"It is a pity that we know so much about Christ, and yet enjoy Him so little."

- Charles Spurgeon
So You Want to Date My Daughter?

1. You must love Jesus. I don't care if you're a "good Christian boy." I was one of those too. So I know the tricks. I'm going to ask you specific, heart-testing questions about your spiritual affections, your daily devotional life, your idols, your disciplines, and the like. I'll cut you a little bit of slack because you're young and hormonal and your pre-frontal lobe isn't fully developed yet, but I'll be watching you like a hawk. I know you. I was you. You will think you can fool me, and you likely have fooled many other dads who didn't pay much attention to their daughters' suitors, but I will be on you like Bourne on that guy whose neck he broke. Which guy was that? Every guy. So love Jesus more than my daughter or go home.

2. You will install X3Watch or Covenant Eyes on your computer and mobile devices and have your regular reports sent to me.

3. I will talk to your dad and tell him I will hold him responsible if you don't treat my daughter like a lady. If he thinks I'm a crazy person, you fail the test and won't get to date her. If he understands what I'm saying, that bodes well for you.

4. You will pay for everything. Oh, sure, every now and then my daughter can buy you a Coke or something and a gift on your birthday and at Christmas. But you pay for meals, movies, outings, whatever else. Don't have a job? I'm sorry, why I am talking to you again?

5. You will accept my Facebook friend request.

6. If it looks like you need a belt to hold your pants up, I will assume you don't have a job. See #4.

7. Young people dating are putting their best face forward, so if you appear impatient, ill-tempered, or ill-mannered, I know you will gradually become more so over time. I will have no jerks dating my daughters.

8. If I am not your pastor, I will talk to the man who is. If your pastor is a woman, why I am talking to you, again?

9. You don't love my daughter. You have no idea what love is. You like her and you might love her someday. That's an okay start with me, so put the seatbelt on the mushy gushy stuff. Don't profess your undying love, quote stupid love song lyrics to her, tell her you'd die for her, or feed her any other boneheaded lines that are way out of your depth as a horny little idiot. A lady's heart is a fragile thing. If you play with hers, I will show you yours.

10. If you ever find yourself alone with my daughter, don't panic. Just correct the situation immediately. If I ever catch you trying to get alone with my daughter, that would be the time to panic.

11. It may sound like I'm joking in threatening you harm, and while I might not physically hurt you if you offend my daughter or violate her honor, when I am addressing the issue with you, you will not be laughing.

12. You may think all this sounds very legalistic. That's fine. You can be one of the many antinomians not dating my daughter.


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Comments on "So You Want to Date My Daughter?":
1. Weekend Fisher - 04/18/2012 7:38 pm CDT

My daughter is fifteen. I know the day is coming ...

Take care & God bless
Anne / WF

2. Flyaway - 04/18/2012 7:39 pm CDT

What I wish my father had done was to have a Bible study with my boyfriends. My husband mentored our daughter's boyfriends. We spent time with them and it payed off.

3. Chris - 04/18/2012 8:00 pm CDT

I think that #3 is a genius idea.

4. Anodos - 04/18/2012 8:04 pm CDT

I am a 22-year-old guy, and I will read this again whenever I get starry-eyed about a young lady.

Thanks for this.

5. Mathew Sims - 04/18/2012 8:15 pm CDT

As a dad of two younger girls, this is amazing.

6. Zseaton - 04/18/2012 8:19 pm CDT

I agree 99% with this, but I'm a 23yr old believer, but my father is not, I agree 100% with all the others except #3 pending the fact of if the father is saved, or possibly might not have the proper outlook on females.

7. Bill - 04/18/2012 8:23 pm CDT

Love this!

I was blessed in that the young man who dated and then married my daughter is a Godly young man who treated both her and me with honor.

8. James - 04/18/2012 8:26 pm CDT

I think there is something wrong with number 8 on the list. It sounds as if you are sexist because you said and I quote "If your pastor is a woman, why am I talking to you again?" I know plenty of women pastors and I don't know why it has to be a man. If you could provide me with legitimate evidence as to why you say that, maybe I might believe you.
James aka a gay guy who will never even date your daughter

9. Matthew Tolosa - 04/18/2012 8:27 pm CDT

That's the way to put it! I love it! If only more fathers felt like protecting their daughters than viewing them as trophies for men to feed their lusts upon!

10. Jared - 04/18/2012 8:31 pm CDT

James, I'm not sure what evidence you'd consider legitimate, but I believe the Bible teaches that the role of pastor (elder/overseer) is reserved for men. I would ask you not to believe me, but to believe the Scriptures. What would constitute legitimate evidence to you? Bible verses? Scholarly articles? Both?

11. Diana - 04/18/2012 8:35 pm CDT

As a single mother of a 19 year old daughter, I agree 100%, I would have to edit #8, but still my pastor can talk to his pastor. Those are the rules I have set for my daughter, besides not letting her date until she was 18, to this day she hasn't dated, and this will be read to the first boy that comes to call.

12. James - 04/18/2012 8:37 pm CDT

That is your interpretation of the Bible. There are many interpretations of the Bible though and I know from very spiritual people who are in tune with Jesus and the archangels know that the Bible is filled with many misconceptions. There are quite a few areas where it degrades women and other people in the "minorities of society" or at least viewed in that perspective. It was not meant to be that way. The Bible today is not the same one that was really written many centuries ago. It has been manipulated and changed by other people. Do your research and you will find this stuff out.

13. Jocelyn - 04/18/2012 8:41 pm CDT

what's the problem with female Pastors???? (please don't send me a link, care enough to explain)

14. Jared - 04/18/2012 8:48 pm CDT

Do your research and you will find this stuff out.

James, thanks. I have done that, and I am satisfied with my conclusions.


Jocelyn, my "problem" is the biblical prohibition of female authority over males in the church, most prominently in 1 Timothy 2, where Paul appeals to the creation order as basis, not to any cultural accommodation. That's just the sliver of the tip of the iceberg that is the view often called "complementarianism."

This post was not about this issue specifically so that's as much as I'd prefer to discuss in this forum. There are plenty of journal articles, scholarly essays, and big theology books on the subject, so there's plenty to explore if you're interested.

15. Jocelyn - 04/18/2012 8:59 pm CDT

But doesn't that have it's place in culture and traditions of the time??? I have read most if not all of the articles and it still doesn't add up... it is not the purpose of this article but it has come up. You may want to consider this article originally written by Greg Boyd.


16. Jared - 04/18/2012 9:04 pm CDT

But doesn't that have it's place in culture and traditions of the time???

No, because, again, Paul appeals to the pre-fall creation order, not to any contemporary cultural norm. Unless you think appealing to the creation order is an outdated way of thinking, which opens up a bunch more biblical teaching to relativist readings.

I am familiar with Boyd's views. (I thought we weren't supposed to give links. ;-)

17. Marie - 04/18/2012 9:05 pm CDT

As the newlywed Christian wife of a young Christian man, one of us without a father and one without a Christian father, I agree with Zseaton about #3.

18. Jared - 04/18/2012 9:08 pm CDT

If a guy doesn't have a father, obviously the point is moot. If the father isn't a Christian, I'd still hold him responsible for teaching his son how to treat ladies with respect. You don't have to be a Christian to know how to do that.

If a guy's dad is a jerk, Christian or not, but he himself is a decent, honorable young man, it's a moot point again.

19. I wouldn't date your daughter. - 04/18/2012 9:09 pm CDT

I would want to date your daughter. Oh sure she may be very attractive and have a great personality, but She's a PK and it looks like she might have daddy issues.

How about continually communicate with your daughter on a multitude of subjects including dating. Show her what to look for in a guy and how the tricks guys use to manipulate women. Nurture her to make informed decisions allow her to make those decision on her own and learn from her mistakes. Trust her and show her how to pick the right guy from the start. Help her develop into a mature Christian.

Instead, you post articles like this to scare potential mates a way and probably forbid her to date the boy's you don't like. You show lack of trust and therefore she doesn't trust your judgement. You smother her and she has to feel the weight of "being a good girl" and perform for your congregation until she rebels or waits till she from underneath your thumb and doesn't look back until she's pregnant, single, and has no clue who the father is.

She wouldn't be the first or second PK I've seen turn out this way and odds are she probably won't be the last.

20. nhe - 04/18/2012 9:15 pm CDT

Number 8 Jared? Its not likely to happen but your daughter's suitor having a female pastor is a deal breaker? I appreciate the theology behind it, but that's the one that felt legalistic.

As the parent of one married daughter and and another in college, I liked all the other ones....especially number 9 - truer, more important words have never been spoken by a father.

21. Jared - 04/18/2012 9:15 pm CDT

Anonymous, don't talk about my daughters or make accusations about me or my parenting unless you're willing to post your name. Coward.

22. Jared - 04/18/2012 9:16 pm CDT

nhe, I'm sure it feels legalistic to a lot of people. In my view, it is directly connected to his view of male headship. How he views church governance is connected to how he views the home.

23. Courtney - 04/18/2012 9:17 pm CDT

Hi Jared,
I would like to ask a clarifying question, as your post has brought quite the discussion with some folks I'm conversing with. Most people see that you are not saying a boy must be sinless to date your daughter, and one person believes that you are.
Would you extend grace and forgiveness to a boy who was struggling, repented, and got his sin under control? Or would that sin be held against him in and disqualify him from dating your daughter?
Thanks so much for taking the time to answer.

24. I wouldn't date your daughter. - 04/18/2012 9:21 pm CDT

.... Oh and lets peg this list for what it really is. This is a list of things that your going to JUDGE her potential date on. I'm pretty sure Matthew 7 has something on that. As for being a "Coward", you don't know me anyway. I could put bob or Jeff or whatever. Put if you're unhappy that I didn't put my name, You can call me Warren.

25. Jared - 04/18/2012 9:23 pm CDT

Courtney, of course I don't expect sinlessness. I would *love* if he was struggling with his sin. That's a sure sign of salvation.


"Warren," I'm just gonna call you Sensitive.

26. Jared - 04/18/2012 9:25 pm CDT

Question for all:

Acknowledging there are plenty of fine young men out there, looking generally at the state of young males today: Do you really think we are at risk of being "too hard" on boys today?

I don't think we were hard enough -- in the good sense -- on boys when I was a young man, and I could've used the gracious scrutiny I'm advising here. I don't think young men have improved since then.

27. Bill - 04/18/2012 9:28 pm CDT


I'm unhappy with the fact that you're making awful predictions about the daughters of a guy you don't even know.

I hate the "PK" generalization, by the way

In answer to an earlier comment, I agree that there is teaching and guidance on both sides. The most important thing a dad can do is love and cherish his daughters, and show them/model for them/teach them to recognize the characteristics of a godly young man. They are out there, but sometimes seem few in number.

But also, in the scope of Jared's post, it's important for the dad to establish a frank, honest and direct relationship with the young man, and let him know the expectations.

28. Bill - 04/18/2012 9:29 pm CDT

Jared - there are good young guys out there. And they will be the kind of guys who will respect and appreciate the guidance you've given above.

29. Jason - 04/18/2012 9:33 pm CDT

With this kind of list, you could write for Courageous 2! ;-)

Love the list, by the way.

30. Robert Williams - 04/18/2012 9:33 pm CDT

I love it Jared! Especially 9 and 10. Good for you on #8 as well!

31. Jeff - 04/18/2012 9:35 pm CDT


I am not one of the above commenters, but I thought the exact same thing as I was reading your post. I wish the fathers of the girls I dated had been as "hard", as it may have saved me some sin and heartache. One question, though, I feel there is an arms-race of empty-threats in this particular little genre (which I see some signs of in your post, though you claim you're not kidding). How do you think we can get around that tendency?

Soli Deo gloria,


32. Bill - 04/18/2012 9:36 pm CDT

With this kind of list, you could write for Courageous 2! ;-)

Just don't tell nhe.

33. Jared - 04/18/2012 9:37 pm CDT

they will be the kind of guys who will respect and appreciate the guidance you've given above.

Exactly. I've already heard privately from young men who appreciate the list -- and understand it for what it is.

Any guy who would read this and say "Your daughter is awesome enough, of course I'd be good with all this," is the kind of guy I'd be fast friends with.

I am charged with protecting my daughters from self-centered, hypersexualized, abusive chauvinists, not protecting the feelings of hand-wringers who don't or won't understand that.

34. Robert Williams - 04/18/2012 9:39 pm CDT

Do you really think we are at risk of being "too hard" on boys today?

Young men are just that - young men. As such they need guidance and where better to get that from older men? A young man mature enough to receive my permission/blessing to court my daughter should be willing to receive guidance from me.

It seems to me that you'd be doing any young man quite a favor by subjecting him to these rules - or maybe better put, this discipleship!

I agree, I wish I'd had this sort of guidance when I was younger.

35. Jared - 04/18/2012 9:39 pm CDT

Jeff, good question(s).
I think the answer is primarily to be gracious but actually serious. The jokes about "polishing the shotgun" in front of would-be suitors belie a general disengagement from daughters' romantic endeavors. I'm not seriously advocating harming somebody, but I am seriously advocating making it clear there are serious repercussions for harming our ladies.

36. Brian - 04/18/2012 9:40 pm CDT

So, who is going to write a "So you want to date my son" list? :)

37. Patti - 04/18/2012 9:44 pm CDT

Wow -
I once thought like you ...

38. Katherine - 04/18/2012 9:51 pm CDT

I wish my dad would have been more involved in my dating, and even to the point of saying, "you cannot date this guy any more." Relationships can go way too deep on sooo many levels and not many high schoolers are able to navigate wisely when they are in the thick of it. That is my story anyway. I am a daddy's girl, I have two girls of my own, and I hope they will appreciate the fact that their daddy's care enough to protect them from yahoos (This conversation will not start for them when they are 15 either. They will know early that we will be involved in their dating). Nobody knows a young guy like another guy. We need our fathers to help our daughters with this.

By the way, I have always wondered why dads of newborn baby girls joke about "getting their shotguns ready" for whenever a boy comes to ask her out, but by the time she is actually ready to date, he could care less about even meeting him first before they go on a date. What happens in those 15, 16 years?

Appreciate the article. Good job.

39. Stephanie McVay - 04/18/2012 10:00 pm CDT

EXCELLENT post, Jared! As a high school teacher, I see daily the effects of a society that has consistently NOT been hard enough on young men. It's incredibly sad to see the results. We need more fathers like you, for sure! Thanks! (And you know I'm good with #8--ha!)

40. salguod - 04/18/2012 10:09 pm CDT

As a Dad of three teen girls, this is good stuff. Not sure I could do all of these, but I'm gonna steal a few.

Here's one to add to your list that I got from another Dad of 3 girls. His rule was first date is at his dinner table.

I've already had one boy at my table. :-/

41. Karl - 04/18/2012 10:13 pm CDT

If you have a son, will you hold him to the same standards and forbid him from dating any girls unless he meets all of these criteria?

42. Jason S. - 04/18/2012 10:17 pm CDT

As dads we have a responsibility to protect our daughter's purity. Realistically, any guy who wants to be more than just a friend has to be willing to take on that same responsibility, because when they get married, he will be the one ultimately responsible for her spiritually.

Just because hormone-driven teenagers don't fully get that (which we were all at one time), it doesn't change our responsibility.

Don't forget that this is showing Jared's passion for the guy's purity and love for God as much as for his daughter's.

This is discipleship.

43. Jared - 04/18/2012 10:18 pm CDT

Karl, yes.

44. Eric - 04/18/2012 10:24 pm CDT

I really appreciate this article. Some guys from my church put a link to it on Facebook and I was curious, and checked it out. Honestly, I find this list rather intimidating. At first blush this list of criteria seem overwhelming. However, I don't think that relationships should be easy either. I think the candor and willingness to communicate that this list and its writer so strenuously demand are essential in maintaining healthy relationships.
As for those who refer to aspects of this list as legalistic, I would say that this isn't a list intended to save or sanctify people. It is a list that openly communicates the legitimate concerns that a loving Christian father has. Jared didn't say anything about those who fail to meet his criteria except that they may not date his daughter.
I appreciate the challenge that this list makes. It seems to me that ALL Christian people should strive to be of such character and integrity that they would have no problem qualifying.

45. Andrew - 04/18/2012 10:28 pm CDT

So, who is going to write a "So you want to date my son" list? :)

I vote for Bill!

46. Ian Roberts - 04/18/2012 10:51 pm CDT

To #4, what if he's a youth pastor making side-hugs and smiles for an income but still does his best to pay for what he can (and matches up to all the rest)?

47. Jared - 04/18/2012 10:58 pm CDT

Ian, not sure I understand what you're asking. Are you asking if it's okay he doesn't make a lot of money?
If so, of course. In fact, I'd flip it around to say any guy who thinks he's too good to work at McDonald's or as a janitor isn't good enough for my daughter. ;-)
It's not riches and indulgence I'm targeting with that parameter but responsibility and basic provision.

