Ok before I start its only fair to say that my daughter isn’t a teenager (she’s almost 4) and I’m really not a fan of Twilight. But because I was forced to see the movie and I work with teenagers (and I can imagine my daughter being a teenager one day), I went to the movies with the eyes of a father.
Here are three things I’d tell my daughter after we watched New Moon together…
1. You are intensely loved by me and worthy of being pursued one day by the right young man.
My hearts desire is that you follow that path that God has for you. If that includes marriage, then my hope is in giving you away to the right man. Until then I will do everything I can for you as a father. I will chase away the creeps, ask you great questions, and perform background checks on any guy that comes through the front door (ok maybe not the last one…but maybe). I also promise that if you bring home the right guy you won’t find me cleaning my gun or talking about how people get lost in the Everglades and never come out. In fact it will be a joy for me to give you away one day. If you bring home the right guy, I’ll pay for the wedding and rejoice on the day that my princess becomes someone elses queen.
2. Some things appear more urgent than they are.
In the movies Edward says all kinds of nice things to Bella (once you take away the creepy 100 year age difference… please never date a man 100 years older than you… thats a whole new level of creepy). Everyone enjoy hearing nice things like, “you make life worth living.” Sometimes words spoken softly and sweetly can be mistaken for love. Real love is a commitment and it takes time to show up. Guard your self from giving your heart away to anyone who talks a good game. This kind of talk can make you think that things are more intimate than they are.
Too many young men are careless with their words. Many young boys are living life in transition and are mistaken in their feelings or they carry sinister motives and are trying to manipulate you. A young man worth your time will guard his words and will not lead you on. The woman pursued by solomon in Song of Songs offers some wise advice here. She says, “I adjure you, O daughters of Jerusalem, by the gazelles or the does of the field, that you not stir up or awaken love until it pleases” (Song of Songs 2:7). Real love is patient and is evident in a young man’s actions long before it appears in his words.
3. Don’t make strong commitments while your life is in transition.
You have grown up so much from the first time I held you in my arms. You have learned so much. Every day of your life I have been amazed by you and I am proud of who you are becoming. I know one day that if it is God’s will that I will give you away at your wedding.
Right now you are going through a time of transition. You are no longer a child, but you aren’t quite an adult yet either. You are changing. Your body is changing and your thoughts, attitudes, and desires are all changing. It is okay to change. One of the problems with this time in your life though is that sometimes you may not know what you want. Or you may want two things. Like Bella in the movie you may have two guys who like you and you may like them both.
A mature woman will act decisively. Even as you become an adult, when you are uncertain I beg you not to commit yourself to anything until you have figured what you want. This is the reason for the really unpopular rule about how old you need to be before you can date. I’ll be honest. My aim is to give you away on your wedding day both physically and emotionally pure. I know that purity in your marriage will light an intense fire of intimacy and trust with your husband.
I love you and I truly want the best for you. That day they handed you to me in the hospital was one of the best days of my life. Everyday with you had been a joyful adventure. I will always be your father and I will always love you.