Parental Responsibilities for Courtship
The idea of courtship sounds archaic, but is that a fair assessment? See an example of biblical premarital mentoring with Voddie Baucham and his wife, Bridget. Also featuring their daughter Jasmine and her husband, Phillip Holmes.
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The idea of courtship sounds archaic, but is that a fair assessment? See an example of biblical premarital mentoring with Voddie Baucham and his wife, Bridget. Also featuring their daughter Jasmine and her husband, Phillip Holmes.
The idea of courtship sounds archaic, but is that a fair assessment? See an example of biblical premarital mentoring with Voddie Baucham.
Bob: When Phillip Holmes contacted Voddie Baucham and said, “Mr. Baucham, I am interested in a relationship with your daughter that might lead to marriage.”
Dennis: He had to strap on a bullet-proof vest, at that point.
Bob: Well, he had to, at least, get some learning.
Voddie: In order to be a husband, you have basically four jobs / four roles—that of priest, prophet, provider, and protector.
Phillip contacts me and tells me that he’s interested. We spent two weeks, basically, going through each of these four “P’s” to see where Phillip was in terms of his ability to stand in the gap in those roles because, as a father, here is my understanding: “It is my job to be priest, prophet, provider, and protector in Jasmine’s life. If I was going to hand that over to another man, and he wasn’t able to do those jobs, that meant I was failing in those jobs.”
Bob: This is FamilyLife Today for Wednesday, March 4th. Our host is the President of FamilyLife®, Dennis Rainey, and I’m Bob Lepine. We’ll find out today what it took for Jasmine Baucham to become Mrs. Jasmine Holmes. Stay tuned.
And welcome to FamilyLife Today. Thanks for joining us on the Wednesday edition. You know, there is something about a nice getaway, as a couple, where you can relax and unwind and just enjoy being together. You mix in with that some profound biblical instruction and some life-on-life ministry—that just makes for a powerful week.
Dennis: And then, add a bunch of laughter, a lot of great entertainers/musicians—I mean, Bob, it is a slam dunk!
Bob: What you are talking about is the FamilyLife Love Like You Mean It® marriage cruise, which we just wrapped up a couple weeks ago.
Dennis: I’m still rocking from the musicians and the boat.
Bob: We had about a thousand couples, who joined us, as we headed off for a week-long cruise together—this was Valentine’s week. I’ll tell you—it was just a great week.
Dennis: It was. It was a lot of fun as we just mentioned. You underestimate going on a vacation where you get some good solid instruction, but leaves you plenty of time to go to the movies, to go out to dinner multiple times. The good thing is you don’t have to do any dishes. [Laughter] I mean, this is the best of all worlds—it really is kind of a mountaintop experience on the high seas.
Bob: Our listeners are going to get a chance, today, to hear some of what was shared during a morning devotional on the Love Like You Mean It marriage cruise a couple of weeks ago. Voddie Baucham and his wife Bridget and his daughter, Jasmine, with her husband Phillip Holmes—Jasmine and Phillip are newlyweds—they got married back in October. So, when I talked to Voddie, ahead of time, about this devotional, I said, “Why don’t you share about the journey?—the courtship / the whole process.”
Dennis: Their devotional is real. It’s very honest in terms of how it all came about. And I’ll tell you—this is a great illustration of what every man needs to, frankly, assume as his responsibility—as he protects, as he provides, as he guides his daughter toward marriage / or for that matter, his son. I just think there are some great principles in here, Bob, as they tell their story—that every mom and dad will be able to glean something from.
Bob: Before we listen to them share, let me just remind our listeners that next year’s Love Like You Mean It marriage cruise—which, again, will be Valentine’s week—it’s half full. So, if you are interested / if you think you are interested, this is a good week to sign up because I talked with our team—and we’ve been able to arrange a special rate for FamilyLife Today listeners, who sign up this week. You can go to our website, which is FamilyLifeToday.com.
Click the button that says, “GO DEEPER,” at the top of the page. The information is right there about the Love Like You Mean It marriage cruise. We’d love to have you join us next February on the cruise.
Right now, though, let’s listen to Voddie and Bridget Baucham and their daughter, Jasmine, and son-in-law, Phillip, talk about the path from the first “Hello,” all the way up to the “I do.”
