Who is good enough for my daughter?
As I reflect on this question, I’m reminded of that scene from that old movie Uncle Buck where he (the late John Candy) goes to pick up his 16 years old niece from a party. Being rather protective he tells a shady looking boyfriend to “hold on a sec” while he goes to get an axe from the trunk that’s “sharp enough to circumcise a gnat…” It was quite funny to watch the response of the young man…
You’d think with my having three daughters I’d carry around three axes, or at least one shotgun, but who am I kidding, I’m not a violent person. Furthermore, I’m not one of those guys where “no one is good enough for his princess…” Nonetheless, I have a very clear description of the type of young man who is not good enough.
The story of Jephthah (in Judges 11 in the Old Testament) is one of my favorites. He was a young man whose purpose came off the rails, and was misaligned -largely through no fault of his own. This young man was “illegitimate” meaning that his father conceived him with another woman that was not his wife. When daddy died, he was no longer welcomed in the family by his brothers and was unceremoniously expelled from his community. (Culturally, for that time period, family was everything and he became homeless in the biggest way.)
Jephthah chose then to go a place named Tob. Although the name of this place meant “to be pleasing, or a good thing” it was far from that. He fell among (and I quote) “worthless men“. No, this is not a Biblical mandate to confirm what you have suspect all along that men are dogs… (But that’s not true…dogs are actually quite nice animals…) All joking aside, Jephthah began an Old Testament thug lifestyle of stealing and killing to make a living – “raiding” for personal gain, as opposed to being a mighty man of valor God had created him to be.
Going back to the point, the Bible identified that there are some men who are “worthless”. What a harsh thing to say! But, this idea is not about being no good because of personal baggage, issues, or even merely “bad behaviour.” Jephthah had all of these, but he was not a “worthless” man -although he wouldn’t necessarily be my first choice of suitors…
Worthlessness, as I understand it does not mean that they had no value as human beings -for God loves sinners, but they were worthless in the sense that they brought no value or worth to those that they were around. They brought negative value, pain, addiction, and waywardness. They had no investment in the well-being of Jephthah, nor were they a positive voice to guide him back to his true identity and purpose. Those guys were takers, not givers. They just wanted to use Jephthah for what he was – muscle, a good fighter, and a good source of income.
As a father, I don’t want anyone that brings no value attached to the life of my children (male or female).
Obviously, we as men and teenaged boys aren’t perfect, (I get it, I know that I’m not), therefore, will I cut some young men a break when it comes to my daughters? Probably not. Jesus preaches, come as you are, and he’ll fix you, but my daughter isn’t Jesus. It’s not their job to fix any worthless man (or boy). Besides, it’s hard to be connected with someone else when one does not know who or what they are.
To any young men out there (or parents of young men), I think that they may need to work on discovering, developing and living in their true identities. They’ll definitely need to “Let Sleeping Giants Lie” (take a look at that post if you haven’t already.) And, when Jesus says that he’s worked on them enough, maybe that’s when it’s time to get into a relationship.
Do you agree or disagree? Am I way off base? Your comments and thoughts are welcomed.