What He Must Be: A Review and Giveaway


Voddie Baucham has been called an “evangelist to intellectuals.” He is an author, a Bible teacher, a churchman, and an apologist. His unique blend of sound biblical exposition and cutting-edge relevance make him one of the most unique and compelling voices in modern evangelical circles. He has rapidly become one of the most sought-after preachers of his generation.

Dr. Baucham has served on numerous church staffs and currently serves as an elder at Grace Community Church in Magnolia, Texas. He is an adjunct professor at the College of Biblical Studies in Houston, Texas and Union University in Jackson, Tennessee. He has authored three books and a number of academic journal and magazine articles. Baucham and his wife, Bridget, have been married since 1989. They and their five children currently live in Spring, TX.


Baucham offers a hard-hitting, bible-centered, apologetic for the role of a man in the marriage relationship. In What He Must Be to Marry My Daughter, Voddie gives us five non-negotiables in the form of chapter titles that most every Christian would agree with. First, he must be a follower of Christ. Obviously, the command this is based upon the command to not be unequally yoked (2 Cor. 6:14).

Second, He must be prepared to lead followed with the third non-negotiable that he must be prepared to lead like Christ (Eph. 5:22-32). In today’s society, many men do not want to lead and would rather do the “honorable” thing and let the wife lead. Baucham argues that not only is this unbiblical, it is pure laziness on the part of man.

Fourth, he must be committed to children. This includes being open to having as many children as God will bless you with as well as investing in their lives. There is a tyranny of child abuse taking place that goes unreported in this nation because it is viewed as normal today. That child abuse is simply not being an active father in your child’s life.

Finally, he must practice the four P’s: provider, protector, prophet, and priest. In other words, he must be able to provide the income his family needs to live on which means he must not be lazy, he must protect his family in all situations to the best of his ability, and finally, he must lead his family in the worship of God each day. Ultimately, the father is held responsible for training up a child in the way he should go (Prov. 22:6).


This book is sure to cause a controversy, but is one that is needed in our churches today. If you are a parent, then you need to read this book to either know how to raise your son so that he can be a godly husband/father or your daughter so you can teach her what to look for in a man. If you are new to the Christian faith and are single, this book would be an excellent place to start as you seek to follow Christ and His commands. If you are a believer and looking to get married, this book would make an excellent diagnostic tool to see if you “measure up.” I highly recommend this book to all parents and ministers as well.


Thanks to the kind folks at Crossway, we have 2 copies of What He Must Be AND 2 copies of Baucham’s Family Driven Faith.

To enter the drawing, simply leave a comment below to the question, Do you think it is right to set standards for who your children (especially daughters) will marry? On March 11th, we’ll select four winners at random. Feel free to interact with other people’s comments (every comment you make is an entry… but no comment spam! “Good point” is not a comment and won’t be entered). Also, link to the post because you’re trackback link will also count as an entry.

As if those weren’t enough opportunities to enter the drawing, we’ll have another post later this week (watch the “around the web” section) that will have a second discussion question. Comments there will also be considered as an entry.

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Written by
Terry Delaney
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  • Yes – I think it is right. I have four daughters aged 13, 11, 9 7.I think that after spending 20+ years with them, caring for them, loving them, coaching them, learning about them, that I should have some right to set some standards.

    I want what is best for my girls, and I pray that when they reach that age that my wife and I will have instilled within them what those standards are. I am doing my best to serve as an example in their lives now, both in the way I treat my wife, and in the way I treat them when I take them out for a “date with daddy”. Thanks for the book review!

  • In What He Must Be… and Family Driven Faith, Voddie Baucham challenges parents to catch a multi-generational vision that begins with raising the children we have with the intent of impacting the future generations of our family for the gospel and the cause of Christ. This is a message desperately needed in our churches today. I highly recommend both books!

  • I definitely think it is right to set standards for your children. I am recently engaged, and it was very important to me that my fiance went to my father and asked him for my hand in marriage, and my parents are not even believers. Obviously, I don’t have children yet, but I think that helping them to grow up with an idea of what a good mate would be–someone that is humble, loves the Lord and is a good ‘partner in crime’ for ministry/life–is a fantastic idea.

  • “This generation of young adults is leery of marriage. “We just date until it doesn’t make sense to date anymore. And then we get married,”

    This just doesn’t make sense. Of course we need to set standards for our daughters and sons. I have daughters, so I have seen the pain some of these heathen young men (in the church) can cause. While, I would prefer a more reasoned, Godly approach, right now I have come up with my preferred list for that possible son-in-law:

    1st preference for young men wanting to marry my daughters:
    Quality: Dead.
    Dead is the preferred quality. And, like Voddie Bauchman, I am willing to help the young son-in-law to be get to that point.

    2nd preference:
    Almost Dead….
    This is not as good as choice one. But, if the potential mate has undergone extreme pain, and fears daily for his life and well being, that is precisely the quality of fear that I would like to help that dear future son-in-law to get to.

    I am still learning, but a book like this should help.

  • As the father to a 1 year old daughter, I have actually given this a lot of thought, serious and not. Any young man who wants to so much as date my daughter while she is still living with us is going to have to pass the biblical test. I would hope such standards would carry over to when Grace is living on her own as well.

    Baucham’s vision of multi-generational faithfulness is something I pray God will be gracious enough to allow me to establish with my family, and I look forward to reading his newest offering!

