We’ve been blessed with two beautiful children: a boy and a girl. So whenever I conduct a wedding I intently observe the father walk his daughters down the aisle knowing I will one day fulfill that role. I try to put myself in his shoes: so many memories, so much emotion, such loving concern. She’ll always be “Daddy’s little girl” but now she’s about to become someone’s bride. In those moments I wonder: whom will I give my daughter to one day? What type of man will I entrust her to?
I’ll entrust my daughter to a follower of Jesus. I don’t mean convert to Christianity in the broad sense; I mean deliberate disciple – one who lives to emulate Jesus, obey his teachings; one who lives in relationship with him. Such a man, although young and imperfect, will continue to grow in grace – the Lord Himself forever shaping and helping that man. That young man is never alone as the Lord is always at hand. With him my daughter is safe!
I’ll entrust my daughter to a faithful friend. I don’t necessarily mean her friend although it would be nice. But there will be enough time to grow deep friendship after their wedding as marriage is per definition a promise of companionship, friendship. But I will easily entrust my daughter to a man who has a track record of good, lasting friendships. Yes, I’ll look at his friends and consider his level of commitment, but in principle if this young man could show himself faithful in friendship to others for more than five years, he has proven his character to be devoted to my daughter. He has love for people that overflows in real relationships, and people respond and stick with him. God says if he was faithful with his friends he will be faithful with her. These solid friendships not only provide safety to their friend, but also to their spouse – there is accountability and support in those relationships. In such a relationship my daughter is not vulnerable and alone; these friendships will provide security and support and will keep them on track.
I’ll entrust my daughter to a courageous, humble person. I’ll gladly give my daughter to a man who lives not to please himself, but who considers and esteems others more than himself. A man who stands up for others even when it hurts himself. But humility is more than servitude; humility also implies being teachable. I’d entrust my daughter to someone who has this intellectually humility – someone who can acknowledge his wrong, who asks for help and takes the counsel of other people. God says he gives grace to the humble, and with such a man my daughter’s future will be secure.
I’ll entrust my daughter to someone kind. A kind person gives generously and forgives easily. A kind man responds to the needs of those around him by helping and blessing without obligation. This man is selfless and generous, and with such a man my wife will always feel loved, always feel cherished. With such a man her heart is safe. And God says that a kind, generous man will receive kindness and generosity from him.
I’ll entrust my daughter to a gentle man. Yes, it would be great if she marries a gentleman: a well-rounded, good-mannered person. But I mean gentle as in self-controlled, or meek as in older English, someone who has learned to remain calm and resist outbursts and retaliation. A meek man is patient, has the ability to control himself when provoked, can also resists temptations, and can take a step back to make room for others to grow. This gentle person is driven by principle and not by emotion; God promises to bless such a man with authority and entrustment. So such a person I can entrust my daughter knowing that his strength will provide safety and bring no harm.
Although I desire the best for my little girl, these qualities are what I pray her husband should be. A young man who fears and follows Jesus with his friendships. A man who has a gentle, kind and humble heart. Such a man is blessed by God and will be good to my girl. If she chooses such a man I’ll gladly hand her over at the end of the aisle.
But not yet… not for the next 20 years…