Friday, January 26, 2007

Unprotected Daughters

The other day I was on the phone with a woman who asked for my counsel. My heart was saddened to the point of tears as I heard some of her story of an abusive marriage. I often wonder where were the fathers of the women who are so cruelly abused and mistreated. Why were they not there to protect their precious daughters from such men and dismal future?

So often we blame the woman and think 'Well, she should have known better." Indeed, there is a place for that, however, in many cases I believe that we must first look to parents to protect and educate their children from making wrong decisions later in life regarding marriage. This 'training' begins early as soon as the child can begin to speak.

The understanding to marry another Christian is essential. We can point out godly traits in others to point them toward what a godly mate might look like. We can also put protective measures in place such as courtship. No, not the type of courtship that just resembles wordly dating, but a courtship that attempts to protect both parties purity and include the families and not just the couple being alone. In this setting, the parents can better discern what kind of person the suitor might be and see how what character traits they possess---for example, by how they treat the siblings (if there are any) you will get an idea what kind of parent they might be.
And let's back up, before the entire courtship is to take place, my husband and I both think it is wise if Dad could screen any man who might come near his home with a desire to pursue his daughter. If possible, young men should aspire to receive both parents blessing before he begins the process of courtship. Think about what honor and respect this shows both sides and how this can bring glory to God in the future. This displays a man's intent to take seriously the courtship and be very prayerful about it before he ever approaches the young girl. My husband, Steve, advised a friend to do this very thing and it reaped blessing for this young man and his new bride. A noble man will find a way to protect the girl he desires to court in the event he will one day marry her.

As Dad screens the young man, he must remember that he will not be perfect but look for basic biblical qualifications such as being equally yoked with his daughter. If this man should pass 'inspection' but needs work in some areas, the father might want take it upon himself to mentor the young man personally (if he feels the man might be a potential prospect).

 Many families who have courted suggest the father to meet with the man several times to get a good feel for him and to investigate his family life, etc. before he would ever allow the man into his home near his daughter. I think this is a good protective measure as the girl might develop an attachment to the young man and they later find out he was not what they thought he was. There are many number of ways to approach courtship and protect daughters as there are many good books written on courtship. Obviously, nothing is full-proof, but its a good starting point! Purity should be one of the leading factors on this list to consider as well.

As I share with my new friend on the phone my advice of how to deal with an abusive marriage, I think of God's grace and hope as I pray for her marriage and the ones that have not yet begun. How we can protect our daughters and keep them from from being eaten up as sheeps to the wolves is critical. There is a world out there waiting to devour them in a moments notice. May the Lord help us as we seek to be wise and protect them.

1 comment:

  1. First, I love your blog. I'm due to be married in October of this year and though we don't have children our general plan is to practice courtship with them when the time comes.
    I was lucky enough to meet my future husband 7 years ago when I was 13 and when I met him I did not fully understand something that was written dearly on my heart! He scared me away by saying that he did not want to kiss me until on the "alter".
    I ran but happily the Lord had planted a seed there and I returned.
    He surprised both me and my father by asking his permission to even date me. This is nothing close to courtship and I agree 100% with the notion of "where were her parents".
    I defiantly don't come from a "untainted" past with young men, and I have always wondered where my parents were when I was making mistakes that truly last a lifetime.
    It is such a relief to have everything that is written on my heart, that has been confused by the "average" society, validated for the first time.
    Again, Thank you for your blog and many blessings on you and your family.


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