Every parent possesses an inherent drive to care for their child. They know that it is right to protect their offspring, whether from the wind and rain or the pedophile and pornographer. Yet because of sin, we naturally fail. The failure of fathers to care for their daughters pops up throughout Scripture. When threatened by the men of Sodom, Lot offered his two daughters to a bloodthirsty mob and is stopped only by the intervention of angels (Gen. 19:1-11). In a stunning repeat of the Sodom incident, the man hosting an unnamed Levite offers drunken "worthless fellows" his virgin daughter along with the Levite's concubine (Judges 19). In one of the most horrifying scenes in Scripture, the Levite finds the concubine dead and cuts her body up, then sends the pieces to all corners of Israel. His abdication of fatherly responsibility, realized in a flash of grief, signifies that darkness has descended upon the nation.
Wearing tight pink sweatpants and push-up bras is not the same as sacrifice, but the two proceed from the same devilish idea. The contextual outworking of the problem causes the same reaction. As we watch the culture train tiny girls to be princesses, princesses to be hot girls, and hot girls to be sexual aggressors, we gasp at such a trajectory. This is not indulging in prudery. That exhalation of breath? It's a profoundly theological response to the effects of sin. The first and most basic of parental duties is to protect one's children in a physical and especially a spiritual sense (Eph. 6:4). This involves training little girls to be modest and chaste, and to exude Christocentric virtue, not to be forward and promiscuous. If these ideals sound Victorian, antiquated to modern ears, they are actually much more historical (see 1 Tim. 2:9-10).
There is another type of father in Scripture besides the wicked men mentioned above. This father finds a little girl dying in the wilderness, crying with no one to hear. He gathers her in his arms and nurses her to health. He clothes her in beauty as she grows, celebrating her womanhood. Because of his protection and care, she flourishes. This father is the Lord God, and his daughter is Jerusalem (Ezek. 16). The text details the faithlessness of God's people and bears first on that biblical-theological matter, but it also gives us a window into how we are to raise our daughters. Our heavenly Father's strength, tenderness, and compassion direct our care for our own little girls, and we desire their flourishing for the glory of Christ as he desires the health of his people.
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