I had this great plan about screening the men my daughters wanted to date. The girls agreed to my stipulations; every suitor had to meet with us before the dating began, answering interview questions designed to filter out the unworthy, the unbeliever, the selfish.
I had it all figured out.
That is, until this one very convincing, very charming, and very persuasive fellow showed up and passed my interview process with flying colors. Like Bill Clinton with an election crowd, this guy charmed us all. He had charisma, and an almost magnetic ability to bring people into his orbit. We bought what he was selling, and we paid with a high price. I wish I’d have spotted him sooner.
After the dating began, Raelene and I noticed an alarming trend. This young man gained an almost eerie control over our once independently-thinking daughter. With growing concern, we watched her willingness to do things his way. Along the way, her old personality gradually disappeared. As Shakespeare might say, “Something was definitely rotten in Denmark.”
But our daughter couldn’t see it. Completely convinced that he was her intended life-partner, she resisted our concerns. We became more and more anxious. Soon we knew. We needed bigger guns.
We asked our friends and family for prayer. Then, we had a critical conversation with our daughter. We asked some tough questions, like “Have we ever wanted anything but the best for you?” and “Have you ever doubted our love?” We followed those questions by expressing our concern; we saw some things in this young man that she apparently did not. We asked her to go 90 days without seeing or speaking with him. If, at the end of 90 days, she still felt like he was “the one,” we would support her choice.
She agreed. For 90 days, we prayed. That was all we could do. 88 days later, she was ready to go back to him. On the morning of the 89th day, she woke up changed. “I see it,” she told me. “I get what you’ve been saying.”
To me, it was a parenting miracle.
All of my careful plans had failed, but the Savior who loves me, who adores my daughter, changed the course of her life. It changed me too. It reminded me of how powerless I am to parent on my own. I need Him. Desperately.