The first time my elder daughter tells me she’s going on a date, I will die.
Maybe not all of me, but that part that believes she will always be content to sit at the computer chatting online with her friends or watching reruns of “The Nanny” with me at midnight.
I’ve had it easy, and she reminds me of this often. I haven’t worried about her making curfew or making out or making anything but decent grades. She’ll be 18 in March, and although she’s had her crushes over the years, she hasn’t been interested in giving up her valuable time drawing and sewing and talking with her friends.
When she does find someone she likes, I hope he’s like her older brother, the one who loves Jesus and has great taste in music and movies and who nearly panicked the time his abstinence ring fell off his finger.
“Well, you’ll have to have sex now!” exclaimed my daughter as her brother searched the depths of the couch for the symbol of his physical purity until marriage.
When she does start dating, I’ll take comfort in the pact she and her 14-year-old sister made with me: If the first sister and I don’t like the boyfriend of the other sister, that person must acquiesce to our better judgment.
I have a lot of discussions with my daughters about men. I read the Book of Ruth to them, admonishing them to “bring home a Boaz,” the man who showed favor to Ruth, fell in love with her, and married her. I mean, what is more romantic, I asked my daughters, than a man saying of you, “Let her gather among the sheaves and don’t reprimand her”?
We talk about the qualities in the men they know that they admire. Even fictional characters come under consideration. My younger daughter’s dream man is the sword wielding Aragorn in “Lord of the Rings.”
“Look at that strut,” she says every time he walks in slow motion.
Okay, so strutting isn’t exactly the characteristic that should be on the top of her list. I only hope she sees that strut as a sure sign of his bravery and his kindness to women and puppies.
Mac’s perfect man as a junior higher was the Japanese anime character Inuyasha. He had a wolf tail and “the cutest fuzzy ears.” I explained that I wasn’t against tails, but if she ever brought home a guy that dragged his butt across the carpet, he was out.
I approve more of her current pretend guy crush on the Colonel in the film adaptation of Jane Austen’s Sense and Sensibility. He’s not particularly handsome, but he is the best of men. (And those military issue boots do cause a gal’s heart to stand at attention.) See this photo?
This is the look of a man who is struck by purity and beauty and would protect it with his life (or he forgot his lines).
My daughters and I have had many discussions about relationships—what works, what doesn’t, how they should be treated, and how they should treat their mates. And even if Aragorn is a character from a book, a man with character is also loyal and brave and would take up a sword if he had to.
We’ll continue to talk, and I will pray for God to cross their paths with men like their brother, uncle, grandfather, stepfather, and all the men who recognize them as daughters of a King (and of a mother who will take up a sword if she has to.)