For the Boys — A Prayer from a Father with Daughters

Lord, I don’t know how it works with you seeing the future, what with free will and all. But I suspect that you can at least narrow down the field of possibilities. Now, somewhere out there, I know there are two young men — boys — who will one day marry my girls. And I want to put in a few words about them.

fathers-prayerFirst, protect them from the worst of their stupid impulses. I was a straight-A kid and we both know I still had plenty of them, so please don’t think I mean any insult by this. And when I say “protect them,” I mean go ahead and let them break a leg or chop off a finger, as long as it can be set or sewed back on. Let them hurt themselves enough to realize that their actions have consequences, and we’ll both hope that they are smart enough — and humble enough — to learn from that.

As for the less than worst of their stupid impulses, please channel those into remediable things. Like haircuts and dumb clothes. Just make sure their parents and school yearbooks get lots of pictures for posterity. Things we can show at their weddings’ rehearsal dinners. Not just for revenge, but to remind them that they can be fooled by whatever is fashionable. Even when it is so obviously stupid in retrospect. Meanwhile we’ll keep our fingers crossed that this absurd tattoo craze is over by the time these boys get old enough to be sucked in by it.

Next, please understand that, even though my daughters are beautiful and vivacious, I’m perfectly happy with the prospect of them marrying nerds. If one of my girls walks through the door with some good looking quarterback oozing charm, You help me, I will kick his butt to the curb. I hate charm. Charm cannot be trusted. And I am asking your forgiveness in advance for whatever I do to any kid who tries to work his charm on either of my girls.

appreciate-at-50I guess if I had to boil it down to one word, what I’m asking is that you make these boys true. True. In every way. Honest and faithful and dutiful and kind and generous and sincere and hard-working and humble and strong and empathetic and courageous and merciful and upright. And good. Don’t forget good. But I mean good in what they do, not merely good at what they do.

One day these two boys will walk into our lives, but not before living two or more decades of their own lives before that. We don’t know who they are just yet to keep an eye on them. You, being who You are, just maybe might have a hunch enough to do that for us. That’s why I’m asking you. These boys will one day be my daughters’ whole world. But right now my daughters are my whole world. Please, Lord, let my world keep spinning the way— how was it your own boy phrased it? “On earth as it is in Heaven.”

Thank you. Amen.

10 thoughts on “For the Boys — A Prayer from a Father with Daughters

  1. “And just in case You need any help, I’ll be cleaning the shot gun every time one of them appear for a date. You are welcome.”

  2. At my daughter’s Sweet Sixteen party, one of the guests (a boy) tried to get charming and “buddy buddy” with me. I scowled at him and said, “Touch my daughter and you DIE!” My daughter was scandalized, but the kid never asked her out, and my work was accomplished.

    • Long ago, a friend from college told me she prayed for her future husband, though she had no idea who he may be. That thought stuck with me and resurfaced as my daughters have grown older. In recent weeks, I have been feeling the impact of when people are not true, and I guess that gave me a greater sense of urgency.

      • I had a whole belly full of Not True people today too (must be something in the stars today) all supposedly adults were pointing fingers at each other and blaming the other when at least one was telling a bald-faced lie (I could write pages and pages!) So I can really relate.

        I love the idea of praying for a spouse-to-be. Quite charming, and hopefully effective.

  3. I read your post twice from start to finish. My son, with two young daughters, and I have had discussions about these two young ladies in his life much on the same lines. I even, old hippie me, suggested an RFID tag not a bad idea in their future…I like your request and prayer for the character of the young men in their lives. Like my son, you Captain Dad, write about what you are for and not what you are against. That is your strength.

    Thanks for the humor and serious treatment of what affects you and your family because we can all relate!

  4. Pat, as the father of a 12 year old daughter and the initial stages of boys appearing in her routine. Friends so far but I know one day some young man is going to steal her heart. Monitoring closely. Your post acureately caputres our feelings, fears etc. But, nature will take its course. Enjoyed your post and have saved it for those heartbreaks when they occur.

    • Definitely moms have more fun. And definitely dads have more fun. And moms face more frustrations. And dads face more frustrations.

      I’m not openly against much in the world of parenting by parents who are trying to do a good job, but I am against anything — even jokes — that foster an us vs. them attitude. Moms and dads are in this together. Sure, there are differences in technique and social constraints and cultural infrastructure, and they can be fun to talk about. But the personal side, such as having fun, are always going to be equally personal. And equally difficult. For anyone on any spectrum. So I am not going to take sides in a debate about who has it easier or harder or who has more fun or frustration.

      Unless a Monday rolls around and I am absolutely desperate for a post to put up. Then I’ll consider it. ;)

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