Long before they consider marriage, girls get a lot of confusing signals about sexuality from a variety of different voices. I hope every girl considers (or reconsiders) their own purity in the months and years leading up to her wedding. As the father of four girls, I’d like to share a Dad’s perspective on purity.
Every Dad does the macho “don’t touch my daughter” stare-down. You just can’t be too careful of boys, so intimidation is the tool of choice for most Dads. It starts when your little princess goes to Kindergarten. The first time she blurts out a boy’s name at the dinner table, Dad involuntarily flips into guard dog mode.
Wait, who is this Billy? And why was he chasing you on the playground? Where does he live? Who are his parents?”
And so it begins.
From there, caring Dads learn to actively monitor our daughters’ social lives and potential love interests. Every innocent crush is met with a wince from Dad, whose desire is to build a fortress around his little girl. The process often crescendos in the proverbial “cleaning the shotgun” episode on a first date. I, for one, have a father-in-law who showed me his guns the first time I entered his house. No joke.
I don’t think this age-old strategy is working the way fathers hope it would. Daughters all-too-often give into the pressures the world puts on them, exchanging their personal purity for a chance at lasting intimacy. They are often disappointed.
I wonder how many Dads persevere to do the hard work of preparing their daughters for a life of purity.
“A life of purity?”
Purity isn’t just for the teen years. Pursuing purity is a lifelong practice. The years prior to marriage hold an opportunity for our daughters. They will be making choices that build high walls around themselves and their husbands, or they will make concessions that erode the special-ness of their future marriage.
Unfortunately, most Dads are as well equipped to train their daughters for purity as most Moms are to teach their sons about changing a sparkplug. It’s not easy, and it’s not obvious, especially in a culture soaked in sensuality.
Here are 3 things every girl needs to hear from her father:
1. You’re not common. You’re special.
I love you more than you’ll ever know. The day you were born a dam broke in my heart, and love like I’d never known gushed out. I never knew that I could love someone like I have loved you, my little girl.
Now all I want is for you to experience all of God’s best for your life. I don’t want anything to stand in the way of you living an exceptional life. If I see this potential in you, just imagine what your Heavenly Father sees! You will find ultimate fulfillment in submitting His plan for your life. That goes for every area, especially purity.
You will experience the most fulfilling intimacy with your husband in the context of your personal purity, both before and after marriage. Save yourself for Him, and pray for His purity.
I don’t care if your friends are all having sex before they’re married. You’re my precious child. And you’re special. You are a daughter of the Most High God, and your God-empowered life is anything but common.
2. Prepare yourself as a precious gift.
This is hard for me to talk about. I don’t want to, but I will because I love you.
Someday I will give you away. I wish it wasn’t so. I wish I could shelter and protect you forever. But you’re growing up, and someday God will provide a husband for you. Your heart will leap for him, and God will replace me with him as your closest male relationship.
Prepare yourself for him.
Prepare your heart to follow him like you’ve followed me. Prepare your spirit to submit to your Heavenly Father so that you can breathe the life of Christ into your marriage, your home and your children.
Prepare to offer yourself to your husband as a precious gift that has never been shared with another. Prepare for purity before marriage so that purity in marriage will protect your relationship forever.
3. Be purified.
I’m not perfect. But I’ve been forgiven. You can be too.
My deep desire is for you to never have sex until your wedding night, and then for you to enjoy the purity you’ve protected in your marriage. But if something goes wrong, if you stray off course, there is a way back.
No matter where you’ve been, you can be purified, spotless, made pure as fresh fallen snow. This is the promise God has made to us. He fulfilled it in His son, Jesus Christ.
Jesus never sinned. But on the cross He took on the sins of the world. Every wrong thing I’ve ever done, you’ve ever done, was paid for on that day. Now all we have to do is reach out and unwrap that gift of forgiveness.
Your debt has been paid. Ask Him to forgive you, and you will be cleansed. You will be counted in His eyes as a new creation, pure and spotless. Mine too.
Keep these three things in mind as you make daily choices. I cannot protect you forever. Your choices are your own. Your future husband, as well as your children, will benefit from you protecting your purity. Choose wisely.