Friday, April 20, 2012

Daughters, Dating and FEAR

My bother reminded me that High School Prom season is upon us. Any of us who have daughters share his concern that she date a decent young man, and like any father of teen girls, he feels that his best method for deterring any errant behavior on the part of the young suitor is through the use of fear & intimidation.  Admit it…we all do it.

“Come on in boy sit on down
And tell me about yourself
So you like my daughter do you now?
Yeah we think she's something else
She's her daddy's girl
Her momma's world
She deserves respect
That’s what she'll get
Ain’t it son?
Hey y'all run along and have some fun
I'll see you when you get back
Bet I’ll be up all night
Still cleanin' this gun”
-    Rodney Atkins

He had a pretty good list of ideas that he sent out to us about how he’d deal with this teenage boy.  You can download the file here.  It was originally written by a retired Air Force Special Operations Soldier.  (in that context it makes a lot more sense)

Personally the only point I have a problem with is #6.  I believe that steady or exclusive dating among teenagers is a sign of an extremely needy and weak personality. If a 16-19 year-old boy wants to exclusively date my daughter, that is a clear sign to me that he is mentally unstable and a male ‘drama-queen’.  Others may not agree with that, but my assessment of steady dating in high school is just an invitation to trouble.

With that in mind, here is my plan for instilling ‘the FEAR’ into any young teenaged suitors for my daughter. It’s called the “3 Wrestling Matches”.

Here’s how it works:  Match #1 – he needs to wrestle me.  Match #2 – He needs to wrestle with God.  Match #3 – He needs to wrestle with the scriptures.

Match #1 – Wrestling ME. (Physical).
Are you ready to rumble?

This match will occur in my back yard. You can choose: classic wrestling, Boxing (with gloves) or Mixed Martial Arts, or my personal favorite “Tarzan” style… IF a YM is willing to go toe-to-toe with me that tells me a lot about his character.  It also shows his level of physical fitness.  It shows me that he is strong enough to protect my daughter.  You may ask “does the Lord really care if we are that physically fit or not?”  I would reply that he cares a great deal about it because he has told us through prophets that:
  1. Our Body is a temple
  2. If a YM is going to serve a full-time mission, he must be fit
  3. We have a greater capacity to receive revelation if we are physically fit (Richard G. Scott – “How to Obtain Revelation and Inspiration for Your Personal Life” – General Conference Apr. 2012)
  4. It is the revealed role of men to Protect, Provide and Preside.  That requires Physical Fitness.

I’d also add, that I reserve the right to repeat this match at the end of the date, and reinforce this with a statement that the later it gets, the more likely it is that the fight will go in my favor as my strength increases as the moon rises…  This should motivate him to get her home nice and early!

Match #2 – Wrestling GOD. (Spiritual) This is done though sincere and earnest Prayer (ENOS Style).
"I will tell you of the wrestle which I had before God"

It  also requires that a young man pray expecting an answer, and working through that prayer until he gets one. Then once that answer comes, he must be ready to act. To honor his priesthood and act in all diligence in that office. This is ascertained by  personal interview where I ask specifically: “What are your prayers like? How often do you pray? What do you do to keep yourself worthy to exercise your priesthood? What happened the last time you saw porn?” that kind of thing.

A young man who walks with God, can certainly be trusted with my daughter.

Match #3 – Wrestling the Scriptures. (Mental)  We’ll open the scriptures and talk about what is in them.  I will be able to quickly learn if he is familiar with the books of scripture or not by how he handles, navigates and utilizes them. 

A young man who has wrestled with the scriptures can handle mental challenges in life.  Mastery of scriptures leads to mastery of other intellectual pursuits.  This is a smart kid.

Lastly I’d share with him the following scripture:

Ephesians 6: 12 (at the close of this Armor of God scripture) For we WRESTLE not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

Then I’d ask him what that word WRESTLE means in that passage? What are those principalities, powers and rulers of darkness today?

Note that in the scriptures there is a footnote next to the word WRESTLE…look at where it takes you… Joseph Smith History 1: 15-17

15 After I had retired to the place where I had previously designed to go, having looked around me, and finding myself alone, I kneeled down and began to offer up the desires of my heart to God. I had scarcely done so, when immediately I was seized upon by some power which entirely overcame me, and had such an astonishing influence over me as to bind my tongue so that I could not speak. Thick darkness gathered around me, and it seemed to me for a time as if I were doomed to sudden destruction.
16 But, exerting all my powers to call upon God to deliver me out of the power of this enemy which had seized upon me, and at the very moment when I was ready to sink into despair and abandon myself to destruction—not to an imaginary ruin, but to the power of some actual being from the unseen world, who had such marvelous power as I had never before felt in any being—just at this moment of great alarm, I saw a pillar of light exactly over my head, above the brightness of the sun, which descended gradually until it fell upon me.
17 It no sooner appeared than I found myself delivered from the enemy which held me bound. When the light rested upon me I saw two Personages, whose brightness and glory defy all description, standing above me in the air. One of them spake unto me, calling me by name and said, pointing to the other—This is My Beloved Son. Hear Him!

The knowledge that we possess of the restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ is a POWERFUL WEAPON in that battle against the powers of darkness.  That sword of the spirit has been entrusted to you, and you (young men) are now preparing to take that sword out to the world (behind enemy lines) to do battle with those powers.  You cannot fail in this effort.  This is your eternal wrestling match.

Honestly that goes for all of us. Young or old.  This is our charge as sons of God.

If a young man can show fortitude in those three wrestling matches, I can completely trust him with my daughter.  Mostly because he’ll most likely spend most of that date sore in body, mind and spirit.  He’ll spend most of the time reviewing  his answers and wondering if I’m going to attack him again at the end of the date.

Seriously though, any man who can tackle these three wrestling matches will find himself “Physically strong, Mentally awake and Morally straight”. (now where have I heard that before?)