Old-Fashioned Etiquette

Devotionals from Leslie Ludy and the Set Apart Girl Team

Old-Fashioned Etiquette

by Leslie Ludy | February 21, 2011

In the olden days, a man would have to go through a woman’s father for permission even to “come calling” upon her – in other words, he couldn’t even spend time getting to know her without getting the okay from her “protector.” Culture has changed to such an extent that there is now a blatant disregard for the concept of a woman having any kind of protection or authority over her life. It’s usually seen as archaic and oppressive for a man to actually honor the position of a woman’s parents in the beginning of a relationship. But yet again, it’s an issue of placing value on the priceless gift of your feminine heart. When you allow your parents (or other godly leaders) to serve in a position of protection over your femininity, you acknowledge that the treasure of your heart is precious to Christ and must be treated with the same dignity and respect that He gives to it.

A guy can prove he is worthy of your heart by honoring the people who have a position of protection and authority in your life. This doesn’t have to mean a stuffy, old-fashioned process in which your parents sit between you and a potential “suitor” on the couch. Rather, it’s simply asking your parents (or other godly leaders you trust) to serve as your prayer-partners, counselors, and protectors in this area of your life. They don’t have to make all the decisions for you. But if you allow them to be involved , and respect them enough to take their opinions seriously, you will receive an incredible blessing. If a guy knows that he has to go through your “protectors” in order to begin a relationship with you, he will take the whole process far more seriously. He is far less likely to use you and break your heart when he knows that there are eyes upon him, looking out for your best interest. In fact, asking a guy to go through your protectors often proves what his motives truly are. If he shies away from sitting down and talking with your parents about his intentions, chances are he has something to hide. But if he willingly submits to their questions and scrutiny, it is very likely that his motives toward you are pure and his feelings toward you are strong enough that he is willing to get uncomfortable in order to win you.

Even if you are on your own, completely independent of your parents, it can be a wonderful idea to let them serve as long-distance protectors and prayer-partners for the relationship. Or consider finding someone closer by whom you know has God’s heart for you. Recruiting protectors can feel awkward at first, but if you are willing to submit to the counsel and leadership of those God has placed in authority over you, you are far more likely to find real beauty and success in this delicate area of life.*