FamilyLife Today® Podcast

Discovering Biblical Leadership

with Voddie Baucham | October 10, 2012
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Will the young man who marries your daughter know how to lead her? Pastor Voddie Baucham explains why a young man must be able to lead in love, righteousness, and intimacy in order to be a good husband.

  • Show Notes

  • About the Host

  • About the Guest

  • Will the young man who marries your daughter know how to lead her? Pastor Voddie Baucham explains why a young man must be able to lead in love, righteousness, and intimacy in order to be a good husband.

  • Dave and Ann Wilson

    Dave and Ann Wilson are hosts of FamilyLife Today®, FamilyLife’s nationally-syndicated radio program. Dave and Ann have been married for more than 38 years and have spent the last 33 teaching and mentoring couples and parents across the country. They have been featured speakers at FamilyLife’s Weekend to Remember® marriage getaway since 1993 and have also hosted their own marriage conferences across the country. Cofounders of Kensington Church—a national, multicampus church that hosts more than 14,000 visitors every weekend—the Wilsons are the creative force behind DVD teaching series Rock Your Marriage and The Survival Guide To Parenting, as well as authors of the recently released book Vertical Marriage (Zondervan, 2019). Dave is a graduate of the International School of Theology, where he received a Master of Divinity degree. A Ball State University Hall of Fame quarterback, Dave served the Detroit Lions as chaplain for 33 years. Ann attended the University of Kentucky. She has been active alongside Dave in ministry as a speaker, writer, small-group leader, and mentor to countless wives of professional athletes. The Wilsons live in the Detroit area. They have three grown sons, CJ, Austin, and Cody, three daughters-in-law, and a growing number of grandchildren.

Will the young man who marries your daughter know how to lead her?

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Discovering Biblical Leadership

With Voddie Baucham
October 10, 2012
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Bob:  If a dad is going to be involved in his teenage daughter’s life—guiding, guarding, protecting her—there are going to be times when that dad is going to have to step in and make some unpopular decisions.  Here’s Voddie Baucham.

Voddie:  A lot of dads are uncomfortable with it.  They are uncomfortable with the way their daughters are dressing.  They are uncomfortable with the way their daughters conduct themselves around young men.  They are uncomfortable with the way young men are too familiar with their daughters.  But our culture has come along and whispered into their ears, “Now, you know, that’s the way things are.  You are just overprotective.  You need to let them—”  That’s a lie.  It’s an absolute lie.  We have completely abdicated our responsibility; and as a result, we have an epidemic of unprotected women in our culture. 

Bob:  This is FamilyLife Today for Wednesday, October 10th.  Our host is the President of FamilyLife®, Dennis Rainey, and I am Bob Lepine.  We are going to give some dads some courage today to be the protectors of their daughters, even if their daughter is saying, “I don’t want your protection.”  We’ll talk about that today.  Stay tuned.

And welcome to FamilyLife Today.  Thanks for joining us.  I have a suspicion there may be some daughters who just said, “Daddy, let’s listen to a different station today” you know? — “instead of this one we’ve been listening to.  Let’s just tune out and listen to something different.  Maybe some music would be good.”


Dennis:  Oh, Bob, daughters wouldn’t do that.  [Laughter]

Dennis:  They wouldn’t push back against the idea of a daddy interviewing their date and then maybe going on to qualify the young man who is going to take them as his bride. [Laughter]

Bob:  Now, wait just a second.  You raised four daughters; right?

Dennis:  I did.

Bob:  Was there ever any pushback?

Dennis:  Oh, oh yes.  There wasn’t pushback.  There was very stimulating discussion—stimulating discussion—four daughters.  There were different times in their lives when they thought it was a good idea; other times when they weren’t quite as sure about the whole thing.

Bob:  We have been having a very stimulating discussion this week with the author of a book called What He Must Be...if He Wants to Marry My Daughter

Dennis:  Voddie Baucham joins us again on FamilyLife Today.  Voddie, welcome back.