48. Will - 04/18/2012 11:04 pm CDT

As a 25-year old single guy I wish more daughter's fathers were this way. In my two "relationships" in my life neither time did I even get to meet the dad b/c they had no interest. These were "Christian girls" from "Christian families". As a result it's clear one of the girls did not have the healthy respect for a man that a wife should have for a husband, which would have been problematic. I'm not writing to beat anyone up or criticize, only to say I've seen the dangers of a father not being like this, or at least close to it. And I know as a Christian young man I want someone whose father holds me to such standards, if not even higher.

49. Ian Roberts - 04/18/2012 11:05 pm CDT

Yes I was specifying your limit with that. Plus lifestage with potential earnings has to be a factor. I'm sure with that specific rule your discernment has to win the day lol.

50. Stephen S. - 04/18/2012 11:21 pm CDT

I see that you make such specific points on the matter of having a job, but you yourself are not currently employed? How can one speak so firmly on a point that not even you yourself can live up to?

51. Billy Martin - 04/18/2012 11:23 pm CDT

Saved people will agree with ALL of these even if it hurts our feelings because we come under conviction through such Biblical and wise advice. Lost people will balk at it because it will put them face to face with their sin. I'm a little stricter than even this and for the smart Alec who popped off that he wouldn't date the daughter: guess what, good because you don't meet the eligibility requirements. ANY boy that comes to my daughter before he comes to me is automatically disqualified. The only time a male will be alone with my daughter is after they're married. If a boy doesn't like that he is automatically disqualified. If a boy purposefully makes physical contact, i.e. hold hands, he is automatically disqualified. If he accidentally touches her, but immediately apologizes he gets a second chance. The more people my ways turn away the fewer I literally have to turn away. There is absolutely no reason for an unmarried boy and girl to be alone together, none. If you disagree with that last statement your son is automatically disqualified and or your daughter is in deep trouble.

52. Jared - 04/18/2012 11:27 pm CDT

Stephen, I have a job. Not sure what you're talking about.

53. Stephen S. - 04/18/2012 11:30 pm CDT

"freelance writer, non-staff minister, agented novelist (as yet unpublished), and stay-at-home dad. would love for someone to pay me for doing any of these things someday."

As quoted from your bio.

54. Jared - 04/18/2012 11:34 pm CDT

Ah, my 6 year old bio. Fixed. ;-)

In more direct reference to your question, I would not advise anyone to take the tack I did. And in fact one reason I would emphasize what I am emphasizing in this post is to work at saving my daughters the heartache I caused their mother, and consequently myself. So, yes, in fact, I would like to hold the young men calling on my daughters to standards I was not held to myself.

55. Jared - 04/18/2012 11:39 pm CDT

But my pride compels me to mention that I did have a job when I began dating my wife and when we got married. Three jobs, actually, and college classes to attend. :-)

56. Des - 04/18/2012 11:53 pm CDT

I love how Jared dominated the gay guy, the anonymous guy and the lady who has read perhaps "all" artlicle related to #8 without even trying or wanting to... it is impossible to say you have a problem with what Jared is saying without saying you don't have a problem with what the bible is saying... your issue is with the word of God... something simple spiritual maturity should cure...

there is an epedemic of young men suffering from the male core sin of passivity... This is something highschool aged boys, most college young men and some singles should have a firm grasp of before they even consider being responsible for a female spiritually... doubtful this can be accomplished without the Spirt and good mentor!!

57. Jared - 04/19/2012 12:00 am CDT

Des, I appreciate your support, but I wouldn't say I "dominated" anybody. Just trying to answer the criticism best I can.

58. Dawn - 04/19/2012 12:06 am CDT

Wow... I'm a 22 year old girl and I loved this article. I wasn't brought up in a Christian household and only recently came to Christ. I think we all need to cool down and realize this article is half humor and half seriousness.

Yes! The Bible does say that women are not usually approved for ministry. Sorry, the Bible says what it says. There are different translations, but there are not different interpretations. Again, the Bible is what it is.

And I think we all can safely assume this article was meant for humor, on how a GOOD father would want the best man possible for his daughter. I wish my non-Christian Dad could've spared me the heartache by enforcing this list when I was a teenager.

I say awesome article, it made me laugh. I like #5 the best!

59. Dawn - 04/19/2012 12:07 am CDT

Wow... I'm a 22 year old girl and I loved this article. I wasn't brought up in a Christian household and only recently came to Christ. I think we all need to cool down and realize this article is half humor and half seriousness.

Yes! The Bible does say that women are not usually approved for ministry. Sorry, the Bible says what it says. There are different translations, but there are not different interpretations. Again, the Bible is what it is.

And I think we all can safely assume this article was meant for humor, on how a GOOD father would want the best man possible for his daughter. I wish my non-Christian Dad could've spared me the heartache by enforcing this list when I was a teenager.

I say awesome article, it made me laugh. I like #5 the best!

60. Riley - 04/19/2012 12:28 am CDT

PK and grew-up-in-the-church-rat here. Couldn't agree more with all the intent and rightfully brash care put into protecting your daughters against guys that are good at "doing" church... I'm a pro at it and there are plenty of guys like me who grew up in the church who can speak the Christianese with utmost clarity. You are 100% right to probe with the right questions to guys who take interest.

A couple of clarifying questions for you. I actually take no issue with your comments about the necessity of having a male pastor, as many do here. This coming from a guy who agrees with you but just needs some clarification...

It seems like there is an over-arching theme of sare-tactic in here, and a lot based on making sure the guy keeps all his ducks perfectly in a row, understanding that any sort of sin in his life (whether related to your daughter or not), any sort of slipping means immediate severance. Almost a 'scare him into perfection' sort of deal. This is noble and understandable, it's your daughter at stake and you are right to be protective.

So, how would you also be sure the suitor...

1) ...Believed and loved the Gospel, understanding that God loved him even in his imperfections and filth? How could you help him keep the Gospel as central in his pursuit of your daughter, and not a law? (I realize this is a really tough question.. I'm not even really sure I know how I would answer).

2) ...Doesn't slave over your approval? By getting his accountability watch reports, among other things, how do you avoid establishing a relationship with this man that is not completely terrorizing? (Or maybe that's the goal? ;-) ) How could you encourage him to love righteousness and pursue holiness based on gratitude to his God and not fear of you?

Honestly, a lot of my questioning comes from not being a dad and not yet understanding that deep soul-wrenching protection you feel over your children yet. So I know there is a disconnect there. I know one day if God is gracious and blesses me with daughter(s) I'll know that deep desire to protect against unrighteousness for your child's sake. But how can you as a father, pastor, teacher, and lover of the Gospel help him to love the Gospel of grace as well?

61. Justin - 04/19/2012 12:58 am CDT

Re: Karl's Question/Jared's Response

What Jared meant was, "Karl, yes [except for no. 4, because...well, that obviously wouldn't make much sense or be very consistent to allow my imaginary son to pay for nothing, whilst commanding my daughter's hypothetical escort to pay for everything.]

Levity aside, my initial thought to your response to Karl is that the better, perhaps more reflective, answer would be, "probably not since my views on the proper intended roles of men and women in relationship, being informed at least in part by my views on federal headship (and concomitant principles), would necessarily dictate, at the very least, a modification of a few items on the list."

I only say that because if, in fact, your views of dating aren't just grounded in ol' fashioned cultural sensibilities, but rather, to some degree, in your views of the proper roles of men and women from a headship standpoint (as some of your comments seem to suggest), then it doesn't seem quite correct, necessary or wise to apply your list absolutely in a gender-reverse situation.

Not trying to "get you," btw. Just seemed strangely absolute, when I'm not sure it was intended to be. -Justin

62. Florin Cioccani - 04/19/2012 1:03 am CDT


Your post was tongue-in-cheek, which made it very enjoyable to read, yet addressing some very important issues. Just curious: have you read Doug Wilson's post, "21 Question for a Prospective Suitor"? or the "interview" in which Wilson was pressed to respond to some of the perceived shortcomings of the courting model he endorses (LINK)?

If you have, would love to hear your feedback on those.

63. C Michael Patton - 04/19/2012 3:01 am CDT

Genius. I was truly encouraged by this. I think it is the first blog post I have read every word of this year. My girls are 13 and 11. I will be printing this off. Thanks for being such a dad Jerod. Good stuff.

64. C Michael Patton - 04/19/2012 3:03 am CDT

Genius. I was truly encouraged by this. I think it is the first blog post I have read every word of this year. My girls are 13 and 11. I will be printing this off. Thanks for being such a dad Jerod. Good stuff.

65. Joey - 04/19/2012 4:09 am CDT

Hmm I am proud of the care you have for your daughter. But I believe that young women can be much more than victims to "horny young guys". It is very often a mutual exchange. Other than a disagreement with your reading of pastoral authority and that, I enjoyed this post.

66. Kim Shay - 04/19/2012 6:39 am CDT

The point about not saying "I love you" immediately is well-taken. When our daughter was a teenager, a young man told her that repeatedly. When he turned out to be something we didn't see, she was absolutely devastated. It may be easy for some to look at that list and think it's harsh. When you've had teenagers, it doesn't feel that way.

67. B Dyer - 04/19/2012 7:38 am CDT

I sent this to my sisters boyfriend and said, Let's rename this, 'So You Want to Date My Sister.'

68. Jacob Hall - 04/19/2012 7:49 am CDT

1. As a former teenage guy, this is pretty huge stuff. I can see myself in number 1 especially, but issues and problems in my heart that arose in all of these.

2. We are having our first child in September, and I'm honestly terrified of raising girls because of guys out there that I may have to snap a neck on, so this is crazy helpful when it comes to them dealing with dating at a future date.

3. Could you please take into consideration how I feel about something before you post it on your blog? Listen, I know its your blog and your thoughts and your opinions and all that, but I really want you to pay attention to MY feelings, even though I commented on your blog, that no one forced me to read.

69. Freddy - 04/19/2012 7:50 am CDT

Thanks for this, Jared. My wife & I just had our first baby, a son, a week ago. I'll keep this in mind for him, too, and daughters if the Lord blesses us with them.

70. Joseph - 04/19/2012 7:54 am CDT

As a father of 3 sons I offer a hearty "amen" to this list. I wish more fathers of sons would raise their boys to be the kind of young men that would be worthy of the criteria on your list.

Speaking specifically to #10: I often have discussions with my sons about how they are to treat young women in their lives and one of our rules has always been "never alone!" Even if she is the one who wants the two of you to be alone, be a man and refuse. Guard her purity and your own. Guard her reputation, and your own.

My advice to them is to always date in groups. If you want to spend time with a young lady, get some friends together and go out together or spend time with her in her parents' home or in our home, with the parents around.

By the way, I also totally get #3 as well. In fact, my sons do not spend time with ANY girl if we have not met, and spoken with her parents first. If my boys ever hurt a young lady, her father would have to get in line behind me to deal with them!

My prayer is that they each find a woman with a father who cares for them like you care for your girls. As my wife has said to me before, a young lady who is loved and treasured by her father will know what to expect from a young man who is interested in her and she will have no time for those that don't measure up.

71. Chris - 04/19/2012 8:05 am CDT

It seems to me that most of the negative comments above are rooted in the same issue, namely a fundamental misunderstanding of the role God has given to men and women (in the church and home).
Many commenters who were upset about #8 do not understand (or are not willing to submit to) the Biblical teaching on male leadership in the church.
Many commenters upset about the amount of protection Jared wants to exercise over his daughter's dating life do not understand the responsibility given to fathers to protect their daughters.
Many commenters upset about the need for a young man to have a job do not seem to understand the responsibility given to men in the relationship to provide for their wife/family.

In other words, most commenters who disagreed with Jared, actually disagree with his theology of headship, as it relates to his role as a father, and as it relates to what qualities a potential suitor should have (in order to be just such a head for his daughter).

72. BlestWithsons - 04/19/2012 8:09 am CDT

I will write the "so you wanna date my son" list. I've got "church girls" stalking my oldest on Facebook, so now would be a good time to let them know who they are dealing with. ;)

73. Rachel D - 04/19/2012 8:13 am CDT

Oh, I do so hope and pray that we can raise our two boys to be just such men! Thank you for your humorous commentary to highlight such important truths. My prayer is that our boys will find girls who have been raised by dads like you. :)

74. damien - 04/19/2012 8:15 am CDT

hey, this is like the old days here at thinklings. nerves and funnybones being struck right and left.

75. salguod - 04/19/2012 8:25 am CDT

I think one thing that folks should keep in mind here is Jared is communicating his heart of protection for his daughters more so than a specific list that folks should do. The bottom line here is if you want to date my daughter, you've gotta go through me first. Period. This is what that looks like for Jared, what's it look like for you? This has helped me flesh those things out for my girls.

Jared - I'd love for you elaborate on what sort of questions you'd ask on 1, 3 & 8. How do you see those conversations going.

76. josh - 04/19/2012 8:27 am CDT

great article Jared. Although i know this is not the forum you were hoping for concerning the female pastor convo... I have been dealing with this one a bit lately and, for me the most compelling point is the reasoning that Paul gives... "for Adam was formed first, then Eve". This is not a cultural argument, as many make it. Its a creational or design argument that Paul gives. If God's sole reason for male eldsrship is because "that's how I made it" then its fine with me. Just a thought... Thanks again for the post.

77. Bill - 04/19/2012 8:32 am CDT

a young lady who is loved and treasured by her father will know what to expect from a young man who is interested in her and she will have no time for those that don't measure up.

Home run. This is (in my opinion) the single biggest thing a dad can do for his dauther. Love and treasure her, and make sure she knows it. And a father should date his daughters.

78. Mike Ayers - 04/19/2012 9:12 am CDT

Love it! My daughter just turned 13 and I agree with it all... although, as with the Iranians, I might leave physical harm (military action) on the table.

79. Brian - 04/19/2012 9:17 am CDT

Love the intent of this and agree that Dads need to be proactive and involved as their daughters start to become of dating age. And we definitely need to be showing as well telling our daughters what it means to be treated well.

But as far as theological issues go, I'm much more concerned that they have a good understanding of the Gospel as centered in Jesus than whether their pastor is a woman.

80. Fromscratchmom - 04/19/2012 9:28 am CDT

Excellent! Thank-you!

81. Mike - 04/19/2012 10:22 am CDT

As the father of two sons, I heartily agree we need a "so you want to date my son" list. My boys are now men, so I won't directly benefit, but I can tell you that girls today as a group are far more aggressive than they were when I was a teenager. A young male full of hormones has little chance of controlling himself when girls come on to them so aggressively. The popular culture has bombarded these kids with sexual themes since they were babies. Even the commercials on TV aren't safe. I kind of like the "first date is at my dinner table rule. Not sure how to square that one with the girl's dad requiring the same thing, but I'd take that as a great sign and defer to him. I get the second date.

82. Jarrod - 04/19/2012 10:26 am CDT

Isn't it great that God doesn't deny us because we don't measure up to this unattainable list? I wouldn't have been able to date this girl, but I don't think I would have wanted to either due to a over-protective father with unrealistic expectations for a teenage boy. Good luck, dad. This list is idiotic and really not funny at all. Sad, in my opinion.

83. Jared - 04/19/2012 10:30 am CDT

Unrealistic? Unattainable?

To love Jesus, to have a job, to honor a girl's purity and heart. These are impossible standards?

Are you sure it's me who thinks poorly of young men?

84. Owen - 04/19/2012 10:39 am CDT

Love this!

85. Owen - 04/19/2012 10:40 am CDT

Love this!

86. April - 04/19/2012 10:56 am CDT

THANK you for showing godly leadership and authority over your daughter and for being willing to protect her and her virtue! Thank you for setting an example for others to follow! I want to hang on to this list and discuss it with my husband. Our little girl is only 5 now - but it is her Daddy's job to protect her and keep her safe from guys who may not have her best interests at heart. And I pray that we might raise our son to be able to impress a dad like you by God's power at work in him, instilling a love of Jesus in his heart, teaching him to love God's Word, and teaching him to be a godly leader and future husband.

87. Jarrod - 04/19/2012 11:09 am CDT

I agree with everything you say man. It comes across a little harsh, but at the bottomline of all that if a guy truly does 'love Jesus' and is truly a believer all those other things will fall into place. I think where a misunderstanding comes in is what happens when this kid messes up? Or does something that you don't like. Because fact of the matter is we all mess up, and there is unending grace through the cross for that. We cannot live up to God's standards, we don't have to. Odds are this kid will never completely live up to your standards. So maybe if you could touch on that a little. I'm assuming your daughter's are pretty young, so my perspective might be different than yours.

