FamilyLife Today® Podcast

Understanding the Four P’s

with Voddie Baucham | October 11, 2012
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Is the young man pursuing your daughter worthy of her? Dennis Rainey talks with pastor Voddie Baucham about the qualifications of a married man, which includes being a priest, prophet, provider and pastor of his family.

  • Show Notes

  • About the Host

  • About the Guest

  • Is the young man pursuing your daughter worthy of her? Dennis Rainey talks with pastor Voddie Baucham about the qualifications of a married man, which includes being a priest, prophet, provider and pastor of his family.

  • 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.

Is the young man pursuing your daughter worthy of her?

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Understanding the Four P’s

With Voddie Baucham
October 11, 2012
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Voddie Baucham:  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’ve got it backwards.  We have people who want to become one flesh for a while to see if they are 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.  

Bob:  This is FamilyLife Today for Thursday, October 11th.  Our host is the President of FamilyLife®, Dennis Rainey, and I'm Bob Lepine.  We are going to talk today about the powerful role we have, as fathers, helping our daughters and our sons be ready for marriage.  Stay tuned.

And welcome to FamilyLife Today.  Thanks for joining us.  This has been interesting this week.  We’ve been talking to the author of a book called Why My Daughter Will Never Get Married


Dennis:  That is not—that is not the name of the book, Bob.  [Laughter]

Bob:  But may be the net effect of the book; don’t you think?

Dennis:  It may be, but the name of the book is: What He Must Be...if He Wants to Marry My Daughter by Voddie Baucham.   I’m honestly tempted to call Voddie’s daughter, Jasmine.

Bob:  I think Keith has been able to get Jasmine on the line; but before we introduce Jasmine, we ought to introduce her father.  Voddie Baucham joins us again on FamilyLife Today.  Voddie, welcome back.

Voddie:  Thank you. 

Bob:  I think we do have Jasmine on the line. 

Dennis:  Jasmine?

Jasmine:  Hi, Mr. Rainey.

Dennis:  How are you doing?

Jasmine:  I’m doing well; thank you.  How are you?

Dennis:  I’m doing great.  We are 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:  Now, you’ve seen your dad.  He’s a big fella; right? 

Jasmine:  Yes, sir.

Bob:  I mean, some guy comes along—he’s going to have to be pretty stout, just to step up and say, “Mr. Baucham, I’d like to talk to you about Jasmine.”  I’m not sure I could do that.

Jasmine:  [Laughter]

Bob:  You know what I’m saying?

Jasmine:  Yes, sir.

Dennis:  Does that ever cross your mind—that he’s kind of eliminating some of the pursuiters?

Jasmine:   Well, it only takes one.  [Laughter]

Bob:  Are you still going to give this book the Jasmine Baucham seal of approval when you are 25?

Jasmine:  Yes, sir—28, 29, 32.

Bob:  If the guys haven’t stepped up, you are okay with that at 32?

Jasmine:  Yes, sir.

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 that I’m going to marry is pleasing in the ways of the Lord. 

Bob:  Well, I think there may be some guys listening to you right now who are going, “I’d like to talk to you.”  [Laughter]  I guess we should give them your dad’s cell phone number.  Is that right?  [Laughter]

Dennis:  I think we send them a picture of Voddie. 

Bob:  That’s what the book should be—a picture of Jasmine on the front that says, “If you are interested in this—” and then a picture of you that says, “—you have to come through this.”  [Laughter]  What do you think?

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 and their marriage?

Jasmine:  I’ve seen what’s laid forth in the book.  I’ve seen my father leading my mother in love, and I’ve seen my mother joyfully submitting to him.  My parents aren’t perfect people, but they look to God’s Word for their standards for living.  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:  Tell the truth.  You are your dad’s favorite; right?

Jasmine:  [Laughingly] I like to think so!  [Laughter]

Voddie:  That’s my girl. 

Dennis:  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:  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.

Dennis:  Bye.  Bye.


Jasmine:  Bye.

Dennis:  I wish we had a picture of your face, right now, for radio because you are beaming.  You’re proud.


Voddie:  I am.  I am.

Dennis:  There is nothing quite like putting together a different legacy than the one you were given.