Voddie:  Thank you.  It’s good to be back.

Dennis:  Voddie is a pastor.  He is a conference speaker, a professor, writer, and he’s been a frequent guest, here, on FamilyLife Today

Earlier, Voddie, we talked about how a young man needs to be a follower of Christ. 

Voddie:  Yes.

Dennis:  You follow up that qualification with another one that is tied to being a follower of Christ.  He needs to know how to lead like Christ.  Explain what you mean by that.

Voddie:  Yes, absolutely.  If you look in Ephesians, Chapter 5, and you look at the list of qualifications, really, for a husband—you look at this picture of what it means to be a Christ-like leader—basically, to lead a wife as Christ leads the church.  You find that the picture is not just about a guy who pounds his chest and, “Me man; you woman—me speak; you do.”  He’s to lead in love.  He’s to lead in the Word.  He’s to lead in righteousness.  He’s to lead in selflessness, and he is to lead in intimacy. 

Most guys don’t understand servant-leadership from that perspective.  So, it’s very important that when we talk about the way a husband is supposed to lead, we don’t just take the culture’s definition of leadership and superimpose that on the Scriptures.  We have to get into the Word of God to determine what biblical leadership in the home looks like; and then look for an individual who understands that, as opposed to just the cultural norm.

Bob:  You have already shared with us this week that you never saw a picture of what biblical leadership in the home looks like—

Voddie:  Absolutely.

Bob:  —from a father, from a husband.  So, how did you get that picture drawn for you?


Voddie:  You know, what my wife and I did was—we found people who did marriage well.  We hung around them until they told us, “It’s enough.”  We really did.  We found some people.  There were a couple of teammates of mine at Rice University who came from some pretty solid families.  We just found ourselves gravitating towards those folks and gravitating toward people in our church, also, for example—who did marriage well.

Also, reading the Scriptures and trying to figure out who it is that we were supposed to be, and how it is that we are supposed to live and function within these roles.  Part of the problem was we didn’t know what we didn’t know, but we knew that we didn’t want to reproduce what we had seen in our homes of origin. 


Bob:  I’m sensing, though, that you are a pretty natural leader; right?  You are kind of a take-charge kind of guy; aren’t you? 


Voddie:  You know, really, I’m not.  I’m kind of a wall flower.

Bob:  Oh, come on!  Come on!  You are not pulling that over—[Laughter] —but 20 years ago, were you a take-charge—?

Voddie:  Oh, yes; always.

Dennis:  Were you authoritarian, back then?

Voddie:   In my personality, or do you mean in our marriage?

Dennis:  In your marriage.

Voddie:  No, no.  I really wasn’t.  I really wasn’t authoritarian in my marriage—partly because I married a very strong woman, and partially because I did not want to be the negative pictures that I saw.

Dennis:  So you had enough savvy to figure out you needed to get a mentor.  You didn’t know what you didn’t know—so, you’re going to attach yourself to somebody who did.

Voddie:  Yes.

Dennis:  I would say to the single people, who are listening, that—again, we’re addressing fathers about their responsibility to interview and prequalify the young man who’s going to get their daughter in marriage.  To the single man, who is listening in, who may feel a deficit in some of these areas—you’re saying, “Find someone that you respect in this area and come close to them for a season.”

Voddie:  Absolutely.

Dennis:  It may develop into a lifetime friendship; but a year or two of being discipled by an older man who knows how to lead his wife and love his wife well.  That would be a great assignment.

Voddie:  Absolutely; and here’s the thing—these same young men are willing to spend $100,000 to be discipled by a university so that they can get a good job at the end of it.  They need to be willing to spend a few hours being discipled by a man who will lead them toward Christ-likeness at the end of it.

Bob:  Do you think most men today drift in the direction of being abusive, authoritarian, lording leaders; or do you think most men just drift toward being couch potatoes?