88. Jarrod - 04/19/2012 11:28 am CDT

Just to be clear. I am not the Jarrod who posted earlier. this is me ^^^

89. A Concerned Mom - 04/19/2012 11:28 am CDT

Thank you for a wonderful article! There is a young lady in your community right now being fooled by such a "Christian" I ask that you lift her and her family up in prayer to see through his "good Christian boy" act as he particularly has #9 down to a science and she is falling for that! Lift him in prayer as well. As parents it is our job to be parents, meaning we should have open communication with our children but set boundaries. But most importantly ALL parents should remember that our young impressionable daughters, as well as sons, need to be guided through this crazy time of their lives. For HIS glory!

90. RMB - 04/19/2012 11:29 am CDT

So does the daughter get a say in any of this? What if she prefers women? What if she's an atheist? Perhaps you could put down the shotgun for a moment and ask her what she thinks? Or is being an authoritarian arsehole the only acceptable M.O. for a 'godly Christian man'?

Surely this article is a joke???

91. Arthur Sido - 04/19/2012 11:33 am CDT

Jarrod, re: your comment number 82...

Isn't it great that God doesn't deny us because we don't measure up to this unattainable list?

That is simply silly. You are trying to make an equivalence between a young potential suitor being a decent person and the depravity of man that required the death of Christ. If you think that being a marriage minded, serious young man is as "unattainable" as being right before God based on our own merits you either don't understand sin or you need to meet some of the young men that I know.

92. Jennifer - 04/19/2012 11:38 am CDT

The funny thing is how many people are acting like these at superhigh and shocking standards, when really, as my 14 year old just said "oh.he's a member of the 'old school club'" (and he meant it as a compliment). These standards are not new. They are the kind of old -fashioned we would do well to regain.

93. hc - 04/19/2012 11:43 am CDT

I'm a 26 year old single woman and posted this list on my dad's facebook wall with a request for him to print it out and save it for later. I only made two edits: 1) Don't cut the guy any slack because any man I date will have fully developed pre-frontal lobe and 2) a weekly, over the phone, Bible study with my Dad. If I lived within easy driving distance of my Dad, it would be face-to-face.

As a former teenage girl myself, and as a young woman who has seen friend after friend live through heart ache, and having been hurt myself by guys who would flirt and not commit, I know the fragility of a woman's heart. The Lord is my protector and pursuer and he has given my (rather amazing) Dad the mandate to do his best to be a shadow and echo of that.

94. Joseph - 04/19/2012 12:04 pm CDT

This reeks of machismo and pseudo-holiness at the expense of meaningful understanding of God.

God is much bigger than your simplistic checklist of "don't sag your pants" and "you're stupid."

This list ensures for your daughter a mediocre life. It will drive away a lot of bad guys. It will also drive away truly intelligent, capable, and godly men.

If I wanted to date your daughter, I would clearly articulate to her my interest and I would clearly and Biblically articulate to you why you are being spiritually and emotionally immature. Until you grew up and received meaningful counsel, I would pursue your daughter without any input from you.

If your daughter was smart and independent enough to think clearly about Biblical truths, then we would have discussions about our concerns and resolve them. If she was "under your authority" intellectually, then she remains a child and is not ready for marriage.

Get rid of your checklist, and replace it with prayer and individualized counsel. Keep your mind open and listen as much as you demand, and maybe you still have a chance to grow into a wise man.

95. RMB - 04/19/2012 12:06 pm CDT

Hc, you're 26 and you can't screen your own boyfriends?

Perhaps we should be focussing on raising strong independent daughters who can make wise decisions for themselves and learn from the inevitable mistakes of their youth? 'Protecting' them just keeps them vulnerable and dependent...or maybe that's actually what you're aiming for...

96. Bill - 04/19/2012 12:07 pm CDT

Joseph (and others who have commented negatively on this): Do you have daughters?

I'm truly curious. It's not a challenge-statement. But I can tell you, having daughters of your own changes your outlook on this . . . totally.

"Until you grew up and received meaningful counsel, I would pursue your daughter without any input from you."

You are talking about living Biblically. How does dishonoring your girlfriend's dad fit with that?

97. Joseph - 04/19/2012 12:09 pm CDT

On second thought, this article may have been satire. I can't quite tell.

98. John - 04/19/2012 12:11 pm CDT

While "Warren" crossed the line at some point some of what he wrote makes sense to me. I am a father of a 17 year old girl who currently has a steady boyfriend.

At this point in my daughter's development I prefer Warren's suggestion to "continually communicate with your daughter on a multitude of subjects including dating. Show her what to look for in a guy and tricks guys use to manipulate women. Nurture her to make informed decisions allow her to make those decision on her own and learn from her mistakes. Trust her and show her how to pick the right guy from the start. Help her develop into a mature Christian."

Why do we have to control the situation so closely? I understand there is a lot at risk and we don't want our children to suffer in any way but we are supposed to train them up in the way they should go.

I also agree with some of the risks Warren mentioned especially the idea that I do not trust her. Smothering her in this way can create a lot of performance pressure which can eventually lead to rebellion.

The whole idea of forcing the boy to install covenant eyes is frankly a bit creepy to me and also not very effective. How many devices do you think the average teenager has access to? They can access porn on PCs, tablets, smartphones, TV, and good old fashioned girly magazines. Like everything else, this is about the heart. Do your best to raise your daughters to make good decisions. Be honest and humble. Serve them, admit your mistakes, and of course give them advice. Eventually you will need to trust them.

99. RMB - 04/19/2012 12:15 pm CDT

Bill...perhaps Joseph's point is that it's not about you.

100. Joseph - 04/19/2012 12:16 pm CDT


Honoring your girlfriend's father is not acquiescence to his every command. I would listen to his objections and meaningfully discuss them with him, so long as he was willing to engage in meaningful discussion. This list is not meaningful discussion; it is authoritarian assertion. Thus, if this list is how the father approached discussions, honoring him does not necessitate sitting through a pointless command-throwing session.

And I don't have daughters of my own. I am proceeding in the courting phase with another young lady, after we began dating. I have five younger sisters, which I imagine helps me understand a bit, but I am sure that the protective impulse of a father is of a different type than my own.

But that is part of what I am talking about. Having daughters changes your protective emotional response, not Biblical imperatives, but this list is cast in biblical terms. I am concerned that fathers using this type of a list are reacting to their emotion rather than to Biblically based reason.

101. Bill - 04/19/2012 12:26 pm CDT

"Honoring your girlfriend's father is not acquiescence to his every command."

Well, you were talking about completely ignoring him, and dating his daughter in rebellion (both yours and hers).

102. Arthur Sido - 04/19/2012 12:29 pm CDT

Joseph, re: comment 92

If I wanted to date your daughter, I would clearly articulate to her my interest and I would clearly and Biblically articulate to you why you are being spiritually and emotionally immature. Until you grew up and received meaningful counsel, I would pursue your daughter without any input from you.

That is a great basis on which to start a relationship. How exactly would you counsel your own children to honor their mother and father when you intentionally dishonored your future wife's father like that?

It amazes me that this list, which is not at all over the top, is seen as authoritarian and dictatorial when in the not too distant past it was simple common sense. We have completely surrendered to the culture of the day and daily we reap the results of this but so many church goers seem to think that the problem is that we haven't capitulated enough.

103. Billy Martin - 04/19/2012 12:30 pm CDT

Most of you have no understanding of Scripture. You have read it, but not studied it. I can tell that a lot of you have looked at the Bible in order to try and justify your own sin instead of seeking God's will. No boy or man has any Biblical authority to speak to any girl or young lady without FIRST seeking her father's approval if she is still living with him. If you don't respect him you won't respect her. If you don't respect the created order, then you don't respect the Creator nor His creation. Those of you who think we don't have to come up to God's standard should consider studying the Bible. You will not find that anywhere in it. You've been deceived. Please reconsider that view and search the Scriptures. Please.

104. DHM - 04/19/2012 12:33 pm CDT

This is fabulous, and AMEN to number 8.

We have six daughters, five in their twenties. Two of them are married and each have two kids of their own. We pretty much followed this model, only we were stricter. It worked.

We do have a failed courtship with a third, and it failed precisely because we were lax with number 9 and 1- it wasn't that 1 was negotiable, it was that we made assumptions, thought we didn't need to probe so deeply since we'd known the young man a very long time. His faith was inherited more than it was personal. It was painful for all involved and we deeply regret our relaxed standards. We would have spared our daughter the pain of thinking she was in a relationship with a man only to discover he was an emotional and spiritual boy.

To those who predict rebellion- five of our girls are adults, one is 16, and none of them have rebelled. They like their daddy's involvement precisely because they are mature and self confidant enough that they don't need to stomp their feet and say, "I don't need you." They are wise and discerning enough to recognize the need for counsel and they trust their parents.

I was a PK who rebelled, btw. If my dad had taken his responsibility as a father this seriously, I doubt it would have happened.

105. Billy Martin - 04/19/2012 12:36 pm CDT

Most of you have no understanding of Scripture. You have read it, but not studied it. I can tell that a lot of you have looked at the Bible in order to try and justify your own sin instead of seeking God's will. No boy or man has any Biblical authority to speak to any girl or young lady without FIRST seeking her father's approval if she is still living with him. If you don't respect him you won't respect her. If you don't respect the created order, then you don't respect the Creator nor His creation. Those of you who think we don't have to come up to God's standard should consider studying the Bible. You will not find that anywhere in it. You've been deceived. Please reconsider that view and search the Scriptures. Please.

106. DHM - 04/19/2012 12:37 pm CDT

Joseph, this list will not drive away any mature, intelligent, capable, and godly young men.
It will weed out the arrogant ones.

107. Joseph - 04/19/2012 12:41 pm CDT

Billy, you cite no Biblical authority for your claim that we have "no understanding of Scripture." 1) Nowhere in the Bible is there a command to get the father's approval before speaking with his daughter. The only thing you have to infer that is honoring parents, which tied to _one's own_ parents, and is also not defined to include getting their permission. That is you adding to the Bible, and then saying the Bible demands it. You start to trench on the last verse in Revelation; watch out.

You can claim that culturally, the father had to give approval at the time of the Bible, then you have a case--mediocre, but extant. But there are myriad cultural components of the ancient middle-east that we don't accept (polygamy, etc). I'm not sure why you would place this above them, Biblically, aside from your personal predilection to be in control.

Arthur, Re: 102
I would counsel my children to respect elders and those in authority. That _does not_ mean to categorically obey them. It also does not mean to waste your time hearing what they have already said, if in your best judgment what they've said is not encouraging godly action. And let me be clear, this list is not encouraging godliness. It is encouraging obedience to a set of cultural demands.

"In the not to distant past, it was common sense."
Great. So what? There are many things in the past that are wrong, without a doubt. For example, slavery was common sense in the Bible. It is still wrong. (I know there was a different form from American slavery, but that's a tangential discussion). It was common sense that women should not be able to vote in the not-to-distant past. That something was common sense awhile ago does not mean it makes sense now.

And my gosh, people, please start quoting Scripture if you are going to throw around claims about having the word of God on your side. I will not be able to respond rapidly, as I have law finals coming up.

108. Joseph - 04/19/2012 12:43 pm CDT

A true man sets boundaries. Having your prospective father-in-law track your every move electronically is violating reasonable boundaries.

At the very least, you drive away people with a spine.

109. Jared - 04/19/2012 12:45 pm CDT

perhaps Joseph's point is that it's not about you

You're right -- Joseph's point is that it's about him.

Single file line, orderly fashion, please. Pitchforks are to the left, torches to the right.

110. Jared - 04/19/2012 12:47 pm CDT

Having your prospective father-in-law track your every move electronically is violating reasonable boundaries.

Sounds like a porn addict.

I have people "tracking" my electronic moves. I'm grateful for this, and I initiated it. A real man -- spine intact -- would seek this out to both provide for himself accountability and provide for those he loves confidence.

111. Bill - 04/19/2012 12:49 pm CDT


For what it's worth, I am not sure I agree with #2 either (although I certainly believe the guy must have the character evidence that he's not into p()rn, I don't know that I would electronically track him). Is that your main objection, or do other things on this list also offend?

My daughter's husband drove 300 miles round trip to ask me permission to pursue her, treated her with honor the entire time, drove 300 miles again to ask for her hand, respected physical boundaries (they didn't even kiss until a week before the wedding) - and he is in his mid-twenties (my daughter is in college). He humbly honored the relationship I have with my daughter. That's a minimum, in my book, for any Christian guy wanting to date someone's daughter, regardless of the list.

Finally, will me quoting scripture really help? I imagine it will just be grounds for more debate. Here's one of the first ones that I thought of:

Likewise, you who are younger, be subject to the elders. Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another, for “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” 1 Peter 5:5

In the first place, dating isn't even a Biblical practice, really. Courtship is (which you practice, correct?)

112. Joseph - 04/19/2012 12:52 pm CDT

Real mature, Jared. I can't tell whether you are trolling or serious.

It would be a reasonable request that a young man have accountability. It is not a reasonable request to demand that you--a man he barely knows--must be that accountability. Do you really think that you are as qualified to be guiding him as his own father who has known him his entire life, or as his peers with whom he can share everything? You aren't. You are the man who he respects for the sole reason that your daughter is an excellent and impressive person. That has little or nothing to do with you, of course he doesn't trust you.

So, Jared, the difference is between seeking out accountability from those one trusts--which makes a ton of sense--and having tracking forced on your by someone you don't trust.

And how am I to know whether you are some crazy pervert? I don't. Heck, even your daughter doesn't.

tl;dr--accountability is great from those worthy of trust. You aren't worthy of trust just because you are the girl's father.

113. Scott - 04/19/2012 12:55 pm CDT

I almost never jump into blog arguments for thousands of reasons. But, as a dad of six kids (three girls one of whom is dating a strong follower of Jesus) I couldn't help it.

A question for those who disagree with Jared's list: what is the alternative? If I'm not the tough protector of my daughter's virtue, what am I? What does Scripture mean when it says, "Quit yourselves like men" if not the convictions Jared's list reflect?

I would add to the list: If your dad is a Christian but his wife has to drag his tush to church, she prays over the family meals and she sets your dating rules for you instead of your old man--then if you're going to date my daughter you'll gladly learn how to be a real man from me. I'm happy to teach. It would be a joy. Someone needs to show you how to break the "futile way of life of your father."

Can I vent? I'm tired of whimpy church guys who swing hammers and write computer code but don't pray out loud with their kids and read the Bible with them. For real? Seriously?

114. Billy Martin - 04/19/2012 1:05 pm CDT

You haven't quoted any. If I did, would it help you accept that regardless of culture, then or now, this list truly is Biblical at its core? Do you accept that to "date" as defined today is unscriptural? Your refusal to accept Truth doesn't in any way change Truth. My statement to which you eluded about most not understanding Scripture was my opinion based on the blatant man-centeredness of most of the comments. That shows an overall misunderstanding of the Bible. God has not changed. His Word has not changed. His methods have not change. People have changed. Guess who is wrong.

115. Joseph - 04/19/2012 1:22 pm CDT

@111, Bill:
Thanks for your perspective, here's some thoughts. Sorry if it's too long.

That verse indicates the importance and weight that should be given to the counsel of elders. I completely agree that those who have more experience and wisdom than you may have excellent insight, and the wise young man listens to it. But every person is responsible for their own choices before God. Thus, no demand to be subject to elders or governing authorities extends to area that you believe would be wrong, and possibly does not relieve you of the duty to make the best choice possible. So listen to elders, seek out their counsel, consider their advice. But in the end, you need to make your decisions about what is right, and that includes setting reasonable boundaries.

My concerns come with the tone of the piece and:
#1: imputing your own hatred of who/what you were onto who/what another person is.
#2: electronic surveillance that extends into every area of life (What news you frequent??? Whether you go to xkcd??? Whether you read about obscure conspiracy theories for fun?)
#3: judging you by your father. A foolish mistake that can grant wrong positive or negative judgments, depending on the father.
#4: Paying for everything makes sense. I would just hope that that’s something a self-respecting man did. But, if a man chose not to do that because of the different status of women in modern culture, I wouldn’t preclude him as a godly man, I’d just have a bit more skepticism.
#5: Facebook friends… hmmm. I mean, yes? Again, I have no idea how much of a creeper you are. The less you demand this, the more freely I would give it. I don’t really have a problem here, it just sounds strange that it is a demand.
#6: Simplistic cultural presupposition. Sure, you can dislike a style of dress, but don’t allow that to preclude in your mind that they are a genuine and passionate follower of God with a different background than you.
#7: I think this one makes sense, but I wondered whether this unfairly biases you against truly genuine people.
#8: Women pastors. Oh dear. Please, let’s not have this discussion. At the very least, don’t make your assessment of my relationship with God contingent on me agreeing with you here.
#9: I like the control of emotional over-commitment. But it depends on where the two are in their lives together.
#10: If they are 15, sure. Otherwise, no. Don’t go looking for trouble and don’t put yourself in a tough position. Not all one-on-one contexts are impossibly tough positions.
#11: I like this.
#12: This is crazy. Legalism is a rampant problem in the church. If he is aware of this, and concerned with you, he can’t date your daughter? No.

