Summary: Solomon robbed his son of his inheritance... but in this sad story of Solomon’s failure is a lesson in hope for how we can protect our children as long as they live.
OPEN: Before he died, comedian John Ritter starred in a fairly successful TV sitcom. Does anybody remember the name of that show? (8 Simple Rules For Dating My Daughter).
Now, I never watched that show, so I don’t know if they ever shared what those “8 simple rules” actually were. However, years ago I received an e-mail that listed another father’s rules for dating his daughter. I was so impressed with the list, that I copied it into my files and I believe that when my own daughter gets to the age when we allow her to date (somewhere around the age of 25 or so), I will print it out to share with whatever boy dares (I mean, “wants”) to go out with her:
8 SIMPLE RULES FOR DATING MY DAUGHTER @ 1998 W. Bruce Cameron http://www.wbrucecameron.com/”
Rule One: If you pull into my driveway and honk you’d better be delivering a package, because you’re sure not picking anything up.
Rule Two: You do not touch my daughter in front of me. You may glance at her, so long as you do not peer at anything below her neck. If you cannot keep your eyes or hands off of my daughter’s body, I will remove them.
Rule Three: I am aware that it is considered fashionable for boys of your age to wear their trousers so loosely that they appear to be falling off their hips. Please don’t take this as an insult, but you and all of your friends are complete idiots. Still, I want to be fair and open minded about this issue, so I propose a compromise: You may come to the door with your underwear showing and your pants ten sizes too big, and I will not object. However, in order to ensure that your clothes do not come off at some time during the course of your date with my daughter, I will take my electric nail gun and fasten your trousers securely in place to your waist.
Rule Four: It is usually understood that in order for us to get to know each other, we should talk about sports, politics, and other issues of the day. Please do not do this. The only information I require from you is an indication of when you expect to have my daughter safely back at my house, and the only word I need from you on this subject is “early.”
Rule Five: I have no doubt you are a popular fellow, with many opportunities to date other girls. This is fine with me as long as it is okay with my daughter. Otherwise, once you have gone out with my little girl, you will continue to date no one but her until she is finished with you. If you make her cry, I will make you cry.
Rule Six: The following places are not appropriate for a date with my daughter: Places where there are beds, sofas, or anything softer than a wooden stool. Places where there are no parents, policemen, or nuns within eyesight. Places where there is darkness. Places where there is dancing, holding hands, or happiness. Places where the ambient temperature is warm enough to induce my daughter to wear shorts, tank tops, midriff T-shirts, or anything other than overalls, a sweater, and a goose down parka - zipped up to her throat. Movies with a strong romantic or sexual theme are to be avoided; movies which features chain saws are okay. Hockey games are okay. Old folks homes are better.
Rule Seven: Do not lie to me. I may appear to be a pot/bellied, balding, middle-aged, dimwitted has-been. But on issues relating to my daughter, I am the all-knowing, merciless god of your universe. If I ask you where you are going and with whom, you have one chance to tell me the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. I have a shotgun, a shovel, and five acres behind the house. Do not trifle with me.
Rule Eight: Be afraid. Be very afraid. It takes very little for me to mistake the sound of your car in the driveway for a chopper coming in over a rice paddy near Hanoi. When my Agent Orange starts acting up, the voices in my head frequently tell me to clean the guns as I wait for you to bring my daughter home. As soon as you pull into the driveway you should exit your car with both hands in plain sight. Speak the perimeter password, announce in a clear voice that you have brought my daughter home safely and early, then return to your car - there is no need for you to come inside. The camouflaged face at the window is mine.
APPLY: In the heart of every parent lies the desire to protect their little girl/ little boy. Good fathers/mothers make sure that everyone understands: No one messes with their children.