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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Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Helicopter parents and the disconnect of "higher" education

The Associated Press and Washington Times report on a study that challenges the stereotype concocted by some university officials about parents who take an active interest in their children's college education. Called "helicopter parents" by college administrators, because they are perceived as hovering over their college-age children, such moms and dads have been dismissed as bothersome and unhelpful to the education of their children.

A recent study by the National Survey of Student Engagement, however, indicates that students whose parents are very involved in their lives actually are more engaged in their studies and "deep learning activities" than their classmates.

The article contains this nugget of condescending arrogance: "Educators insist there's nothing wrong with parents taking an interest in college life." I am sure that my colleagues in SOHP (Society of Helicopter Parents) will be relieved that the high priests of academia have decreed that our involvement in our children's lives is not immoral.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at PhotobucketThat's right, I must confess that I am a "helicopter parent." In fact, I am an Apache Longbow helicopter parent! With 4 kids in college I have more than a passing interest in what is being taught and how professors are teaching it in the classrooms that my children occupy. Twice I have had to swoop down to get the attention of administrators to rectify problems that could have and should have been resolved by simple integrity and common sense. Had my daughter not been dismissed by bureaucratic reflex I would have happily stayed hovering at a safe distance, hardly noticeable to anyone but my children.

The most egregious case had to do with a profane and foul-mouthed professor who refused to temper his crude language for the "prudes" in his class. Though I never had to fire a shot, it was impressive to see how quickly action can be taken when a parent sits across from a Dean and reads to him from his own school's sexual harassment policy.

So here's to all my fellow helicopter parents. May your tribe increase.

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