the help of the Holy Spirit. All metaphors have limits, and I wouldn't want to extend this one beyond where the Scripture uses it, but I think we can safely say this: A defensible wall is only a threat to an enemy. You choose who you let in by employing godly wisdom. :)

      Blessings, Jen

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  26. God bless you! Thankyou Jen Wilkin!

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  27. Thanks! I agree whole heartedly with your blog post and have tried to live with and teach this mindset in our family and Church. But I can see 1 thing that really confuses me after more than 25 years of raising my 5 very strong and accomplished, girls among committed Christian families.
    I can see we all successfully raised a generation of daughters who are sure of their worth in the Lord, modest in appearance, and humble in the value of their looks. Truly beautiful! Wise, strong and beautiful in the Lord. More attractive on the inside than glossy on the outside.
    However, it seems their brothers and peers were maybe not so successfully raised to look for such girls when finding a spouse. Having closely watched dozens of those boys grow up I see something that worries me for our future generations.
    For years now it seems pretty clear by whom they date and marry that more of these guys, though not all, still find those young women most attractive and worth pursuing who know how to use the power of their feminine looks. Young women who know how to allure subtly, know how to keep up a slight appearance of modesty though spending hours and dollars to enhance themselves. I see them tactically using their bodies when useful, and sadly, they know how to seem to not be very vain (until maybe you count the well poised selfies on their Facebook profile.)
    What exactly happened? How did so many of the boys not get the message to value inner beauty over outer? What sort of marriages will these couples led by appearances make?
    Guess there is nothing new under the sun. Even with careful teaching the old system of using sexy-ness to catch men is still highly effective. While so many of our well taught young ladies might still chose modesty and other higher qualities they are going unnoticed and not as likely to be appreciated.
    When looking for a mate with whom will these truly Godly women end up? What more do I need to teach so my son so he does not get ensnared the same way these other men seem to have been?
    These thoughts fill my mind much these days.

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  28. I am the epitome of a shotgun dad. It is my nature. Apparently my sin nature. Your point is well-spoken and convicting.

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  29. To My6Kids: I've seen several times men raised in deeply devout homes where godly principles are lived and taught. I've watched other families in our homeschooling group over decades. I'm a senior citizen now and have noticed abiding theme. It seems no matter how good the home or principles instilled, young men are still taken in by the wiles of a beautiful Christian women who engage in all the methods you mentioned. God made men visual and with ego. They literally come in that way. A woman who knows how to play to that usually gets what she wants. I've seen the best leaders among young men that the adults thought were surely inoculated from such women, as you mentioned, fall for the shallow images of beauty and wiles wielded expertly. These were young men who demonstrated over years their maturity, godliness, leadership, and spiritual awareness. After watching this over my life I understand why Proverbs is full of instruction about how a young man should guard his way. You can teach, lead by example, raise powerful sons...but I'm here to tell you many check their brain at the door when a beautiful, seemingly Christian woman turns their focused attention towards them. The only deterrent I've witnessed is a front seat view of the marriage of young man who chose to marry such a girl. His younger siblings are far wiser after witnessing that marriage as it continues to serve as a cautionary tale. Even so, I think this has been effective only because they witnessed the courtship/dating and now can see the outcome. They had an example that finely tuned their vision. Not many young men have that opportunity.

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  30. You know, I was told by more than one person when I prayerfully made the decision to continue with graduate school that I was going to scare off any eligible young men because they would be "intimidated by my education." Maybe it is true, but maybe that shows that that person wouldn't be right for me anyway. I love what I do! The Lord has guided me down this path that moved me across the country and has opened so many doors, so I'm not ashamed or feel that I should "tone down" who I am just because some guy finds it intimidating. I'm so thankful to have a mom and dad who have helped me grow into the person I am today. And, yes, my dad did teach me economics, how to change a tire (even how to change my oil!), and loves answering questions about the Lord and His Word. I want to marry someone like him one day. Great article! I needed that encouragement!

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  31. Thank you Lisa, for weighing in on my thoughts with your sagacity. Though your words are not very encouraging (especially in a culture where it is easy to move far away from folks who perhaps would learn from such a witness.) Still praying for more insight.

