A while back, I had the privilege of hearing Voddie deliver a sermon by the same title (link and summery here). The sermon was vintage Voddie--powerful, hard-hitting, unavoidable, in your face, irresistible Bible and logic and passion. The book is even more so.
Baucham: “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.”
My wife and I have lived with that realization for a few years now. Baucham has put words to our angst. As we look at our daughters, we wonder out loud, "Who will they marry?" The question isnt rooted in a romantic idealizing about Prince Charming, it's rooted in the harrowing reality that so few young men seem really to be prepared for manhood at all. I think it was Mohler who coined a term for the problem: "adultolesence."
The problem first came home as over the years we've considered the plight of African-American families, where staggering percentages of children grow up without their fathers. I know the haunting spectre of father absence in my own life. Entering manhood without the teaching, nurturing, correction, and pushing of a father tends to leave a young man bewildered, insecure, and unreliable.
Voddie's challenge: "build your own son-in-law."
That's a fitting challenge, written from the perspective of someone raising daughters, of which I have two. But it's also a fitting challenge for someone raising boys, of which I have one.
Reading this book with one eye on Titus deepens the urgency and clarity of my calling as a father: I must raise my son to be that man of God who will be part of the solution to this pandemic, who will love Christ above all, walk steadfastly in the ways of the Lord, lead his wife and family with strength and compassion and intimacy, and who will himself invest in the lives of his sons and their peers.
My guess is... you probably have a daughter, a son, a niece, a nephew, or a cousin. So, my guess is this book has some application to you. The problem of the disappearing marriageable male certainly has application to us all. Reading and applying What He Must Be is certainly a start to turning the curve on this issue.
So, over the next couple days, let's have a conversation. I'll post some selected portions from What He Must Be... with a pertinent question, and why don't you jump in with thoughts, reactions, etc?
The book is available at a number of outlets:
Christian Books: Christianbook.com
LifeWay Stores: LifeWayStores.com
Table of Contents
1 Multigenerational Vision 13
2 The Ministry of Marriage 31
3 A Father’s Role 47
4 He Must Be a Follower of Christ 67
5 He Must Be Prepared to Lead 85
6 He Must Lead Like Christ (Ephesians 5) 103
7 He Must Be Committed to Children 123
8 He Must Practice the Four P’s 139
9 Don’t Send a Woman to Do a Man’s Job 159
10 Can’t Find One . . . Build One 177