Monday, July 30, 2007

Interviewing Your Daughter’s Date – Dennis Rainey

Family Life’s mastermind has developed a superb tool for dads: Interviewing Your Daughter’s Date: 8 Steps to No Regrets. This small book is just what dads who want to protect their daughters have been waiting for. We are finally given permission to “meet the boy.” The book is designed with dads in mind—it’s short, it’s practical, and it’s straightforward.

Rainey (father of four daughters and two sons) takes you on the journey of why to and how to approach all of those boys who want to spend time with your precious little princess. This journey starts with trust that must be built between dad and daughter, and helps us to realize that taking time to take an interest in the suitors (or would-be suitors) who notice our daughters want to be held accountable for their actions—they need us (the dads of their dates) to help them be the men that they want to be.

No longer do you have to depend on the Louisville Slugger in the corner to intimidate the pimple-faced beast that’s appeared at your door on prom night. No longer do we have to meet them with our revolver on the table amidst cleaning supplies. No longer must we, as one friend said, toss the boy a bullet followed by “the next one’s coming faster.” With the help of Dennis Rainey, we can actually get to know the young men who come by to see our daughters.

Some argue that this book is designed for those whose daughters are already or on the verge of dating. I would disagree. My oldest is 5 and I’m glad to have had a chance at this book years before her debut. I now have a few years to continue building the relationship that will build the trust needed so that when boys do start coming around, it will be natural for my baby to say, “You’ve got to meet my dad first.”

Rainey also includes samplings from the many of these interviews he has conducted. Knowing that each interview will be different based on the boy who shows up at the door, Rainey includes five general areas of concern that should be addressed: Family, Work habits, Life plans, Christian testimony, and Driving record. He also includes an outline that helps guide the nervous father through the basics to cover that will be telling about the prospect and put both interviewer and interviewee at ease as they come to an agreement about what is a proper date:

  1. Recognize women as God’s beautiful creation.

  2. Acknowledge that attraction is normal and good.

  3. Remember your own young adult sex drive.

  4. Hold him accountable for his relationship with your daughter.

  5. Challenge him to purity.

  6. Ask him to respect and uphold your daughter’s dignity.

  7. Confirm that he understands your message.

  8. Be sure you can count on him to challenge his own children to purity someday.

Scattered through the book are stories of other men who developed relationships with their daughters making it clear that new boyfriends must pass muster before dates would be allowed. In short, this book is a must for dads who want the best for their daughters and for the boys they date.

(here’s the new “rating” system for my reviews) I give Interviewing Your Daughter’s Date 5 thumbs. Get a copy for the father of a daughter today.

—Benjamin Potter, July 30, 2007

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