[Recorded Message from Cruise]
Voddie: Our assignment this morning was to talk about the issue of preparing our children for marriage. Bridget and I have been married for over 25 years—almost 26 years. We have one child who has walked into the realm of marriage—I’ve written about that. One of my books, in fact, was entitled, “What He Must Be: ...If He Wants to Marry My Daughter.” So, we’ve dealt with that in a number of different ways. I wanted to talk about that a little bit with Bridget and then maybe hear a little bit from Jasmine and from our new son-in-law, Phillip, because I’m asked, all the time, about how Bridget feels about this process /
what she thinks about this process and what Jasmine thought about this process.
Phillip’s been travelling with me for several months now. Everywhere we go, people are coming up to Phillip, asking him how terrifying it must have been and how awful it must have been. We look at each other like, “Yes, I don’t think people understand us at all.”
I first want to read this passage of Scripture from Jeremiah 29—we know
Jeremiah 29:11. We don’t really know it’s context very well; but as Israel is going into Babylonian captivity, God gives instructions to His people about the way that they are to live during this time of captivity / during this time of being away from the Land of Promise in a home that’s not their permanent home—which is exactly the way we find ourselves, as followers of Christ.
He says, “Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel”—verse 4—“to all the exiles whom I have sent into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon, build houses and live in them, plant gardens and eat their produce, take wives and have sons and daughters, take wives for your sons and give your daughters in marriage that they may bear sons and daughters and multiply there and do not decrease; but seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile and pray to the Lord on its behalf. For in its welfare, you will find welfare.”
And it’s interesting, Alistair Begg, one of my favorite preachers—Alistair Begg is from Scotland, and I love him dearly. He’s a wonderful friend of mine. I heard Alistair say something once in a message that just stuck with me. He was talking about marriage and our children’s marriages.
He said, “It’s just unthinkable, to me, that we would, in a very short period of time, go from helping our children to pick out their socks to not helping them pick out a mate.” That makes no sense at all—but that implies investment, it implies involvement, and it implies cooperation. And so, we were very involved in this process; and you’ll hear about that.
But Bridget—I just wanted to give you an opportunity to speak to this whole concept from your perspective of us being involved in this process / in this courtship process with our children and of us shepherding our children to the altar.
Bridget: For me, it was—it’s not without its flaws. I don’t want to give the impression that it’s perfect, but I spent time encouraging Jasmine and helping her to be patient.
It was enjoyable for me.
Voddie: It’s interesting too—in the wedding ceremony, there is still the question, “Who gives this woman to be married?” And the text is clear that we give our daughters in marriage. Implied in that question is there is someone in the room who—number one—has the responsibility and the duty to investigate this man and vet this man—and number two—they’ve done it. As a result of having vetted this man, they’re willing to say in front of everybody: “He has been tested, and he passed the test. I trust him with my daughter.”
A lot of people—again, because this is so foreign to us—we think: “Well, our children must go into this kicking and screaming. It must be awful. It must be terrible. It must be…” whatever. So, we thought we’d have Jasmine and Phillip to come and speak for themselves. [Applause]
So, Jasmine, people are very interested in knowing, from your perspective—and it’s interesting that I was on FamilyLife radio. We were talking about the book when the book came out—What He Must Be. Dennis said, “You know, all of this sounds real good; but I’d like to know what your daughter thinks about this.” And this is before—there was no guy on the horizon or anything. “I’d like to know what your daughter thinks about this.” And I said, “Let’s call her.” So, we called her; and he interviewed her on the radio—it was epic.
Bob: I’m going to jump in here and interrupt Voddie Baucham. We’ve been listening to him tell the story of his daughter’s courtship and ultimate engagement, and—
Dennis: He had a different recollection—
Bob: —I think he got the facts wrong.
Dennis: —than what happened.
Bob: He thought—
Dennis: He’s a man of integrity.
Bob: He is, but he remembered that it was his idea to call his daughter—
Dennis: Not quite.
Bob: And that’s not exactly how it was.
Dennis: Is Jasmine where we can call her right now, Voddie?
Bob: Her cell phone available?