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  32. Excellent post! It never occurred to me that someone would take those lists seriously. They are so obviously meant to be funny.

    My twin daughters are 17 now. They've always make good choices in who they choose as friends and that carried over into good choices about what boys they would go out with. I haven't had to resort to any intimidation of dates because the boys that come to the house are good trustworthy boys.

    Other boys with less than wholesome interests know that my daughters are good Christian girls. My daughters don't get asked out by boys who are interested in girls who like to party. So I didn't have to resort to spreading rumors that I'm a bloodthirsty killer - I get to be a good guy that the boys can sit and talk with while their date is still getting ready to go out.

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    1. David, I love this. May your tribe increase a thousandfold ! :)

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  33. My daughter has just finished her first year in college. She is a very smart, strong-willed, outgoing, godly young woman. She did seem to scare of young men in high school, but come her 2nd semester in college she and a very godly young man hit it off! No only are the intellectual equals, they both love God. He is not afraid of her personality, her competiveness, her goals or her outgoing personality.

    My husband was never the shot gun type or the dating application type. We discussed things with her and she set her mind to what type of young man she would want to date. It's not easy for young men or young women, but they need to decide why they want a particular type of person and realize that marriage is to be life long!

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  34. I agree 100%. My daughter had made a strong comment to not having sex before she was married and she kept it, I'm so proud of her, she also recently got married to a wonderful godly man, who isn't worried about leading her since they both are lead by God.

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  35. This is exactly how my godly parents raised me (no intimidation from my dear dad necessary). The only hard part - seriously, I was in tears as I read this - is being 34 years old and single (as in dateless, not just unmarried!) because no good Christian men want to scale the wall. I would have said "yes" to several in my church, but they either weren't interested or willing. This confident girl trusts in the Lord, believes He is sovereign, and will keep hoping that one day a man will see me and my complementing strengths, but I never imagined waiting this long.

    Parents of young sons: If you like this post, please raise your boys to appreciate these types of Christian women. Today, I'm praying for a whole lot of single women in my church (not just me) who are waiting, waiting waiting long past the college years.

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    1. Feeling your pain, Lindsay. Easy to wonder sometimes if we somehow built the wall wrong... should have put in stairs, or footholds, or at least grown longer hair or something. Waiting, hard though it is, for the only bridegroom who has said for certain that He is coming!

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    2. Lindsay & Lilyforest, almost my thoughts exactly after reading this article. 37 and counting, and so thankful to be trusting my sovereign, all-wise, and loving God Who loved me enough to die for me and provide for my Eternal Need to provide what He deems best in the Here and Now. Thank you for responding! <3

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  36. I really like this post with one caveat. While I definitely agree that being a bloodthirsty father isn't the answer, my daughters have much appreciated having a father around that they know can "take care of things" if a boy gets out of line. They have the self-worth, judgment and strength to make their own decisions but they also know that I am there to back them up, if they ever need it. Most often, this just happens with a look...we're out somewhere, my daughter says, "dad, can we go?", I ask why and they cast a look at a boy over their shoulder. I look at my daughter, ask "are you okay?", get an affirmative and we head out with me between the boy and my daughter. That said, my girls know that all they have to do is say the word and bloodthirsty would become a gentle description of me...not because they made a bad judgment call but because there are creeps out there and they know I will protect them. (That said, they are pretty well trained in defending themselves but there is a comfortable feeling that they have in knowing that they don't always have to be the "strong" one.)

    Isn't this also what we should be raising our daughters to be...able to recognize where their weaknesses are offset by someone else's strengths and having the courage to trust that other person to wield that strength in the appropriate fashion?

    While we need to be raising strong children, we also have to teach them how to rely on each other, trust another person's strengths and so on. If they can't trust their weaknesses to someone else's strengths, how will they ever be able to do that with their spouse and how will they ever be able to expect their spouse to do the same in return?

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    1. James, I agree completely - raising a strong daughter (or son!) means raising her to know how to rely on others and trust them with her weaknesses. The point of this post is to train that child to recognize who is reliable and trustworthy. You articulate an important facet of this conversation. And I loved hearing how you relate to your daughter. Thank you for your thoughts!

