By Cindy Koch –
My oldest daughters are right in the midst of their teenage years. As it goes with adolescents, we have recently been introduced to a few young men who have captured their attention. As I shake the hands of these boys, a terrible accusation rolls around and around my head but has not yet dared to reach my lips. I know you are a sinner, and you will probably hurt my little girl.
According to the Bible, it is a true statement. We have all sinned and fall short of the glory of God. In the midst of all my studies in theology, in the English, Greek, and Hebrew, I’ve read God’s Word that tells me exactly how sinful we are. There is no one righteous, not even one. I’ve heard this confession from my own lips and from the mouths of my brothers and sisters in Christ; I’m a poor miserable sinner. The more I study, teach, and listen, I only begin to understand how much deeper my sin and shame saturate every part of my life, even the parts I think are pretty good. I am a sinner, and I know you are too.
And so, when I see these wretched little boys who have come to court my daughters, I peer into the imaginary future. I see a man who selfishly loves her for a little while and then moves on to the next flavor of the month. I see a man who turns his attention to online relationships and dreams instead of the woman in front of him. I see a man who sows doubt in the strength of her faith. I see a man who is weak and refuses to take care of his family. I see a man who leaves my beloved little girl broken-hearted and alone.
Does any boy have a chance? She is doomed before she ever steps out the door. How could I possibly entrust a sinner to take my daughter from me? However, looking around, all I see is the failure of men. All men. They are all selfish and destructive. Every one of them has sinful desires, hurtful words, and terrible deeds.
I could ignore the weighty significance of this relationship. I could pretend like choosing a man is no big deal. I could lie to myself, and to her, that all men are generally good. I could imagine that any choice she makes about this love will turn out just fine.
I could scare her away from any decision. I could shield her from every boy that she brings home. I could enforce that dancing, hand holding, and dating are from the Devil. I could equate sex with evil so that she would never enjoy any human contact.
I could teach her to be self-reliant. I could counsel her in a woman’s freedom. I could show her how to live without dependence on a man. I could show her how to be offended at chivalry and how to boss around the men in her life. I could help build her defenses against the ever-threatening male.
But instead, I will pass on the truth that she is created for love. She was fearfully and wonderfully made, reflecting the image of God and carefully molded from side of Man. She is special, worthy of his love, and in need of his protection. Most importantly, she should expect something more than a failure of a man to knock on her door.
But there is one whom I trust to walk out into this world with my daughter. This is a failure of a man who was drowned in the blood of Christ and a new man who was washed in the water of new life; it is a failure of a man who eats and drinks the forgiveness of sins and a new man who breathes forgiveness into the ears of my grown-up girl. I know you are a sinner, but in Christ, you are not a failure of a man.