Book Review: “What He Must Be…if he wants to marry my daughter”

I was very excited to read What He Must Be…If He Wants to Marry My Daughter by Voddie Baucham Jr., because I’ve read an excellent book by Dr. Baucham before (Family Driven Faith), and I was curious to see what he had to say about helping your daughter find a good, Christian man to marry (even though I’m no where near ready to think about my two little girls ever getting married!).

I thought that this was another excellent book by Dr. Baucham. It’s a topic that I think a lot of parents either don’t think about or are afraid to approach. In a culture of “falling in love” and “if it feels good, do it,” fathers and mothers have to make a deliberate effort in guiding their children as they look at potential spouses, at instilling in their children what kind of qualities to look for before they marry, and in helping (their sons, particularly), cultivate these qualities in themselves.

I did feel that this book would be especially beneficial for fathers to read, although mothers can gain much from it as well. I also think that fathers and mothers would take away different things from their reading. I’m sure that my perspective on the book is much different from what my husband’s perspective would be were he to read it.

I especially liked the chapter entitled “He Must Be Committed to Children.” When dating or even newly engaged, I’m sure that the topic of children is far from many couple’s minds, and yet a man’s feelings about children, the way he treats them, and his ability to interact with them speak volumes for the kind of man he is, and are a good indicator of the future of the relationship. While it may not be a comfortable thing to consider or discuss, it is a crucial topic, and parents need to be encouraging their daughters to consider it, and raise their sons to care for children.

The only part of the book that really puzzled me was the conclusion. It seemed to focus entirely on race issues, and while I understand that that can be a very important discussion for some families, it seemed like it would have been better discussed in it’s own chapter, instead of a wrap-up to the whole book. It felt a little awkward having the conclusion focused so much on one topic.

You can read more about What He Must Be If He Wants to Marry My Daughter at www.crossway.org/blog

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