      Jen

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    2. I love this. As a girl (though unchurched) told by boys in high school that I was more of the marrying type than the dating type (because of my intelligence and depth of character), I hope for the same depth in my daughters.

      I DO like the idea of dads interviewing their daughters' dates for the same reason James speaks of. Not in an intimidating way, but in a way of showing to the young man the girl's value to her father and family. In the book by Dennis Rainey, he asks the young suitors if they know that his daughter is a treasure from God, valuable. He makes certain the young men know that alcohol on the date is not permissible. He speaks of young men coming to do the interview with him even though they didn't want to take one of his four daughters on a date because they wanted to see if they had what it takes to earn the approval of a Godly man. I would have loved for my dad to show an interest in my love life. To show that I was important enough to him to do the uncomfortable. Raise the girls in the way Jen (and the Bible) is suggesting, let the girls make the decision who to date, and then Dad lets them know he'd like to meet the date in a non-intimidating way.

      I've also heard that men call boys up to be men, and this is a great way to help these Godly boys grow.

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  37. Thank you! This is very well-written. As a father of 4 daughters (and 4 sons and a stepson), you have painted in my mind the picture of what I want my girls to become, as well as the women I want my sons to search and strive for. I have had the honor of meeting more than a few of these young women in our church circles, and they radiate a powerful inner beauty and dignity that is very compelling.

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  38. Build the Foundation first. No other foundation can be laid that That Which is laid . . . This applies to every aspect of life.

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  39. I think in all of this we are putting too much emphasis on the parenting. We raise our daughters to seek Christ, to be modest, to "make good choices" but we live in a fallen world. To say "good parents produce good children" is just not true. Adam and Eve had the only perfect Father, and yet they chose to sin. We have 2 boys and 2 teenage daughters. All have great relationships with my husband and myself. One daughter is choosing to follow God's commands the other is really struggling to make this her own and is blinded. This is not because we have failed as parents, this is because we are all born into sin. Do not get trapped into taking the "credit" or the "blame" when it comes to the choices your teens make. You teach them and then pray, pray, pray!!!

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    1. Yes, you're absolutely right that we can't say "good parents produce good children". I know many parents I would call excellent parents who have had their share of woes. I don't believe we strive to be good parents to produce good kids. I believe we strive to be good parents because it glorifies God, to whom we will give an account. If I want to take the credit for my child's successes I must also take the blame for their failures. I'd much rather seek to honor God through obedient parenting and trust the outcomes to His sovereign hand.

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  40. Thanks Jen, great article. I agree for the most part with what you're saying, that definitely rings true. As a father that's my goal, that she'll be a godly Christian woman able to fend for herself, especially if I'm not around. However, from a male perspective, I'm still keeping the shot gun ready. Even among well-intentioned capable good Christian men, they are still fallen too, and even good strong Christian women can be fooled by wolves in sheep's clothing, especially in a moment of weakness. I'm still her covering, and have insight into men that she may not have. I may see things, warning signs, that she might miss. Therefore, my desire is still that they come through me and my shotgun first. Sometimes a man can talk a good game to a woman, but has trouble speaking those same convincing words to a man who has no attraction to him whatsoever, and is ready and willing to lay down his life for his little girl.
    Don't get me wrong, I want to raise her to be wise and make good decisions, be we all need help, even the best of us, and we can all be fooled. This is why it helps to have a dad with a shotgun. My hope is that we both can agree on a potential suitor someday. She'll have a great wall, but I'm the dragon in the tower, the final test.
    P.S. I am just using the term 'shotgun' metaphorically as an intimidating, but not unreasonable, presence. Dad's play an important role in not only raising godly girls, but also in helping to evaluate potential suitors. I believe this holds true for boys and girls. Boys also need insightful mothers who can warn them of good looking girls with hearts of poison.

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  41. "Instead of cross-examining the man your daughter brings home, cross-examine the man who brought your daughter home from the hospital."

    This is the quote I'm putting on my refrigerator!

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  42. Loved this! So many good points…true wisdom.

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  43. oh this has so many streams of truth: building up our daughters, the servant-leader partnership, the horrid thought of 'watering down' our girls for suitability - important, important concepts!

