First, a disclaimer: I don't have daughters yet. I wish I did, but they're still stuck in Kyrgyzstan at the moment. So, I can't speak from personal experience. On the other hand, I have sisters, many close female friends, and several girls with whom I have traveled internationally*, so I do have a very protective bent.
Now, on to the topic at hand:
I read a post about a recent experience that determined why one woman's daughter will not be biking alone ever again.
Now, yes, the world is a scary place with much potential for evil, and we must look to protect our children. But is the answer to hide away in a convent? Do we withdraw to places away from criminals and let the world "go where it will" without us?
And I'm not saying that was the point of the original post either. But facetious as the comments may have been, I think the ideal is a reality for many Christians in their daily lives: Rather than deal with the issue, we suggest that we remove it. And that's not without Biblical backing. And in some cases, that's not a bad idea at all.
But the solution to sin should not, I propose, be about making it impossible to do so. Rather, we should focus on changing life to be so we focus on the good instead.
Here's my experience of a girl going out alone: Instead of telling the girl in Paris that she should not go running at night, I insisted on going with her. That way she was no longer in as grave a danger and we could build a friendship. Positives.
And this is why some people find accountability groups/partners so powerful: They have a companion with them to help keep them safe. And this is the importance of community as well: We need people who are looking out for us and keeping us from doing something foolish on our own. And that, I think, is why I have consistently had bad experiences with "accountability groups": They are about seeing how I've been doing at avoiding something, rather than looking out for me and walking with me through the dark alleys.
In short, an accountability group is like a weekly "safety meeting" for girls who can talk about how many times they've been approached by guys that week. "Well, I was only approached by two guys this week," the cute little blond girl says. "Oh, that's good," exclaims the redhead, "I had three guys whistle at me."
That's retroactive and hardly helpful.
I want people who will go with me out into the world and keep me safe simply by walking beside me because they love me. And, honestly, I think that's the point of the post: Don't go biking alone.
If that is our model, there's rarely a need for the convent.
Filmmaker, Writer, Expectant Father
*Oh yeah, that sounds really wholesome, doesn't it?
Well, it was every time.
I've been on mission trips and a leadership training group thingy. I don't go bopping around the world with bimbos. Just in case people were scandalized <smile>.