Dennis:  Passivity.

Voddie:  Yes, men in our culture have been feminized.  One of the products of the feminist movement in our culture—two things—one, we are not raising women any more.  We are raising men who happen to be biologically capable of having children.  

Secondly, we are not raising men any more.  Okay?  We are raising these guys, who from the time that they are small, are taught to see women as completely like them in every way.  Women are not to be protected.  They are to be competed with.  This radical feminist agenda has actually produced a generation of men who believe that it is evil to be what the Bible says a man is supposed to be.  As a result of it, you have a bunch of women who are desperate to be led and a bunch of men who have no idea how to do it. 

Bob:  We’ve already described this week that one of the things a guy must be, if he wants to marry your daughter, is somebody who can clearly articulate the Gospel.  We’ve heard you do that and thought, “Well, that rules out a whole bunch of guys.” 

Now, we have to get a guy who can clearly articulate the Gospel, and who can swim against the cultural tide, and fight against the programming of the feminist culture and say, “I’m ready to be a man.”  You are basically saying with your book, “My daughter will never marry;” right?  [Laughter]  Is that—I mean, that’s the conclusion somebody could draw from reading this.

Voddie:  And that’s why, again, we’ve talked about—if you can’t find one, build one because I recognize that we are not raising young men like this—which gets to another one of the purposes for the book—that’s clearly outlined in the book—is that this is a road map for how we raise our sons because that is part of the problem. 

You look at this and we say, “Okay fine.  I agree this is what we are supposed to be looking for in a young man, but that’s not out there.”  Well, that’s an indictment against the way people, who call themselves followers of Christ, have been raising their sons for generations now.  

Dennis:  To that point, there are young men like this.   


Voddie:  Absolutely. 

Dennis:   There really are.  We are kind of spoofing the fact that there is no one out there.  There are lots of young men who have grown up in homes that have been trained—

Voddie:  That’s right. 

Dennis:  —and who do know how to sacrificially love and lead another person, and have been in training to be a great husband, for a number of years.  

Voddie:  That’s right.  They are out there.  They are out there.

Bob:  So, the guy has got to be follower of Christ.  He’s got to understand what it means to lead and be ready to step up with that.

Dennis:   And Voddie, a part of leading is taking responsibility for a subject that young men today—this is a tough one for them—intimacy. 

Voddie:  Yes.

Dennis:  They move to one thing, and you are really calling them to another.  Explain what you mean there.

Voddie:  For men, in our culture, intimacy is a three-letter word that begins with “S” and it ends with “X”.  That’s all they think of; but there is this picture in the Old Testament, carried over again in the New Testament, in Genesis 2 and Ephesians, Chapter 5, “Therefore a man shall leave his mother and his father and cleave to his wife.” 

The picture of intimacy there is this picture that begins with the commitment—the leaving and the cleaving—and leads to the one flesh.  Unfortunately, in our culture, we have it backwards.  We have people who want to become one flesh for a while to see if they are really interested in really leaving and cleaving.  As a result, they are undermining the intimacy in their marriage because the commitment is not what is there first. 

I talk, in the book, about this protection of intimacy from the outside and then on the inside.  From the outside, that means that we protect the marriage relationship from all invaders, foreign and domestic. 

Dennis:  Such as?

Voddie:  Such as foreign invaders—my buddies that I used to hang out with before I got married.  Haven’t we all heard that?  “I don’t know what she is so upset about.  I was hanging out with those guys long before I ever met her.”  Key phrase, “Before you met her.”  Okay?  Now, she is prioritized above all those outside relationships—not just foreign, but domestic—the in-laws!  I have to protect my marriage against the in-laws—against my own parents, and against my kids! 

I tell my children all the time, “Mommy and Daddy are committed to one another.  We come first; you don’t!”  They have to understand that.  Our marriage is the foundation upon which our children’s security is built.  For us to prioritize our children above our marriage is actually to undermine our children. 

