Any man who has daughters dreads the day when words like boys, dating, prom, love, etc. enter the vernacular of those precious little girls. I am such a man. I have been blessed with five children, four of whom are girls. Like any father I have thought about ways I would keep boys away from my daughters. There is of course the cliché that I will go out and buy a shotgun. I have also thought about reminding boys that I work for God and that he is watching them and that he speaks audibly to me in my dreams. However, something I have learned from being a parent and pastor is that fear is not a good long-term strategy.
So what is a father supposed to do? I made a decision five years ago that I would date my daughters once they turned three. My wife dresses them up in beautiful dresses, curls their hair, and I do my best to look the part. I don’t take them to McDonalds, TGIF, or Applebees. We go to nice restaurants, going wherever they want to eat.
Why? Won’t this spoil them? Isn’t this every man’s nightmare; to raise up a generation of daddy’s little girl? Of course! My goal is to love them and treat them so well, that when cheesy, loser, sex-crazed teenage boys try to sweep them off their feet, they will be unimpressed. There is no guarantee that this will work but I believe we as fathers must not be passive but preemptive in our battle against boys. Like any battle you feel at times you are gaining ground while other moments leave you wondering if this is worth it. Awhile ago I took my third daughter on a lunch date at a nice Italian restaurant in Old Town Pasadena. She was three. It was our first date. I was excited and motivated to wage war on the future boys that would try to infiltrate my kingdom. We talked. It was nice. Everything seemed to being going well until I asked her who some of her friends were at school. Billy, Mike, Brad, Max, Benjamin…on and on she was naming what I perceived to be boy names. With a concerned look on my face, I sternly asked if she was ever going to mention any girl names. She looked back at me with a childlike valley girl “whatever” look, and said of course daddy. She told me one of her friends was Megan, Johnny, Charles, Brian, Chad…(sigh).
I do my best to look interested when the older ones tell me about Hannah Montana and High School Musical. I do my best to carry on a conversation with little kids all the while hoping that all of this is working. The frustrating thing is that there is no way to tell. Through all of this I have come to accept that I have no control over what they will do, who they will like, and who will like them. I have resolved myself to dating my daughters not so much anymore to keep them pure, but so that they will know that God has made them beautiful, intelligent, creative, and sweet. As a result, hopefully they will grow up to be responsible and wise women who will stay single until they are 25 and then marry I guy I won’t try to kill.