Dates With Dad

I'm sure you've heard the old story about the father who said that giving his daughter to the man she loved was like giving a Stradivarius to a gorilla. I think all dads feel that way about their little girls, and maybe for some very good reasons.

Sometimes, it seems, today, that courtesy and respect have been replaced by hostility toward women. Pornographic material, for example, typically depicts women in degrading and dehumanizing poses. And a favorite theme of rap music is the abuse and disrespect of women. Now, predictably, I suppose, is this attitude is also evident at times in the young men who date our daughters.

There's an approach to this problem that I like: a father in northern Virginia has allowed his seven-year-old daughter to start dating. But here's the catch: he's always the date. Every couple of months, he takes her out to eat or to a movie that she wants to see. And during the course of that evening, he treats her as a gentleman should. That way, when she's old enough to start dating other guys, she'll know what to expect from them.

I think dads should also model courtesy for their boys, by treating their mothers with respect every day in the home. This attitude won't go unnoticed by their children. The bottom line is that there's a right and wrong way for a man and woman to relate to each other, and the key ingredient is respect.

Let's teach our best to our boys and girls. With Focus on the Family, I'm Dr. James Dobson.

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