Thursday, August 11, 2011

Questions a Father Should Ask Someone Dating His Daughter

Fathers, once your daughter is in a serious relationship, you might consider asking the young man some (or all) of the following questions (commentary in italix):

1. Have you received Christ as the Forgiver and Leader of your life?/Tell me about your conversion experience. If this man is not saved, he is disqualified immediately because I don’t want my daughter being unequally yoked. Marriage is hard enough when you are equally yoked.

2. Where are you at with the Lord right now, and what are you doing to grow in your relationship with Him? This tells me if he is a growing Christian. It also tells me what spiritual disciplines he practices. If he can’t be disciplined as a single man, not much chance he will once married.

3. Are you in an accountability relationship with another man (or men’s group)? Howard Hendricks says a man who doesn’t have this in his life …. is an accident waiting to happen.

4. Tell me about your relationship with your parents (the good and not so good)? Often a man will treat his wife the way he treated his mother. Might be a good idea to talk to his mother. She will know her son well!

5. What do you enjoy doing in your free time and whom do you do it with? How a man spends his time and whom he spends it with tells me a lot about him.

6. What is your understanding of the roles of the husband and wife in a marriage? What role do you expect my daughter to play in the marriage? If he thinks he can come home from work, put his feet up, and have my daughter serve him hand and foot, I just might have to put my foot down on him.

7. What attracts you to my daughter? Certainly the physical will be part of it (or should be), but it better not be all there is. The more character qualities he mentions, the more points he gains with me.

8. What needs do you have in your life in which my daughter will need to be sensitive to in order for this marriage to work well? Hey, knowing this can help me to help him should my daughter ever come to me with frustrations. We men need to look after one another.

9. What is your fatal flaw (i.e. besetting sin or area of greatest vulnerability) and what are you doing to make sure it doesn’t flare up and burn your house down? I am assuming here that I have a close enough relationship with him to ask such a personal question.

10. How are you going to be the financial provider? He better pass this question or else he doesn’t have a chance, because I am not going to pay the bills forever, and he better be able to or else I am not giving my daughter to this guy.

11. How much debt do you have? Do you have a plan to pay it off? How a man manages his money says a lot about him.

12. How are you going to provide spiritual leadership in the marriage and family (when kids come)? I will give extra grace here because I realize we all have a ways to go here, but he at least he better have some thoughts on this one.

13. When my daughter gives birth to your children, what are your expectations of her in the marriage now (i.e. stay home, work outside the home, etc.)? It is never too early to think about these kinds of things. At least it gets them as a couple talking this, if they haven’t already.

14. What are some of your guiding principles and philosophies of parenting? This guy might father my grandkids! Pretty important.

15. Tell me about your past dating relationships. This will make a lot of guys squirm, but if so, how has he made past wrongs right and gained a clear conscience? My daughter will suffer if he brings past baggage into the marriage.

16. How will you respond when my daughter is struggling in some area? I am looking for sensitivity, kindness, and tenderness here.

17. What will you do if you are struggling in your marriage and an old girlfriend tries to make contact with you on the Internet? Marriage counselors tell us that the Internet is in some way a major force in 70% of all divorces.

18. What will you do when your wife’s sex drive decreases but yours stays the same or increases? What will you do to avoid sexual immorality? No commentary needed here, because the importance of this area is obvious to all.

19. Is there pornography in your past or present, and if so, what are you doing about it? I’m not going to say anymore here.

20. When my daughter/your wife is at that “time of the month” and becomes quite irritable, how are you going to handle it? What will you do if she is driving you crazy and you are about to loose your temper? He probably won’t know how to answer this, but at least it gets him thinking.

21. Are you physically healthy? Are you willing to take a blood test for STDs? When I got married we had to do this. Can’t believe this isn’t required today.

22. What is something in your past that was painful or difficult, and how have you trusted God through it? This is a great question to ask any fellow follower of Christ.

23. Do you have any questions for me? The questions people ask tell me a lot about them.

Now that we are done with questions, I have a statement to make: if you ever hurt my daughter, I will kill you!