Bob: I think Keith has been able to get Jasmine on the line.
Jasmine: Hi, Mister Rainey.
Dennis: How are you doing?
Jasmine: I’m doing well. Thank you. How are you?
Dennis: I’m doing great.
Dennis: We’re just calling you to verify the veracity of the story of this gentleman we have here in the studio.
Bob: He’s telling us, Jasmine, that this book, What He Must Be: ...If He Wants to Marry My Daughter—
Dennis: —was ghost-written by you. [Laughter]
Jasmine: Not quite.
Bob: —he says it comes with the Jasmine Baucham seal of approval. Is that right?
Jasmine: Yes, sir.
Bob: This is what you want; right?
Jasmine: Yes, sir, it is.
Bob: Are you still going to give this book the Jasmine Baucham seal of approval when you are 25?
Jasmine: Yes, sir—28, 29, or 32.
Dennis: Why would you give this your seal of approval?
Jasmine: I just believe that marriage is a serious step, and it’s a blessing from God. When I enter into that state, I want to be fully confident that the man I’m going to marry is walking in the ways of the Lord.
Dennis: Jasmine, before we let you go here, I have to believe, at points you have seen the model of what a marriage was designed to look like in Scripture. Can you tell me what you’ve seen in your mom and dad’s relationship in their marriage?
Jasmine: I’ve seen my father leading my mother in love, and I’ve seen my mother faithfully submitting to him. My parents aren’t perfect people, but they look into God’s Word for their standard of living. So, seeing them gives me confidence to know that the kind of marriage that they have isn’t impossible because I see it lived out every day.
Dennis: Well, Jasmine, you are a good sport to let us interrupt your day here and take this phone call. Thanks for authenticating your dad’s message.
Bob: And I think that, when they send out future copies of this, it ought to have, at the bottom: “The Jasmine Baucham seal of approval,”—right there on the front cover. [Laughter] Thanks, Jasmine.
Jasmine: Thank you.
Voddie: Love you, baby girl.
Jasmine: Love you, Daddy.
Bob: Okay, so, that’s the phone call that took place with Jasmine, and that was six years ago. So, now, fast-forward and we’ll go back to Voddie onboard the Love Like You Mean It marriage cruise talking with his newly-married daughter about the process of courtship.
[Recorded Message from Cruise Continued]
Voddie: Jasmine, talk about, from your perspective—number one—how people perceive this process of parental involvement in courtship, and so on and so forth, and how you experienced it.
Jasmine: I think people have a number of different perceptions. One of them definitely would be that you picked out my husband—like you just went out and got him, and brought him back, and I was like: “Okay, cool—sounds good.” I think that would be the main misconception—is that you would just pick him out—I wouldn’t have any kind of say in the matter or any kind of part to play in the process.
Voddie: Right—or that it was something that I was doing—and it was divorced from a relationship between the two of us.
Jasmine: Right, that’s the other thing. Whenever Phillip and I did start courting—
—our courtship, which sounds so archaic—but our courtship—
Jasmine: —he was so surprised that I was so close to both of my parents already. So, it wasn’t like I had been kind of living my own life and not really having their involvement in other aspects. So, it is a little bit different—like you can’t just come in at 18, after not having any involvement in your daughter’s life and be like, “Okay, now, I want to help you pick out a husband.” “Well, you don’t know me. You don’t know my interests. You don’t know my passions.”
So, the courtship, to me, and I think to Phillip, too, really highlighted the fact that we had built a foundation. We had a relationship to where I trusted you guys to speak into my life.
Voddie: Yes. I think—for fathers—that’s something that I pick up when fathers ask me about this process. You know—how people will ask you a question, but there is a question behind the question. When fathers ask me about this process, the question behind the question is: “How do I do this?
“I don’t even know my daughter. I don’t know what she likes. I don’t know what she wants. How can I possibly be involved in this process?”
I think that’s a very important point that Jasmine brings up—that this process is not something that happens in isolation. This is something that is the continuation of a process that begins when our children are very small. That’s all part of this idea of preparing our children for marriage. When our children come into our home—however they come into our home—we are raising them, training them, discipling them, and preparing them. One of the things we are preparing them for is to be husbands and fathers / mothers and wives.
