Many people call me a daddy’s girl. I work with my father every opportunity I get. I’m almost 20 but I still call him daddy. We have the same interests and taste in music. We have the same allergy and we even both have acute asthma. But what does “Daddy’s” really mean? Is it a possessive form that affirms that Daddy is my owner?
The answer to this question will bring us to the answer to the propriety of courtship for a daughter’s pre-marriage relationship. In today’s society, many daughters do not feel that their father has any right to have a say in her dating life, especially once she is 18. Courtship is an establishment of a relationship with a father agreeing to work with the young man to win his daughter’s heart. The father’s approval is needed. I once felt that I did not need my father’s approval but now I see that I am owned by my father until he gives my hand in marriage to an approved man. I now rejoice in that truth and if someone is interested in me, he should see him not me.
This might make you cringe and might say to get with the times. But, let’s not dismiss the idea. The Christian worldview is informed by scripture and no part of life is exempt from God’s sovereignty. We must obey His law even if it means opposing popular culture and going against the grain. But the Bible tells us that we need to be ready to live against the norms of unbelief. The word of God teaches us that the creator of something has certain rights. For example, God is sovereign over all things because he created all things.
“The earth is the Lord’s, and all it contains, the world, and those who dwell
in it, for He has founded it upon the seas, and established it upon the rivers.”
The same idea is seen in Romans 9:21. The potter can do as he pleases with the pottery that he makes, since he created it. Human ownership is always under the ownership of God. However, God has declared that the rights of the parents are to be honored and revered for the fact that they are the immediate generative source of individuals.
Fathers are supposed to have a different relationship with their daughters than they do their sons. He must raise his sons to be a provider while he has to raise his daughters to be submissive, godly wives. Independence is not something that should be seeked for by a woman of God. She is supposed to allow headship to her husband. But if she does not agree with that than she will certainly not agree with the father having authority over her. They will find the idea of courtship offensive. But those who acknowledge God’s way is right will come to terms and agree with it.
“All the people, even the tax collectors, when they heard Jesus’ words, acknowledged
that God’s way was right, because they had been baptized by
John. But the Pharisees and experts in the law rejected God’s purpose
for themselves, because they had not been baptized by John.”
People who are secular find it repulsive that as Christians we give our life and spirit to Jesus Christ and we are not our own. They say that means we can’t do what we want but that is not true. God gives us our own will to do as we please. We give ourselves as a living sacrifice to the Lord willingly.
Now, back to authority over a daughter. A daughter is not obliged to obey commands from any source binding her to sin, even her own father. Some argue, “What is God tells the girl through signs and visions that she is to marry a particular man? Wouldn’t God’s will supersede her earthly father’s will?” Simply no. In a relationship of father and daughter, God takes a back seat. God has created hierarchy that the daughter is directly answerable to her father and then her father answers to God. This make the father responsible for himself and his daughter.
You may say that there is scripture that states that the child is not punished for the parent’s sin and the parent is not responsible for the child’s. However, with the way God has set up this form of relationship, the daughter is not punished for anything her father has done. The father may tell a daughter to or not to do something so therefore it is not her own will and doing so he answers because it was his will.
“Fathers shall not be put to death for their children, nor shall
children be put to death for their father.”
The father’s ownership is so he can raise her to fear the Lord, protect her from harm, other men, and even from herself and foolish decisions she may make. Numbers 30 helps us understand God’s view of the father/daughter relationship.
“When a young woman still living in her father’s house makes a vow to the Lord
or obligates herself by a pledge and her father hears about her
vow or pledge but says nothing to her, then all her vows and every
pledge by which she obligated herself will stand.
But if her father forbids her when he hears about it, none of her vows or the pledges by which she
obligated herself to will stand; the Lord will release her because
her father has forbidden her.”
The girl has promised something to the Most High but is forgiven because her father has forbidden her from completing the promise. God says “You heard your father. No.” The will of the father is the will of God if he is living according to biblical terms and God’s own will on his life. In modern “dating” the girl is seen as being to herself. Therefore, most people believe the man just has to ask her permission. But, according to rules of God, the young man must also seek the father’s approval. Since the father has to give himself approval, the man knows he’s being watched and will prove himself worthy of a beautiful gem (Proverbs 31:10). Simple things like sweet words might win over the daughter but that is because she goes by emotions as most other woman. But to get past Daddy’s tests is going to be tougher because he goes by reasoning and wants to make sure the man that takes his daughter’s hand is worthy. A godly father is aware of his daughters abilities and needs and can often determine if the man and daughter complement each other well.
No man can approach me as my own boss because I belong, until marriage, to my father. That is why the father walks the bride down the aisle. At the time of my marriage, my father gives me to my husband through a lawful change of ownership. Reading further into Numbers 30 we see there is no free time for the female to gallivant on her own apart from a covenant head. How do we know the daughter belongs to the father until marriage? Further into Numbers 30, the husband gains the same authority over the wife that the father once had.
“If a woman living with her husband makes a vow or obligates herself by
a pledge under oath and her husband hears about it but says nothing to her and
does not forbid her, then all her vows or the pledges by
which she obligated herself will stand. But if her husband nullifies
them when he hears about them, then none of the vows or pledges
that came from her lips will stand. Her husband
has nullified them, and the Lord will release her. Her husband may
confirm or nullify any vow she makes or any sworn
pledge to deny herself…If however
he nullifies them some time after he hears about
them, then he is responsible for her guilt”
You might not be completely in sync with your Dad. Maybe you’re just like your mom or are a mix of both. But you should be no less of a Daddy’s girl than any other young female. You may get married at 18 or you might not get married at all. Either way, you are under your father’s care until you are given into marriage or the Lord takes you from this life. Your responsibility as a daughter is this: Do the will of your father on earth so that you may do the will of Your Father in heaven.