It's a question of where the emphasis is. You see problems in modern culture and families, but insisting on good behavior to fix those problems is doomed to fail. Christ didn't focus on the behavior first, he came to seek and save the lost. He provided us with grace to have a personal relationship with God. It is from that personal relationship, that love and dialogue with God, that we EVER could defeat sin. I am concerned that the emphasis of all of this is "follow these rules" rather than "follow and love God." If a young man follows and loves God, right living will start to flow, but it might look different from some of these things--e.g. the cultural concerns with paying for a woman is not a Biblical command.

Ultimately, counsel the young man. Learn who he is and how/why he loves God. Encourage him to grow in that direction. Sure, there are some basic requirements--being able to provide, growing spiritually--but being a perfect person is not one of them. I guarantee you were not the kind of person you are demanding this man to be.

@Billy, dating for fun is foolish, imho. But so is jumping straight to courtship from a position of not knowing the person. My girlfriend and I went through a period of dating that was getting to know each other exclusively to find out if we are compatible for marriage--a middle ground.

Sigh. People who think differently from you may still have strong relationships with God. And as far as the Bible not changing--yes, but the Bible is not perfectly clear on all things because human language isn't perfectly clear. it's not God's fault, it's ours. We can't perfectly understand him.

And now I really need to study.

116. Jared - 04/19/2012 1:27 pm CDT

Real mature, Jared. I can't tell whether you are trolling or serious.

Deadly serious. I was a porn user for years, so I know the language of justifying. I know the things we say to deflect while sounding righteous.

The rest of your comments -- about the gal's father being someone you wouldn't trust and barely know -- indicates we are talking about two different worlds here. I don't know what you are calling "courting," but why would you court a girl whose dad you don't know and don't trust?

I don't usually go to this rhetorical angle in discussions like this right away b/c they can be very unfair, but after your last few comments, I am compelled to say that you are young and have much growing up to do.

117. DHM - 04/19/2012 1:29 pm CDT

Joseph, if my husband barely knows you, you aren't courting our daughter, so it's a moot point.

If you really imagine that your peers are better qualified counselors than any godly older man, well, so did Rehoboam. It cost him his kingdom.

This is the arrogance I am talking about:
" You are the man who he respects for the sole reason that your daughter is an excellent and impressive person. That has little or nothing to do with you, of course he doesn't trust you."

You are wrong. The kind of person our daughters are has a lot to do with the kind of person their father is.

We have tracking software on our computers, too. My husband initiated it. The information it sends is not the kind of information that should make anybody who avoids porn nervous about sharing.

118. Michelle - 04/19/2012 1:33 pm CDT

I just sent this to the members of the college small group my husband and I coach. I fully agree that our young men are capable of more than we ask; they just don't realize because everyone holds them to really low standards. There's loads of grace but also loads of truth (with some frustration on my part, I admit).
Other than #3 (many of our students come from broken homes), I wholeheartedly support this list. I also have some requirements for my own son before he chooses to date (no daughters yet); most of them are currently educational, though.
I find it very strange that so many wonderful fathers are good at protecting their daughters but do not give thought to training their sons. My husband had no, I mean NO clue how to date in a godly manner. He wasn't trying to be immoral (and he wasn't immoral, ptL), he was just... so very clueless. Haha, not anymore!

119. Matthew - 04/19/2012 1:34 pm CDT

RE #3
It doesn't really matter if the guy's dad is a Christian or not, he is still responsible for his son's actions. Both the dad and the son need to know that the girl's dad expects this. If he doesn't agree then it seems that there are familial issues that I wouldn't want to being into my teenage daughter's life. Believe me as a father of two daughters I know. Thanking God for their godly hhusbands--both of whom as grown men asked for my permission and guidance as they pursued their future wife.

I had a friend once who tossed a .357 magnum onto a boy's lap and said take this with you on your date.If you don't have my daughter home on time, use it on yourself.

Daughters are too precious to let anyone mess around with.

120. Tim - 04/19/2012 1:42 pm CDT

My reactions:

1.) Fair enough, though needlessly adversarial, and you are prejudicially attributing ill will without evidence (i.e., "you will think you can fool me").

2.) Ha! Acceptable, but only if you fully reciprocate.

3-9.) OK.

10.) Dumb, with no justification given. This would absolutely scare me off. Jesus Himself fell short of your standard in John chapter 4.

11-12.) OK.

121. David - 04/19/2012 1:45 pm CDT

I am the father of four adult boys and five adult daughters.
One daughter didn't marry until she was 37, and had made it known in her singles group that she believed the only legitimate reason for a guy and a girl to "go out" together alone was in prospect of marriage, and that therefore if any guy wanted to "go out" with her, he would first have to "pass muster" with her dad.

Another daughter was widowed at the age of 37, and voluntarily put herself "under the umbrella" of her father, just as she was when growing up. Five years later, she married a widower.

Why do I mention this?

Just to point out that not all young girls are anxious to escape parental control as some responders have implied or stated.

Whether the girl's father is "worthy of trust" by the young man is not the issue. The issue is the God-given responsibility of the girl's father to know the character of anyone with whom he will allow his daughter to "go out."

When God's standards are taught in the home from the time the children are young, doing the right thing is likely to be the course of their life.

And, just in case anyone wonders, our nine children have a total of thirty-four grandchildren, and my wife and I have been married for nearly fifty-five years.

My wife and I never "went out" with anyone but each other, and we both had parents who brought us up "in the nurture and admonition of the Lord."

122. Michelle - 04/19/2012 1:45 pm CDT

I also, not as a father (cause I can't be one of those) but as a wife, think that those who continue to view pornography should not be in a serious relationship.
Sound extreme to you? That's fine by me. I know what happens to women whose husbands still view porn. It's not what marriage is supposed to be. I also know the freedom that is available in a marriage where the husband and wife keep their eyes on each other. It's wonderful. In fact, it's how God intended.
I know it's a hard sin to break, but if you don't now, what makes you think you will later? Sure, you're 19 and single now, but what makes you think you won't wake up one day, a 50 year old man whose grown daughter can see him staring at the waitress' breasts at a restaurant, hmm? Don't be that guy.

123. Jared - 04/19/2012 1:46 pm CDT

you are prejudicially attributing ill will without evidence

Assuming the young man is not a eunuch, the ill will is entirely with evidence. I don't need to elaborate. Honestly, I'd worry if the dude didn't want to get into my daughter's pants. I just want him to want her honor and dignity more than he wants that.

It's not asexuality we're after here, folks, but self-discipline and self-control.

no justification given. This would absolutely scare me off. Jesus Himself fell short of your standard in John chapter 4

If the guy who wants to date my daughter happens to be Jesus, I will suspend nearly all of these rules.

124. Joanne Viola - 04/19/2012 1:58 pm CDT

Hi Jarod -
I found this most interesting. As a mom of 2 children, one a girl(married) & one a boy(still single), I found this post most offensive. It was not offensive because I disagree with you though. I have been blessed with a son-in-law that always treated my daughter (& myself) with dignity, integrity, respect, & godliness. My son has always treated girls likewise. However, NEVER have my husband & I read either of these young men the riot act. The manner in which you made your points was both riddled with anger & sarcasm, which in my opinion is the manner in which most cowards convey their points in order to intimidate & manipulate. Not one of your above mentioned points, though well taken, is expressed in love. To me that is most sad.
Since studies have shown that most girls marry men with similar traits as their dad. I pray that your anger & sarcasm would be softened by the love of Jesus before she is aware of those traits in you. I pray that when the time comes, she would find a man that would honor her & take her of her with love, gentleness & humility.
I am signing my name to this as I am not a coward. Another thing that I am most saddened to have read. Never should we resort to name calling in such a way. This post is a disappointment to me in so many ways. I will not be reading anything written by you any longer not because I disagree with your theology but because you are offensive in the way that you express yourself.

125. TheRagamuffin - 04/19/2012 2:00 pm CDT

Why don't you just insert a GPS device in your daughter's skin like you would with a dog. It'll be so much easier to control her every move then.

126. Jared - 04/19/2012 2:01 pm CDT

"Blessings" back to you, Joanne.

127. FiyahPerog - 04/19/2012 2:07 pm CDT

"If your pastor is a woman, why am I talking to you?" Excuse me? What century are you from? Did you go to a school where only boys were allowed to attend, and it was grades k-12 all in one single room building? Because that's the only excuse for that comment.

Also, it is your daughter's choice whether or not to date someone of your faith. Maybe not her choice while she's at home, but once she's an adult, she has every right to date a Muslim, Jew, Athiest, man OR WOMAN she chooses. I really hope she chooses one or more of the above, just to wipe the smug look off of your face.

Way to go, dad. Really setting a 14th-century example for our kids.

128. Jared - 04/19/2012 2:55 pm CDT

FiyahPerog, how did you know I have a smug look on my face? Did you put a GPS device under my skin? Are you controlling my every move like a dog? Is that why I keep slapping myself in the smug face?

129. hc - 04/19/2012 3:30 pm CDT


I am 26 and trust my dad. That's what that means. And I've turned down guys who would crumple under lesser standards. Mostly because they would crumple under lesser standards.

I shared this with my dad for several reasons:

1) I want him to know that I still, and always will, value his input, protection and care.
2) My dad courted my mom in a very different time and culture. Sex wasn't used to sell bubblegum back then. This is a good example of what protecting your daughter could look like in our current culture. I'm more familiar with this culture than he is, so I wanted him to see this. (For example, I'm not sure that he's aware that there is software like Covenant Eyes.)
3) I am not a man. I do not think like a man. I cannot know what it's like to pursue a woman and the challenges involved in that. I'll never live that. My dad has done that well and has cultivated an amazing marriage with my mom. Why would I NOT want him to -as you put it - "screen" a man who is courting me?
4) My dad trusts me. He trusts my judgement and respects my opinions, even the ones that differ from his own. He is not at all aggressive or overbearing in my dating life, because he knows I have high standards. He had a lot to do with forming those standards.
5) Its a fool who rejects counsel.
6) If I ever marry, I want my husband to have a relationship with my dad that's built on trust and mutual respect. Could a man who truly loves me really respect my dad if my dad wasn't serious about protecting me? And could my dad respect my pursuer if that young man didn't realize I was worth the protection?
7) Any man I would be attracted to would welcome these standards and respect my dad for holding him up to them. If he's serious about pursuing holiness, the expectation of holiness will not be off-putting.
8) You protect what's valuable to you. My dad really values me.
9) It's my dad's love and protection has enabled me to be strong, independent, and capable. I know my own worth because I'm 100% sure of my dad's love for me.
10) My dad is gracious. The young man will make mistakes. Dad won't get out his shotgun or tell him he can't see me anymore. Yes, there will be some less than pleasant conversations, but if the man I'm dating has good intentions and really desires to grow in maturity and love, then my dad will gladly help him along the way.
11) My dad knows that if I think he's crossed the line, he'll hear from me. After raising me, he can have no doubts of this.

I'm guessing you won't agree with this. Blog comments rarely ever convince anyone of anything. But, here is my reasoning, none the less.

130. Donald - 04/19/2012 3:45 pm CDT

I am one of those teenage boys that you are trying to reach. Anyone my age that is smart enough to understand these points would probably be a good choice for a boyfriend. I have to say though, as being one of the ones that is smarter than the average cookie, I would be able to display the acts of decent boyfriendmanship (hooray for new words)and turn your daughter into a organized religion hating atheist without you even batting an eye. :) If you are going to narrow it down to 2% of the population, then be prepared to deal with some quite extraordinary teenagers. Btw, I agree with all your views that are not religious. If a jerk tried to date my possible future daughter I would fornicate him with an iron stick. But also, you should realize that girls are not that angelic anymore. I have seen more girls cheat on guys and hurt them emotionally than vice-versa in these recent times. It is quite sad.

131. Robin - 04/19/2012 3:50 pm CDT

I have kind of an important question here. I totally agree with most of this, but I do have to wonder about the young men and women who don't have Christian parents, but are saved themselves and living out a gospel centered walk. Would they be disqualified from dating your son or daughter? Also, what would you suggest for young women who don't have a father who will impose these kinds of standards? Can you maybe post some of those questions you would ask?

132. Bill - 04/19/2012 4:34 pm CDT


Sounds like your dad has done an amazing job, and that you are an amazing blessing to him as a daughter. God bless.

133. Andrea - 04/19/2012 4:47 pm CDT

Thank you so much for this post! I am a woman (obvious?) and I have two sons, pregnant with a girl now (yay!)

My father never looked out for me when I was dating. I was allowed to date at 14, was sexually assaulted at 14, 15, 20, and 22 years of age. Became pregnant out of wedlock.

I did marry a wonderful, God-fearing man and we are going on 5 years of marriage. I know he would agree with everything you said above (I do too!). Agree with the male pastor and also holding the father accountable for a boy's behavior.

There is much wisdom in the words you said above, and I don't think a lot of young men will understand until they are a parent themselves. I've met a lot of unrepentant sinners out there (myself being one of them for a long time!) and we are definitely not hard enough on our boys. My boys are only 6 and 2 1/2 now, but I learned a lot (the hard way) and encourage you to preach your message! I fully expect my husband to date our daughter some day and for other father's to contact my husband when my boys are asking out their daughters. I would not have it any other way.

134. Dave B - 04/19/2012 4:49 pm CDT

It strikes me as a bit odd that the more liberated and progressive among us seem to be the ones slow to recognize that although the author is making serious points, he's also done it with a certain measure of humor. The "over-protective father" has a long tradition in film, sit-coms, stand-up, so on. Unless I'm way off, the voice here taps into that "tradition." Although not for satire.

And like a lot of humor, we find it funny because at its heart is a contradiction: The tough, authoritarian exterior concealing an inner softness for his daughter. Makes me smile sometimes. I would think this would be self evident, unless, of course, you were looking for offense. Either way, I think the author can be extended a little creative slack. That would be progressive...and 21st century.

There's also this: this list of rules would be applied in the context of getting to know the young man and building a relationship with him. There might even be -gasp- laughter involved. They wouldn't happen in a legal vacuum. To my mind, instilling a bit of fear in the young man, especially in the beginning, is entirely healthy. Not fear of physical harm or vindictiveness, but the kind that can grow into true respect and love if the dating/courtship progresses.

Which brings me to another point: FEAR. If you think Jared, as the earthly father, is zealous for his daughter's honor, purity, and (ultimately) happiness, it is nothing compared to the zeal of her true Father in heaven, Who was not only there to see her be born, and toddle, and grow up, but who formed her in His holy imagination before the worlds were made, Who knit together every charm and quirk. And not only her, of course, but all of His daughters. If we think that God would somehow be less intense about this, we've probably got things backwards.

The real difference will be that her Heavenly Father will hold his concern for her in unpolluted purity of motive. Earthly fathers, despite their good intent, will always find that less noble motives (jealousy, pride, etc.) have entangled themselves in his best efforts to parent. No offense intended, Jared. Just all of our present condition.

135. Bill - 04/19/2012 4:58 pm CDT

Andrea - thanks so much for posting. It's amazing how God can save, redeem, restore. You sound like a great mom!

Dave B - amen x infinity.

136. doug - 04/19/2012 5:26 pm CDT

people, if you disagree with a small thing in the letter, leave that part out of your letter. why are we debating small stuff. as a dad of two girls i want to take seriously my responsibility to protect them. if i offend a horny idiot in the process, who cares? the letter never implies that he isnt spending good quality time with his daughter(s). if all u do is talk and trust everyone you are not sufficiently showing love. i may trust my girls but i do not trust teenage boys. i was one at one time. i have also been influenced in the past to do things i knew were wrong. please chill out with all the hate.

137. Jared - 04/19/2012 5:28 pm CDT

Andrea, thank you for sharing your story. And for understanding the heart behind this post.

138. Elizabeth - 04/19/2012 5:56 pm CDT

As a young Christian lady, I find this offensive in a variety of ways. First, completely discounting any woman pastor. Women were leaders in the church in Biblical times and why sexism persists in the modern church, I don't know why. Also, no man needs to pay for everything. Girls have jobs, have incomes and they are more than capable of paying their share. It's simple equality. This kind of attitude is what drives people away from the church and is very disappointing to see. I hope you reconsider this from a lady's perspective, a lady that is not willing to be told that she can't be in leadership simply because of her gender or that she needs her hand held throughout life. It is not raising young women to be strong and independent.

139. Natalie - 04/19/2012 5:56 pm CDT

Agree with all of them! Wish my Dad did this; would've saved a LOT of heartache.

Laughed my way through the comments! People are silly. I am glad you even take the time to read some of these comments, Jared. I imagine it requires a bit of patience. Good luck with the rest of the ridiculous critiques sure to come! :)

140. Natalie - 04/19/2012 5:58 pm CDT

Agree with all of them! Wish my Dad did this; would've saved a LOT of heartache.