Imagine this—that you talk to somebody about their children, and what their children are doing for school, and what their academic plans are for their child. They just go: “Yes, I don’t know.
“I’m just kind of hoping that, as they grow up, they’ll figure something out.” You look at them like they’re crazy; right?—because we expect to have that mapped out because they need all these prerequisites before they get to college. We need to start saving money for college—we need to start doing this, start doing that, start doing the other. What’s more important? —where you go to college, or who you marry?
Who you marry is much more important. We have—we put almost no thought into the idea of preparing our children to be married. There is investment that’s assumed there.
Phillip, talk to us about the process—from the time that you kind of approached me—and, then, why you approached me instead of approaching Jasmine in the first place.
Phillip: So, Jasmine and I—we met at a conference, and I did approach them. I like to think that I was a lot smoother than how she tells the story, [Laughter] but that’s debatable. So, from there, she and I stayed in touch.
I think I interviewed her at that conference. We stayed in touch because she did some writing for a website I was managing at the time.
Fast-forward about eight months later—we were both in California, visiting friends. She was visiting her uncle, and we realized that we were only about 20 miles from one another. So, we were like, “Hey, let’s get together and grab a bite to eat.” A group of us got together, and we met at the In-N-Out. We got dinner; and I just remembered thinking, “This girl’s a lot more interesting than I remembered,” because, when I interviewed her at TGC, she was just one-sentence answers. I had 20 questions, and I promise you, we went through those 20 questions in 10 minutes. [Laughter] It was real quick—quick, quick, quick.
Now, she was much more interested in talking, and very joyful, and happy. I was like: “Okay, I want to get to know her. She seems like a really solid girl.” I knew some things about her—just from the correspondence over the last eight months that we had stayed in touch—
—and I was interested in pursuing her.
So, I was already familiar with Voddie’s ministry. From afar, I was being discipled by his ministry. So, my theology of marriage / my theology of dating and all of these things were slowly evolving because of the affect his ministry had already had on my life. Also, as he mentioned earlier, he wrote a book, What He Must Be: ...If He Wants to Marry My Daughter. I knew that he wasn’t a guy—he was also a guy who was onboard with courtship, and it wasn’t just an option / it was mandatory. Then, for me / from my end, I really wanted to respect her. I wanted—I knew that she had a relationship with her father. I knew that he was protecting her / he was holding her accountable. I knew that she was onboard with all of this, and I knew it wasn’t weird either.
So, rewind a little bit—if you think about the way that most college students dated—that was pretty much the way that I dated for four years.
Basically, what happens is—you get on campus. If you’re really trying to be a Christian college student—you get on campus, you see a girl that you like, and the first thing that you do is you tell your guy friends. You tell your guy friends you like this girl and blah, blah, blah, and you begin to pursue the girl.
Then, once the relationship begins, you go back to your guy friends. You say: “Hey, I need you. I really want you to hold me accountable. I really want you to help me out.” And these guys have only known you maybe a year—maybe a year-and-a-half—depends on how long it takes you to find this girl you’re interested in. Nobody thinks that it is weird that you are asking these guys, who are the same age as you / who have the same amount or not nearly as much wisdom as you have to hold you accountable—but, when it comes to your father and your mother actually holding you accountable and being a part of the process, everybody, all of a sudden, gets weirded out because it’s this really archaic thing that you shouldn’t do.
I really looked at the courtship process from that point of view—that these are her parents—that they know her way better than anyone else would / that her parents, if anyone, are the people that are equipped to hold her accountable and to sort of cultivate this relationship. But then, also, to vet me and to find out, “Hey, are we a good match?” If anyone is going to be able to be objective and to be able to look at these things in light of who she is and in light of finding out who I am, I think the parents are more equipped than any college friend that I’ve ever met, for sure.
Bob: Well, we’ve been listening to Phillip Holmes, and his wife Jasmine, and his father-in-law Voddie Baucham, and his mother-in-law Bridget Baucham as they have shared the first part of their story. We’re going to hear the rest of the story this week—talking about how they went from meeting one another to getting married.
