As we are sure you know, how you conduct your arrows' relationships is extremely telling about your level of maturity as parents, and as Christians. Others will have every right to judge you based on your courtship methods, so you must always be sure that the method you choose (ours) is the most godly. One of our help-meet readers recently sent us this dilemma.
Dear Quivers of Men,
Help! I am at my wit's end.
My stay-at-home adult daughter is in a very godly and biblical relationship with a young man. Since we obviously cannot place trust in either of them (they are children, after all!), we have taken very positive safeguards to protect them from themselves. We follow the natural list: no touching, no lingering eye contact, no alone time, etc. At least one, if not two, chaperons are always with them, and will continue to be until their wedding, one month from now. They have been generally receptive and grateful for these rules, but now we have a serious problem! There are certain other young couples in close contact with our daughter and her intended who are NOT following the biblical model for courtship. They hold hands, exchange "I love yous" and go out on dates! Their parents fully support and almost encourage it. And they claim to be Christians! Naturally, I KNOW that they are sinning and that the only outcome of those relationships is a dead end. But what about us?? Won't their "free" relationships make my patriarch and me look too legalistic and controlling? Please advise!
Dear help-meet, do not lose hope. Your question brings up a very good point, and is a good jumping off point for introducing our NEW method, "Father, Son and Holy Spiritship®." We are sure it goes without saying that "dating" is a blatant attack on our worldview. The biblical method, courtship, while its intentions were originally honorable, worldly influences have crept into it and turned it into a kind of "fancy dating" process, in which couples are allowed to "go out" in groups, as long as the young men have "permission" from the daughters' patriarchs. The newer method of "Lordship" has proven very effective (we have yet to see it come to fruition, aka marriage, but we have several hopefuls!), but we still feel it places a little too much emphasis on "love," "feelings," and the daughter's "place" in a relationship. Hence, our latest and holiest method, "Father, Son and Holy Spiritship®." Here is a breakdown for you:
The "Father," seeking a patriarch for his hopeful-help-meet daughter, builds a relationship with the "Son," and the Holy Spirit blesses their relationship on its way to a godly marriage between the son and the father's daughter. This new way is by far the most godly and biblical. It is a great first pre-step in a pre-relationship (Lordship). It eliminates all confusion about the "primary players" in every relationship. With so much responsibility in a relationship removed from the daughter, she is much more free to continue fine-tuning her homemaking skills, serving her patriarch, and raising her younger fellow-arrows.
So to our help-meet reader, adjust your method accordingly. And as for the "other" couples, we can hardly do more than shake our heads in disbelief that you have not yet confronted these couples' parents with their sin. And you say they remain in "close contact" with your daughter and her intended?? If it isn't clear by the double question mark, let us state the obvious: DO NOT let your daughter near these couples! And do not worry about appearing legalistic and controlling, revel in it! Rejoice that you are in the right, and be very vocal in your community about the sin and wrongness of the other couples. Feel free to criticize them in public settings. Others might accuse you of being "tactless," but keep in mind that tact is just an illusion the world invented so that it would not have to be confronted with its own shortcomings, which God intended for us to point out. God needs YOU to put a stop to their worldly influence!
You may begin sending us your Father, Son and Holy Spiritship® success stories. Few things bring us as much (godly) pride as knowing that our readers are walking in our truths.
In the service of the Lord,
Quivers of Men