*Update as of 11/04/2015 I changed the title to add the word consider because I think some people on here are not understanding my message. My hope is not that you would all agree with me (that’s impossible) but rather that we all might be edified and at least consider the information below. As a disclaimer I do not believe that if you don’t ascribe to this position that it means you are any of the following: Unsaved, sinful or even wrong.
I’m “old fashioned” I tell people. They usually think that’s a nice way of saying “You’re christian, that’s cool.” but when you get that from believers, man, you know you’re just straight up traditional (and probably a bit strange.)
For anyone who knows me, you’ve probably heard me go off on my dating rant at least once or twice. If you haven’t let me summarize. I’m not a huge fan of American dating: dating to test things out, see how far things can go physically and emotionally to see if you’re “forever” compatible seems to me to be completely backwards from what’s written in the bible but that’s just one side of it. The other side of it is transparency, let me explain.
If it’s not clear already, I’m an advocate for a more courtship minded dating structure. I think the accountability from family, especially dad’s is a missing component in many relationships today and that’s why the church has to play defense all the time when it comes to issues of sexual purity. Truth be told, the more I read my bible the more I’m grateful for the blessing and the authority that my parents have over me.
Let me summarize my intent here: I believe that men who are interested in any girl in a romantic way, should ask their fathers first.
Upon reading this you will probably brand me crazy but before you do so at least allow me the opportunity to share my stance with you. Maybe you’ll find that white padded walls and barred windows are you’re thing too.
I’ll be going straight from God’s Word here. If there’s something you disagree with I would encourage you to ask the question: What’s my biblical rationale for doing so? Do I have scriptural justification to believe what I believe?
If you find the answer is no, then I think it’s at least wise to reconsider your stance.
Here’s my list of reasons, in no particular order:
Yes, Aretha Franklin is playing as I write this. We could also call it honor. It’s a trivial notion that has been lost to time it seems. I personally think there is nothing more respectful than a guy approaching a woman’s father and essentially getting to know him. Think of dad’s like gatekeepers. It’s the gatekeepers duty to protect his daughter, spiritually, emotionally, physically and mentally. Not only that guys, it’s a great way to build street cred with her father. If she has non-believing parents it may even open up a door to share Christ with them!
2) Does it hurt the relationship to do so?
While I acknowledge there may be exceptional situations that make this situation impossible most of the time I think this is a plausible course of action. I mean, can any bad really happen from this? The worst, men that we stand to suffer here is embarrassment. Her parents, in particular her dad might regard us as strange but who cares! We don’t live for him, we live for the King.
3) Parental Authority
Biblically my support for this position comes from Genesis 1 & 2, both of which document the creation of man and woman. The creation hierarchy is this: God creates man, man creates children. I don’t think this is a coincidence. One of reasons I believe He did this is because He modeled for us His authority structure through His creation. In other words, God didn’t start off with two children because He wanted us to know how the family was to be run. God is above parents and parents are above their children. We see this theme all throughout scripture (Exodus 20:12, Ephesians 6:2)
4) Parental Authority exists until marriage
Go to Numbers 30:3-15 and read. The verses here are primarily in regards to vows. If we look closer though, we can see that they also reveal something about marriage as well as parental authority.
Even though Numbers here is specifically referring to vows, it is safe to say that the larger idea of authority is being considered, if not strongly implied. If we pair what we know from Genesis that I’ve written above with these verses in Numbers, I believe we have a solid foundation to build off of.
Notice the change from verses 3-5 and verses 6-14. When a woman is married, her husband, in this case inherits all the rights of authority that her father had. This is significant because outside of a marriage relationship it shows that the dad is the one who ultimately rules the roost. He is the one responsible for his daughter, therefore he should be the one to get to decide on who she ultimately pledges herself to be married too.
It seems only logical then, since dating leads to marriage to acknowledge that a father should be involved in the decision making process when it comes to who his daughter dates. This is especially significant given that there are so many wolves, in particular wolves who look and smell like christians looking for selfish gain in a relationship. It is the father’s job to weed out these bad apples and find a suitable match that both she and her father agree on. A good first step in my opinion is sitting down with the her Father.
1) What if we’re already dating?
If you still haven’t met the parents yet it’s not to late but if you have that makes it even easier. Find out what her dad thinks about you! It may be a great opportunity to build that relationship or even share Christ with them, assuming their not saved.
2) Isn’t it just a date? Why would I ask her dad?
A date and dating in my mind are two different things. You going on a date with someone is much different than you mutually pledging to not see and talk to other people while going on dates with that person. Obviously there is a line, if you go on multiple dates and don’t DTR (define the relationship) then you might wanna repent and be a little more considerate of that girls feelings but if you’re going on one date, especially in a group setting I don’t know if it’s necessary to ask her Father… Yet. Be careful with this, once you’ve made up your mind as to whether or not you’re going to pursue her exclusively at that point I think it’s wise to ask her dad. Don’t play games. Your goal isn’t to see how long you can wait before making your relationship Facebook official. If the emotions, physical chemistry and Godliness is all there then, it’s probably close to being that time or it is that time.
3) My girl is independent
This argument is the most puzzling because it relies on the culture to make its argument as opposed to scripture. “My girl’s 26 and hasn’t lived with her parents for five years. Doesn’t she get to make her own decisions?”
According to the world once you’ve moved out of your parents house, you get to live and do whatever you want but the truth is that biblically, I don’t see a point where the parental authority structure is ever broken unless marriage occurs. “Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.” (Genesis 2:24)
In other words, the age and situation of life are irrelevant. Unless a woman is married, the woman’s father still has authority over his daughter.
Theoretically she could be 40, single and running a company as a CEO and the rule would still apply, assuming her father is still alive. If this point is hard to stomach, ask yourself why you believe this. Is it because of God’s Word or the cultural standard that society has put in place?
4) What if her dad’s no longer alive
Ask the mom. Remember, it’s all about dat respect!
5) What if she doesn’t speak with her parents
I would say, be careful with this one. Gauge the situation. If she has a terrible relationship with her family because of past sins that have gone unforgiven, than maybe this is an opportunity to help bring the father and his daughter into right relationship with each other. In the rare case that the father is so distant and dis-attached, then I think the next best course of action is to go before her “spiritual father” or a mentor and ask them. A good scripture is 1 Peter 2:17 “Honor everyone.” Would it not be honorable to ask the one whom she regards as her father? Who cares if he’s not related by blood. Do not the bonds of Christ make us closer than any earthly family? Honor them. In the words of the great social philosopher Shia Lebeouf, just do it!
Hope this gets your mental gears grinding! Let the discussion begin.