I recently had a reality check about my age. You see, my only jobs since graduating college have been at colleges and universities. So, in a way, I still feel like a college student. At a recent youth event, however, one single phrase changed my entire perspective about my age. That phrase came as a response to a simple question: “What time is it?”.
Typical responses to such a question could range from “time to get a watch” to the actual time of day. However, our youth pastor and I simultaneously shouted, “Game time, hoo!” The room went completely silent as all of the teenagers looked at us as though we had been arguing about the significance of the BABIP statistic in evaluating a switch hitter at the bottom of a baseball lineup. Yeah, that’s the same look they had. They had no idea what we were talking about. (Just in case you have no recognition of the mid-1990’s, that was the primary huddle cheer of the Chicago Bulls dynasty, and is a very acceptable response to the question, “What time is it?”.)
I instantly realized the age gap between myself and our youth group members. I mean, I knew the numbers before, but that made it very real. I then had a very intense series of epiphanies about my age, my stage in life, all the things I need to accomplish, and finally the fact that my own children will be teenagers far sooner than I care to think about.
Before I knew it, I was thinking about my daughter (about a year old at the time) starting to date. At that point, I started to make a list. When my daughter has her first date, sometime shortly after she finishes her Master’s degree, I want to have some questions prepared for the guy that thinks he is good enough to spend time with my little girl. I truly hope that I will raise my daughter in such a way that she will be a great judge of character and she will be seeking a Godly man. However, I will need a few answers for my own peace of mind.
1. What is your schedule for the evening? – I want to know everywhere they are going, and how long they will be there. No, I am not going to follow them (at least not detectably). I just want to know where to find them in case of an emergency. (Note: Emergency is a very vague term and may be interpreted at my discretion.)
2.Where do you go to church? – Hopefully I will know the guy and I will have been able to investigate…er…inquire about him before the night of the actual date. If not, the church he attends will tell me a lot about him. By that, I mean it will give me some references I can call to ask about his trustworthiness. (Question #4 covers what happens if he does not attend a local church.)
3.How are your doctoral studies going? – Since she should have finished her Master’s degree by now, he should probably have already made strides toward becoming a doctor.
4.Tell me about your relationship with Jesus Christ. – I know, that is not necessarily a question. But it does require a response that I will be very interested to hear. If the young man is not a Christian, I will have a hard time giving him my full support. At that point, I may have to introduce him to the Fear of God, which is what I call my pistol.
There are so many follow-up questions to #4 for that I will spare you the details. Let's just say I hope it looks very similar to the Courageous clip below. However, it is very important that he knows where my family stands on our faith. Not only is that a part of who we are; it is the basis of who we are. He needs to know that. This interview is just as much about informing him of that as it is about me determining if my son is bigger than he is so I can adjust my level of involvement.
Now, if you are asking, “what if your daughter has not accepted Christ as her savior?”, I really have no answer for you. I need to chew on that possibility a little more before I write about it. Regardless of her relationship with Christ, though, the standpoint of my household will remain the same.
“But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD.” (Joshua 24:15 NIV)