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Protective of Me
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I’m a 15-year-old girl, and I’d like you to explain: Why are my parents more protective of me than my brother, who’s very irresponsible?

Pastor Edmond Answers:

OK, I’ll try to explain, but it’s going to be hard. What would I know about why a parent would be protective of his daughter? That’s a completely foreign idea to me. (Fine, I’ll admit it. One person thinks I’m too protective. But she—my daughter—doesn’t know what she’s talking about!)

OK, I’ll get serious. When I’m in discussion groups with young people and this topic comes up, all the young ladies in the group almost always feel that their parents are harder on them and more protective of them than they are of their brothers. So maybe there’s some validity to that. Also, in those same discussions, the oldest child in the family always feels that their parents let their younger brothers and/or sisters get away with murder. (Pity my poor daughter. She’s the oldest child and the only daughter. So she’s getting it both ways!) But as a parent I’ve never promised to treat my children exactly the same, because they’re not the same. For example, my daughter loves to read, and my son thinks reading is like a punishment.

So if I want to reward them both for something, I take Courtney down to the bookstore and let her pick out a book. But it wouldn’t make any sense for me to reward R.J. the same way. So the question isn’t: Did I treat them both the same? Instead it’s: Did I treat them both fairly? Young ladies and young men are different (but you knew that already!). You need to understand, though, that there are different problems and risks involved in raising both girls and guys. While I’ve told both my children about the need to stay morally pure—and I shall be equally hurt if either becomes sexually active before marriage—the reality is that premarital sex doesn’t carry the exact same social and financial risks for R.J. as it does for Courtney. I know some of you feminists are jumping up and down over that statement. And I’m certainly not saying that it’s not just as wrong for the guy to become sexually active before marriage as it for the girl, because it absolutely is. But Courtney can get pregnant out of wedlock, and R.J. can’t. And having children out of wedlock still falls more on the girl than on the guy. It’s not fair, because the girl certainly didn’t get pregnant by herself. But that’s the way it is.

Now, does that mean that irresponsible guys should get more privileges than responsible girls? No. If a guy isn’t responsible, I say take away his privileges, take away his car, and especially take away any chance he has of meeting my daughter. OK, so maybe I am protective of my daughter—just a little.

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By D.C. Edmond. Reprinted with permission from Insight Magazine Online. Copyright © 2012 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines.

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