Bob:   I have spoken to a lot of couples and reminded them that one of the phrases in the traditional wedding vow is—

Voddie:  “...forsaking all others.” 

Bob:  —“...forsaking all others.”   And I have said, “That means your kids.  That means your parents.  That means your siblings.  That means the allegiance here is primary.” 

But when the kids come along, and they are so helpless, and they are so needy, and your husband or your wife seems more self-sufficient than those kids, you can see how a mom’s heart gets drawn away or how a dad begins to prioritize his kids ahead of his spouse; right?

Voddie:  Absolutely; absolutely.  That’s why it is so important that we set these priorities.  It’s so important that we have these things understood and discussed long beforehand.  It’s very important that our worldview lens is adjusted in this direction so that we protect ourselves and protect the intimacy in our marriage.  This is an area, quite frankly, where men, in our culture, are not prepared to lead. 

Dennis:  Let’s talk about protecting the young lady from the intimacy before marriage because, as a dad, you may be observing a young man who is being just a little too physically friendly with your daughter. 

Voddie:  Yes; yes. 

Dennis:  Now, I’m sure this has never happened; but what would you say to a young man if you felt like he was being too familiar with your daughter?

Voddie:  I’d say, “You are being too familiar with my daughter.”  [Laughter]

Bob:  All he would have to do is look at Voddie Baucham, former college football tight end— 

Dennis:  Six—how tall are you?

Voddie:  On the radio, I am 6’8”.  [Laughter]  Yes.

Dennis:  He’s not 6’8”, but he is more than 6 foot!

Voddie:  I’m telling you 6’3”. 

Dennis:  Six-three—that’s what—

Bob:  He would look 6’8” to that young man.  If you said, “You’re being too familiar,” I think he would respond by saying, “Yes, sir, Mr. Baucham.”  He’d back off; wouldn’t he?

Voddie:  Yes, absolutely.

Dennis:  But to this point—dads need to be there, in the relationship!  They can’t just fall over—and as you said earlier—be a cheap suit and just fold.

Voddie:  Yes; absolutely.  You can’t do that.  It all goes back to understanding our responsibilities, and dads do not comprehend this.  Here’s the other thing.  A lot of dads are uncomfortable with it.  They are uncomfortable with the way their daughters are dressing.  They are uncomfortable with the way their daughters conduct themselves around young men.  They are uncomfortable with the way young men are too familiar with their daughters. 

But our culture has come along and whispered into their ears, “Now, you know, that’s the way things are.  You are just overprotective. You need to let them—”   That’s a lie!  It’s an absolute lie.  We have completely abdicated our responsibility.  As a result, we have an epidemic of unprotected women in our culture. 


Bob:  You’ve said that a young man is going to have to be a follower of Christ.  He’s going to have to be someone who understands what spiritual leadership looks like—understands the priority of the marriage relationship, if he is going to enter into it.  You also believe he needs to value children.  If a young man comes and says, “Yes, kids—I’m okay with having kids,” but there is not really a desire or priority for that.  Are you saying, “Not my daughter”?

Voddie:  Bye, bye. 


Dennis:  Really?

Voddie:  Yes, because that is one of the purposes of the thing.  Okay?  He’s telling me he doesn’t understand the purpose of the thing.  So, when we are getting married—when we look, for example, in Malachi—why is God so upset in Malachi with these people who are unfaithful to the wife of their youth?  What was He after?  He was after—

Bob:  —a godly—

Voddie:  —a godly offspring.  Okay?  That’s one of the purposes of the thing.   “Be fruitful and multiply.”  This idea here is not one that is sort of, “Maybe; maybe not.  Whatever, depending on—”   No!  That’s one of the purposes of the thing.

Bob:  You talk about a couple in the book, Jim and Debbie, who were on opposite ends of this issue.  It was a problem; right?