Laughed my way through the comments! People are silly. I am glad you even take the time to read some of these comments, Jared. I imagine it requires a bit of patience. Good luck with the rest of the ridiculous critiques sure to come! :)

141. Cherie - 04/19/2012 6:03 pm CDT

1. Love your sense of humor, Jared!
2. Love the way you love your daughters and take your responsibility as their father seriously and seek to protect them.
3. Love that your identity obviously is not resting in people's opinions and comments on this blog. WOW, blog commenters can sure be a rough crowd!

142. Clayton - 04/19/2012 6:05 pm CDT

I am a young 18-year old idiot who is dating a girl and wish I was held to standards such as these by my girlfriend's father. Godly wisdom is here. I shared it with my friends, and what one of my friends said communicates my thoughts exactly: "Loved that. I wanna save it for 30 years. And I also want to live up to it." Thankful you posted this, Jared.

143. The Headmaster - 04/19/2012 6:32 pm CDT

DHM Comment:
"To those who predict rebellion- five of our girls are adults, one is 16, and none of them have rebelled. They like their daddy's involvement precisely because they are mature and self confidant enough that they don't need to stomp their feet and say, "I don't need you." They are wise and discerning enough to recognize the need for counsel and they trust their parents."

... and I'll add that our two daughter who are married had thier first kiss on there wedding day, not before it.
I have read the list twice, and though it had some humor added, I could not disagree with any point. I have set high standards for my chidlren, including any Son or daugther in laws. The first thought that came go mind when the young men asked permission to marry / court my daughters was, "Hmm, you're asking to be the father to my grandchidren. I am not interested in just a "good man' for my daughters, I want a man capable of leading His family to God. Everything else pales when compared to this.

I have simply skimmed over the other 142 comments and need to move on.

Good Article.

144. J - 04/19/2012 6:48 pm CDT

If I were single these would be my responses 

1. I will totally bore you to death about my sin because I hate it and I will rant to you about what a wretched man I am 

2. I understand you don't want a porn user dating your daughter. But my google searches and websites visited are like an X-ray to my brain, it gets right at my inner thoughts. God and your daughter have a right to know about those things, and I will be happy to have those reports sent to your daughter who I would like to reveal my innermost thoughts and hurts and struggles. She has a right to know that I'm not watching porn and I will give her that privilege. Only one person besides God gets access into everything that is on my mind, and thats the woman I marry. If you raised a godly daughter, she will leave me if there is anything bad in those reports. If you don't trust your daughter to make a godly evaluation of those reports, she may not be ready for marriage anyway 

3. My dad is an unbeliever and will be amazed that we don't want to cohabitate together for a year before marriage. I will endure the ridicule of family for choosing to honor God by not living with your daughter before marriage. Some of us did not grow up Christian and there are some elect guys who fear God but whose dads do not meet your criteria. You could help me evangelize my dad though, if you were willing to see past the family God chose to place me in 

4. Ok

5. I don't have Facebook

6. Ok 

7. I've got a lot of dead branches that need pruning. Do I need to put on a mask to date your daughter? 

8. I think that is a great idea 

9. My biggest fear is breaking the fragile heart of my real girlfriend. Again, I've got a lot of dead branches that still need pruning and that horrifies me 

10. I will panic because I don't trust myself or her 

11. I am glad you love your daughter and I will probably be 100 x worse when I have on of my own 

12. I am glad you love your daughter so much, and the list does intimidate me a little, but I will probably do the same thing in your shoes. God bless you 

145. Amanda - 04/19/2012 6:50 pm CDT

Love this! I have an infant son and am pregnant with a baby whose gender we don't yet know. My son will be held to a high standard with dating as well our future sons or daughters.
And for those who take issue with the comment on female pastors. I am a woman and I absolutely agree that the role of pastor/elder should be held by men. I also believe the husband to be the head of the household. This isn't subjugation or misogyny; it is Biblical and reflects the creation order. I'm not looking to argue the point because Jared did well at explaining. I just want to point out that as a woman, I'm in agreement (because that's what the Bible says!) Great job, Jared!

146. Alexa - 04/19/2012 6:54 pm CDT

I'm usually don't feel strong enough about a blog to comment on it, but this great, thanks for sharing!

I mostly wanted to point out that for the most part (with the exception of a few ladies) It's the men who are most defensive and opposiing to your list. I think that says it all!

Again, thank you for your boldness in sharing!

147. Alexa - 04/19/2012 6:55 pm CDT


148. Kathleen Nielson - 04/19/2012 7:02 pm CDT

Elizabeth-- it sounds like you're more focused on assuming leadership roles rather than letting God mold you into a submissive, Godly woman...#womanup

149. Kathleen Nielson - 04/19/2012 7:03 pm CDT

Elizabeth-- it sounds like you're more focused on assuming leadership roles rather than letting God mold you into a submissive, Godly woman...#womanup

150. Chris - 04/19/2012 7:17 pm CDT

Hi! I don't mean this to sound rude or arrogant, but I just really don't want anyone to walk away from this ready to legalistically devour a bunch of young guys who still have a lot to learn. I'm a young man myself, and I agree with the list! I like it, in fact. I like that a quality woman CAN'T just end up with whoever is first if her dad is looking out for her and constantly reminding her of her value. But for any father who is all excited about having a list with which to deflate and humiliate young man after young man who attempts to date his daughter, I respectfully offer this companion-list that outlines what sort of things makes it possible for a man to set a really high standard and have me actually want to meet it instead of writing him off as a paranoid or legalistic or cruel person.

So You Want To Set A Magnificent Price For Your Daughter?

1. YOU ought to demonstrate for me all the things you demand of me. Not to avoid double standards, but because I'm a young idiot who doesn't know half of the things your greater experience has taught you. Also because I want to know that the man making such steep demands of me is led by the Spirit and not his paranoia.

2. Be reasonable. Don't be soft, don't be tolerant, don't be weak. Just reasonable. To earn my trust and keep my respect, you need to prove to me that you aren't going to be stubborn or petty. That you'll let the small things be small things so the big things can stay "the big things". You earn my trust and respect, I'll listen to your advice for the rest of your life (or mine, if I am taken first). If I'm trying to live up to a high standard, and you're resorting to imagination to find ways that I'm not making the cut, you may need to deal with some of your own fears and insecurities before you go about enforcing a strict standard. If you don't, you're just going to frustrate even the worthiest of young men. You know who you WON'T frustrate? The spineless men with no self-respect who bow to anyone who makes any kind of demand on them at all, and the disrespectful men who ignore you, and the liars who fake all of these things and change the moment you are not watching. Is that who you want for your daughter?

3. Do NOT give me your blessing if you aren't going to bless me in deed as well as in word. Let's work together! I'm a work in progress... if you want the finished article, we'll have to talk again on the other side of death; but if I'm willing to truly learn from you and you're willing to teach (both intentionally and unintentionally through example), that's probably about close to perfect as you can ask from a human male.

4. Evaluate your goal. Are you trying to protect your daughter from all harm, or provide her with a God-fearing, worthy husband? If it's the first, sorry sir, I'm probably going to find someone who's going to have fewer issues later in life caused by over-protectionism. If the second, that's great! I want to be that very sort of man, so if you are worth my trust and respect (which as a more experienced man than I and as a potential father-in-law, you should probably be able to earn after only a few meetings), I welcome your guidance.

5. Be on my side. I don't mean help me to succeed in my courtship of your daughter. That's silly. But if I'VE got #1 down, and YOU'VE got #1 down, there's no reason at all we can't see ourselves as being on the same side where it matters. We both want me to be righteous, honourable, filled with love and grace, and most of all, completely focussed and devoted to Jesus. So let's not set up any "boyfriend versus girl's dad" stuff. On a much deeper level, we are brothers in the faith and soldiers on the same side of the battlefield. Again, not saying you should help me to succeed in my suit, but please remember that we're all after the same thing: God's will to be done, and Jesus' name to be known.

6. Encourage me when I'm making the grade. Doesn't have to be a lot. But a few positive words here and there will help me to know when I'm doing things right and keep me going.

7. If you are going to demand those things, you had better be SURE your daughter is worth it. If you're not spending time with her regularly to know exactly who she is in all truth (instead of just believing whatever you want about her like many naive or negligent fathers) and if you don't KNOW she is worth the royal treatment, don't you dare waste my time, money, energy, and heartache for some girl who isn't in love with Jesus, or who uses me for my money (thanks to list point #4), or is a negative force in the struggle to protect her purity. I don't mean "know" as in "Oh, I know my daughter! Here are some of her likes and dislikes, and these are which classes she takes and which sports she plays." I mean "know" as in, "Yeah, we hang out all the time! I know what is on her mind and heart; I know her values and see that she's got Jesus first. I don't REMEMBER her from when she was 11. I KNOW her now that she's 19." If you really, REALLY know your kid, and you can promise me that there's no facade or misrepresentation and she is truly a woman worthy of a god-fearing man, then bring on the lists, baby. Make it a hundred points long: for someone that special and precious, it will seem like no effort at all.

151. Andrew Strange - 04/19/2012 7:34 pm CDT

If you agree with any of this as a father you are nuts.. Did someone order a large case of daughter rebellion??

A young guy can "love god" (#1) but at the same time "You have no idea what love is" (#9).

(#3, #2) You can't force people to not be sinful.

There is so little love and caring and support in your words that I think you need to "first take the plank out of your own eye". You are not loving the young guy, the guys dad and most especially your daughter.

I LOVE to be the one to break this to you but your daughter is her own person and needs to make her own mistakes. If you hold on to her hand for too long and to tightly she will run away from you the first chance she gets. If she runs from you because you hurt her that fine but if she runs away from Christ because of you hurting her then you will not have your daughter in heaven.

On the off chance that anyone that is a father and agrees with the post and is reading my comment as well. You will most likely be thinking something along these lines at this point. My daughter is a Christen and I am not worried about her Christianity, I am worried that my daughter will go too far with a boy. I would urge you brother think about your priorities. Would you love your daughter and the young man any less if they did go too far.

Also Jared why are you not worried about your suns in the same way???

152. Jared - 04/19/2012 7:52 pm CDT

Andrew Strange -- and pretty much all the other critical voices -- I have been watching for longer than I've cared to how your way with boys and girls has worked for generations of boys and girls. All due respect, but I prefer my way of caring for my daughters to your way of not doing it.

Also: I'm not worried about my sons (or suns) because I have none.

153. Andrew Strange - 04/19/2012 7:53 pm CDT

Kathleen Nielson-- who is Elizabeth meant to be submissive to? both men and women are called submit to the LORD and women are to submit the there husbands.. Elizabeth is not called to submit to any and everyone.

You should not have said "submissive, Godly woman" you should have said "submissive, Godly person" as the call is the same to men and women alike.

154. Kristi at My Cup Runs Over - 04/19/2012 7:56 pm CDT

As a mother to 3 daughters and 2 sons, I disagree with much of this list. I can understand looking at a boys' dad, but you have to judge the boy on the boy, not his father. The PP who said your whole point here is to scare away potential suitors is right on the money. I don't know if that's a bad thing or not, but that does seem to be your primary goal.

155. Georgia Mama :) - 04/19/2012 7:57 pm CDT

Jared -- This list is GREAT! Had me smiling the whole time! I actually laughed out loud on #8. While I feel for ya that so many folks are fired up about that, you have done a great job in reiterating God's word. I grew up with "religion" in a demoniation with women pastors. Now that I have a "relationship" with the Lord & have combed the scriptures, let me back you up to the doubters. 'No female pastors' isn't Jared's interpretation, folks... it's God's word. Period. Keep the Truth (brushed with humor!) comin'. The majority of us are lovin' it!

156. Kristi at My Cup Runs Over - 04/19/2012 7:58 pm CDT

Sorry. *boy's

157. Victor - 04/19/2012 7:58 pm CDT

I understand some of this, but a lot of it is too extreme, in my opinion. You sound like the Dad from 'Meet the Fockers' and no, that's not a compliment. A lot of this sounds unnecessary unless your daughter is the worst judge of character ever. Because honestly, it sounds like you don't trust her at all. Seems like if you teach her what a godly man looks/acts like, she should be able to find one on her own. I'm not saying you don't ask questions or get to know the guy, but a lot of your requirements aren't biblical requirements for a godly husband. So yeah, to me that is legalism.

Honestly, as I guy, I know you have good intentions and everything. However, I'm not sure I would want to date your daughter, even if I followed all your list of rules and passed with flying colors. Not saying you are, but you come across as the guy who is never going to trust anyone who marries your daughter. I mean, seriously, are you going to have a guy e-mail his Internet history even after marriage, too? When do the rules stop?

158. Andrew Strange - 04/19/2012 8:06 pm CDT

Hi Jared

You will still need to explain "your way of not doing it" is more loving or the most loving way to do it.

Your number one priority when it comes to your daughter is to maintain her and grow her as a Christen. I just wonder if you are putting as much time and effort in to her growth as you are protecting her from sinful young men.

159. Jason - 04/19/2012 8:08 pm CDT


one word...... Awesome

160. Jared - 04/19/2012 8:24 pm CDT

I just wonder if you are putting as much time and effort in to her growth as you are protecting her from sinful young men.

Andrew, you don't know me from Adam. That you would "wonder" something so presumptuous and rude about me based on one humor-tinged blog post says much more about you than the post says about me.

I have no fear of anyone who actually knows me speaking honestly about how I am raising my daughters.

You don't know me. So you don't get to play guessing games about my character.

161. nhe - 04/19/2012 8:37 pm CDT

Jared Answering your question on number 26 (I think 130 people have answered, but I'm late to the party):

Acknowledging there are plenty of fine young men out there, looking generally at the state of young males today: Do you really think we are at risk of being "too hard" on boys today?

I don't think we were hard enough -- in the good sense -- on boys when I was a young man, and I could've used the gracious scrutiny I'm advising here. I don't think young men have improved since then.

Having raised two daughters to adulthood, who are both awesome, I attribute a heck of a lot more to God's mercy than to our parenting.

I have learned this, we "won" big when we talked to our girls about how their "mark" as Christian women is determined by how they love and mercifully accept others. That's the kind of women they've become. If we did anything (at all) right,we majored on that when other Christian parents were majoring on building the hedges high. If I had to major (in retrospect) on any theme as a parent, it would be teaching and modeling transformational love and acceptance, and hemorrhaging about gospel transformation...the little we did really paid off.

162. Jared - 04/19/2012 8:41 pm CDT

I notice no one seems to have noticed I've made no comments about what rules I'd have for my daughters or what I'd talk to them about or what my posture towards them will be during this stage of their life, but plenty seem to be commenting as if I have.

163. nhe - 04/19/2012 8:49 pm CDT

Sorry Jared, I haven't read through it all, so I don't know all that you've said, but I do see you advocating some things (like being tough on suitors) and I don't disagree.

I just was suggesting that I have and would chose to "major" on some other things.

164. H Evans - 04/19/2012 8:51 pm CDT

As a non-Christian, I still found this to be humorous and intriguing and over all very accurate description of the average Christian father [actually, any father].

However, as I read on, my opinion of you took an incredible sharp turn as I read number 8, and realized just how deluded you are.

My home town has two churches. One is preached by a man, the other, a woman. My grandparents, cousins, and many family friends have chosen the church with the woman pastor as their house of faith. They have done this because not only was she more knowledgeable in her "field of work", but she was wise and many people found her more friendly and easier to relate to than the man at said other church.

The reason you have given us (the readers) that women should not be pastors is garbage. I say this because, as I recall, the Bible ALSO includes prohibitions against round haircuts, working on the Sabbath, wearing garments of mixed fabrics, eating pork or shellfish, and even playing with the skin of a pig.

I choose not to take a book so literally, as it was written by a man, not by a God.

I believe in morality, which is doing right regardless of what I am told. This is the opposite of most religions (like your faith), which is doing what you are told regardless of what is right.

You're welcome to your own interpretation of the Bible, but for me, I need more than just "the Bible says so" to justify certain things in this world, and certainly to judge them.

165. Jennifer - 04/19/2012 8:52 pm CDT

Inspired by this, my 14 year old son is making his own list for girls who want to date him. It includes "must love reading" along with "NO Twilight". I am so proud. ;)

( also has "loves the Lord" as number 1, mind you)

166. TJ - 04/19/2012 8:52 pm CDT

Hi, I read with interest your list. I have read similar lists in the past that run along the same line as what you said, and I agree in principle with them all (even #8). I for one asked my girlfriend's parents if I could write to her and eventually date her. Later I asked if I could marry her. That was one thing that I passed on to our children. And to date they have complied we have two married children. One thing that needs to be mentioned is the aspect of bathing them with prayer from a young age. My wife has been faithful in praying not only for our children but also for their lifetime mates and the Lord has blessed. Our daughter's husband not only asked to date her (she told him he would have to) but then also asked us to marry her. All the things on your list are important, but the battle waged on your knees is by far the strongest. Oh, by the way, one of our kids and their spouse attend your church.

