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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.

Tom Ascol has served as a Pastor of Grace Baptist Church in Cape Coral, FL since 1986. Prior to moving to Florida he served as pastor and associate pastor of churches in Texas. He has a BS degree in sociology from Texas A&M University (1979) and has also earned the MDiv and PhD degrees from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Ft. Worth, Texas. He has served as an adjunct professor of theology for various colleges and seminaries, including Reformed Theological Seminary, the Covenant Baptist Theological Seminary, African Christian University, Copperbelt Ministerial College, and Reformed Baptist Seminary. He has also served as Visiting Professor at the Nicole Institute for Baptist Studies at Reformed Theological Seminary in Orlando, Florida. Tom serves as the President of Founders Ministries and The Institute of Public Theology. He has edited the Founders Journal, a quarterly theological publication of Founders Ministries, and has written hundreds of articles for various journals and magazines. He has been a regular contributor to TableTalk, the monthly magazine of Ligonier Ministries. He has also edited and contributed to several books, including Dear Timothy: Letters on Pastoral Ministry, The Truth and Grace Memory Books for children and  Recovering the Gospel and Reformation of Churches. He is also the author of From the Protestant Reformation to the Southern Baptist ConventionTraditional Theology and the SBC and Strong and Courageous. Tom regularly preaches and lectures at various conferences throughout the United States and other countries. In addition he regularly contributes articles to the Founders website and hosts a weekly podcast called The Sword & The Trowel. He and his wife Donna have six children along with four sons-in-law and a daughter-in-law. They have sixteen grandchildren.
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