Some Advice to Dads and the Ideological World in Which This Advice Makes Sense

Today I wish to direct your attention to an article which recently appeared on the Desiring God website and which was linked approvingly by several of my Facebook friends.  The article is entitled “Dads, Date Your Daughter’s Boyfriend“.

On the surface, this sounds like good advice, a call for fathers to become involved in practicing intentional discipleship towards young men who are in relationship with their daughters.  Yet when I look closely, I see something which makes sense within the context of an ideology in which women count for nothing unless they are under the covering of and in submission to male authority, whether that of their fathers or their husbands.

If you subscribe to this ideology, then it makes perfect sense for a father to insert himself into the relationship between his daughter and her boyfriend.  Since women count for nothing unless they are under the covering of and in submission to male authority, then your daughter’s judgment in choosing whom to enter into a relationship with counts for nothing.  Thus the need for you to insert yourself into the relationship early on.  After all, this is “the man who might be tasked with caring for [your] daughter for the rest of her life.”

This ideology is profoundly anti-Gospel, as it flies in the face of the message that the kingdom of Christ has come and all the world’s ways of doing things are finished.  This ideology seeks to keep in place the distinctions of the ancient Greek/Roman world as reflected in the distant mirror of contemporary evangelicalism, in which men (and specifically powerful men) are leaders and the role of women is to submit to them.  Yet in the new community and kingdom which Jesus has established, all the distinctions of the world, and specifically the distinctions of gender, are finished.  This is not to say that men and women are interchangeable, as the more liberal elements of our society would like us to believe.  The difference between male and female is woven into the very fabric of our being, so much so that male and female are two completely and totally different experiences of being human and it takes a great deal of empathetic imagination for one to understand the other.  Yet this difference is not such as to justify treating women as second-class, and certainly not such as to justify believing that women count for nothing unless they are under the covering of and in submission to male authority.

To quote 1 Corinthians 11:11-12, in my own loose paraphrase:  Woman comes from man, to be sure, but man is born of woman.  And both man and woman come from God.  In light of this, judge for yourselves if it is right to believe that women count for nothing outside the covering of male authority.  Read the article and judge for yourselves if I am making a big deal out of nothing, or if my assessment of it truly makes sense.

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