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Letter to my daughter

By Scott Harrup

Lindsay,

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, God-directed dreams.

• 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 girl.

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).

E-mail your comments to tpe@ag.org.

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