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What He Must Be . . . if he wants to marry my daughter Review by Wendy Walker

By Voddie Baucham Jr.
Crossway Books
1300 Crescent Street
Wheaton, Illinois 60187

Will you consent to give your daughter's hand in marriage? To whom? And why? For years Voddie Baucham has been calling men back to their God-ordained roles as fathers, encouraging the protection of wives and daughters and promoting family worship. In his most recent book, What He Must Be . . . if he wants to marry my daughter, Baucham focuses on the key role fathers play in helping their daughters wisely choose a future mate. Highlighting ten qualities that should define a young man prepared for marriage, Baucham offers wise counsel to help both sons and daughters use the Bible as the litmus test for marriage readiness.

In his typical down-to-earth style, Baucham first lays a Scriptural foundation for a multigenerational family vision, explaining why marriage even matters. Delving into God's Word, exegeting passages, and supporting his writing with quotes from early church fathers, creeds, theological works from across the ages, Baucham explains deep truths in accessible ways, adding personal (sometimes humorous) anecdotes. He begins by explaining the ministry of marriage, a father's role in helping his daughter choose a godly young man, and the value of using clear, biblical criteria for evaluating suitors. From the pages of God's Word, Baucham argues that potential suitors must love Christ, lead like Him, and be committed to children. If a man isn't spiritually and practically equipped to be protector, provider, prophet, and priest to a family, then he's unprepared for marriage.

What He Must Be will motivate parents to expose their daughters to men who meet the standards laid out in the book. However, Baucham insightfully recognizes the frustration many young women face: there seems to be a shortage of biblically qualified men. Rather than simply lamenting this state of affairs, Baucham encourages raising sons to biblical manhood, investing in the lives of young men at work and church and molding the characters of young men who may simply need exposure to God's desire and plan for marriage. While no man will be perfectly prepared, Baucham recognizes the influence that families can have. He gives practical suggestions for fathers who desire to come alongside youths so as to encourage them to their high calling of leading and loving well.

While our family thought through the importance of biblical manhood before my husband agreed to our daughter's courtship, What He Must Be would have been a valuable resource as we helped our daughter and son-in-law ready themselves for marriage. With three teenaged sons still at home, we're planning to read the book together and help our sons examine their own lives as they consider what God says they must be. While primarily written to parents, I highly recommend What He Must Be to every young woman contemplating marriage and every young man equipping himself to be a godly leader in his future home.

Product review by Wendy Walker, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, July 2009