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  44. I agree that women need to be solid and make their own judgements. However, most of these strong women are hyper independent, prideful and fight to be the ruler of everyone around them. I believe the struggle is to raise a daughter that is wise, pure, gentle, submissive and dependent upon God as well as her brothers and sisters in Christ. Who can protect herself through her wisdom and communion with God, while not scaring people away with her independence and matriarch attitude.

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    1. Exactly, there is a new trend it seems to glorify proud women for example

      Teaching your daughter to mow the lawn etc its fine, but there is no emphasis on teaching the daughter to accept men who can also mow the lawn and would want to do so to serve her. Instead young women are taught to NOT need men and be independent, they want to be the provider and leader, of course Godly men would not want to marry such prideful women!!

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    2. "most of these strong women are hyper independent, prideful and fight to be the ruler of everyone around them"

      Statistics please.

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    3. Statistics!!- men and women in our churches are influenced by the culture- look at the culture around, one does not need statistics, just eyes!!

      my point is Churches need to differentiate between strong women and proud women- and stop ridiculing men who refuse to date proud women because the church thinks those men are to weak to handle these women, when instead guys know to stay away from proud women.

      Godly men are attracted to strong capable and OPINIONATED women - except these women know what it is to be a wife and mother.
      Look at the messages they receive, everything is about reversing gender roles etc- any Godly man would not be attracted to such unbiblical ideas
      http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/05/21/anne-marie-slaughter-tufts_n_5365122.html

      most young christian women today do no- no one has done a study on this but one just needs to go to churches and interact- most women are looking for a gender fluid/neutral marriage.

      most of my friends call these proud women strong women- if anything our culture has a problem with discerning proud from strong.

      Strong women are not intimidated by a man providing for them /serving them/ depending on them- but one never reads articles on addressing the issue women have.

      Changing tires, math and mowing the lawn , politics ( love a Girl who can challenge me there!!)etc are all good to know for all humans, but if young women do not understand what it is to be a wife and mom- stop criticizing men for NOT pursuing them.



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    4. Cheez and Akash, you need to reread Proverbs 31 as soon as possible. "14 She is like the merchant ships, bringing her food from afar. 15 She gets up while it is still night; she provides food for her family and portions for her female servants. 16 She considers a field and buys it; out of her earnings she plants a vineyard. 17 She sets about her work vigorously; her arms are strong for her tasks." The wife of noble character isn't exactly relying on a male breadwinner; she is a successful merchant, and she is called blessed by her husband for keeping her family fed, in the "bringing home the bacon" sense moreso than the "dinner at six, sweetie" sense. Don't mistake 1950s gender norms for God's plan for all marriages.

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    5. Also, ask yourselves: why would relying on your wife's income make you so uncomfortable? Put aside any reasons that have to do with being a man, just for a minute. Whatever else there is, I can guarantee that many women feel exactly the same way about being told that it is Godly to rely on a husband. Now imagine being constantly told by church leaders and potential dates that your desire to feel capable of providing for your family is no more than sinful post-modern pride, and that to show how much you trust God, you must entrust all major decisions and economic stability to someone who is just as weak and sinful as you are. Doesn't that seem a little off to you, maybe even a bit insulting? Now, look at each of your reasons that have to do with being a man. Can you find at least three Biblical passages that clearly support each reason? If you can't, then you need to seriously consider where you got your ideas from, because it would be a shame to miss out on an incredible wife someday because of a marriage ideal that isn't in keeping with scripture.

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    6. A Godly man know that the bible is clear that he has to bear the burden of provision- hence uncomfortable.

      Imagine being told that you are to be held responsible for all decisions made, you are to bear the burden of ensuring financial, spiritual , emotional stability of the family. The sole reason you work as a single man is to pretty much save so all the income you earn can be used on your wife, children and others in the future- this means sacrificing dreams and using the income for oneself, It means working more than 40 hours a weak and sometimes 2-3 jobs ( many men do this while their wife is at home) how is this 1950's?? please stop insulting Godly men who know their priorities and like to follow the bible as it says because they are humble enough to submit to the word. While all other men are shirking responsibility and enjoying their 20's YOU have to work just for a wife and others. Men find this very insulting and hence we have rebelled and chosen not to take responsibility.

      I would also say that a woman who cannot submit to her husband/refuses to is also likely not going to submit to the word of God- any Godly man should be vary of such women because this is basically sin.