Voddie:  Absolutely.

Dennis:  God, in His grace, has really empowered you and your wife to do something different than the home you grew up in—in Los Angeles.

Voddie:  Absolutely.  He really has.  It’s God’s grace.  It truly is God’s grace.  I love my little girl.  She’s still my little girl.  I am very proud of the woman that she has become.

Dennis:  You just wait until a guy starts circling.  [Bird sounds]

Bob:  Well, he’s got to be a guy who loves Christ.  [Laughter]

Bob:  He has to be a guy who understands how to lead.  He’s got to be a guy who understands that marriage is the priority in a family relationship.  In fact, out of all relationships, it is the priority.  He’s got to be a guy who loves kids and is ready to have kids. 

Dennis:  Right.

Bob:  And then he has to be a guy who understands the four “P’s”; right?

Voddie:  Yes, sir.  He’s got to understand his role as priest, prophet, provider, and protector in his home. 

Dennis:  Bob really likes those four “P’s”.  There’s a reason; right Bob?

Bob:  Because I talk about them in my book, The Christian Husband.  Is that what you are saying?

Dennis:  That’s exactly right.  I think three of the four, at least.

Bob:  We talk about, “If Jesus was Prophet, Priest and King, then a husband needs to understand, if he’s going to be Christ to his wife, he needs to fulfill those roles—not in an abusive way or authoritarian way.”  You talk about a husband being the priest of the home—he has to understand that he is a spiritual leader for his wife, for his kids.  That’s a responsibility God has given him; right?

Voddie:  Absolutely it is.  I love this quote from George Whitfield, and I used it as a header in this chapter.  “Every governor of a family ought to look upon himself as obliged to act in three capacities—as a prophet to instruct, as a priest to pray for and with, and as a king to govern, direct, and provide for them.”

Here’s what is interesting—an interesting side note.  When he says “king” there, I thought—because the feminists hate me—I thought, “You know, that term, ‘king,’ —that’s just going to incite them unduly,” which—

Bob:  That doesn’t bother you.

Voddie:  —doesn’t bother me at all.  In all honesty, I thought that may not translate very well in our culture—so, taking king—and I put provider and protector there.

Bob:  Because that is what a king is supposed to do.

Voddie:  Yes, that is what a king is supposed to do—to kind of help people grab onto these things and understand what we are talking about.  I don’t think people have enough residue of a biblical worldview to even understand how and why that’s appropriate because of what feminism has done to our culture.  They feel like it’s demeaning to women to believe that a man is obliged, as Whitfield would say, to play those roles in the context of a marriage relationship; but that comes right out of Ephesians 5.

Bob:  Here’s the question, “Is it demeaning to us, as followers of Christ, for Jesus to be our Prophet, our Priest, our Provider, our Protector?”  I don’t feel demeaned by that.  In fact, I feel treasured by that.

Voddie:  Exactly.

Dennis:  Valued by that.

Voddie:  Absolutely.

Dennis:  Let’s talk about those four “P’s” for a second.  Protector—in this culture, it’s really interesting to even hold the door open for a woman, as a man.  I mean, I have women look at me like, “Why are you doing that?” or, “What’s up with you?”  Ultimately, it’s a man saying to a woman, “My life for your life.”     


Voddie:  Right. 

Dennis:   “I want to serve you and esteem you,” as Bob was talking about, “and value you by holding the door open for you.”  Yet, protecting goes way beyond just the common courtesies.

Voddie:  Absolutely, it goes way beyond that.  In our church, we have rites of passage for young men.  We talk about these four “P’s” all the time.  Sometimes men will have their sons, at 12 or 13, to do things that symbolically represent these four “P’s”.  For some of them, they talk about a protector.  They’ll have their son take a self-defense class.  Some of them will take them down to qualify them at the gun range, like me.  [Laughter]

It is something to just symbolize this idea that you are called to protect your family.  You are called to lay it all down, if necessary, for your family.  You are called to position yourself between your family and all harm that would come to them—physically, emotionally, and spiritually. 

