It now falls to you, young man, to be worthy—as worthy as any man can be—to receive from his hand what he counts more precious than jewels, more valuable than his own heart, of greater worth than his own name and even his own life. It falls to you, young man, to honor his diligence in so faithfully interceding for his daughter.
Somewhere out there in the great, wide world, someone is praying for you. He probably doesn’t know you and you probably don’t know him. You may not meet one another for many more years. But he’s praying for you nonetheless and has been for a very long time.
He is the father of a daughter. He is the proud father of a daughter who is very precious to him—more precious than anything he owns, more precious than anything he has ever done, ever made, ever accomplished, more precious than his very life. She is so precious that if he gained all the riches of this world but lost her heart along the way, he’d consider himself an abject failure.
This father knows that a time is coming when a young man will approach him and ask for permission to marry his daughter. He knows that a time is coming when a young man will insist that it is in his daughter’s best interests if she leaves her father and mother—leaves behind the ones who brought her into this world and who gave her such privileges and who raised her so well—and is joined to him instead (for such is the endearing conceit of young men). And, though it may be hard for this father to admit, he knows that this young man may just be right—that his daughter’s best life will be outside of his care and in another man’s, outside of his home and in one this new couple will build together.