Monday, February 18, 2013

The Best Gift a Daughter Could Ever Receive

I saw something at Starbucks last week that took my breath away.

Hang on, let me set the scene.

As a book editor, I often take my laptop to Starbucks to get work done. The particular Starbucks I go to is filled with all sorts of interesting people.

Just this past week, I sat by a group of young men giving each other advice about how to treat their wives (ahem), a MLM meeting in which the leader admitted his product didn’t work and was training his sales force on the placebo effect (really?!), and on and on. I try not to listen to conversations while I’m working, but sometimes it’s hard not to notice.

But my favorite—the one that will stay with me forever—was a middle-aged man and teenage boy who walked in last Friday.

The man seemed pleasant, chummy with the boy At first I assumed it was his son. He bought the teenager a latte and they settled at the table beside me. Between sips of coffee, the man casually asked how the boy’s senior year was going, what he enjoyed about school. Where did the boy go to church and so on.
Okay, so it’s not a father and son, I surmised. It was DNow weekend, so I thought maybe the man was mentoring the young boy or something. That’s sweet, I thought, sticking in my earbuds and turning up the volume on The Piano Guys channel to drown out their conversation.

I heard only a few bits and pieces between songs…

 “my daughter…” “How did you meet…” “I only have two rules...”

And then this:
“…You don’t put your hands anywhere on my daughter that I wouldn’t put my hands on my daughter…”
Wait… WHAT?

It finally dawned on me:
This father was “interviewing” the boy to see if he could date his daughter!
Well, what would you do? Yeah, me too. I hit mute on Pandora and totally eavesdropped on the rest of the conversation.
The man went on to explain how precious his daughter was to him. That she was his to protect until someday God gave her a husband and that he took that job very seriously. That whoever dated his daughter needed to be a man of integrity and honor. That his daughter was a treasure, and she deserved to be treated as such.

The father’s demeanor was agreeable and friendly, but you could tell he was serious about watching out for his daughter.
The conversation was peppered by a lot of “yes sir”s and nodding from the young man. A young man of such character, mind you, that he had been willing to meet with her father first.
Honestly, how many high school seniors would DO that nowadays?
Only the ones you want your daughter to date.
All right, I confess. I was tearing up at this point. Oh, what I would have given for my dad to have lived long enough to do that for me! And what I would give for my own daughters to have had a father like that!
I have no idea who this father is or who his daughter is. She may be glad her father is interviewing her potential dates, or she might be groaning in embarrassment that he’s sooooo old-fashioned.
Regardless, I know this: I’d give anything to be that girl. She’s the luckiest daughter on earth.

Dads of little girls, wherever you are, DO THIS for your daughters.
She might protest now, but someday, she will thank you.
I'm no expert on dads, but I know a lot about being a daughter. And I'm pretty sure that's the best gift a daughter could ever receive.