167. Karl - 04/19/2012 9:00 pm CDT

Surprise, surprise, I agree with nhe. I focus as much as I can on teaching our girls to extend kindness, grace and mercy to each other and to others, and when choosing friends (and eventually looking at young men as potential friends or marriage partners) I teach them to look for people who do the same - to look not only at how potential friends treat THEM, but also how they treat and talk about others, especially others who are considered uncool or picked on or marginalized or who are in service positions (i.e. how does your date talk to the wait staff or the person taking his order at McDonalds, the janitor at your school, the bullied kids, etc.).

Our 3 daughters are ages 11, 8 and 7 so I resonate with the protective intent behind the original post. But thinking back to my own teen years first in private Christian schools and then at a Christian college, the parents who built the hedges highest and did the most to screen potential boyfriends, seemed to have a no-higher-than-average outcome in terms of daughters who avoided relational pitfalls, heartbreak, premarital sexual involvement and/or ending up dating or married to a jerk (there are ways to be a jerk besides taking sexual advantage btw - some of the girls I'm thinking of married jerk-pharisees). In some cases the failures were spectacular and seemed driven by a reaction against the very restrictiveness that had sought to protect the daughters. In other cases the daughters responded appreciatively and as the parents had hoped. Sometimes sisters, daughters of the same parents, responded to near-identical rules and treatment in polar opposite ways.

This list (or one kinda like it) may or may not be a good idea. Being involved with your kids' lives and having input re. their choice of friends and their dating is important - though my involvement and input would probably look different than some of the items on this list. I just disagree with the assumption that a list like this is going to necessarily result in a better outcome (in terms of bad stuff avoided or forestalled) for a higher percentage of daughters than, say for example, Andrew Strange's way (whatever that is) that Jared has watched for generations.

Some reactions anti-this post have been over the top or unfair. But reading the reactions of Jared and his supporters I get the impression that there are those out there who think a parent either (a) has a list like this and agrees with every one of Jared's points, or else (b) is a crappy, uninvolved parent.

168. Jared - 04/19/2012 9:05 pm CDT

Karl, one other alternative is that people see this list for what it is instead of as the literal and maximum limit of my parental involvement and action. I'm finding that "reading" increasingly weird, and I'd reiterate what I said in comment #162. There are some assumptions being made about me by the over-the-top critics and even the milder "yes but" ones like you and nhe that I don't think this blog post by itself merits. You two especially have read my stuff over the last year or two (maybe more) -- you think my body of work reveals me to be a sanctification manager?

169. Bill - 04/19/2012 9:24 pm CDT

I get the impression that there are those out there who think a parent either (a) has a list like this and agrees with every one of Jared's points, or else (b) is a crappy, uninvolved parent.

I think that's a bit of a stretch - I don't think that's what Jared's saying or implying. I will say that the number one thing, as someone who has married off one daughter and has another in college, is to be involved. To really, really know your daughter - it's huge.

So let me say it this way: Dads who have been deeply involved in their daughter's lives and who have practiced standards-modeling, standards-teaching, and, yes, standards-enforcing based on their relationship and understanding of their daughter, have a much higher chance of raising a confident, non-needy, wise daughter with high standards than are the dads who have been passive in their daughter's lives.

Passivity among men is one of the biggest sin of our age.

(unfortunately, when a man chooses to break the mold and not be passive, people find that threatening / offensive / backwards / horrifying / etc.)

170. Linnea - 04/19/2012 9:26 pm CDT

This article was great! All the naysayers should take a chill pill yall! You, Jared, obviously are sending a serious message with some very witty humor along with it.

A young woman needs to be looked out for by her dad. Period. If you think anything negative can come from a good father looking out for his daughter then you probably don't get enough sleep or maybe you are just very confused.

My dad is a pastor, and was very, VERY strict with me when I was dating. Now I am married and a mother to my own daughter and all I can say is, because of my mom and dad's strong influence I stayed out of a lot of trouble and married a great man. Thanks mom & dad!

Thanks for the article, Jared, and we loved the Bourne joke. Very good stuff.


171. Karl - 04/19/2012 9:30 pm CDT

What did I say Jared, that suggested to you that I thought your list the literal and maximum limit of your parental involvement and action?

The parents I mentioned in my post were very involved and active in their kids' lives - at least many of them were. Sure some were simply uninvolved legalists. But most weren't.

Do you really throw a list like that up there and close with your #12 on a public forum and then expect nobody to disagree or even offer a "yes, but" in the comments section?

172. Devin - 04/19/2012 9:30 pm CDT

Hey Jared,
I just first want to thank you for your presentness of mind to be active in your girls dating life. I am 15 and am interested in this one girl and am going to hold myself to the standards you set. I have already sent an email to her dad, seeing as I have not met him in person yet. In the email I just told him who I was and how I wanted his accountability and approval of the relationship.
What would you suggest as repercussions of sinning in the way of pornography or... Well just about anything. I just wanted to know so that I can lead this girl and any future girls God places in my life.

173. Jared - 04/19/2012 9:34 pm CDT

Karl, when you said this -- I just disagree with the assumption that a list like this is going to necessarily result in a better outcome -- I assumed that you were assuming this list was all I had going for me, parental unit wise. The rest of your advice seems to support that assumption. If I misunderstood you, I am sorry.

174. Karl - 04/19/2012 9:38 pm CDT

Bill I agree with everything you said about being involved and not being passive.

What I disagree with is the implied suggestion - especially in the comments - that the list in discussion necessarily = what it looks like to be involved and not passive, and that disagreement with any part of the list is indicative of possible antinomianism, passivity and/or lack of involvement.

I've seen reference to the apparent humor or tongue in cheek nature of the original post. So tell me, which of the rules is it that Jared isn't actually going to put into practice; which one does he not seriously mean? Or on the other hand if he actually means them all as I think he does, then however wryly he delivers them I think it's fair game to treat them as seriously as he means them and have some discussion re. the wisdom and/or effectiveness of those types of lists, and whether there are other alternatives that are equally good or perhaps even better.

175. Chase Rampy - 04/19/2012 9:39 pm CDT

As a father of three daughters, I often ask myself what the perfect suitor for one of my girls' hand would look like, and I find myself drawn to what the perfect Groom went through to save His bride: persecution, ridicule, abandonment, betrayal, rejection, torture and ultimately death. If Christ went through that for His bride, a young God-fearing Christian man truly has nothing to complain about by adhering to the standards any father sets for dating his daughter. I know my daughters will not be given to anyone who is not willing to go through the same for them that Christ went through for His bride, and the young man, whoever he is, has to convince me of that. No other opinions matter or are relevant. God has entrusted me with protecting the hearts of my girls, so I am the gate-keeper: you want the prize inside the city, you have to go through me.

176. Jared - 04/19/2012 9:44 pm CDT

Karl, I find it odd that you, one of the guys on this site who most enjoys finding the nuances in everything, can't figure out how to parse the list for humor and seriousness. Very surprising, actually.

I'll only offer this one assist about #12:
a) having rules isn't by itself legalistic
b) #12 is a joke about legalists/antimonians but also a serious statement about young men unwilling to meet standards to show themselves trustworthy.

177. Karl - 04/19/2012 9:57 pm CDT

Jared, I think that if you are doing those other things well then a list like this becomes superfluous and may even work counter to your goals for your daughters' hearts (at least in some cases).

I get the feeling that you might interpret that to mean "relate to your daughters, teach them good principles but have zero involvement in or rules about their dating" and I don't mean that at all.

178. Jared - 04/19/2012 10:03 pm CDT

Karl, I appreciate your concerns, but I'm going to stick to my judgment about what my daughters need because I actually know them and am raising them. They have rules now and these rules do not run counter to my goals for their hearts but are tools in service of those goals. This will always be the case because my desire is to know my daughters, love them in such a way to show Jesus, and set up boundaries that demonstrate how much I treasure them and care for them. As I said before: I like my way of doing it.

179. Em - 04/19/2012 10:03 pm CDT

I love this article and I think it's a great thing for a father to say! And I also wanted to say that I am a "PK" and not all of us turn out wild like the stereotype. That's really hurtful.

180. Rob - 04/19/2012 10:05 pm CDT

These are all exceptional, but you missed three BIG ones:

1) You must know how to cook and impress me with several meals for my approval. Real men cool.

2) You must be willing and able to change at least 10,000 diapers like a man.

3) Family Worship, every day, no questions asked (the most important of all of these three)

181. Karl - 04/19/2012 10:06 pm CDT

Jared, I didn't have trouble seeing the humor you intended. Or at least most of it; I may have missed some.

My point was that there is also a core practice/rule/whatever behind each point made, regardless of how you couch it in humor. And my understanding is that you believe in and intend to implement those rules/practices as a means of protecting your daughters. So yeah, if someone is objecting to something you said only in jest, then they missed the joke and should lighten up. But if they are objecting to or commenting on the rules/practices you say you will implement upon your daughters' suitors, then it's a red herring to tell them to lighten up b/c you used humor to talk about those rules/practices. I took your post to be more akin to CSL using humor to make a serious point, rather than like an article in The Onion or Larknews, meant solely to satirize and caricature.

182. Andrew Strange - 04/19/2012 10:06 pm CDT

Hi Jared

You where the one that put this aspect of your personal life on a public forum. The only thing I have to judge you character on is what you have posted. People should always judge a person’s character before taking what they have to say seriously.

The fact that you have not said that you think that your way is the most loving and that you are putting a lot of effort into your daughters growth in Christ is the worrying thing.

I do definitely think that rebuking your action would be best done by those closest to you. I also think that this post should have only been viewable by the same people. But as you have put it out in this public forum and there is no talk in it of the importance of your work and effort in the Christen growth of your daughter. I will question it.

183. Mom23girls - 04/19/2012 10:08 pm CDT

Billy Martin, you scare me. Your daughter is not chattel. She is not your property. She deserves to live her own life. You have guided her and shown her the way to truly live, a life in Christ, now pray for her and love her to Him. But don't try to own her.

184. Bill - 04/19/2012 10:11 pm CDT

The fact that you have not said that you think that your way is the most loving and that you are putting a lot of effort into your daughters growth in Christ is the worrying thing.

No need to worry, Andrew. I know Jared and he's a good dad who loves his daughters and puts a lot of effort into his daughters' growth.

It's been said a number of times already, but I'll say it again: Jared didn't present this list as the sum total of what a dad is to do regarding his daughter.

185. Jared - 04/19/2012 10:13 pm CDT

My point was that there is also a core practice/rule/whatever behind each point made, regardless of how you couch it in humor. And my understanding is that you believe in and intend to implement those rules/practices as a means of protecting your daughters.

Karl, right. This is more clear. You are seeing that the tone is humorous but the points are real. That's right. I am understanding that you disagree about having such rules. If so, that's cool. I'm going to go with them anyway, but of course my means of making them clear will not be me having the poor guy in a full nelson or anything.

186. Solomon - 04/19/2012 10:14 pm CDT

The list is good and helpful and funny. The vitriol on these internet "comment" sections are not.

187. Karl - 04/19/2012 10:22 pm CDT

We're getting closer to agreement Jared, or at least "agree to disagree and the gap isn't so huge as it might have sounded at one point." As long as you don't think that by saying I disagree with having (some of) these particular rules I am suggesting parents should have NO rules. If you were frustrated at a perceived implication that people thought this was the sum total of your parenting, I am frustrated when the keepers of such lists seem to imply that if someone doesn't agree with their list or implement one very similar to it, then that person has no rules for their kids, isn't protecting their kids properly, etc. I hope that isn't what you think.

Since you put the list out there and didn't disable the comments I figured you welcomed feedback and after 100-some comments on the fastest moving Thinklings thread I can remember in I don't know how long, I finally decided to throw my two cents in. But I don't expect to change your mind.

188. Matt - 04/19/2012 10:35 pm CDT

As an 18 year old who has been dating one wonderful woman for over 2 years, I think this is absolutely necessary (I have experienced the ill effects of NOT having something like this); however, I think it would be more beneficial to create a loving, discipleship rather than a fearful relationship. There should be some fear, but I think I would have benefitted much more from her dad intentionally encouraging and uplifting me through once-a-week Starbucks meetings (or some variation) rather than a legalistic (I do not use that word negatively), fear-inducing situation. Love is the more excellent way, and it should NOT be for just your daughter.

189. Ken Leonard - 04/20/2012 12:10 am CDT

I'm not getting into the comments, because it's absurd.

As a father, Jared has the right and responsibility to set his own rules. He's sharing them. While I don't buy into every detail of every one of them, it looks like a good list to me.

And since I have two daughters (4 years and 3 months), I'll be dealing with this sooner or later.

On a related note, do you know this song? It might come in handy ...


190. Alex Costa - 04/20/2012 12:25 am CDT

wow, 188 comments! (now 189).

Jared, your response to nhe was great in regards to what s/he said about #8.

With all these comments, I expected people to rail against point #8 (not calling out nhe here, but the other people). I didn't expect somebody to throw the word "JUDGE" at you. That was both excruciating and laughable at the same time.

191. Just an observation - 04/20/2012 12:55 am CDT

Think it is a pretty good list and I like it, but the one about guys with baggy pants that sag a little bit??? That is kind of lumping all guys who dress that way into the category of a "bad dude" for a girl to date... Sounds like generalizing and stereotyping to me... And dare I say Pharisitical... Making judgments about young men's characters based on the attire? I work with young guys now... and let me tell you... If I used this mentality with guys wearing "skinny jeans" and some of the other styles that are out there, I am not sure how far I would get in discipling them when all I was focused on was their pants... "But the LORD said to Samuel, "Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the LORD sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the LORD looks on the heart." ~ I Samuel 16:7 (ESV) Just food for thought...

192. Reuben - 04/20/2012 2:05 am CDT

This is a great article. Any critics obviously don't have young daughters. The key issue (& strength of the point) is the fact that Jared is dealing in robust & critical engagement with the young man - its called discipleship.
Unconverted until my 20s & from a non-Christian home I had no such mentoring or influence. As such the inevitable happened with many young women being badly treated by my immature-world-shaped approach to dating. Unsurprisingly this didn't stop as soon as I came to Christ and the fathers of the Christian girls I dated who (quite rightly) didn't appreciate the 'bad boy' chose to cut me off rather than engage as Jared is doing. If they had, they would have served me and their daughters well. Like Jared I know how young men think and act and now that i have a young daughter myself I think Jared's council is wise and loving to both suitor and daughter alike. My only crit is that he didn't include my accompanying the young starlets on all dates with a loaded shotgun! I'm still scouring Scripture for a text on that one but I'm sure it's there ;-)
Great job Jared

193. Peter - 04/20/2012 2:54 am CDT


great guidelines. I can see from this post how much you love and care for your daughter. Very admirable. Just to share a couple things that came to mind when I was reading this. At the end of the day, who makes the decision to chose the man your daughter wants to marry? My hope is that your daughter makes the decision herself based on the understanding of what it means to be a man through the teaching of the word. You can advise her, but you can't make decisions for her (not that you would make decisions for her). My hope is that you'll raise your daughter well enough to choose a godly man because the Lord only knows you might not even be there to guide her in choosing a godly man for her to marry. I think its also important to know you have absolutely no control over your life or hers. Everyone is at the mercy of God's hand. I'm not here to bash anything you said, I personally think it was well said! :)Great guidelines once again, just wanted to share a few thoughts I had.

BTW #8 I understand you, completely agree, but it came out a little harsh. Why not say it in a nicer way? what have you got to lose?

194. Craig - 04/20/2012 6:41 am CDT

I haven't seen it in these exact terms before. I like and agree with many of your points. In my house, any guy that wants to date my daughters must first meet with me. During the meeting I ask them if they have seen the promise ring that I gave my daughters. This ring is a commitment of purity until marriage. I then ask if they know what it means. I confirm with them that they DON'T want to be the reason she has to give it back.

I also have a son. I encourage him to call the father of any girl that he would like to take out and arrange a meeting so that the dad can get to know him.

195. Isaac - 04/20/2012 7:34 am CDT

I agree with most of the list except for the one that says "you will pay for everything". What biblical basis to you have for making that demand> We live in a different day and age and sometimes situations call for the woman to help out a little bit. This doesn't mean that the man is lazy or incompetent. My mom helped out when my dad was going through Seminary. They were married and both of them worked to make ends meet. I think every situation is different and a list of rules like this may make void the wisdom needed to be discerning. What if the daughter is a little whore, should you expect the man to be some perfect suitor. Maybe, you should be warning the men to look out for the daughter because men are not the only ones who use and manipulate people. This list seems to assume that the daughter is some little princess and the father is some perfect godly man. This is often not the case. I agree with most of the list except for the ones about financial matters. If he needs a belt he doesn't have a job? What do you want your daughter to marry some chunker. I wear a belt because I'm in better shape than most of the fat fathers out there.

