Imagine a family who did not prepare their children for college. This would be unthinkable in today’s world. Everyone prepares their child for an academic future. Day-care programs boast about the head start they will give children in their “academic careers.” We buy houses in neighborhoods with “the best schools.” Beyond that, many families place their children in expensive preparatory schools, enduring tremendous financial burdens, incurring debt, and commuting hours each day in an effort to give their children an edge in that all-important race for the apex of academia.)
However, little thought is given to preparing our sons to be husbands. Thus, they meander through life without the skills or mind-set necessary to play this most important role until one day, having met “the one,” they pop the question, set a date, and—in the rarest of cases—go to the pastor to learn everything they need to know about being the priest, prophet, provider, and protector of a household in four one-hour sessions. In the words of that great theologian Dr. Phil, “How’s that workin’ for ya?”
As a result, we have families led by men who haven’t the foggiest idea what their role is or how to carry it out. We have wives who were created with a God-given need to be led by godly men, a curse from the days in the garden that puts them at odds with this arrangement, and a cultural mandate to fight against male headship. Top this off with children who long for the security that can only be found in clear roles and boundaries in the home, and the result is a frustrated family mired in dysfunction. Sound familiar?
If we have any desire to change this, we must begin to prepare young men to be husbands and fathers. We must stop preparing them for lives of selfishness, immediate gratification, and perpetual adolescence if we ever expect to turn the tide. The skills required of a husband and father take a lifetime to acquire. Our sons must begin to acquire them sooner rather than later. If we prepare our children to be husbands and wives, and God calls and equips them to be single, we have lost nothing. On the other hand, if we do not prepare our children to be husbands and wives, and they (like the overwhelming majority of people) end up married someday, we have lost a great deal. Prudence would point toward the necessity to prepare our children for marriage, and to do so with all diligence. (pp. 42-44
The question for today: What does it mean to prepare a son or a daughter for marriage? Is this really a fundamental duty of parents?