Letter to my daughter
By Scott Harrup
Another Valentine’s Day is upon us. What has been a day of
celebration for your mom and me for many years is now a little more reflective
an experience. I can’t believe you’re nearly 17. Driving. Finishing high
school. College on the horizon. You and I have shared so much, and it always
felt like we had an endless array of tomorrows to fill.
But that’s changing. You’re looking at moving out, college
and marriage as not-so-distant possibilities.
First of all, let me say how proud I am of you for taking
your time and making solid decisions. You’ve never been in a hurry to do your
own thing. Most importantly, you’ve put God first since you were very young.
You constantly look for His next step in life, confident it will be the best
step. If you can hold to that philosophy in life, you’re certain to enjoy
enormous fulfillment and joy.
But here’s a tough reality. If God leads you into marriage,
before you meet “Mr. Right” you will almost certainly encounter your share of
“Mr. Not-Quite-Right-to-Downright-Awfuls.” And as much as you respect my
opinion, I’m not the one who can point you to that one right partner for life.
Face it — no one is going to be good enough for my little girl.
You’ll have to convince me, when that time comes, and it
won’t be easy. But here are some points you might bring up in his favor —
points I believe you should insist on with each young man you date.
• His faith in Christ is the absolute priority in his life.
If the two of you don’t share that fundamental relationship with your Savior,
your relationship will have no foundation.
• His growing friendship and love are not measured by
surface physical passion, but by the value he places in you as a person.
• He would never mar future years of joy with an immediate
moment of compromise.
• He sees in you a partner who can help him realize mutual,
• He sees no limits to how he would give of himself in your
behalf and for your growing family.
Are those standards idealistic? Absolutely. But they’re
built on the unchanging ideals of God’s Word. Since creation, God has been
building lifetime partnerships. He has brought together billions of couples.
Those who have chosen to follow His guidelines for life have enjoyed lifetimes
of marital bliss.
Are those standards one-sided? Not at all. I expect you to
demonstrate the same qualities toward anyone who is lucky enough to date you.
I admit it. Every guy who shows up at our front door on any
given Friday night will almost certainly remind me of someone’s picture at the
Post Office. Like I said, no one could possibly be good enough for my little
But then I have to remind myself. You stopped being my
little girl quite some time ago. You have become an amazing, gifted,
levelheaded, godly young woman. I couldn’t ask for anything more.
Except a son-in-law as Christlike as you.
SCOTT HARRUP is senior associate editor of Today’s
Pentecostal Evangel and blogs at Out There (sharrup.agblogger.org).
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