196. Kevin - 04/20/2012 8:53 am CDT

Is no one else scared out of their minds here?

I'm honestly in shock that members of the body of Christ are so wrapped up in perpetuating oppression and devaluing of women. This is truly disgusting, and I sincerely hope, for the sake of your daughters, that you will evaluate the possibility that you are perpetuating ideas and interpretations akin to modern-day pharisees.

When you take the Bible, and interpret it through the lens of a privileged white man in America 2012, you are doing yourself, our community, and God an incredible disservice. In that, you are misusing language for your own gain, to increase and maintain your own power, and try to justify that abuse and convince women that "God said so".

Actually, Jesus didn't say so. Jesus evidenced incredibly liberal treatment and value of women. Mary Magdalene wasn't a stay-at-home mom, tending to her husband and protecting her "purity". She was a leader, and Jesus appreciated and used that gift for the greater good.

When you use a select few verses in isolation to condone belittling of women, slavery, homophobia, you are acting in DIRECT opposition to the tradition and message of the Bible, and most specifically the DIRECT teachings of Jesus Christ. You are literally engaging in a detrimental process that continues to hold women down and built up your own control (and Jesus repeatedly talks about how much he hates that!)

Although the majority of Jewish leaders were male, females also contributed in very important ways. Most strikingly, Deborah served as a judge over Israel (Judges 4 – 5) and Esther delivered her people from extermination (Esther). The example of these women reminds us that women were not entirely excluded from leadership roles in the community of faith and that God worked through them in extraordinary ways.

Jesus broke down social barriers by reaching out to women and including them in his apostolic community. The same woman who gave birth to the Messiah was with him at his death, when most everyone else had run away. Jesus’ female disciples were the first ones to witness his resurrection. Through Jesus, God opened the way for a new community, the Church, where salvation, baptism, and discipleship are available to all people – including women. Old barriers of division and exclusion, including the conflict between the sexes that is rooted in sin, no longer apply within the new community of faith (Gal. 3:28). In contrast to social norms where women were viewed as property, women in the Church are empowered by the Holy Spirit to be witnesses to the saving grace of Jesus Christ.

It is clear that “femaleness” is not a barrier to full participation in salvation, baptism, or discipleship. This being so, it is logical to conclude that Christian ministry is also extended to all people. Indeed, the New Testament affirms that women participated in the ministry of the Church on many different levels. In fulfillment of Joel’s prophecy, God poured out his Spirit upon all flesh, so that women should “prophesy,” the same word that connotes the sharing of the Gospel message (Acts 2:17). Thus the arrival of the Spirit points to a new context for the ministry of women in the Church – women like Philip’s daughters (Acts 21:9), Priscilla (Rom. 16:5), Euodia and Synteche (Phil. 4:3), Phoebe (Rom. 16:1), deaconesses (1 Tim. 3:11), and Junia, who is referred to as “prominent among the apostles” (Rom. 16:7).

In light of the larger narrative of Scripture, it seems reasonable to maintain that women should not be universally excluded from leadership within the Church. In these “latter days,” God has poured out his Spirit on all flesh, leveling barriers that were formerly meant to exclude, including between male and female (Acts 2:17; Gal. 3:28). Therefore, all efforts to silence women from “prophesying” that are based in a male desire to control or dominate females must be understood as a re-imposition of old sinful divisions within the Church.

I feel terribly sorry for your wife and kids. I know that my words will not mold your attitude. I only hope to serve as the person who doesn't let these words go unsaid. TO THE WOMEN READING THIS AND FEELING THIS OPPRESSION: you have allies in the body of Christ, and the greatest one of all is Christ himself. You are capable, you are strong, Jesus WANTS your voice to be heard, he WANTS to use you as an agent of change, wisdom, and knowledge.

Did you ever stop to think that if more women were in positions of leadership and power, the state of "men" today wouldn't look so weak?

197. Jared - 04/20/2012 9:00 am CDT

It's starting to get "awesome" in here. ;-)

198. Jared - 04/20/2012 9:09 am CDT

If you're keeping score, so far I have been called:


And it's been suggested I might be fat and my daughter might be a whore.

But remember that I'm the one who's mean! ;-)

199. Bill - 04/20/2012 9:09 am CDT


I'm not sure what your post has to do with Jared's post, other than #8 (which doesn't state that women can't have positions of leadership in the church, just that they can't be the pastor of the church).

[I could be wrong on this, Jared, but doesn't your church have female deacons?]

Kevin, I actually agreed with a lot (most) of what you said. But it doesn't really have anything to do with this post, at least in my opinion.

I haven't been able to understand how highly valuing ones daughter can be seen by so many here as "devaluing" her.

200. Bill - 04/20/2012 9:10 am CDT

Jared, you forgot "Oppressing"

201. Jared - 04/20/2012 9:14 am CDT

I'm sure I forgot a lot of things. One guy messaged me last night to apologize for his remarks and I honestly couldn't remember them -- everything has kind of run together.

Yes, we have deaconesses. And women teachers. And women missionaries we support. Clearly we hate women.

I haven't been able to understand how highly valuing ones daughter can be seen by so many here as "devaluing" her.

If you figure that one out, work on figuring out how anything in the post relates to how I feel about gay people or slavery.

And I'm loving all the freshman Bible class at a liberal arts school lectures I'm getting. :-)

202. Joseph M - 04/20/2012 9:15 am CDT


You have also been called "smug" and someone said they hoped your daughter would become an atheist and lesbian.

Who would have thought a post like this would generate so much bile and anger? Wow!

203. Joseph M - 04/20/2012 9:26 am CDT

By the way. I had a great discussion about this post with my three sons (18, 15, 14) who have all three read it and really liked it.

All three of them said they could "totally get" what you were saying and that a father should be looking out for his daughters like you are.

They also said that they would feel strange about dating a girl whose father didn't show that kind of care and concern because according to them "that's his job as a dad."

The only thing they thought was "weird" was the whole covenant eyes thing on the computer. Their reason was that they are already held accountable by their mom and I for what they look at on the web. We have that software on our computers and carefully monitor what they look at.

After some discussion however, they ultimately came to the conclusion that since they have nothing to hide or be afraid of anyway, if they were interested in dating a girl and her father made that demand of them, then "so what?" Because "if I have nothing to hide then why should it bother me that he wants to see what I am looking at on the internet?"

I appreciate the kind of discussion this post brought to my family supper time bro. We talked a lot about accountability, holiness, and the role of fathers in the lives of their children.

Good stuff.

204. Kevin - 04/20/2012 9:32 am CDT

"Highly valuing" your daughter? Because what I heard are patterns of treatment of young women that lead to dependency, low self esteem, and poor decision making.

When we tell girls that it is a man's job to protect her "purity" and her "honor", we're telling them it's not their responsibility. When we say that women's emotions are fragile, you're perpetuating terrible stereotypes, because the truth is ALL people have emotions and we are ALL fragile.

When you lead by example from birth, empower your sons and daughters, by the time they are ## age that you see fit for them to date, they're going to be making their own decisions, whether you like it or not, based on the parenting they have experienced and the experiences they have had. Do you want your daughter to feel capable and in control of her body and self? Or do you want her to feel dependent on the actions of others, her father and her mate, who will undoubtably let her down (as all humans will). Being capable and confident in Christ has nothing to do with being controlled by the men in our lives. Believe it or not, we don't need that, and using the Bible to give yourself that authority is again in direct opposition to Christ.

Everything about this post implies that your daughter isn't rational, smart, or righteous enough to make decisions for herself. My post has everything to do with Jared's post. I'm not calling you racist or homophobic, I was drawing parallels to help you understand the ways that this article is fundamentally anti-Christ.

As I'm finishing up I'll go ahead and come clean. My name is Kayla. I'm a a (nondenominational) christian wife, mother, and PhD student in clinical psychology. Every day I see evidence of the HARM these types of messages inflict on adolescent boys and girls alike. It really angers me to see my community perpetuating them.

"When you don't work everyday with people who live at the margins of our society, it's so much easier to make easy statements about who's right and who's wrong." - Sister Simone Campbell

205. Kayla - 04/20/2012 9:35 am CDT


So feel free to disregard my critiques up there.

After all, I've no right to educate a man, and I'm probably super-emotional from my period or something.

206. Bill - 04/20/2012 10:02 am CDT


Thanks for commenting. I wish you hadn't felt that you had to pose as a man on here. As you've seen, plenty of women have weighed in, pro and con, and we haven't discounted any of that because they are women (frankly, I've been more irritated by some of the responses we've gotten from men).

Being capable and confident in Christ has nothing to do with being controlled by the men in our lives. Believe it or not, we don't need that, and using the Bible to give yourself that authority is again in direct opposition to Christ.

Again, while I doubt I can convince you of this, what you're arguing against isn't what we're arguing for.

Everything about this post implies that your daughter isn't rational, smart, or righteous enough to make decisions for herself.

No it doesn't. That's just how you're interpreting it. One of the wisest, most rational, smart (graduating college after three years with a 4.0 in Biblical Studies next month) and righteous people I know is my daughter. She's married, and was very supportive of my involvement in her and her now husbands courting/dating relationship.

My post has everything to do with Jared's post. I'm not calling you racist or homophobic, I was drawing parallels to help you understand the ways that this article is fundamentally anti-Christ.

Again, no it's not. That's how you are interpreting it. I think, like all of us, you're interpreting it through the lens that you see through.

I don't doubt that in your work you've seen lots of bad things. However, kind of by definition, those who have had good experiences with parental involvement such as Jared describes won't show up on your radar, normally.

I don't doubt your motives or your sincerity. But, again, I feel like the post in question (and Jared himself) is being characatured [sic].

207. Bill - 04/20/2012 10:07 am CDT

Oh, forgot to mention.

You wrote: Every day I see evidence of the HARM these types of messages inflict on adolescent boys and girls alike. It really angers me to see my community perpetuating them

And in my work with students over nearly 20 years I've seen the absolute devastation wrought in young girls lives because of a distant/passive/absent or abusive dad. The devastation is just compounded when, starving for love, they throw themselves at a young boy (or girl) who can never meet the need they truly have.

I've seen plenty others (not nearly enough) who's dads had standards along the lines of Jared, to greater or lesser degrees. My experience there has been to see, almost universally, these young ladies grow up in health, wholeness, and happiness.

We've seen different things. What Jared has stated in this post is being likened to abuse and oppression, which it is not (and calling it thus diminishes the true awfulness of real abuse)

208. Tim - 04/20/2012 10:18 am CDT

Excellent. Loved it. Excellent.

Some things in there that I hadn't thought of but will be immediately adding to my "list" as well.

209. Kayla - 04/20/2012 10:49 am CDT


I understand your points, and the intention behind the original article. I'm a woman, and as with all other women, we understand very well how these beliefs impact us, and we understand where they're coming from. What people of power (men, white people, heterosexuals, etc) fail to recognize are how their statements have psychological consequences.

I wasn't advocating for passive parenting (quite the opposite, I highlighted the most well-researched and evidenced based parenting practice of all: leading by example). What I am saying is that you fundamentally are choosing not to see the consequence of your perspectives, systemically, on women. What you don't understand is that the minority already KNOWS the "lens" of the majority. They live it. They breathe it. They see every kink and flaw in a way that the majority never has to notice. (That doesn't make the majority bad people - it's human nature, but good leaders are in tune to this process so that they can be BETTER leaders). They know it. You do not have to mansplain your perspective to me - I'm well educated - I got it the first time.


Good, true leaders, are able to adopt the lens to the "others", take other the others' perspectives, and make very clear there are no unintended consequences, minsunderstandings, or mismarketings. You are failing to do so, and please refer to my link, you are continuing to engage in forms of oppression.

To say "actual fathers beat their daughters, so don't point out my more covert form of oppression" is incredibly ignorant. This covert form of sexism destroys our community and perpetuates these beliefs that don't serve us as a the body of Christ.

I didn't feel the need to hide, I wanted to give you the chance to interpret my words as valid before you discounted them. But I knew from the beginning it was useless, and I almost wish I wouldn't have wasted my time, but I wanted to say what I said to encourage young women or old women reading this who know in their heart it's a load of crap, and they don't have to internalize this type of hate.

I'm not saying you hate women (save yourself the snarky reply of "obviously I hate women! I'm married!"). Not many people are willing to admit that they behave in ways that perpetuate systemic hate against women. Men especially are unwilling to because it means giving up a little bit of their "God-given" control.

Please don't assert that I have a problem with active parenting, parental controls, or knowing who your kids are hanging out with. But helping your kids find good partners in life isn't a "dad's call to daughters" - it's a Parent's call to their children. Do you think finding respectful, smart, contributing members of society as mates for your children is less important for males? Do you really honestly believe that women are more fragile and therefore their vaginas need EXTRA protection from men?

210. Kates - 04/20/2012 10:50 am CDT

Bill's last 2 posts are worth reading again. If one is going to argue against Jared's points, then do that. Don't argue against something he hasn't said. And don't devalue actual abuse or actual misogyny by comparing what he wrote to those things. See beyond the words that offend you into a caring father's heart. Hmmmm, that sounds like something else....

211. Kayla - 04/20/2012 10:52 am CDT

(post got cut off)
that is the detrimental message that you are sending to your daughters. No it's not what you intended. No it's not meant to be hateful. But, please take a minute to challenge yourself and think about how what I said MIGHT be true, and that MIGHT be the message that systemically, young women are receiving. And young men are then entrusted and indoctrinated from an early age to believe they truly do hold power over women, and they can control their emotions, manipulate them, and get what they want out of them. Why shouldn't they believe that? You JUST told them that in this letter, you just phrased it in the form of opposites.

I imagine that the world is a scary place for you guys... Imagine in a decade or so, we'll probably have legal same-sex marriage, more liberal churches, more focus on multiculturalism - and we'll still have the same loving creator who commands respect for every law and every leader. To each their own, right? None of us know for sure, but one day we WILL know what God will have to say for our behaviors and choices in life: I think that chief among his complaints will be the ways in which we marginalized others and inflated ourselves. If nothing else, even if it's impossible for you to take on a different perspective, I hope that you will keep that theme in mind when you're "writing" to others. God doesn't hate fags, sluts, soldiers, and non-believers, but he sure does hate a prideful, controlling "Christian!"

I have to get back to doing my actual work! I want to restate that I am not attacking you personally as woman-hating, racist, homophobes whose life goal is to oppress women. I am only asking you to look at yourselves and acknowledge that your heart can "be in the right place" but that there also can be unconscious unintended consequences of your beliefs that are culturally, not biblically driven. It is might hope to make those consequences conscious. I hope they are now and that it will impact the way that you parent your children, and pastor your congregation, even if you reject the ideas now.

212. Glenda Childers - 04/20/2012 10:55 am CDT

I appreciate your heart for your daughter and your desire to be an engaged present dad. I am all for that.

I just read your post and almost all the interesting comments.

I want to add to the conversation. I grew up in an era that was all about what you did spiritually. Did you have a quiet time, did you memorize Scripture, did you share your faith? etc.Also about what you didn't do ... don't smoke, don't watch R rated movies etc. That sounds good but there was no help in the emotional areas of life to sustain real life transformation.

Your list felt a little like that to me ... just make sure you look good for dad and you can date my daughter.

I am not saying that is your intention, it made me feel that way. We are all flawed and messy and only in genuine relationship where we can be honest (dad to future son.in.law and visa versa) about our brokenness ...does real transformation take place.

A few books that have shaped my thoughts
The Bible
Grace for the Good Girl
Emotionally Healthy Spirtuality

Any thoughts?


213. Jared - 04/20/2012 10:58 am CDT

I imagine that the world is a scary place for you guys.

I'm just a simple caveman. Your world frightens and confuses me.

214. Jared - 04/20/2012 11:01 am CDT

Your list felt a little like that to me

Glenda, I come from that world too. I've seen the damage legalistic sanctification-management does. It was done to me by well-meaning people who loved me.

I know you don't me, but I'm going to respectfully suggest that this one blog post is no basis for evaluation of my entire approach to parenting or my general handling of law/gospel.

In any event, thank you for not leaving a manifesto about my unfitness and ignorance. ;-)

215. Jared - 04/20/2012 11:08 am CDT

5 New Points (With Varying Degrees of Sarcasm)

1. My full name, town of residence, place of employment, and contact info are in full view of everyone. No one's in a more vulnerable position in this thread than me. Accusations by anonymous or pseudonymous commenters are extremely cheap and easy.

2. It's a fascinating thing being lectured about being gracious and understanding with my daughters and their suitors by people raking me over the coals.

3. It's a largely humorous blog post. Clearly your explosion of anger is totally warranted.

4. As I look out at the "independent woman" culture and the state of young adulthood in the larger culture, I feel pretty awesome about my list. :-) And as I read through comment after bloated comment, I feel increasingly cynical about the reading comprehension skills of the general internet public.

