Monday, March 09, 2009

Baucham, What He Must Be

Vodie Baucham has a new book focused on a father’s role in deciding who can marry his daughter- What He Must Be: ...If He Wants to Marry My Daughter. This role is important, and I hear of more and more fathers who are taking this seriously. However, most of us have not seen this done, so good examples and thoughtful reflection are at a premium. Baucham’s book aims to give us such reflection.

One of the challenges, which I see often in my work as college professor and pastor, is that many well meaning young men have never been taught what it means to be a man and are not ready to lead a family. Baucham mentions this stating:

“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 don’t 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.”

This is true. I recently had a good conversation with Douglas Bond on this very point. I was encouraged hearing how when a young man comes inquiring about his daughter he takes it as an opportunity for discipleship- not just saying “No”, when that is necessary, but showing young men what they are lacking and how to mature.

I am looking forward to reading Baucham’s book. I have no doubt it will be substantive and helpful. Baucham is a leading voice helping the church thinking more carefully about the family.


jesse hudson said...

This resonates with me deeply. My father died when I was 7, but my parents divorced when I was 2, and he had MS, so was confined to a hospital bed the last couple of years of his life.

Since my conversion in college, I have felt the need to find a mentor or a godly older man to be a kind of father figure, but this is much harder than one would think, even in the church.

When I was a kid, my mother asked the elders at our small church if any of the men would take an intentional interest in me (I did not know this until recently). It never happened, even though she was the secretary for the meetings and took the minutes, and several times over the course of 10+ years brought up the same concern. I was, and still am to some degree, a strong-willed, independent teenager. I now have a wonderful wife and a 11-month old daughter.

To be honest, I would not let my daughter marry a guy like I was in high school and college. I had no one to hold me to any standard of biblical manhood. This DOES NOT excuse my sin and wickedness, but I do believe that much preventative work can be done early in a young man's life, especially in the church. Unfortunately, there are usually only a small % of men in the church worth emulating.

Pastors, elders, deacons... if your own kids are out of the house or are grown up, prayerfully consider reaching out to a young man who lacks what you have given to your sons/daughters. You cannot know how crucial this may be.

Ray Van Neste said...

Thanks for stopping by and takign the time to comment. How we need such discipleship in the church!
Thanks for this testimony and exhortation.