Growing up in a household, with 3 brothers, definitely came with its challenges. But it also meant we got to watch “boy T.V shows and movies” and eventually “men T.V shows and movies”. Unless of course my mother came in and “put her foot down” to watch some sappy “chick flick” or romantic comedy. My brothers and I may have groaned and whined about some of these “girly movies” but truth is, some of them were actually kind of cool. That’s right…I admitted it… lol!!!!
Some of these sappy “chick flicks” almost always centered around relationships, “falling in or out of love”, proposals and marriage. And some of the movies had a requirement in them that when it was time for the man to propose marriage to his wonderful girlfriend, then he had to ask her fathers permission or persuade him to allow him to marry his daughter. Even at a young age my thought process on this “asking permission to marry your daughter” never really made sense to me at first. I remember thinking, “She is a grown woman and he is a grown man!!! Why in the WORLD would he need her dads permission to marry her?”
Fast forward, many years later, and I meet my bride Katie. Oh how I love this precious gift from God so much!!!! We did not date long when we got engaged. Katie made it very clear to me, when we knew that marrying each other was God ordained and inevitable, that I had to have her fathers permission and blessing first. That same thought came right back to my mind…”WHY?!?!?! YOU ARE A GROWN WOMAN!!!!” But, I wanted to make her and her family happy so I obliged her request.
Now, I am by no means afraid of her dad. Not then and not now. I absolutely love my father in law. I have the kind of relationship that pretty much any son in law would want with their father in law. But, MAN….It took me several days to get a hold of him! I finally got a hold of Katie’s mom, my awesome mother in law (and I truly mean that), and asked her to have Ron (my father in law) call me. So he did. And for the first time I was so nervous to speak to him. My voice shook when I said, “Hey Ron! I would like your permission and blessing to ask Katie to be my wife”. I fully expected to have this awkward moment of silence. But that is not what happened. Ron immediately was elated and said, “Well of course!!! But, you are not allowed to divorce her.” Wait…that never was said in those sappy movies!?!?! Could it be that this man, this great man, who loves his wife and kids with everything in him, truly believed in, “For Better Or For Worse” and “Until Death Do Us Part”? I of course agreed and promised him that I never would.
So, I proposed to Katie and she said yes. I worked everything out with her parents, to come over, after I proposed, to celebrate with them. When I saw how Ron looked at Katie, when she ran up to him, it was then that I realized that the love he has for his daughter is a different kind of love. This does not mean that he loves her more then his sons. No, what this means is that he, from the moment she was born, knew that he was called to treasure her, love her and treat her the way he will want her to be treated by her future husband. The first person I embraced, on mine and Katie’s wedding day, was my father in law Ron, after he walked her down the aisle.
As miraculous as this was to me, I never realized the importance of a fathers love for a daughter, until my daughters were born. The moment I first held Analise, my first daughter, in my arms, was when I realized the expectations that God has for me to raise her in a Godly home, to show her how a man should treat her, lead her and allow her to be the young lady God has created her to be. And the same for my youngest child and daughter, Natalie.
Now, I do not love my daughters any more then I do my sons. But its different. My daughters are precious gifts and jewels from the Lord. God has entrusted me, as their father, to love them as He would. Throughout Scripture, we see how Jesus treated woman in general. He treated them with kindness, love, compassion and even when it was time for Him to correct a woman, we are given an example on how it needs to be done with the woman caught in adultery (John 8:1-11), quietly and in private. And while both my daughters drive me bonkers sometimes, when they both come up to me and call me daddy, my heart melts and they can pretty much get whatever their little hearts desire. Within reason anyway, lol.
NOW I understand the importance of a man asking a father for his daughters hand in marriage. Its not about “control” or my wife and daughters being “property”. Its about loving my daughters as Christ would and wanting my daughters to have a husband, one day, who will love them as Christ loves His creation.