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.


Arthur Sido said...

I just finished What he must be... and I must say it is a long overdue clarion call. For those who cast aspersions on Voddie Baucham, I say phooey on you! He is a sinner saved by grace, as all Christians are, but he is someone who is being used as a prophetic voice to call for a return to Biblical families.

Weak families = weak churches

TruthMatters said...

I would have to alter Arthur's concluding equation:

Men weak in the faith = weak families + men weak in the faith = weak churches.

A man must first be the kind of man and husband to his own wife, before he can "build one" for his daughter or someone elses.

Rick Tarter said...

Thanks for bringing Voddie's new book to our attention. My two married sons would probably say that they were raised by a Christian father who modeled hard work, integrity, etc. But on the heels of that, they would also say that I did not do anything intentional in preparing them for marriage. In fact, during both of their engagements, I found myself wondering why they didn't cover some basic aspects of marriage in their pre-marital counseling? What I am asking myself, now, is "Why didn't I cover some basic aspects of marriage while I was raising them?" Though my daughter will be married in May (to a young man we really love), I still have one more unmarried son at home. It is never too late to learn and grow; and I'm looking forward to the book becoming available.

Jim Pemberton said...

The church has desperately needed a book like this for some time. However, it cannot happen in a vacuum. Young people must be steeped in solid Biblical teaching early on or this is all academic.

For example you wrote that you challenge young men to "...become the kind of men that the kind of women they hope to marry would desire to have as husbands." This works only if A) they desire godly women, B) they know how to discern if a woman is truly godly, C) they know what a godly woman wants, and D) the godly young women available truly know what they want. For who is perfect, especially the young? And I've seen otherwise fairly godly young women say that they want good men and proceed to chase after the not-so-good men. it's altogether easy for a hormonally laden godly young man to justify his belief that a not-so-godly young woman is godly enough.

It's a far better thing if the Western Church is made holy, that is set aside from the rest of the culture, that people in the church as well as out of the church might more starkly see a difference and godliness become a virtue over and against the secular culture. Until then, we must each create the culture of godliness in our own families and pray that our kids can rise above the culture in the selection of their lifelong mates.