I am blessed with three beautiful daughters at prime marriageable age, four if you count the Ghanaian Whitworth University student who has been living with us for 2 1/2 years. As you would imagine, over the years we have encountered many boyfriends. It has been my tradition to explain my care for my daughters to these guys. I want them to understand my expectations regarding how they will be treated by boys. Generally this “grilling,” as it has come to be referenced, generates significant and unpredictable emotions.

For example, one time the boy started to cry. Literally, he went white, tears formed in his eyes, and he lost it. Don’t tell anyone, but when I saw him reacting like that, I too almost came unglued. I managed to hold myself together enough to ask him what was going on? He then explained that he had a sister and their father had died. As I gave him my “dad talk” he wondered who would do that for his sister. Then I did loose it! Needless to say, he received my approval to take my precious daughter to a high school dance.

A while ago, another suitor phoned me to tell me about his affection for my daughter. I expressed my appreciation for his  courage. Then I explained to him my care and concern for my daughter. I told him that I had high expectations for the guys  she dates. I told him that I expected men to treat her with utmost respect, that they would protect her, and always seek the best for her.

After the conclusion of my now well rehearsed speech, there was a moment of silence. After the pause, the young man responded, “If I find anyone like that, I will send him her way!”

I am sure that during that short second his brain was doing the fastest risk analysis of his life. Would I understand and appreciate his humor? Or, would his wit set back our fledgling relationship? The last thing he wanted was to start off on the wrong foot with me. Yet, if his humor worked, my confidence in him would blossom.

His humor worked. His confidence revealed that he is highly arrogant, which he is not, or he has strong character and integrity. He won me over. He received my blessing.