I have no hope in guys. But I still have hope for the guys because they are “the image and glory of God.” God wants his glory to shine through men. God wants his kingdom to be made visible through them. God wants them to be his sons. God wants them to follow, by the power of the Holy Spirit, in the example of Jesus. I don’t care if you buy a truck or play some video games or rock out on your guitar. But the problem is when those are prevalent, predominant, and preeminent in your life. Some of you would argue and say, “It’s not a sin.” No, but sometimes it’s just dumb. You got fired because you fell asleep at work after staying up too late to get to the next level of some online game and become a guild leader. That’s dumb. You work one part-time job so you can play more guitar or frisbee golf. That’s dumb. You spend all your money on a new car or truck or toys or gear or clothes or gambling or fantasy football. Dumb. Some of you say, “Well, it’s not a sin.” Neither is eating your cereal box instead of the cereal. It’s just dumb. There are a lot of things that Christian guys do that aren’t evil; they’re just dumb and childish. There’s nothing wrong with being a boy – if you are a boy. There is a big problem if you are a boy with a beard and a condo. -Mark Driscoll, Call to Resurgence
One of the books that I read as I worked on my What He must be… sermon at Revolution Church was The Shepherd Leader at Home: Knowing, Leading, Protection and Providing for Your Family (kindle version) by Timothy Witmer.
Here are a few things that jumped out to me:
- If you are married, in order to accomplish what God has called you to do, you must understand that each of you brings strengths and weakness to the relationship for the benefit of one another and for the marriage.
- Marriage is designed by God to be your primary human relationship.
- The Hebrew word for sexual intimacy is the word translated “know.” Knowing your wife in the comprehensive biblical sense includes a relational union that implies physical, spiritual, and emotional oneness.
- Wherever you find marital failure, you will find a breakdown in real communication. Wherever you find marital success, you will find a good communication system.
- The objective of leaders is to influence their followers to accomplish their respective missions.
- Marriage is a call to die to self, and a man who does not die for his wife does not come close to the love to which he is called.
- The bible has a very high view of women. This can be seen from the very beginning, where creation itself was not deemed complete until the woman was made.
- Those in leadership are always called upon to use that leadership for the benefit of those called to submit.
- For a wife, following her husband’s leadership is an important aspect of following Christ.
- When we submit to our spouses, we are once again agreeing with God that His beautiful ordered plan is worth obeying and the mystery worth preserving. By so doing we once again acknowledge that Jesus is Lord.
- Part of the wife’s discipleship to Christ is to respect the position of her husband in the home.
- Christ’s love is unconditional. There was nothing about you or me that deserved or required Christ’s love. Quite the contrary. Not only did we not love him, but also we were heading the opposite direction in our sin. It was the classic case of unrequited love. This is why our relationship with him is solely by his grace. Our love for our wives must be unconditional as well.
- Christ’s love was sacrificial. To what extent did Jesus love the church? he gave himself completely for her. His coming was to give himself in selfless service.
- The man who sanctifies his wife understands that this is his divinely ordained responsibility…Is my wife more like Christ because she is married to me? Or is she like Christ in spite of me? Has she shrunk from his likeness because of me? Do I sanctify her or hold her back? Is she a better woman because she is married to me?
- You will show your love for your wife as you support her maternal instinct to nurture your children.
- One sure way to fail is to fail to love her. Your number one responsibility, humanly speaking, is to love your wife to the extent that she has absolutely not doubts about it. Your expressions of love must be demonstrable and practical.
- Another way to have a frustrated wife is to fail to lead. Christian wives hope that their husbands will be godly leaders. They hope that you will take the initiative.
- The Lord created husbands with an innate sense of responsibility to provide materially for their families. Remember that work is part of the Lord’s original design for mankind. The newly created Adam was placed in the garden and charged with tending it (Genesis 2:15).
- The happiest and holiest children in the world are the children whose fathers succeed in winning both their tender affection and their reverential and loving fear. And they are children who will come to understand most easily the mystery of the fatherhood of God.
