Many thanks to Angie Cheatham & Michele Bennett at Crossway Books for giving me the opportunity to review Voddie Baucham’s What He Must Be: …if he wants to marry my daughter.
Ask Voddie Baucham how to best prepare for leadership and ministry and he may tell you to get married and have children. You may be wondering what that has to do with helping your daughter choose a suitor. The answer is that it has everything to do with helping your daughter choose a suitor. This book is directed at Christian parents, especially fathers. As followers of Christ it is the father’s duty to lead and minister in his own home first. If you aren’t sure what this looks like, you may want to consider for yourself the qualities Voddie suggests we should be looking for in our daughter’s future husband and instilling in our sons who will most likely be husbands themselves some day.
The first part of the book lays the groundwork for the vision and thought behind these counter-cultural ideas. Chapter one expresses the need for fathers to have a Christ-centered multigenerational vision that extends to the children, grandchildren and beyond. Chapter two describes marriage as a ministry, explaining how marriage is a fertile training ground for future church leaders as the Christian marriage illustrates the relationship of Christ and the church to a lost and hurting world. Chapter three explains a father’s role as he exercises gospel patriarchy.
Chapters four through eight lay out the qualities we should be looking for in our daughters potential suitors and instilling in our own sons. They are as follows:
- He must be a follower of Christ ( chapter 4 )
- He must be prepared to lead ( chapter 5 )
- He must lead like Christ ( chapter 6 )
- He must be committed to children ( chapter 7 )
- He must be a protector ( chapter 8 )
- He must be a man of personal holiness ( chapter 8 )
- He must be a man of true gentleness ( chapter 8 )
- He must be a man of great resolve ( chapter 8 )
- He must be a man of genuine compassion ( chapter 8 )
- He must be a man of true bravery ( chapter 8 )
- He must be a provider ( chapter 8 )
- He must have a job ( chapter 8 )
- He must have a work ethic ( chapter 8 )
- He must have a plan ( chapter 8 )
- He must be a prophet / priest ( chapter 8 )
- A man must pray with and for his family ( chapter 8 )
- A man must preach to his family ( chapter 8 )
Chapter nine discusses the importance of protecting our daughter’s purity, heart, focus, future spouse, and hope. Chapter ten talks about the importance of raising our own sons to be Godly men and describes how our influence as fathers will influence our daughter’s choice of potential suitors. The conclusion offers some thoughts on the issue of ethnicity in relation to marriage and children.
If you’re a father, I strongly encourage you to pick up a copy of What He Must Be …if he wants to marry my daughter. At the very least, I hope it will show you that you don’t have to accept the cultural norms when it comes to preparing your daughters and sons for marriage. God has called us to something much larger and we should seize it and move forward with all our might.
Voddie Baucham Jr. is a pastor, conference speaker, and Bible teacher. He is a graduate of Southwestern and Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminaries and has also studied at the University of Oxford. Baucham is the author of The Ever-Loving Truth, the Telly Award-winning Ever-Loving Truth Bible study curriculum, and Family Driven Faith. He and his wife, Bridget have five children. Learn more about Voddie Baucham Jr. and his ministry at www.familydrivenfaith.org and www.voddiebaucham.org.
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