Matt Friedeman: Dads against daughters dating?
Thursday, October 28, 2010 9:46 AM

There's a new t-shirt, a couple of new books out on the subject and a movement that goes beyond the bookstores pushing the concept

But say what you want, it is an idea whose time once was, and needs to be renewed.  Dating is a lousy idea.  Somewhere along the line in the early to middle twentieth century culture decided that young couples pairing off and discovering fuller (actually, far shallower) meanings and implications of sexuality was a good idea. 

But it is not a movement of the "Reconstructionists."  First guy I heard promoting the deep, long punt of dating was Tony Campolo - no known conservative, he - over thirty years ago.  He used his own teenage experiences to fortify Scriptural concepts.  I agreed with him then, hardly a popular thing to do so in our youth/romantic culture, and I agree with him now.  But now several others have jumped on board and most are making appropriate arguments. 

The concept of courtship is winning out in the minds of a growing number of evangelical parents.  Here is the basic, if woefully brief, brief - let Dads in particular and parents in general be on the lookout for mates for their daughters.  Pray long and hard.  Trust in God.  If a guy takes an interest in your gal, he works through Dad first, not Dad later.  Courtship is done with the purpose of marriage in mind, so it is not done lightly.  Precious little physical contact prior to marriage.  First kiss ought to be at the wedding altar.  Time alone with the opposite sex ought to be limited. 

You get the gist.  It works out differently for different families.  But for all those wondering which planet these practitioners of courtship are from one would be hard-pressed to suggest that dating as a norm has worked out well Christians since we began participating in this now-cultural norm unthinkingly. 

Only one problem with the T-shirt.  Mine reads "Dads-Against-Sons-Dating, Too." I have five of those "sons." 

And I don't wear the shirt.  It is written across our family heart.