      I takes a STRONG man to lead, provide and protect his family especially his SINNER wife, it takes a STRONG woman to trust and submit to her SINNER husband. What the author is advocating for is brilliant, Churches need STRONG Godly women!! She is right, Godly women naturally repel ungodly men.

      Strong Men and women are humble- however at times because culture tells us NOT to Judge etc we do not refer to proud women as proud, but them as Strong, I was wondering if the author understood that- it is a mistake on our part.

      A woman who solely works at home can be PROUD, controlling and usurping, whereas a woman who works outside can be just the opposite, (Pride has nothing to do with who works where and some of the strongest women are those that trust God and have committed themselves to their homes and communities)

      Biblical passages, seriously? I am sure you know the script there are so many, just read your bible, you provide verses where reversed Gender roles are the norm. As for Proverbs 31- you need to reread it She ensures/does all her duties at home ( yes she has servants but now we have electronic devices) her Husband is at the city with the ELDERS he is doing his job and providing / protecting his family, he is not at home doing housework like egalitarians like to suggest.
      Also I do not recall saying a woman who works outside is ungodly- Fact is regardless of whether a woman works or not the home is her primary responsibility- younger men are NOT instructed to be busy at home etc)
      Men love to shirk responsibility, a Godly wife would encourage her husband to do the opposite instead of taking over what the bible calls him to do. I can assure you the proverbs 31 women while assisting in bringing home the bacon, also had dinner ready at 6!! Women in Asian cultures do this all the time and joyfully too.
      As for the preindustrial era where both men and women worked, it is quite clear from history that the home was primarily run by women. Not by men as egalitarians and feminist like ti suggest.

      Also please read what I am saying, NOT what I am not saying.

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    7. http://cbmw.org/men/manhood/preparing-yourself-for-the-second-shift/

      How is this biblical thinking any similar to the 1950's?!!

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    8. Sacrificing your personal desires for an imagined future as head of the household is not selfless if you are expecting obedience and submission as a reward. A family based on resentment is not a model of Christian love. And in your anxiety over the future, how are you loving the people God has placed around you now? Sorry if I struck a nerve..it's just that what you're not saying interests me more than what you are saying. And I've heard Biblical Manhood/Womanhood sermons before...but the fact that my gifts don't align with those rigid gender roles makes me question how much is scriptural and how much is merely cultural, and this is what I have found. You sound miserable and defensive. I hope you find peace in Christ.

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    9. really, how? it is what godly men have done throughout history. A Godly man is not supposed to expect anything, no human has the right to anything. Obedience and submission is a reward? what?

      WOAH!! so you are saying the church REWARDS Christ by submitting him and that is why we submit

      Christ does not need our rewards, he already did everything so we can be with him hence we submit to him, this is not about rewards.
      Resentment? considering the majority of Christian families throughout history have lived this way- did they all live in resentment?

      is Jen Wilkin's living in resentment?!!
      is Kathy Keller living in resentment?!

      Gifts? like what I would love to know, I would imagine your understanding of gifts is not biblical if you think some gifts do not comply with what the bible teaches.

      hey I know you have to throw a personal dig when you realised that I just thrashed your idea that the bible wants to take us to the 50's ...

      Rare it is to hear egalitarians, especially women talk about serving, its always about taking and pride

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  45. Thoroughly enjoyed your post. Thank you for the wonderful insight.

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  46. This is a great post! I'm a Christian father with 2 daughters (12 and 4) so this is very helpful and makes perfect sense! Thanks

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  47. Excellent! All very true. Thank you for speaking out.

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  48. I love how biblical this post is.

