My wife and I have reared two daughters through adolescence. We have two ground rules in regard to their dating. First, our daughters could not date before the age of 16. Second, I wanted to meet the prospective young man prior to the date.

Not long after a sixteenth birthday, the first suitor came along and I requested the obligatory interview. An appointment was arranged, and one evening the nervous lad came to our home. As we sat down in the study for a man-to-man chat, it was clear the boy was perplexed by the necessity of this meeting. Then I posed this question, “If a stranger came to your door and asked to borrow your car for an evening, would you give him the keys?”

“Well, no, of course not,” the young man replied.

“I feel the same way about you taking my daughter out on a date,” I said. “I don’t know you, and yet you are asking to escort one of the most precious people in my life. Before I let you take her out, I want to know more about you—what you believe, your intentions, and your character.”  Robert Wolgemuth


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