Voddie:  Yes.  I watched it happen.  I sat down with this couple, and I’m having a conversation with this couple.  I’m looking at this woman who is crushed.  Her spirit is crushed!   These are Christian people, okay?  I’m looking at this man and he’s saying, “Listen, we agreed, before we got married, no children.  She agreed to it.” 

Now, here’s the back story.   He had stolen four years of her life.  Okay?  Finally—in order for her—after giving four years of her life to this man—finally, for him to pull the trigger and marry her—he basically corners her and says, “Well, we’d have to agree that there aren’t going to be any children.”

Bob:  He blackmailed her, basically.

Voddie:  He blackmailed her.  He blackmailed her!  So now, several years later, every time she sees a baby, she’s breaking down crying; alright?  He’s going, “Hey, we had a deal here.  We had an agreement.”  I’m pushing hard after a couple of conversations.  I am like, “Now, wait a minute.  What does it mean to love your wife?” He looks at me and he says, “I don’t know that I want to answer that question.”  I said, “Why?” He said, “Because if I answer that question, ultimately, you are going to get me to the place where I have to admit that the loving thing to do would be to give her children.  I don’t want to answer that question.” 

Dennis:  Oh, my goodness.

Voddie:  Dude, you just answered the question!  Okay?  Anyway, to make a long story short, I sit here and this guy basically says—I’ like, “You know that you could lose this woman.  She’s checking out.”  I see this happening.  He says, “I understand.”  That couple got divorced, within a year of that encounter, all because he dug in his heals and said, “No children.”  

Dennis:  Now, I want to go back to what you said earlier when Bob asked you the question, “What would happen if a young man wasn’t interested in having children?”  Your response was, “Bye, bye.” 

Voddie:  Bye, bye.  [Laughter]

Dennis:  I know what you are saying, “What is there unclear about what I just said?”  But would you—I’m going to make just a theoretical situation here.  If you had a young man who was really tracking with you, and he understands what Christ did for him at the cross, and he understands how to lead.  He’s showing a heart for God, and he’s like I was when I was first married.  I didn’t have a big heart for children.   I would say I got a heart transplant from the Scriptures from a man who discipled me.  Wouldn’t you, as a father, if you saw green lights in almost every other area, wouldn’t you put your arm around that young man and say, “You know, young man, let’s come and let’s—”

Voddie:  I would treat it like every other one of these qualifications:  Can’t find one? Build one.  I’d treat it like every other one of these qualifications.

Dennis:   “Let’s reason together from the Scriptures.”

Voddie:  Yes, absolutely.

Dennis:  Let’s talk about this a bit.  The Scriptures—when they declare, “Behold the fruit of the womb is a reward, a gift from—”   Where?

Voddie:  From God.

Dennis:  God.  That’s a pretty good gift because the Giver is perfect.  I think you are right.  I think this culture has really missed the good gifts of God. 

Voddie:  Yes.  We are so far away on this—that immediately, when you say something like this, people go to the extreme.  They say, “Well, wait a minute!  Are you saying that a person has to have 49 kids in order to be godly?”  That’s not what I said.  I said, “Our attitude toward children has to be a biblical one.”  That’s what I am saying.  We have to have a biblical attitude toward children.   

Dennis:  We are not dictating the size of the quiver. 

Voddie:  That’s right; that’s right. 

Dennis:  That is up to God to determine.  What we are championing is God’s viewpoint of children. 

Bob:  When you have that kind of viewpoint, then that affects how you shepherd, as a dad.  When you say, “This is a gift from God.  I’m supposed to care for this gift—steward this gift—then you’re going to take a deep breath, and you’re going to muster up some courage in those moments when it’s hard, and you’re going to do what a dad needs to do.

That’s what Voddie has outlined in the book, What He Must Be...if He Wants to Marry My Daughter—a good book for dads to read through as they understand their responsibilities—our responsibilities, as men, in protecting our daughters. 

