Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Preparing Our Sons for Marriage


In his book What He Must Be (If he wants to marry my daughter) Voddie Baucham speaks to the problem of young men not being prepared for marriage.


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)

4 comments:

Ryan H. said...

Baucham is quite right that there's very little preparation given for men entering marriage. We tend to leave it up to their instincts, rather than instructing them on the complexities and difficulties of marriage. If the Church is to really reclaim marriage in a world where marriage is increasingly being seen as almost irrelevant, they have to take up the task of marriage education.

That said, I am fairly egalitarian in my perspectives on marriage roles, so I'm supposing Baucham and I would have our disagreements on precisely how men should be prepared for marriage. But at least Baucham and I can wholeheartedly agree that "We must stop preparing them for lives of selfishness, immediate gratification, and perpetual adolescence if we ever expect to turn the tide."

Noel said...

I can't wait to read this book. Thanks for the resource!

Dan said...

Hi Todd,
First I would like to say "thanks" for your blog. It has definitely been an encouragment to me in my walk with the Lord.
The excerpt from this book, "What He Must Be (If he wants to marry my daughter)" really struck a cord with me. As a single man in my 30's who desires to be married and have a family, I want to be prepared if and when God blesses me with these gifts. I don't want to "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."
I want to prepare myself to know what my role is and carry it out. I want to be a godly man that is equipped to lead a wife and a family. I want to be prepared with the skills to be a husband and a father.
I guess my question is if you have any advice? Would this book be a good read for someone like me, or is it just for parents? Are there any other books or resources that you can recommend?
Thanks for your time and service!

Todd Pruitt said...

Dan,

I would imagine that any man could be sharpened by this book. I would encourage you to read it.

blessings