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Scaring your daughter’s suitors

Talia was going to her first prom. The boy who was taking her is a notorious prankster, so I knew I could take a few liberties. He showed up at the house and began shuffling down the walkway. I had positioned myself on our porch with my feet up and Seth Jr.’s bee-bee gun conspicuously on my l…
By Seth Barnes
By Seth Barnes

Talia was going to her first prom. The boy who was taking her is a notorious prankster, so I knew I could take a few liberties.

He showed up at the house and began shuffling down the walkway. I had positioned myself on our porch with my feet up and Seth Jr.’s bee-bee gun conspicuously on my lap.

As the boy approached the house, I sat up and shouted down to him, “OK, stop right there!”

He looked up at me, clearly petrified. I have carefully cultivated a scary reputation among the would-be suitors in our area. It begins with my daughters. I tell them that I love them and that they deserve only the best. I tell them that I’m going to look out for them and to be ready. They seem to like it.

“OK,” I went on, “I want you to take your hands out of your pockets!”

Joe Cool in his tuxedo was right where I wanted him. Hands came out of pockets. He looked up at the crazy man on the porch wondering what he’d gotten himself into and if it was too late to back out.

“Now turn slowly around so I can see you!”

Obediently he moved around with his arms outstretched. I think my daughter was watching the whole scene in awe from an upstairs window. It was playing out as I intended and I allowed a small smile to spread across my lips.

“OK, I guess you’re alright,” I lowered the gun. “What were you here for?”

Eventually he scurried inside, grateful for the protection of my daughter. The rest of my kids loved the show. I don’t think we worried about them coming home by curfew.

When another young suitor asked for permission to “see” one of my daughters last year, I wrote him an email, “Right now, you are the most dangerous person in my life,” I began.

Of course it’s all in good fun. Too many Dads are crouching in a defensive posture, in danger of being routed by a bunch of pimply-faced chuckleheads who have never been put in their place. It’s about time we did so.

Program note: So far I have one taker on my discipling offer from yesterday’s blog.

Comments (8)

  • As the father of a 22 year old male and a 20 year old female, I obviously have more understanding for what you say than most. I agree with your thinking, however, not everyone will experience the gratitude form their children that your daughter has for your efforts. My encouragement is simply “do not be swayed”. I believe we have a responsibility and if we are not single-minded about it, we’ll never push back the “darkness”. This is a subject that really gets me going, but suffice to say: “Thank you Lord for people like Seth who encourages others to stand for what you have given us as a gift … our children …… Your children”. WOW!!!!

  • Hahaha…your poor daughter! That is a great way to be welcomed to the family. Keep up the good work. If your daughter doesn’t fully appreciate it now, she will in the future. 😉

  • Seth-

    How are you? I hope all is well. I am very curious to know what your daughters think about all of this. I am a growm woman now and I appreciate a lot of things my parents did when I was young, that I did not then. But I do not think I would appreciate that ever. Just curious, how do they feel about this? Have a great day! God Bless

  • Good idea – I’ll have one of them make a post. I think they loved it.

    You have to understand what a prankster this guy was. He had already “gotten” me once before – brought a bullhorn and began announcing stuff at the edge of our property, pretending to be one of Talia’s boyfriends, making up stuff. I raced out in the car to apprehend him (all in good fun), but he escaped. We had a great laugh about this. So, this was my chance to return the favor.

    My point in sharing some of these over-the-top stories is to roust the Dads out of their Lazy-Boy’s and get them engaged in shepherding their daughters through some tough parts of their lives. It is absolutely appalling to me the number of sexually active Christian young people going on our mission projects – they are no better than nonChristians. Young people today are in peril and we parents need to get more engaged in helping them.

    Your point remains a good one – I’ll address it in the future. You never want to alienate your kids, if they don’t perceive you as serving their best interest and you lose trust, then you’re sunk – you’ve lost the battle.

  • OK here I am, Talia, daughter and beneficiary of my father’s protective instincts.

    A little post-prank perspective…

    Confident and yet evermore the teenager – at the time I was slightly mortified. This event accompanied others – such as the time my father showed up at my track meet to greet all the alpha males within a five mile radius with, “Hey all you boys, stay away from my daughter! Don’t come near her! She is off limits and I will get you!”

    While somewhat embarrassing yes, I was blessed with a broader perspective and wasn’t interested in wasting my time on dumb guys (the very ones my father warded off). So, no love was lost and over the years we have laughed heartily. In addition, as a result, I have always felt very secure in my value to my parents and family. I know my parents are interested in my own benefit and do desire to protect me and at the same time help in this whole mating process.

    *Incidentally he has been very encouraging of one pursuer-hopeful that, as of late, has been deemed worthy of my affections. He took the alleged boy out to coffee. He took the time to get to know him and his vision for life; he isn’t allowing his daughter to be seduced by some tramp. We live in a vicious and manipulative world and I am glad I have my dad to stand between me and it.

    And let’s be honest, doesn’t every girl want to be pursued? If some guy can’t make it past my dad, he can’t cut it anyway.

  • Aiming a gun (even a BB) at someone is not such a great idea. Many people carry real guns (whether legally or not) and things might not turn out to be so funny. In many states, a person so confronted has the right to fire back if he thinks he’s in danger.

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Seth Barnes

I'm motivated to join God in his global reclamation project. He's on the move, setting his sons and daughters free from their places of captivity. And he's partnering with those of us who have been freed to go and free others.



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