- The practice of participation with our children is an expression of the same principle. We get to know people by doing things with them.
- Use your words to build up, not to tear down. If there’s anyone from whom your children should expect a word of encouragement, it should be you.
- Communication is multi-faceted and richly textured. It must include encouragement, correction, rebuke, entreaty, instruction, warning, understanding, teaching, and prayer. All these must be part of your interaction with your children.
- Your relationship with your children now sets the trajectory of how they will relate to you for the rest of your life. If you are unapproachable when they are at home, don’t expect them to be eager to approach you as adults. If you are highly critical of them as children, don’t expect them to be coming to you later for advice. But if you are ready and willing to talk to them when they are young, they will seek you out when they need advice as adults. Remember that you are not sowing the seeds of what you will reap from your adult children for the rest of your lives.
- Whether you like it or not, you are the model for what they will be like when they become parents themselves. When you show your children that they are a priority, you are setting a good example for them when they have families of their own. If children are seen as hindrances by parents, this attitude is reproduced when they become parents.
- You as their earthly dad are laying the foundation for their relationship with their heavenly father. You are their first exposure to a relationship of authority in the world. How you develop that relationship and wield that authority will either help or harm their view of God. There are countless examples of people who have difficulty embracing a loving heavenly Father when they have had neglectful, absentee, or even abusive earthly dads.
- Your goal as you lead your children is to prepare them to follow the chief shepherd for the rest of their lives. Therefore, your leadership should point them to the One you are following.
- Will your children think it is really important to read the Bible if they never see you read yours? Will they consider it a priority to go to church and be involved with God’s people if you send them but don’t go yourself? Will your children speak respectfully of others when they hear the way you speak to your wife? Will they deem it necessary to be honest if they constantly hear you shad the truth or mislead others? Who are you kidding? In reality, what we often communicate to our children is that it is more important to get to football, soccer, or baseball practice regularly than to church. what are you really communicating to your children?
As a father and husband, this book was really convicting and at the same time, incredibly practical when it comes to thinking about living out being the shepherd leader of my home.
Any man who undervalues male headship is not likely to lead his family. They think it’s fine for their wives to carry the load spiritually, financially, and emotionally in the relationship. After all, we’re equals aren’t we?
Any man who overvalues male headship is likely to abuse his wife and children. A man who views his role as that of a domineering tyrant is not fit to have a wife. -Voddie Baucham Jr., What He Must Be…To Marry my Daughter
One of the things I’ve grown to love about preaching is preaching through books of the Bible. By doing that, you get a larger picture of what is going on in a passage. It may seem obvious, but preaching through Ephesians, seeing the identity piece, how much Paul talks about the love God has for us through Jesus, put a different spin on Ephesians 5 and the topics of dating, marriage and submission.
This gets missed a lot in the discussion, I know I’ve missed it when I preached on it in the past.
Paul uses the word love 6 times in Ephesians 5:22 – 33. The idea of a unconditional, irreversible love. In our culture though, love is an emotional, uncontrollable force. Thankfully, Jesus does not love us in an emotional, uncontrollable way. The church in Ephesus, much like us knows that Jesus loves the world, we read that in John 3:16, but we struggle to believe that He loves me individually. Because of that, what Paul calls us to in Ephesians 5 does not feel like love or freedom, instead it feels like slavery.
This flows right into Paul stating for us that marriage is a picture of the gospel. That in a marriage, the world around us should be able to see how Jesus loves us and how we should respond to Jesus. This is why Scripture takes what many see as a hard stance when it comes to homosexuality, sex outside of marriage and divorce. The reason is that they are distortions of the gospel. The world around us is not able to see a clear picture of the gospel when we distort it with sin.
With this backdrop of the gospel, Paul lays out what a husband is to be like and what a wife is to do in response to that. Next week, I’ll talk about men, but this week I spent the majority of the time talking about what submission is and is not in a marriage.
What submission is not…
- Submission doesn’t mean putting a husband in the place of Christ.
