Would You Want Your Daughter to Marry a Guy Like You?
The demographic that this article is aimed at is fairly small. The fathers of daughters.
Since I am a daddy to two young girls, I have been thinking about them growing up, and meeting a man, and falling in love and getting married. Yes that may seem premature, since they are 8 and 4…but is it really too early to think about? Here is a tough question for us fathers of girls.
Would you want your daughter to marry a guy like you?
Think about that. How do you treat your wife? Other women? Your daughter?
Guys, it is very likely that one day we will be walking our daughters down the aisle and giving them away to another man. The thought terrifies me! And our actions in her life from a young age will have a huge influence on the choice she makes for a husband. Think about it. Who is it that will have the greatest influence on our daughter’s understanding of how a man should treat his wife?
Well that is us.
If you are never home, or if you belittle your wife, if you do not provide emotionally – spiritually – financially, if you mock her, if you cheat on her, if you lead her away from the cross instead of toward it, what do you think that does for your daughter’s view of a husband? And on the flip-side, if you read the Bible and pray with your wife, encourage her, support her, and lovingly serve her in a manner consistent with God’s plan, what do you think that will do for your daughter’s view of a husband?
If we do not live the servant headship that we are called to in Ephesians 5, how will our daughters ever know the type of love she deserves from her future husband? Guys we play a massive role in who our daughters will choose to marry. So we had best consider this.
By the time my girls start dating…shudder…they will already have inscribed in their hearts how a man should treat a woman, because of how I treat their mom. If I have not lived the biblical example, I should not be surprised if they marry a less than godly man. My desire is to have my daughters long for a man after God’s own heart.
How can I help to form my daughter’s hunger for a godly man? Well to be honest, I am not the best husband out there. Far from it. So I have to get better in these areas as well. But here are some things that we can do.
- Personal devotions. Seriously. It all starts with your own relationship with Jesus Christ. If you don’t have personal devotions, you should start. How do you plan to lead your daughters to the cross if you don’t know the way yourself? Have them in private, but also let them see you read the Bible alone. Let them see you pray alone. I am not saying be fake, but don’t hide it. Make it a part of who you are. You want them to marry a man of prayer don’t you? Then make it a part of your life.
- Have family dinners together everyday if possible. NOT in front of the TV…just saying…but around the table.
- Not only eat together but have family devotions as well. NOT just a Bible reading and a rote prayer… but really study the Word together and ask for prayer requests from your family. Involve them in family worship. In your family prayers, often thank God for you wife, and ask for the wisdom and strength to be a good husband and father – and do this in front of the children.
- Spend time with our wives. After dinner, choose our wives over the TV or the computer, or the smartphone, or retreating to the garage or the man-cave. Choose to date our wives over spending another evening at our friends house, or the bar, or always working late (sometimes you have to work late… I get that – but check your priorities). Have couples devotions.
- We need to be affectionate with our wives. Hold hands when you are walking. Put your arm around her. Kiss her. Cuddle with her on the couch when you watch TV.
- Affirm our wives. Encourage them. Support them. Praise them. Listen to them. Take an interest in their likes, and hobbies. Be their friend.
There are many other things we can do, for instance we can model love to our daughters as well, by spending time with them, taking them on daddy dates, tucking them in at night, showing appropriate affection to them, praying with them, affirming them, encouraging them and demonstrating the kind of man to them that you hope their husband will one day be.
But for the purpose of this article let’s focus on the list.
Consider the consequences of the opposite actions. Rarely having personal devotions. Never eating together as a family. Never having family devotions. Never praying in front of and with your family. Never spending time with your daughters or wife, or when you do you are always distracted. Always working late. Never being affectionate with our wives, or worse, abusing them. Never affirming, encouraging or praising your wife, or worse, belittling, mocking, and emotionally abusing them. Do you think this is a good model for our daughters? Do you think that your daughters will have a good grasp of what to look for in a man?
Sometimes godly men have daughters who marry men who are not godly, that can happen. So do not be hard on yourself if that happens, godly man. As a dad, I want my daughters to choose wisely when it comes to finding a husband, and even though I will not have the final say in whom she marries, I will have a large part to play in the sort of man she looks for. None of us is perfect. I get that. I fail as well. But what is the overwhelming influence in your life? Are you consumed with the Lord? Do you desire to be a godly man? Are we men of prayer? Would you want your girls to marry a man like you?
I know there is a lot more that can be said on this topic. So, what are your thoughts?
Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church, because we are members of his body. “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church. However, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.