And the thing, Dennis, as you hear them outline the process, we shouldn’t get so hung up on what their process looked like—but I think the point that Mom and Dad need to be actively engaged in the process.
Dennis: No doubt about it. It’s incredibly healthy for—frankly, both a mom and dad and for the young lady and the young man who’s coming after her. I mean, there are a couple of groups who are listening to this right now. There are the moms and dads; and they are kind of sitting up, going: “Ooh, that’s sounds pretty good. I’d kind of like to be a little bit more engaged.”
Well, you know what? You’re going to have to fight the culture, and you’re going to have to start when your children are young and have the conversation with them about how you are going to stay engaged / stay involved. It doesn’t mean it’s a heavy-handed kind of relationship. It just means you want to be fully-engaged and involved in your daughter’s life / your son’s life, as they select a life partner.
Then, to the adult children, who are listening to this right now, who are going, “Not so fast!”
Bob: “Not sure I want Mom and Dad—
Dennis: —“Not so fast! You don’t know my mom and dad.” Well, I get that; but here’s what I think adult children are really selling mom and dad short on—I think they really can protect you from making a wrong choice and can reinforce the right choice—and to not build blocks around your relationship and declare that relationship “off limits” to your parents—very important.
I would invite them into your relationship with the opposite sex, at an early point, as you develop the relationship and make them a part of the growth of this relationship. By the way, you are going to have a relationship with your parents well into adulthood.
Bob: That’s right.
Dennis: And so, it really is the beginnings and the formation of a friendship and a relationship that could last for several decades.
Bob: We’ll hear the rest of this story tomorrow, but I want to remind our listeners that what we’re listening to today was shared onboard the Love Like You Mean It marriage cruise, a couple of weeks ago, as we left Miami and sailed to Key West and to Cozumel.
We had a great getaway with about a thousand couples.
Dennis: And Bob, here’s what’s so cool about this. Can you imagine going on a vacation and listening to a story like this and, then, having some time, as a couple, to talk about it? I just think it’s healthy. I mean, whether you are just starting out your marriage—and there were a ton of young married couples on the Love Like You Mean It marriage cruise—but there were also several, whose families were in the teenage years / young adult years. I just think it spawns all kinds of conversations that can be healthy—can help you establish a vision for your marriage / your family.
In fact, throughout the entire week—you will recall this, Bob—we talked about getting a mission together for your marriage. We really challenged couples to take a step back and go: “Where are we headed? What’s this relationship all about? How’s it going to outlast our children?
“And how are we going to be lockstep / lock arms all the way to the finish line, as a couple?” Well, the Love Like You Mean It marriage cruise will help you lay out that plan.
Bob: Well, and you’ve had a chance to read some of the comments from couples who went. God was at work in some powerful ways in lives, and marriages, and families.
If you’d like to join us next February, Valentine’s week, we’d love to have you; but you need to know that next year’s cruise is about half-full, at this point. Our team has put together a special offer, this week, for FamilyLife Today listeners. If you’d like to find out how you can book your stateroom, at the lowest price available, go to FamilyLifeToday.com. Click the link in the upper left-hand corner of the screen that says, “GO DEEPER.” Look for the link for the Love Like You Mean It marriage cruise. The special offer is good this week only. So, make sure you go today to FamilyLifeToday.com; and again, look for information on the Love Like You Mean It marriage cruise.
Dennis: And I think our listeners ought to know—
—we are adding a day to the cruise, and we are going to stop in Jamaica.
Bob: Jamaica and Grand Cayman for next year.
Dennis: Not bad.
Bob: I hope you can join us—again, more information at FamilyLifeToday.com. Now, tomorrow, we’re going to hear the conclusion of Voddie Baucham and his family sharing about how his daughter, Jasmine, became Mrs. Phillip Holmes. We’ll hear that tomorrow. Hope you can tune in for that.
Dennis: —and how Phillip survived an 8-week Voddie Baucham boot camp for marriage preparation.
Bob: I want to thank our engineer today, Keith Lynch, along our entire broadcast production team. On behalf of our host, Dennis Rainey, I’m Bob Lepine. See you back tomorrow for another edition of FamilyLife Today.
FamilyLife Today is a production of FamilyLife of Little Rock, Arkansas.
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