- Submission doesn’t mean giving up independent thought.
- Submission doesn’t mean a wife should give up efforts to influence and guide her husband.
- Submission doesn’t mean a wife should give in to every demand of her husband.
- Submission is not based on lesser intelligence or competence.
- Submission does not mean being fearful or timid.
- Submission is not inconsistent with equality in Christ.
What submission is…
- Submission is an inner quality that affirms the leadership of the husband.
- Submission acknowledges an authority that is not totally mutual.
- Submission is seen in respect.
I often get asked about resources I’d recommend when it comes to dating, marriage, sexual addiction, healing from abuse, past relationships, meeting your spouse’s needs, etc. To go along with the series Man vs. Wife, we also published a list of recommended resources to help you. Here are some of the resources:
- Recovering Biblical Manhood & Womanhood by John Piper & Wayne Grudem
- Feminine Appeal by Carolyn Mahaney
- Shopping for Time: How to Do it All and NOT be Overwhelmed by Carolyn Mahaney
- Biblical Womanhood in the Home
- Recovering Biblical Manhood & Womanhood by John Piper & Wayne Grudem
- What He Must Be…If He Wants to Marry my Daughter by Voddie Baucham
- Sex, Romance and the Glory of God: What Every Christian Husband Needs to Know by C.J. Mahaney
- Church Planter: The Man, The Message, The Mission by Darrin Patrick
- The Meaning of Marriage by Tim Keller
- Real Marriage by Mark Driscoll
- The Five Love Languages: The Secret to Love that Lasts by Gary Chapman
- His Needs, Her Needs: Building an Affair Proof Marriage by Willard Harley
- God, Marriage & Family by Andreas Kostenberger
- This Momentary Marriage by John Piper
- Sacred Marriage: What if God Designed Marriage to Make us More Holy Than to Make us Happy? by Gary Thomas
- Going all the Way: Preparing for a Marriage that Goes the Distance by Craig Groeschel
- Boundaries in Dating by Henry Cloud & John Townsend
- Boy Meets Girl by Joshua Harris
- The Sexually Confident Wife: Connecting with Your Husband Mind, Body, Heart & Spirit by Shannon Etheridge
- Intended for Pleasure: Sex Technique & Sexual Fulfillment in Christian Marriage by Ed & Gaye Wheat
- The Sexual Man by Archibald Hart
- Secrets of Eve: Understanding the Mystery of Female Sexuality by Archibald Hart
- Sex and the Supremacy of Christby John Piper
Porn & Sexual Addiction
- Closing the Window: Steps to Living Porn Free by Tim Chester
- Sexual Detox: A Guide for Guys Who are Sick of Porn by Tim Challies
- Wired for Intimacy: How Porn Hijacks the Male Brain by William Struthers
- Sex is not the Problem (Lust is) by Joshua Harris
- Pure Eyes
- www.covenanteyes.comand www.xxxchurch.com 
- Gospel Powered Parenting: How the Gospel Shapes and Transforms Parenting by William Farley
- Gospel Centered Family by Tim Chester
- Family Driven Faith: Doing What it Takes to Raise Sons & Daughters who Walk with God by Voddie Baucham
- Girl Talk: Mother-Daughter Conversations about Biblical Womanhood by Carolyn Mahaney & Nicole Mahaney Whitacre
- Shepherding a Child’s Heart by Paul David Tripp
- Give them Grace: Dazzling Your Kids with the Love of Jesus by Elyse Fitzpatrick
- Strong Fathers, Strong Daughters by Margaret Meeker
- Jesus Storybook Bible: Every Story Whispers His Name by Sally Lloyd-Jones
- Big Truths for Little Kids
- The ESV Student Study Bible
- The ESV Illustrated Family Bible
- Big Thoughts for Little Thinkers
Moving from Your Past
- Total Forgiveness by R.T. Kendall
- You Can Change by Tim Chester
- Redemption: Freed by Jesus from the Idols we Worship and the Wounds we Carry by Mike Wilkerson
- The Prodigal God by Tim Keller
- The Grace of God by Andy Stanley
- How to Forgive Ourselves Totally by R.T. Kendall
 This website is a resource for those who need accountability or are looking for help in being free from a porn addiction.