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  49. Awesome, awesome awesome. Thank you. I have already been praying for my daughter's (13 mos and 3 years) future husbands as they are being raised and for their mothers and fathers who are preparing them for my sweet girls. :)

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  50. Jen: I am a “visual” learner primarily, and I found your article through Randy Alcorn’s link to you. I was going to pin the article to Pinterest but I could not figure out why you had used such an unappealing image of brickwork...and then I read the article. BRAVO!
    The image is perfect and will do its job to remind me of the key points you make. Blessings upon you in return for all the young women you are helping to become strong and defensible in the will of God, and for all those blessed to eventually reside in palaces of silver. ><†>

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  51. Christian women are seldom taught to appeal to men's sexual desires in a righteous way. I used to fear and deny men those natural instincts out of fear they would rule me. Now I celebrate and respect them. I was a virgin bride and I married a man who fit every description of Sunday school husband material list. After twelve years of marriage and 5 children he rebelled against God and left. By God grace mercy and wisdom he showed me to remain beautiful through obedience to excellence and health. At 33 years of age I look better than when I was twenty. I have suitors of all ages coming out of my ears. I have yet to even kiss another man but I have no problem looking them in the eye and receiving their advances fully but saying you don't qualify. They know I know what they want and think they also know I am not afraid or offended. It inspires them to live better. Women should invest, cultivate, and display their beauty and sexuality as much as their character and then lost souls will see the excellence of the kingdom. My 4 daughter's will get what they want without compromise and will give harlots competition they can't win against. Women embrace you beauty anointing and let it serve a purpose like Esther did. Christian men deserve the full package. :)

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  52. I think the author overreacts to the sayings of the father of this two year old. I took it as joking Perhaps, he is serious. If that is the case, then there are bigger issues there than how he views his daughter and 'suitors'.

    I, too, joke like this all the time to my two daughters-and my four sons! They know I am kidding. Is this all I do? NO! We have family devotionals almost every night after dinner, we faithfully take our kids to church every Sunday and are involved there; we read Bible stories before going to bed for the little ones and when the kids reach high school dad meets with them one-on-one each week discussing the word, books, relationships, dating, life, theology. We are approaching raising our kids in the most Biblical way we know how-with the Lord's power and wisdom. However, we do joke and that is okay.

    The men I know who hold to the view that you must brandish a gun and intimidate the 'suitor' are not Christians. The men I know who raise all of their kids in a Biblical manner as you mention are believers.

    Men are second-class citizens in this country and the world. Give us male believers some credit-we are better than your characterization.

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  53. dont be surprised.
    She is part of a church where attacking men is perfectly fine from the pulpit , but attacking women is a no go zone...
    they thus buy into this idea that anything a man says has to pass some female list of requirements ( aka anything about biblical womanhood which is against the feministic God of our culture is not permitted)
    this is increasingly happening in conservative churches , pander to feminism...
    so they are all in a culture that assumes men are idiots and male opinions thay defer from females ( protecting your daughter etc) is wrong...

    sad but don't expect these people to give men any credit.

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  54. fyi when I said protecting I was not meaning on the way the author describes... her article had good points , just presented in a typical look down on men way.

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  55. Preach it brother! Thank you from the depths of my heart for putting words to the reality of life as daughters. I love the way that you highlight the fact that we as daughters want and need our dads to build into us so we can be strong and courageous and all that God created us to be. AWESOME! And six years ago God led me to start working with dads who have daughters ages 13 to 30 to help them be better equipped to lead their girls even as they get more complex. The group is called The Abba Project and then last year I wrote a book called "Dad, Here's What I Really Need from You: A Guide for Connecting with Your Daughter's Heart." I'd love to connect more since it sounds like our passion areas are on the same page when it comes to dads of daughters. You can reach me through my website: drmichellewatson.com. And again, THANK YOU! :o)

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  56. In song of solmon 8:10 (quoted in your text) the 'towers' are actually a metephor for an anotomical part of a woman. I understand your position but I would challenge you, Jen, and all your readers to look at the context and specifics of Scripture before quoting and using it to back up your idea.

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    1. Hi Andrew, yes, in 8:8 we read "We have a little sister, and she has no breasts. What shall we do for our sister on the day when she is spoken for?" The mention of her breasts as towers in 8:11 signifies that their little sister is grown to maturity. Whereas elsewhere in SOS they are referred to as fawns or as fruit, here, they are a sign of her strength and maturity. Thank for your comment!

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  57. Thank you, I have two girls and I can not wait to see the choices they make and the men they love. If every day they know I love them and all they hear from me is that they are perfect, than they will live out of that. Even in there mistakes I can incoureg instead of fix them.
    I love the way you said it your heart is wonderful, thank you for putting this out there so that so many can read it and hopefully consider it.

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