Years ago, my daughter Rachael began leaving our house to date the guy she loved: her Dad. Others wanted the privilege. Boys proposed to her when she was three, four, and twice when she was six. When she was a teen, she hung a Bible verse on her bedroom door: Psalm 56:1: “Have mercy on me, Oh God, for men hotly pursue me.” (A little out of context, methinks.) And boy did they pursue her. But Rachael always said no. “They’re not the kind of guys I wanna marry,” she told me. “Besides, I like dating you. You pay for everything.”
Then along came Jordan. It was surprising the things the guy would do for free. He cleaned the shed, repaired the dryer, mowed the grass, and correctly assembled a barbecue (though there were parts left over). When he asked if he could date my daughter, I talked to him while sharpening a knife. I told him that nothing on earth matters more to me than this girl. I let him know I’m not a big guy, but I have friends. And I told him about the video surveillance units we’ve installed in every room. And in his car. He chuckled nervously. “I’ll be good to her.” And he was.
One day Jordan tapped on our bedroom door and tip-toed in like a porcupine entering a balloon factory. “I was going to ask you about, uh, marrying Rachael.” “You have the right to remain silent,” I informed him. “Seriously, we like what we see in you. You’re a gentleman. And we’ve seen your love for Jesus.” I asked a few simple questions.* Jordan spluttered a little, so I suggested we talk about these things during the seven years he would spend raising cattle for me. Three days after Christmas, Jordan got down on one knee, and popped the question. It wasn’t the first time she’d been asked, but this time Rachael said, “Yes.” We couldn’t be happier for them. But life is changing fast. My only daughter, the second girl I ever dated, is all grown up. Life speeds by, so we’re wise to find out what never changes and hang on. Lamentations 3 says, “the steadfast love of the Lord never ceases. His mercies never come to an end.” Through all the twists and turns, we trust him for whatever comes and goes. Especially when it comes to our kids.
A few months before Jordan and Rachael tie the knot (this June), I asked Jordan, “May I have your permission to date her when you’re married?” He smiled and gladly agreed. Sometimes we watch them in the car talking about their June wedding. (The picture is quite clear from these new-fangled surveillance cameras.) They are planning a lavish catered affair, but I think we should have a backyard potluck. A-E: bring a hot dish. F-M: salads. N-Z: toasters. I haven’t mentioned it to Rachael yet. But surely she will leave that decision up to me.
After all, I’m the Dad. I pay for everything.
*What questions did you or would you ask a potential son-in-law? Phil will post a list soon in the comments below.