5. I care about loving my daughters and showing them I treasure and honor them. I don't care how that makes you feel.

216. Brian Haynes - 04/20/2012 11:15 am CDT

Great post. Even better job at handling the comments. Here is my thought.


217. John - 04/20/2012 11:21 am CDT

It's a pity that one statement (#8) can get so many people off track to the point that the humor of this post is then lost in theological debate because I know you weren't starting a debate. No one gets saved by theological debate anyway.

I, for one, am going to re-post this and edit #8 to reflect my own stance - which I won't debate here.

Thanks for the post. While it is funny, it's also nearly exactly how I feel.

218. Kris - 04/20/2012 11:25 am CDT

As a mom to a young girl, and having once been dating young men...I love this list. My father, though a good Christian man, did none of these things. I can thank the good Lord for protecting me and putting me with the perfect godly man for me. (Very happily married for 20 years now) However, I was incredibly naive and would have been easy prey to any sweet talker that had come my way. I thank my Lord that He kept me safe.

I understand exactly the Biblical principles your list is speaking of, and I agree completely. Including 8. Anybody who truly believes the Bible is God breathed and inerrant could see that you are not being legalistic, but very wise.

I pray that one day my daughter will meet the man God has intended for her..that loves Him more than her. Because if he does, then he will treat her better than anybody who loves her more than Jesus.

219. Alex - 04/20/2012 11:41 am CDT

Good morning class, and welcome to Cultural Anthropology. Today we will be discussing arranged marriages in contemporary U.S. society. I present exhibit A...

220. Jacob Riggs - 04/20/2012 11:53 am CDT

The comments and Jared's responses are priceless.

I make a motion all anonymous comments be posted but not responded to (or should a female make this motion?). That way we can simultaneously laugh and acknowledge their cowardliness.

221. Greg - 04/20/2012 12:35 pm CDT

YES! Thank you, Jared.
Zephaniah 3:14-20.

222. Ben - 04/20/2012 1:12 pm CDT

What part of this post deals with trusting God? I know demands, rules, etc produce and entice rebellion. That's what the law does and what I believe this guy is doing. I fear that his daughter will never be datable or she will resent and hide from her father. Godly men are those that believe God, not those who "have it all together" or try hard at sin management. When I first read this, I thought he was joking and I was laughing through it. But, it seems as though that is not the case. I'm not an antinomianist, but look at what the law does to people (Romans 5:20, 3:20, 2 Cor. 3:7,9). It is righteous holy and just but the glaring problem with it is that we cannot keep it. My encouragement is for people to realize that they have an indwelling spirit to lead them, not letters of rules, etc. Nothing in this post suggests that we should trust God with dating decisions. However, Hebrews 11:6 suggests that trusting Him might lead us down a peaceful path.

223. Melissa Matlin - 04/20/2012 1:14 pm CDT

Very scary list. I will make sure that my Son stays away from you, your church and your daughter as well as all who agree with you, as it may result in his untimely death. I can assure you that my Husband and I would not allow our Son to date your daughter. I feel very sad for her (your daughter) in that she is a.) being brainwashed by the one person she should be able to trust and count on in all situations in this life, b.)could end up in a really bad situation and not have enough faith or trust in her father to call for help and that could end badly for her. It concerns me that the "christians" who read and respond to your blog all seem very hateful, vindictive, and most of all googly crazy brainwashed in "religion" by you and others like yourself. What is wrong here is the lack of caring for all fellow humans on this earth and the lack of respect for Women to make their own decisions on who to date and whether or not to go into an industry such as yours to only be frowned upon, looked down on or berated by men like you and sadly the women you have taken control of. I believe you are setting your daughter up for many disappointments and much sadness in life by teaching her that her worth comes only from you, god or some other god fearing man. Power to the men only right! It is your soul I fear for sir.

224. Des - 04/20/2012 1:17 pm CDT

Alex - your post like most on this board offers nothing constructive or insightful - you and people like you oppose this article but lack the cognitive ability to argue against it... but what's everyone's problem? Its BIBLICAL, Its HUMOROUS, and Its the AUTHOR's OWN OPINION, as to how he's going to lead his family. Just because this article creates TENSION for you doesn't mean its wrong!! Examine that tension further, perhaps you can become enlightened...

225. Des - 04/20/2012 1:27 pm CDT

Seriously Melissa Matlin - you think Jared's involvement in his daughter's life is going to set up his daughter up "for many disappointments and much sadness in life"???

When almost every statistic you will find shows that its a lack of a father's presence in his daughter's life that is attributed to emotional, physical, sexual and spiritual heartache...

Getting your self worth from GOD and your parents is not a BAD option considering teens in this generation are gaining value from their looks, GPA, material possessions, social status, and a plethora of other performance based initiatives.

You are really going to fear for someone's soul because they want to be a part of their daughter's life... a tad bit dramatic don't you think??

226. Carissa - 04/20/2012 1:41 pm CDT

I got such a good laugh out of this. Did people really get that bent out of shape about it? Even if I disagreed I would still laugh (I think). I laughed the hardest at #2, #4, and #6, fyi.

Anyway, a friend posted this to my husband's wall in case we have a daughter (due in 10 days with our first child), and I love it! I would prefer my daughter not to date, but I know too well how that argument would end. This will do. :) Thanks for the post! Thoroughly enjoyed it.

227. Abbey - 04/20/2012 1:58 pm CDT

Thanks so much for this! As a 21 year old female, these are the kind of men I would want pursing me, and these are the questions I would hope and pray my father and brothers ask to any man that decides to pursue me. There are far too many guys out there that don't know how to live up to a high standard and even among those that do, great discernment and wisdom is needed to sift through the suitors. This is a GREAT "screening" tool!

228. Melissa Matlin - 04/20/2012 2:17 pm CDT

Des, no I do not think it is a "tad bit dramatic". What is dramatic is the authors take on dating his daughter. Who is he to judge anyone? I thought that was your gods job. My Husband and I are very much involved in our children's(boy and girl)lives and strive to teach them how to be good stewards of their minds, bodies and this earth. We challenge them to work out their problems in fair and logical ways and to come to us, the two people in this world who they can truly trust with their lives if they reach an impasse. We have taught them the consequences of certain behaviors and we do not shelter them or tell them who they will or will not be associated with. We allow them to live in the real world and use the real world to teach our values and morals and do not shirk our responsibility to them, or have the church or other christians doing what is our job as their parents. Have you ever heard the theory that the more you say don't do this or the more you try to keep kids apart the harder and faster they will run to exactly what you don't want them to do. I highly doubt that the authors daughter would feel safe or comfortable going to a father that threatens harm for all he finds unsuitable. So, yes I think that puts his daughter at risk for many disappointments and much sadness in life, because if you can not have an open, honest and accepting relationship with your father then you will be destined to live a lie around him because you fear his retribution and that then leads to all of the negative behaviors you mention. You have to assume he treats his wife and children with the same smug I am the greatest jerk in the world attitude and suck it up because I do it all in the name of god so if you don't want to go to hell you better be happy on this band wagon. Please! America is divided exactly because of the so call "christian right" in this country. It has been my experience that the louder you yell "I am a christian" it is most certain that you are not a christian and that you are just playing one in public. I find it atrocious the acts committed against children in this country in the name of god, and that comes from brainwashing kids into believing that everyone who says they are a christian can be trusted when they are really just a disgusting human being. If kids are not taught to think and problem solve on their own they will most certainly find themselves in a bad situation without the tools to stand for themselves and say no or be able to leave with their head held high.

229. Cassie - 04/20/2012 2:26 pm CDT

As a 17-year-old homeschooled girl raised in a Christian home, whose dad would probably follow a list like this one in screening any potential boyfriends, I'd like to throw my opinion out there...

First, I have never dated, nor do I plan to date while living in my parents’ house, for the simple reason that I would want to avoid the stress and anger that would inevitably enshroud a ‘screening’ experience. My reason is that my dad, while a strong Christian man, passionate in his beliefs, has taken a largely distant role in my life, letting my mom do most of the child-raising while he remains the breadwinner. I do appreciate what my dad has done for keeping me fed, clothed, and housed, but spiritually, the most he has done for me is take me to good churches. Basically, we're strangers. Part of that is my fault, as I am fully aware of the problem and have made no move to fix it (at this point it feels like mending the relationship would be a struggle more likely to destroy what little relationship we have than to fix the problem). I do my best to avoid conversation with him.

However, if I did begin dating, his interest in me and mine would definitely skyrocket. Our relationship being what it is (I’m not sure how many father-daughter relationships are this distant, but it can’t be that few) I would not want him to have much input into my dating life. His largest influence is primarily negative: I don't want to date the sort of guy who winds up a distant, tyrannical father like mine.

I do agree very strongly with Joseph's views. (starting on comment #94 if you care to look it up. Side Note: the whole “Joseph’s point is that it’s all about him” comment #109 was uncalled for.)…Sorry to go so far back, and I hope you don’t feel insulted that I’m sourcing every single comment like you can’t find it on your own, just wanting to prove I have my sources...BTW, I'm totally OK with paying for my part of a date...I'm employed. And I love J’s response (#144) when he says that he would gladly send details of his internet usage to the girl, but not to her father, but go him! I would really appreciate that level of respect.

I would also like to point out that your comment #198, in which you point out the names you have been called, is hypocritical. You have called people cowards and porn users (and indirectly implied that they are a bunch of ‘sensitive’ (#25) ‘hand-wringing’ (#33) ‘wusses’ (not directly stated but evident in your attitude).) You told Andrew Strange that you didn’t think he cared for his daughters (#152). You accuse people of judging you when they don’t know you, when at the exact same time you’re judging them and you don’t know them any better. Actually, probably less, as you’ve posted far more of your opinions than they have.

I understand that you have ‘been there, done that’, and that you are responsible for your family, and I’m not asking or expecting you to read my comment and think, “Oh my! I never thought of the points she’s making! She’s totally correct! Let me adjust my list and worldview accordingly!” I’m only asking for you to show some humility and accept the possibility that you might be mistaken on those points not drawn directly from the Bible (everything except for the first)

You also seem to feel rather martyred about this whole thing (#109.) Some of these comments are nasty, but probably over 50% of the users are encouraging and in agreement. Another worthwhile additional perspective is Donald’s (#130) and the statement that the girls can be just as bad: trust me. One of the most annoying views in the world is that all girls stand on this little pedestal of virtue and that contact with the wrong guy will corrupt them and break their hearts. Some girls are like that…I’m definitely not trying to say everyone is the same here…but most also suffer from the same hormonal drives as the guys. Each person must be held to the same standard of accountability.

With Karl, you discussed which parts of your list are ‘humorous’ and which are serious. Well, it’s not a humorous matter to me or to kids my age, and saying these things online, without the assistance of body language or tone, is confusing.

When Elizabeth (#138) posted her views, Kathleen (#148) told her she needed to ‘let God mold her into a submissive woman’, replying (I guess?) to Elizabeth’s comment about women pastors. I made a comment once to my mom about how if I got married I would not change my last name, and pretty much got the same response. “If you have such a problem with it,” my mom said, “Maybe you shouldn’t get married at all.” So yes…apparently I do have a problem with headship…let that be the grain of salt with which you take my words…

You will probably blow me off because I am a teenage girl with no experience with guys, and therefore emotionally at odds with you, but I would add that if your daughters are appreciative of your level of involvement in their lives...well, I’m envious of the level of communication they share with you. If this is something they want of you, that’s their choice, and I wish the best of luck for them, and for you, the wisdom, grace, and discernment you need for such a responsibility.

230. Kates - 04/20/2012 2:40 pm CDT


How do you reconcile this statement you made, "I will make sure that my Son stays away from you, your church and your daughter as well as all who agree with you, as it may result in his untimely death. I can assure you that my Husband and I would not allow our Son to date your daughter."

...with this declaration you made, "We have taught them the consequences of certain behaviors and we do not shelter them or tell them who they will or will not be associated with."?

Which is it? Do you, as you so boldly claim, let your kids do what they wish? Or do you, like Jared, forbid them from certain people?

231. Bill - 04/20/2012 3:02 pm CDT


Thanks for commenting. It's tough to read about your situation and I wish that your Dad realized what he was missing in not building a good relationship with you. I hope that situation gets better, or at least with God's grace one day you and your husband can do things differently for your kids.

God bless.

232. Melissa Matlin - 04/20/2012 3:14 pm CDT

To Cassie, you go girl, I have no doubt you will do well in this world and marry and raise a wonderful family with a man who is your partner in life.

To Kates, we have taught them the consequences of certain behaviors and we do not shelter them. With that said when it comes to bodily harm from an unstable person or organization my Husband and I would step in and make sure that our son is kept safe from harm, we would definitely let our fears and concerns be known to our son, at that point if he still feels the need to follow that path then we will be there supporting and loving him all the way and trusting that he has the wisdom and knowledge to know when to move forward or step away. As you can see from Cassie who lives with a man such as the author, such an authoritarian and controlling figure that their is no mutual relationship of unconditional love, trust and support. It is his way or the highway and she must now be someone she is not (which sounds like a smart and strong young woman who has a lot to offer this world) around a man who is not accepting of her as an individual.

Our children know that we love and support them unconditionally even if we do not agree with their decisions and that we will be there to help pick up the pieces if needed and help them to move forward. We are very different from the author in that we do trust our children's instincts and if my son was able to pass this guys mustard (which he would not, due to item #'s 2 (invasion of his privacy), 3 (my Husband would clearly think this guy mad) and 8 (the priest in our church is a women)then we would trust our sons instinct that the guy is just full of hot air and likes to be seen as a jerk but underneath it all he was a good man who produced a daughter that our son loved then great!

233. Beth - 04/20/2012 3:21 pm CDT

As a mother of three teenaged boys, I am saddended that although they were raised in the Church by committed Christian parents, they would not be good enough for your daughters. You see, they are human and have a free will. Being in the teen years, they are questioning everything we have ever taught them and have not yet quite decided to make our faith their own. We continue to pray and model but not yet.
On another note, I do know a father like you who has these same standards. Sadly, his "Christian" daughter is dating boys behind his back that he forbid her to date. Everyone knows except him.
I'm just glad that my sons don't really care about dating right now.

234. Bill - 04/20/2012 3:22 pm CDT


In the name of grace . . . you are judging Jared based on one post. I know him well and read Cassie's detailed description of her father. They are nothing alike. First off, Jared is not distant and has a great relationship with his girls. He's certainly not unstable and your son would be perfectly safe if his path ever crossed Jared's. Please. :-)

You disagree with Jared's ideas about child-rearing, and obviously have given a lot of thought to how you are raising your children. I say God bless and God speed and I'm sure everything will be fine on both sides. It's OK to say "I disagree with this", and just move on to another blog or maybe even some blessedly internet-free time.

I'm hoping this comments thread will tone down soon.

(Although this does seem like old times, definitely.)

235. Cassie - 04/20/2012 3:50 pm CDT

Melissa and Bill, thanks for the encouragement. :) Melissa, I'm sorry for not specifically saying this in my earlier post (It was pretty rambling, so it would have been really easy to miss something) but I'm not trying to draw a parallel between Jared and my dad. So to highlight the main points: Even though I did make it pretty clear that I disagreed with Jared in the way he was responding to some people, I did mean to say in my last paragraph (and I can see now that I was really vague) that if this is an approach that works for him and his daughters, if this is something that he and his daughts are in agreement with, than no, he is nothing like my dad, who does not communicate clearly enough with me to know whether I am in agreement with him or not. Families have all sorts of different ways of approaching this subject, but what is really important is that (if possible) they approach it as a family, not as a dictatorship or as a rebel. I don't plan to rebel against my dad while living under his roof--like I said, I plan to wait on moving out before dating.
You and Jared both approach this subject from different angles, and you each might disagree with each other's, but please take a moment to be thankful that you each approach the subject as a family, with clear communication and agreement between members. I'm sure that these strong family ties are going to be what really give your children the strength, dignity, and maturity necessary in a relationship, not the minor details.

236. Jared - 04/20/2012 3:56 pm CDT

Cassie, thanks for your comment and for sharing your story.

By God's grace I am committed not to being a distant, passive, and then occasionally domineering dad to my girls. That is on my radar BIG TIME because I see it a lot, as a pastor counseling wounded people on a regular basis.

237. Jared - 04/20/2012 3:58 pm CDT

I will make sure that my Son stays away from you, your church and your daughter as well as all who agree with you, as it may result in his untimely death.

On that stellar note, I'm gonna go ahead and close down the comment thread. Comments seem to be pretty split between the "amen corner" and the freakouts, and while I appreciate you precious few coming down the middle, I think we've exhausted the ability to say anything new.

But you're more than welcome to contact me directly to pat me on the back or vent your ire, according to your wont. Here's my email addy:
jared AT gospeldrivenchurch DOT com

It's been real, y'all.

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