Here are the 10 theses about Christianity and homosexuality:
- The point is really not homosexuality; the point is the Lordship of Jesus.
- Our stance on this issue may be one of the most important tests of faithfulness in our generation.
- The loss of gender identity has devastating consequences for society.
- God loves the homosexual.
- God doesn’t send people to hell for homosexuality.
- We speak as redeemed sinners, not saints.
- Just because you’re ticking people off doesn’t mean you are doing something wrong.
- Avoid pat answers or simplistic statements.
- We can and should be friends with people who are homosexuals.
- Sexual ethics are not the center of Christianity.
Question: Do you agree? Disagree?
If a woman comes to Revolution with a church background, at some point they usually ask, “Why doesn’t Revolution have a women’s ministry?” This is not an accident or an oversight, in fact, it is a very specific decision we made when we started.
3 Reasons we Don’t Do Women’s Bible Studies
The first reason has to do with a desire to be simple. Our goal from the beginning has been to stay away from becoming the church that does a thousand programs, keeping people at church every night of the week. I was on staff at a church that said, “Our goal is to have people at church 6-7 nights a week.” Having options, while it can be helpful, also very quickly muddies the waters of what matters.
The second has to do with our desire to reach men. One of the things that happens with a women’s ministry, for married women, is that they no longer need their husband for their spiritual or relational needs. While many women join a women’s bible study for this purpose, the bible study actually keeps her husband from stepping up and fulfilling his role to pastor his wife and lead her spiritually. Men are good at doing as little as possible, so if a man’s wife is getting her spiritual needs met somewhere else (a women’s bible study), he will sit back and do nothing. I’ve seen this in a variety of couples, but also in looking at many of the women who attend women’s bible studies.
The third reason has to do with splitting couples up too much. Often, as I stated above, many women who attend a bible study, her husband does not attend a bible study. You actually begin to create an atmosphere where a husband and wife are growing at different levels, learning different things and ultimately, you start to move them in different directions at different speeds.
What we Do at Revolution
The first thing we do is challenge men and women to be who God called and created them to be. We challenge the men of our church to step up and lead their homes, to be servant leaders, pastoring their families. We challenge single men to have integrity, lead themselves well so they are ready to lead a women well. We provide resources every week for families to dive into scripture together, for couples to open the bible and for the husbands to lead them well. Instead of throwing men into the deep end of the pool alone, we hand them resources.
The second thing is in our missional communities. Our MC’s study the sermon in more depth. Instead of learning something new, couples sit together in church, hear the same sermon, then talk through it during the week in community. One of the reasons men often don’t lead their families well is they are afraid they won’t do a good job at it. This is the benefit of the resources we create each week and studying the sermon in MC’s.
The third thing is what we call DNA relationships. In the context of an MC, people will begin to get to know each other. In that context, we encourage 2-3 people of the same gender to meet together outside of an MC for shepherding, encouragement, prayer, accountability and deeper community. For me, the benefit of DNA cannot be overstated.
What if I really want a women’s bible study?
After talking through this with couples, some women are skeptical and ask, “What if I really want a women’s bible study?” My answer, “Go to one.” We have women who go to other churches for MOPS, meet with women on the air force base for this.
As a church, we just don’t do it.
One thing I always tell people about this topic or anything associated with our vision and values. You may disagree with it, but you can’t tell me it doesn’t work. What we’ve seen are men (single or married) step up and lead well. Learn to have integrity, shepherd their wives well, disciple their kids. We’ve seen single women get discipled in their MC through the couple leading their MC or another woman in their MC.
While it is different than many churches, our desire for life-on-life discipleship, the benefits and the results have been incredible.
