My family just finished watching the wonderful movie "Courageous". What a blessing that was! I wish every person in the world would go see it. It is about a father who is trying to recover from the tragic loss of his young daughter and finds what Scripture has to tell him about being a dad. One of the parts that struck close to home (and there were many) was the interaction between a dad and his teenage daughter who is considering dating. The dad told her that if she will trust her heart to him for right now, he would do everything he could to protect her until the right man comes along. I thought I would use this space to give my thoughts on what a girl should look for in a man and how a young man should act just in case either of my followers were interested.
1. If you like a young lady enough to ask her out, you need to get the parents' permission first. This is a non-negotiable rule in my family. If you don't respect my daughter enough to talk with me first, then you will never respect her enough in other areas. Be a man, talk to her parents first. If they say no for whatever reason, respect that. You must adhere to their rules regardless of how valid you think they are.
2. Treasure her. She is not your property or a prize to be shown off. She is a fragile, irreplaceable treasure that you need to treat with the utmost care. Take her heart into consideration at all times. Think about what you say, how you act and what you think. Would you like someone to think, act and say those things to your mom or sister?
3. Have good manners. Open the door for her. Come to the door to pick her up, don't sit in your car and honk, she isn't your homeboy. Pull her chair out for her. Send her a thoughtful text telling her why she is special. Make her feel like she is the only girl in the room.
4. No means NO! Don't ever pressure her to do anything. If she says no, you must respect that the first time every time. That applies to every situation from going out, to drinking, to sex and anything else you could imagine. No means NO! I would hate to come after you for not understanding this one.
5. She is not going to be your wife. Chances are the girl you think you are madly in love with is never going to be your wife. She will be the wife of someone else. Every girl you kiss is someone else's wife. Think about that.
6. Respect your mama. How a young man treats his mom is a good indication of how he will treat his wife. If he isn't respectful and kind to her, you have no business being with him. You cannot change him. Move on.
7. You should be #2, God should always be #1. This one probably should have been number 1. He MUST respect and fear God. If he does not have a strong personal relationship with God, you will never have a good relationship with him. God has to come first or your relationship/marriage will never live up to all that God has created it to be.
I know this may seem silly especially to a teenager but I really do have your best interest at heart on this one. I can tell you all day long that once you have your own kids you will understand and appreciate this advice but you won't believe me until you do.
I am stepping down from my soapbox now but reserve the right to jump back on with my megaphone at any time.