It brings to mind the books, Dennis, that you’ve written—

Dennis:  Yes.

Bob:  —Interviewing Your Daughter’s Date; and then, the book, Aggressive Girls, Clueless Boys— where you really coach moms and dads in this area to make sure that we are shepherding our kids and making some unpopular decisions as they go through their teen years.  Information is on our website,, about Voddie’s book—about the books from Dennis.  Voddie’s book is called What He Must Be...if He Wants to Marry My Daughter.  Dennis has written Interviewing Your Daughter’s Date and Aggressive Girls, Clueless Boys

I should also mention that Voddie is going to be with us a couple of times in February.  First of all, he’s going to be with us as part of the Stepping Up™ Super Saturday event that takesplace February 2nd, 2013.  We’ve put together a video-based one-day event for men, that’s going to be hosted in hundreds of churches—hopefully, more than a thousand churches, all across the country—where guys can hear from Voddie Baucham, and Matt Chandler, Mark Driscoll, and Tony Dungy, Bill Bennett, Robert Lewis, Dennis Rainey, and other guys, talking about stepping up and being men.

This is something that’s really easy for guys to host.  Everything is delivered on DVD.  The instructions are included with the host kit.  Let me just say, if you have been to or helped host one of our Art of Marriage®events, then you know how easy it is to do.  You also know the kind of quality that we tried to pour into this one-day video event.

You can find out more about the Stepping UpSuper Saturdayevent when you go to and click on the Super Saturday link.  If you get in touch with us this month and let us know that you’re ready to host one of these events, and you can give us the location where the event is going to be hosted, we will send you the video kit free.  All you have to do is pay the shipping.  We’ll send it out to you.

We want as many locations around the country as possible joining with us on this day.  Imagine if there were tens of thousands or even hundreds of thousands of guys on the day before the Super Bowl, Super Saturday, getting trained in biblical manhood from guys like Voddie Baucham and Dennis Rainey.  Go to  Click on the link for the Stepping UpSuper Saturday event, or call us if you’re ready to host one of these events in your church or in your community.  Call 1-800-FL-TODAY; 1-800-358-6329; that’s 1-800-“F” as in family, “L” as in life, and then the word, “TODAY”.  When you get in touch with us, we can answer any questions you might have about this event or we’ll make arrangements to get your Stepping Up Super Saturday event kit sent to you.

I also mentioned that Voddie is going to be with us a couple of times in February.  He’ll be joining us, this year, on the Love Like You Mean Itmarriage cruise that takes place Valentine’s week.  We still have, I think, just a few of the staterooms available.  If you’d like to find out more about the cruise, go to and click on the link you find there, as well.

And I want to say a quick word of thanks to those of you who help support the ministry of FamilyLife Today with your donations.  Those donations help cover the cost of producing and syndicating this daily radio program.  Go to and click on the button that says, “I CARE”.   This month, when you make an online donation to support FamilyLife Today, we’re going to give you your choice of some resources that are designed to help strengthen, and equip, and encourage blended and step-families.  Those resources are outlined.  You can get the information about them online at  Click the “I CARE” button to make an online donation, and then select the resource that you’d like to receive; or call 1-800-FL-TODAY.  Make a donation over the phone, and ask about what resources are available, as a thank-you gift, for blended families.  Again, we’re happy to send those resources out to you.  We very much appreciate your support of the ministry.  Thanks for your partnership with us.

We want to encourage you to be back with us again tomorrow.  Voddie Baucham is going to be here one more day.  We’re going to talk about how we help our daughters and any future son-in-law think rightly about intimacy in marriage, long before they ever get to the point where they’re at the altar.  We’ll talk about that tomorrow.  Hope you can join us.

I want to thank our engineer today, Keith Lynch, and our entire broadcast production team.  On behalf of our host, Dennis Rainey, I'm Bob Lepine.  We will see you back tomorrow for another edition of FamilyLife Today

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