One of the driving forces of Revolution Church from day one has been to challenge men to step up to the plate and be the men God has called and created them to be. Dr. Evans gets it right, you can trace many of the problems and issues in our culture back to the home and absence of men.
Here are a few stats:
- 70% of all prisoners come from fatherless homes.
- 80% of all rapists with anger problems come from fatherless homes.
- 71% of all high school dropouts come from fatherless homes.
- 63% of all teen suicides occur in homes where the father was either abusive or absent.
- Virtually every adult social pathology has been linked to either fatherless homes or homes with a father and/or husband who was absent, abusive, or neglectful.
Here are a few things that jumped out from the book:
- A kingdom man is the kind of man that when his feet hit the floor each morning the devil says, “Oh crap, he’s up!”
- When a kingdom man steps out his door each day, heaven, earth, and hell take notice. When he protects the woman under his care, she can do little to resist him. His children look to him with confidence. Other men look to him as someone to emulate. His church calls on him for strength and leadership. He is a preserver of culture and a champion of society to keep out evil and usher in good. A kingdom man understands that God never said a godly life would be easy, He just said it would be worth it.
- If you are man, like it or not, you are a leader by position. It could be that you are a horrible one by practice, but by position, you have been called to lead.
- Every area of life should feel the impact of a kingdom man’s presence.
- Any man who blames his wife for the chaos in his home without simultaneously accepting responsibility for addressing it is publicly declaring his lack of biblical manhood.
- Pornography use is one of the greatest indicators that a man has lost touch with his own manhood since he has to piggyback on the intimacy of others.
- When a kingdom man rules his realm well, everyone benefits.
- As a man, when you have demonstrated to a woman, children, or people within your sphere of influence that you are dependable, responsible, and that you take ownership to fix, solve, or simply carry the burden of that which cannot be solved, you have freed them to rest. You have freed them to relax because they know that they can trust the man who has proven to them through past actions that he’s got it.
- If a man is out of alignment with God’s prescription for kingdom manhood, it not only messes him up, but it can also mess up anyone or everyone else who comes into contact with him, especially if they fall under his authority.
- Being a kingdom man involves exercising authority and responsibility along with wisdom and compassion. A kingdom man intentionally aligns his life, choices, thoughts, and actions under the lordship of Jesus Christ.
- While it is the rare woman who will admit her age, it has become the rare man who will act his age.
- What woman wants to be intimate with someone whom she has to clean up after, wake up for church, and babysit. Her rationale is that if he can be a man in bed, then why can’t he be a man in the living room, at the office, with the finances, as a father, or in the marital relationship?
- Headship isn’t about essence or being; it is about function.
- Headship and covering work both ways. A man covers a woman because Christ covers a man. To hold a woman accountable to something that you yourself are not willing to do is a double standard, and it is one of the major reasons that cause the breakdown of the family. If a man is expecting a woman to be answerable to him, she should see him modeling that same principle by being answerable to God’s headship as well.
- A husband is to be his wife’s savior in the sense that he sacrifices his life for her well-being.
- Along with being your wife’s savior, a husband is to sanctify his wife.
- To sanctify something means to set it apart as special and unique. A man sanctifies his wife over time through discipling her and providing a place where she is safe to grow and develop into the creation God made her to be.
- A kingdom husband satisfies his wife.
- The first step to learning how to satisfy your wife is in understanding her. Study her. Get to know her. Find out what makes her tick, what motivates her, and what inspires her. Discover what her dreams are and how they connect with your own.
- The time you spend with your family as a man should never be a second thought. It should always be your first thought.
While there are more and more books on what biblical manhood is, this one hits it on the mark. Definitely worth picking up if as a man you are struggling to figure out how to lead your family well.
In honor of preaching on the topic of marriage at Revolution this past Saturday and this coming Saturday, I thought I’d repost some of the more helpful things I’ve written on the topics of marriage, dating, sexuality, roles, communication and others topics related to marriage.
Andreas J. Kostenberger’s book God, Marriage and Family is the most thorough book on what the Bible says about marriage, roles, divorce, family, kids.
