Dear Rifle-Toting Dad,
I’m betting your heart is in the right place. You want to protect your beautiful daughter whom you love and the thought of her growing up and actually dating guys has you a bit fearful and uncomfortable.
So here you are, standing in your doorway holding a rifle in your strong arms as my son approaches your home to pick up your daughter on a date.
You probably haven’t thought much about his mom so let me introduce myself to you.
When my son was born, my heart held so much love for him that I thought it might very well burst. I imagine you felt the same way about your daughter. I vowed to love him unconditionally and to raise him with purpose to be a man of integrity and honor.
I quit my job as a teacher to be a stay-at-home mom so I could nurture him 24/7. Eventually, I took on working some from home but he has always been my number one priority. In the process of parenting this young boy, I thought a lot about his future and how my own parenting skills would impact him. I sought to teach and train him to be a gentlemen and to have a servant’s heart that seeks the good of others.
I prayed a lot too.
I prayed for the girls he would eventually date, so I guess that means I have spent a lot of years praying for your daughter though I never knew her. I prayed that my son would be the kind of man who puts his future wife’s needs first. I prayed that he would find great strength in developing humility. I prayed he would be a leader, an innovator, and an influencer for good.
I cared about his education, pushed him to dream big, and disciplined him lovingly when he started going down any wrong path.
And all the while I prayed, I gave my life over to the mission of modeling true character and expecting the same from him. I taught him to clean up messes, go the extra mile, smile at others, and speak words that build others up instead of tearing them down. I taught him how to win with grace and lose with respect.
It’s paid off, dear gun slinger. My son is not perfect, but I have committed my life to making sure he has become an outstanding individual who will love God and love others. He is a hard worker who loves life and is a friend to everyone. He has integrity and values women.
He knows that human life is valuable and that the female population is not his playground, but his responsibility to cherish and respect, along with all mankind.
I have three other sons who I am raising in the same way. They each have their own unique personalities, strengths, and gifts, but what they have in common is this: they are not the kind of boys you want to threaten or scare away from your front porch.
No, that would be a big mistake on your part!
So I’m asking you to rethink your approach and to consider the good men that you are intimidating with your hunting gear and menacing glare. I’m sure your daughter is a prize worth winning, but so is my son.
The best thing we can do for our impressionable sons and daughters is to train them up well and then trust them to walk on the path we have led them on. Let’s believe the best about them! Please don’t insult my boy by assuming that he has ill intentions toward your daughter.
His mama didn’t raise him that way.
Put away your rifle, Dad.
Allow my son to have the confidence to pursue your daughter instead of making it harder for him to have the courage to go after a good thing when he sees it. Welcome him across your threshold with open arms and an open heart. Otherwise, you may not be protecting your daughter at all, but preventing her from knowing the best young man she may ever know.
And in so doing, you may very well break her heart and that would do far greater harm than any flesh-grazing bullet.
(Note: If you would like my personal dating philosophy for my boys, you can read about it here.)