Bob:  I heard a great story about this very thing—an essay written by a mom whose daughter had gone to work at a pizza delivery place.   She was out delivering pizzas in her car.  The call came in for an order for a pizza.  There was a guy, at the pizza place who took that order, looked at the address and said, “No, you aren’t taking this one.  I’m taking this one.”  It’s not because it was a big tipper.  It was because, in that part of town, a single woman shouldn’t be delivering pizzas.  

The mom said, “That’s what you want a man to do.  I didn’t think that man should have let my daughter go down there.  That man—you know, we need equal rights for men and women.”   No.  She said, “I was glad that there was somebody, man enough, to step up and say ‘No, I’ll deliver that pizza to that part of town.’”

It’s the same kind of principle.  My question is, “How do you recognize, in a 20-year-old, whose voice hasn’t changed that long ago; you know?  How do you recognize if he is protector enough to marry your daughter?”

Voddie:  We’ve talked about something in all of these different broadcasts.  We’ve sort of joked around the idea of my size—of being an intimidating character.  In a very real sense, if he’s not man enough to stand up to me for her, he’s not going to be a protector.    

Bob:  You are a pretty intimidating guy.  

Voddie:  That’s right, but I’m not as intimidating as a noise downstairs when you think somebody is breaking into the house.

Bob:  So what does standing up to you going to look like?  You don’t want him to challenge you.

Dennis:   First of all, it just means he’s going to move toward meeting with Voddie. 

Voddie:  That’s right.

Dennis:  He’s going to put his hand out and have a firm handshake and look you in the eye.  Even though his gut may be twisted into a knot—he isn’t going to tell you!

Voddie:  That’s right.

Bob:  He’s going to say, “Dr. Baucham, nice to meet you.”

Voddie:  That’s right; he is.  There’s going to be a sense in which he is willing to face what he must, for the sake of my daughter.  He proves that to me when he first makes his intentions known.  Now, if he sneaks around me like a coward, then I probably know he’s not going to protect my daughter.

Dennis:   We’ve talked about protector.  Let’s move to a different “P”.

Bob:   The one I’m interested in is this one about a husband being a prophet.   You think about a prophet as somebody who is kind of fiery—lets you have it—blasts at you.  Somebody who speaks prophetically is somebody who stands up and gets in your face.  Is that what you are saying this man needs to be?

Voddie:  No.  I think Whitfield says it best when he says a “prophet to instruct”.  That’s the role of a prophet—to instruct—to warn, if necessary.  Again, this goes back to his responsibility in Ephesians, Chapter 5, to wash his wife with the water of the Word.  Also, this man will ultimately have the responsibility to bring his children up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord. 

He has a prophetic responsibility to instruct his family in the Word, which also goes back to what we’ve talked about in previous broadcasts about this whole idea of unequally-yoked.   This is what I tell young women.  If you are willing to pursue a marriage with an unbeliever, not only are you directly disobeying God, but you’re also saying that it’s not important that this man be able to wash me with the Word or instruct my children in the Word.

Dennis:  Another part of being a prophet, as well, is he takes the relationship and the young lady before God in prayer. 

Voddie:  Absolutely. 

Dennis:  That means there does need to be some kind of spiritual dimension to the relationship.   There are a lot of singles today who just date and have fun, and they don’t want to talk about commitment.  They don’t want to talk about getting close to each other; and they, for sure, don’t want to talk about spiritual matters.  You’re saying that a young man, who is this kind of a leader, needs to be a prophet.   He needs to represent the young lady before God. 

Voddie:  Yes.  Actually, I put that one in the priest category—the priest representing her before God—the prophet representing God before her.

Bob:  Right. 

Voddie:  It is very much that same division—that he has to be an individual who is an intercessor—who prays for his family—who goes before the throne of God on behalf of this one whom he loves and to whom and for whom he’s giving his life. 

Bob:  As I’ve been raising my sons now, one of the things I’ve warned them about is as you start to cultivate a relationship with a young woman, it can be premature to pray with her too soon because there is something very intimate about praying together as a couple, especially in the heart of a young woman.  I know, as a husband, when I take my wife by the hand and I say, “Sweetheart, let’s pray,” there is a sense of comfort, safety, security.  She’s drawn to me. 

Voddie:  Definitely.