He has a chapter about what the Old Testament says about family, but focused specifically on the role of the father/man in the family. This topic usually goes one of two ways in conversations: it either holds the man up as a dictator which is the abusive side of this, or, it says that men should not lead because that is discrimination against the women.
The book lists 9 things that men did in the Old Testament when it came to marriage/family. While all of them don’t have specific application for today, many of them do. After each one I’ll share some thoughts.
- Personally modeling strict personal fidelity to God.Too many churches have taught a feminine version of Christianity. One that makes men out to be pansies. We have taken the adventure and risk out of faith and made it about what we know for certain and what we can control. In turn, men have run from churches. So, most men have no personal faith to pass on. So it starts with an understanding of what God calls men to and living that out. You can’t pass on to anyone something that you aren’t. Being a Christian should be so obvious that you never have to tell anyone about it. For example, I never have to say, “I’m a Steelers fan.” Everyone knows.
- Leading the family in the national festivals, nurturing the memory of Israel’s salvation. Men need to remind their families of what God has done for them in the past. When God saved you, when you were baptized, how God has provided for you financially and protected you as a family/couple. Keep this in front of your family.
- Instructing the family in the traditions of the exodus and the Scriptures. What immediately comes to mind is a Bible study. For us, we have tried to make this more natural. Katie and I have tried to take the ways we connect to God and share those with our kids. When we pray the office, we do this with our kids. I love music, so we use music to teach our kids about God. If you love to hike, take your kids hiking and talk about how God made everything. The lessons that stick with kids are the unplanned lessons. Pray with them, share with them what God is teaching you, talk through their questions. Ava was mad on Saturday because she had to stop swimming so we could do the baptism, so we had a natural opportunity to share with her what baptism was all about. She understood but still wanted to swim.
- Managing the land in accordance with the law. This can be taking care of the environment or paying your taxes, house payments, bills, etc. Do you fall behind consistently on your bills? What does that say about you? This gets into how you manage your finances. Now, in our family, Katie pays the bills, but I am a part of what happens and we talk about everything. I have not abdicated that to her.
- Providing for the family’s basic needs for food, shelter, clothing and rest. This is self explanatory, but one thought, do you make enough money to provide for your family? Sure, you could always make more money and there are more things you would like to buy. Maybe you need to tone down your budget so that you are able to live on what you make. What has to happen so you can live on one income? Here’s a great resource coming up at Revolution.
- Defending the household against outside threats. This is not just protecting your family from harm, it’s that, but so much more. Are you protecting your family from sin or are you bringing it into your house? Are you teaching your kids about what sin is, what to avoid or are you hoping they pick it up somewhere or the church does that for you since it sounds hard? Are you keeping your family balanced when it comes to the calendar? Too many families just do everything without thinking about it. But you may say, “My wife keeps our calendar.” That may be, but I’ll explain in a minute why that doesn’t matter and why that is a lame excuse for living a frantic life.
- Serving as elder and representing the household in the official assemby of citizens. Are you striving to be an influencer in your local church or are you sitting on the sideline? Remember, what you are, you pass on (read #1 again). If you are not involved at church in a group, serving, going to church, giving back to God financially, your kids won’t. It is that simple. If you don’t passionately follow God, don’t get mad when your kids don’t. It is no one’s fault but your own.
- Maintaining family members’ well-being and harmonious operation of the family unit. This one gets tricky. Think about it like this, if your wife has a conflict with your mom, whose side are you on? Some may say, “I’ll try to play the mediator so they can work it out.” Sorry, but that is unbiblical. When you got married, you became one with your wife, her problem is your problem. She may be wrong, but you will defend her position to the death in public. Now privately you can tell her, “You are wrong” but in public, she is right.
- Implementing decisions made at the clan or tribal level. When you make a decision as a family to get out of debt, buy a house, set a goal. It is your job to make sure it happens. If you get off track, you get back on track.
