A reader writes in:
How much should a girl follow you in dating? How much should she submit to before marriage?
These are actually good questions.
Being that I don’t have daughters (at least yet), I do not believe I have the whole picture down. However, I will answer to the best of Scriptural ability, and I’m sure some of the commenters can chip in as well.
There are multiple things you need to take into consideration here.
- First, a daughter is still under the authority of her father according to the Scriptures. If her parents, especially her father, have any particular dating/courtship rules that they have given her, she should be loyal to them over you. This is important because it shows that she understands Biblical authority. Huge bonus points if she can point out she’s loyal to them over you because of what the Bible says.
- Second, insofar as her parents dating/courtship rules do not conflict with anything that you’re doing/saying and you are in line with the Bible, she should be following your lead. Obviously, dating/courtship is a time where you learn about the faith, character, morals, and values of the woman that you are going to potentially spend the rest of your life with, so it is important to find a woman that is willing to follow you in everything that she is able without violating her father and the Bible.
- Third, it is important for you to start teaching her about this. Most women nowadays, even the few(er) women who are actually legitimate Christians and want to be good wives, have places where they futz around instead of following your lead. You need to be able to gently correct her if she’s off course. Her response to gentle correction will tell you much about her loyalties in marriage: to herself or to you and God.
Overall, these are the main things that need to be taken into consideration. It is important to bring up difficult and/or uncomfortable topics to talk about like sex and make your expectations clear if you prefer things done a certain way.
As a relationship develops toward engagement and/or marriage, her ability and attitude to follow your lead should definitely improve over time as long as she is not in any violation of the Bible and her parents. If that is not the case, I would be very wary about marry such a woman as you may be digging yourself a deep pit.
With all of the feminist crap coming out of the culture and Church and even families, you may not have much support once you’re married if you ignore warning signs. Best to head it off in the first place by doing your best to vet a woman to the best of your ability.
Of course, when all is said and done, you have to live by faith.