Bob:  If a young man came up to Jasmine and said, “Let’s pray about that,” —just as an innocent, kind of a godly big-spiritual-brother kind of a thing, there would be something that would go off in her heart; wouldn’t there?

Voddie:  Absolutely; absolutely.  I would say that that goes back to the issue of protector.  A young man needs to know that that’s one of the areas where he must protect this young woman.  He has got to protect her from premature attachment and devotion to him.   That is one of the things that is sometimes hard for a young guy to get.  That is something that we have to teach our sons. 

As I’ve said, part of this is about what we teach our sons.  We have to come around our sons, when they are reaching the teen years and girls are starting to be interested in them, and we have to say things that really sound counterintuitive.  “Son, that girl is interested in you.  You need to stay away from her—okay? — because you can’t satisfy the desires that she has and you don’t need to, as Solomon would say in the Song of Solomon, ‘Awaken love before it pleases.’”  Okay?

Dennis:  Right.

Voddie:  “’Don’t arouse it before it pleases.’ So no, don’t go trying to pray with her.  Don’t go doing that.  Don’t be mean to her, but protect her heart.  Do not encourage her to deepen the affections that she has for you.”  That’s part of what we do to teach our sons to protect young women spiritually and emotionally.   


Bob:  Voddie, you have a son who is 16.

Voddie:  Yes, sir.


Bob:  You got married when you were 20. 

Voddie:  Yes, sir.

Bob:  If he, at age 20, is coming and saying, “Dad, I’ve noticed this young woman.  I want to begin to pursue her.”  It’s not so much, “Is he old enough, chronologically?”  It’s really, “Is he old enough, in terms of the maturity?”—things we’ve been talking about this week.  For you to sign off, he could maybe be there at 20; couldn’t he?

Voddie:  He better be there at 20.  If he’s not ready to be married by the time he is 20, I haven’t paid enough attention to my job of preparing him.  This idea—you know, that we prepare our sons—here’s the idea that we give our sons, “Son, I want you to go and suck all the joy out of life.  Then, after you’ve sucked all the joy out of life, and you are in your late 20s or early 30s, I want you to look longingly into a woman’s eyes and say, “There is no more joy to be found.  I’m ready to marry you and die.”

Bob:  [Laughter]

Voddie:  Okay?  That’s the attitude that we’re giving our sons, man.  No!  The Bible talks about the wife of your youth.  Now, am I saying, “Twenty years old, you have to get married”?  No, that’s not what I am saying; but I am saying that by the time you get there, I want to have done everything I can to prepare you to be married by that time. 

Bob:  So 18, 19 even, would be okay, if he is ready.

Voddie:  Yes, if he’s ready.  Yes, if he’s ready.

Dennis:  And to that single woman who is listening to our broadcast and is going, “I’m out of the home. I’m in my 20s.  My daddy is not connected.  I’m looking on the horizon at my church, among those I work with.  I don’t see any men like you are talking about.”  Just a piece of advice, as a father, to those single women—

Voddie:  Yes, when women find themselves outside of that cover, recognize that God has given you alternatives.  He’s given you your church, your elders, people who are biblically-qualified and responsible to look out for you.  We have a plan, in place, at our church.  Our elders have a plan, in place, so that if a single young woman finds herself in a situation where there is no father to step in, we would function for her in the absence of that father and walk her through this courtship process.  I think young women need to be in a situation where that is the case. 


Dennis:  Voddie, I appreciate you being a straight-shooter.  You know what?  I really appreciate your courage to have been given the heritage you were given of coming out of an unmarried situation and so surrounded by divorce.  What did you say—20?

Voddie:  Twenty-two out of 25—

Dennis:  Twenty-two out of 25 marriages in your family have experienced a divorce.

Voddie:  —in the last two generations.  Yes, sir.

Dennis:  You’re breaking a generational curse, as the Bible speaks about.  You are doing something that has been a verse that has been resonating in my soul for the past couple of years.  “Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” 

Voddie:  Amen.

Dennis:  What you are doing is—you are overcoming evil with good, in your own marriage and family, by building your sons and looking out for your daughter.  You’re also—through a book like this, and through your church, and your preaching and teaching—you are helping to call the Christian community to be truly Christ-followers and men to step up.  I want to thank you for being on our program. 