That list is overwhelming. We have not even discussed what a wife/woman is supposed to be and do. You may think, I don’t want to do those things. I wish you well when you tell God that. This is what the Scriptures call us, consequently, this is what God calls us to as men/husbands/fathers.
For me, it is something to shoot for, a challenge to rise to. I love that. I get to become this.
If you are single, what woman does not want a husband who does these things? If you are married, your wife is dreaming of the day you will become these things. If you don’t believe me, show her this list.
Last week I read through Voddie Baucham’s book Family Shepherds. Like his other books (Family Driven Faith and What He Must Be…If He wants to Marry my Daughter), it was a fast read but packed a lot into it.
There are not a lot of books out there that actually call men to be men in a biblical way. It either comes off as calling men to continue to abdicate their God given role and be weak, or to continue to abuse that role through sin. Most books about what God calls men and women to be spend most of their time saying, “This is what submission and leadership are not” but then never really say what it is. On top of this, most men and women who follow Jesus genuinely want to know what the Bible calls them to be. Most men want to lead their families, they are just not sure how.
If that’s you, Voddie Baucham’s books are a great place to start, particularly this one. The book is broken up into 4 parts: what the Bible calls husbands and fathers (family shepherds is what he calls them) to be, how to disciple your wife and kids, building a foundation in your marriage, and then how to evaluate your life and pace to fulfill what God has called you to.
What is a family shepherd? Baucham said he uses the term for a number of reasons, “It reminds me of the goal of my work. I’m shepherding my children toward Christ. My goal is not to raise children who conform to my hopes, wishes, dreams, or standards; my goal is to raise children who walk in the “discipline and instruction of the Lord” (Eph. 6:4).”
Overall, the book was incredibly helpful for me. While some parts are things he has written on in other places, I especially found the chapters on family worship and discipline to be helpful. Katie and I have been talking through how you parent with the gospel instead of moralism (stop doing this, do that). The chapters on discipline were helpful in this way.
One of the other things that I learned was how important prioritizing your marriage over your children is. While I know this, have preached on it, Baucham added a reason I never thought of. I’ve said his first 2 reasons in sermons before: your kids will leave one day so they can’t be the foundation of your marriage and prioritizing your marriage over your kids brings security to your kids lives. The third reason he gave was important to me, when he pointed out that as parents you are training your kids to be married. While I knew this, it is easy to forget that I am teaching my kids through my marriage to be married.
Here are a few other things that jumped out:
- Discipling our children is not about teaching them to behave in a way that won’t embarrass us. We’re working toward something much more important than that. We’re actually raising our children with a view toward leading them to trust and to follow Christ.
- We must not present the gospel to our children as though it were a fairy tale. They must know that these are truths worthy to be believed. These things are verifiable; they really happened. Moreover, because they really happened, their implications are inescapable.
- We must know the difference between what the gospel requires and what the gospel produces.
- Family shepherds must see the spiritual leadership of their families as their God-given duty. This is not a program! This is the responsibility God has laid at the doorstep of every man who carries the title father. Those who neglect the spiritual welfare of their families are therefore derelict in their duties in the same way a hired hand would be if he were caught sleeping on the job.
- A seismic shift is represented by changing the focus from one that says, “I’m a lawyer, and that defines the way my family is shaped,” to one that says, “My wife and I entered a covenant relationship designed to bring forth, train, and launch a generation of godly offspring, and that’s going to direct all the rest of my decisions.” This isn’t to say men should slack off at work. It is, however, to say that they should not slack off at home (something we almost never hear). This is a radical change of perspective.
- There are at least 3 reasons that make prioritizing our children over our marriage both foolish and dangerous. First, our children will eventually leave home – and if they’re the foundation of our family, then their departure will mean our family’s demise. Second, our marriage forms the cornerstone of our children’s security. Finally, one of our primary goals is to prepare our children for marriage.
- The greatest source of security our children have in this world is a God-honoring, Christ-centered marriage between their parents.
Here is an interview Voddie did about the book.
I highly recommend this book to men who are looking for ways to lead their families or are unsure about how to do it.