Friday, March 06, 2009

What He Must Be: Can't Find One...Build One

My favorite chapter in Voddie Baucham's new book, What He Must Be...if He Wants to Marry My Daughter, is the last one, entitled, "Can't Find One...Build One." Citing studies that indicate that the adults in typical U.S. churches are comprised of 61% female and 39% male along with evidence that as many as 90% of the young men being raised in church will quit altogether by the time they reach 20, Baucham calls fathers of boys to invest themselves in the effort of raising godly young men.

The way that I have approached this concern with my own son and with other young men through the years is to challenge them to become the kind of men that the kind of women they hope to marry would desire to have as husbands. Fathers are called to be disciplers of their children (Ephesians 6:4) and a necessary part of that calling is for dads to teach their sons how to prepare to become husbands and fathers. Granted, some may called by God to permanent singleness, but they will be the exceptions, not the rule.

When Voddie writes about this issue he does so with biblical insights that have been forged in the furnace of being raised fatherless. There is no false idealism here, only the the passionate plea of a pastor and father who well-understands the challenges that are facing young men in our sexually confused culture. He challenges fathers of daughters to invest in young men to help them become marriageable.
We cannot expect young men in our culture to turn up as ready-made husbands. Our culture is broken. As a result, young men are broken. They do not have the tools they need. This is not always due to a lack of spiritual commitment. It is usually a result of a lack of teaching and discipleship. They just don't know what they dont know. As a result, fathers have to consider the possibility that they may, in a very real way, have to build their own son-in-law. Of course, this is not a problem for men with a multigenerational vision who view the work as an investment i their children's children (193).
This counsel is appropriate not only for men with daughters, but for all men who are thinking about the generations to follow. It is sound counsel for churches who should look for ways to evangelize, challenge and disciple the future men the Lord entrusts to them.

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Tuesday, March 03, 2009

What He Must Be, If He Wants to Marry My Daughter-excerpt 1

As promised yesterday, I will post a few excerpts from Voddie Baucham's new book, What He Must Be, over the course of this week. In the first chapter, entitled, "Mutligenerational Vision, Voddie describes the point and purpose of the book.
This book is built on a single, simple premise: I believe fathers have a God-given responsibility to see to it that their daughters marry well and that their sons become worthy husbands. As such, I believe it is necessary for fathers to model biblical manhood, teach biblical manhood, and hunt for biblical manhood on behalf of their daughters. Similarly, I believe fathers with sons have a responsibility to prepare their sons for marriage.

Several years ago, when Jasmine was much younger, a family friend went through a difficult divorce. The breakup did not come as a surprise. It was obvious that theirs was not a God-honoring, biblically functioning marriage, and the handwriting had been on the wall for quite some time.

As things began to work themselves out and the dust began to settle, we talked with our children about the pain and high cost of divorce. As we took advantage of this teachable moment, Jasmine said something that I'll never forget. She looked at me, shook her head, and said, "Daddy, I’m glad I’ve got you to pick my husband." She was dead serious. She had just witnessed the consequences that often accompany a decision to marry an unworthy man, and although she wasn't old enough to understand it all, she did understand that her father was there to protect her.

I have no intention of picking Jasmine's husband for her. We do not advocate arranged marriages. Nor was that my daughter's understanding of the process. She was merely acknowledging what she had been taught all her life--the fact that her father intends to play an active role in the process of finding and evaluating potential suitors (27-28).
Baucham is not some moralistic idealist. In fact, one of the attractions about this book is its repeated appeals to the gospel. He is not offering some kind of formula that will insure a perfect marriage or a life of wedded bliss. Rather, he is calling for parents and young adults to wake up to the miserable failure of our culture's common approach to marriage.
We must find a better way. We must commit ourselves to preparing our children to find suitable mates without relying on the pagan, relativistic mythology that dominates our day. Divorce courts are filled with people who "followed their hearts" and married Mr. or Mrs. Right. There has to be a better way. This is not to say there is a sure-fire guarantee against failure. Nothing could be further Vom the truth. However, I can say for certain that continuing down our current path will not lead to more Godhonoring covenant marriages (49).
Parents must raise their children in ways that do not leave them on their own in the search for a life's mate. Voddie's book provides tools for those who want to pursue this course of parental responsibility.

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