Voddie:  Bless you.  It has been a joy.  I am so grateful for the opportunity you guys have extended to me and for just the trust that you have placed in me with this.  This radio program means so much to so many people.  You guys have been wonderful stewards of the platform that God has given you, and I’m honored that you have trusted me with this time.

Bob:  We appreciate you being here and look forward to being with you in February—when Voddie is going to be joining us on the Love Like You Mean Itmarriage cruise, along with his wife Bridget.  We look forward to that.  If folks are interested in being a part of the cruise, we still have a few cabins left.  You can go to for more information about how you can join Dennis and Barbara, and Mary Ann and me, and Voddie and his wife, and others on the Love Like You Mean It marriage cruise, Valentine’s week of 2013.

And then, Voddie is also a part of a special event that we have coming up in February called the Stepping UpSuper Saturday event.  This is a one-day video-based event that is going to be hosted in hundreds, maybe even a thousand or more, locations all across the country on 2-2-13; February 2nd, 2013.  That’s Super Saturday, the day before the Super Bowl.  The Stepping Up Super Saturday event—it’s a rally day for men to hear from Dennis Rainey, and Voddie Baucham, and Matt Chandler, and Robert Lewis, and Tony Dungy, and Mark Driscoll, and Bill Bennett, and others.  Again, it can be hosted in your church.  In fact, you can host it.  A guy who says, “I’d like to see this happen at our church,” —go to your pastor, go to your leadership and say, “Hey, could I host this?” or, “Could we get a group of guys together—rally the men in our church to come out and be a part of the Stepping Up Super Saturday event?”  

Two-2-13 is the date. If you’ll get in touch with us this month, and let us know that you’re ready to go—you’d like to be one of the host locations for this event—you contact us before the end of the month and give us the location where you’re going to be hosting the event, we’ll send you the video kit with the DVDs and the instruction manual—what you need to host it.  All you have to do is pay for the shipping, and we’ll get it out to you.  Call 1-800-FL-TODAY and say, “I’m ready.  We’ll host this in our church or in our community.”  Our toll-free number: 1-800-FL-TODAY is the number to call; 1-800-358-6329.  Ask for the Stepping Up Super Saturday event kit when you get in touch with us, and we’ll make the arrangements to get that kit sent to you.

I should also mention we have copies of Voddie’s book, which is called What He Must Be...if He Wants to Marry My Daughter.  That’s in our FamilyLife Today Resource Center, along with the books by Dennis Rainey—Interviewing Your Daughter’s Date and Aggressive Girls, Clueless Boys—both of those for parents of teenage sons and daughters.  More information about those books can be found online at, or you can order copies of the books when you get in touch with us at 1-800-FL-TODAY.

Now, again, I want to say a quick word to those of you who help support the ministry of FamilyLife Today.  The word is, “Thank you.”  Couldn’t do what we do without your support, and we mean that.  When you make a donation from time to time to help support the ministry, you’re helping cover the cost for producing and syndicating this daily radio program.  The syndication costs are pretty significant—so, thanks for your help with that.

This month, when you make a donation, we have some resources available that we’d like to make available to you as thank-you gifts—resources designed for couples who are in blended or step-families.  If that’s not you, you may still know somebody who is in a blended or a step-family.  You could make a donation, select a resource, and give it to your friends as a gift.

Details are online at  Click the button that says, “I CARE”, on our website.  It will take you to the area of the web where you can make an online donation and select the resource you’d like to receive as a thank-you resource, or call 1-800-FL-TODAY.  Make a donation over the phone.  Just ask about what’s available for blended families.  We’ll be happy to let you know and happy to send out those resources as our way of saying, “Thank you for your support of this ministry.”

And we want to encourage you to be back with us again tomorrow, when we’re going to talk to Matt Hammitt, the lead singer from the group Sanctus Real.  We’ll hear about how God kind of smacked him upside the head about his responsibilities as a husband and a dad to lead his wife and his children.  We may get him to sing the song that he wrote about that, as well.  Hope you can be with us tomorrow.

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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