  • As a woman, I tend to be overly sensitive to prescriptive gender roles without taking into account the individual people involved, but I would love to give this book a chance. A number of friends of mine are dating non-Christian men and I would love to do some reading (and perhaps recommend this to them) so that I might more adequately explain why I can not be in support of those relationships continuing. And I would love to do an analysis of how many of his statements are completely Biblical and how many are cultural. ‘Twould be interesting.

  • @JJ–Thank you for the laugh! As a father of all boys to this point, I strive to raise them so that they would be acceptable to fathers like you ;). LOL.

    @Laura–I appreciate your comment and would love to read your assessment as to the cultural vs. biblical statements in Voddie’s book. That would be an excellent conversation!

  • I think that it is a parents right to set standards. Of course it must be taken into account biases and prejudices one might have. Standards should be based on biblical principals, not superficial things like material wealth and taste/styles.


  • Mostly I just want to win the books. I love free books. But, actually, yes, just ask my two married daughters who did not listen to my advice and wish they had.
    Dads, say no to dating, and yes to courtship with young men whom you think meet with your standards.

  • As someone who comes from a medial Christian family I think it is highly important for parents to set such standards. These standards apply not only to marriage, but to all relationships.

    I’m not a parent so I claim to know nothing in this arena, but I believe that it is not only about setting a standard, but making sure you show that standard by example.

    Fathers should be the type of husband they want their daughters to marry and mothers should be the type of wife they want their son to marry.

  • Absolutely. Hopefully, my daughter will respect and honor God by respecting and honoring me enough to follow my standards. More than just my standards, they are biblical standards that I believe God has given to us.

  • Absolutely. We are called to make sure our daughters are provided for, lead, and protected. It may be considered old-fashioned to this generation, but it is necessary for us to continue to raise families follow God in all areas of life. I have a daughter of 14 months, and it is my job as her father to model godly leadership, protect her from guys who mean to hurt her, and provide for her needs and raise her up as a godly woman who will raise children who fear the lord.

  • Certainly I, as the father of two daughters should set some standards for whom they should marry. Until they both say, “I Do”, I am still responsible for them in God’s eyes. That may take months or it may stretch into years but I am still responbile for covering my daughters.

  • One of the things that scared me most when I found out we were having a baby was, “What if it’s a girl?!” But actually, someone gave me another “prepare for the guys” book for dads with daughters. And just knowing that I have the opportunity to shape my daughter’s heart and set the tone for her standards for men made me really excited to have a little girl. There is something in men, I think, that readily identifies with the four p’s that Vodie, apparently, discusses. I know a similar message from another author got me really excited all over again to have a little girl.

    And she has been a joy to have as a big part of my life. I can’t wait to see her grown up and loving a Godly man.

  • It isn’t just right to set standards for who my daughter will marry, it is Biblical. Right now, I am the head of my family and it is my job to communicate Christ and the gospel to them. The man who marries my daughter will be her new spiritual head and she will not just marry any man, but one who will lead her into a deeper relationship with her Savior.

    The call that Christ has for husbands to love their wives as Christ is a high calling, so as a father, it is my duty to make sure any man who wants to pursue my daughter to discern if God is calling them to marriage is seeking to live a life worthy of the gospel. I am not looking for someone who is perfect, because I won’t find that.

    The standards that I have for the man who must love my daughter is that he must love Jesus. The only way he can have a proper love for he is out of an overflow for His love for God. He must be humble and have a soft heart, only the humble can be a servant leader and live with their wives in an understanding way. He must love God’s Word so that he can keep himself pure and lead his family in righteousness. He must have a firm belief in the gospel of grace that is displayed through Christ completed work on the cross and all of it’s implication because he will fail as a leader and his family will fail in following him, but grace is the motivating factor and empowering force for what God has called Him to.

  • I think it is absolutely right to set standards for whom your children will marry. Though I am unmarried and have no children of my own I have found Pastor Baucham’s teachings invaluable when thinking about the manner in which I view child rearing for the glory of God– which I now believe includes assuming the responsibility of making sure that my children marry well.

  • Terry–I don’t think any young men with brain waves and a beating heart would be acceptable to JJ; they violate his first criterion: “dead”.

    ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ˜‰

    He could, I suppose, give his daughters an ‘ultimatum’ to the tune of “No live young men will enter my house again, and you will not leave this house until you have spent ten minutes discussing Hebrews, Revelation or Leviticus in a rational matter.”

  • Apparently, I could use a good reading of this book! I see Chapter one is available… might be a good starting point!

    Hope all took my posting in the spirit of humor that I intended.

    So y’all know, I do so appreaciate young men (20-somethings now) who are examples of Christ’s love and His graciousness. They do exist, and I always find a faithful father (or mother or usually both) is part of that young man’s life.

    Of those families, I would say, “May your tribes increase!” ๐Ÿ™‚

    Terry – Thanks for the encouraging words. Sounds like we are like minded! ๐Ÿ™‚

    Stephen – You and I need to get together soon! ๐Ÿ™‚ We can do some planning.

    Immerito –
    You obviously have a warped sense of humor. I like it.
    I suppose, after I read the book, I will agree: the ten minute “discussion on the book of Hebrews, Revelation, or Leviticus” would be much more appropriate.
    Come to think of it, I think a well developed theology of the book, along with spiritual applications of each pericope would be more to my liking.
    I think we will start the young men with the Sermon on the Mount, however.

    In His gracious love,

  • Absolutely. I just had my first daughter. And I tell everyone that the difficulty in raising a daughter is that I can’t raise her husband. I can teach my son how to treat a woman, but I can’t raise my son-in-law to teach my daughter well. Whoever he is, we will become best of friends before he gets to put the ring on my daughter’s finger.

  • @ John Meche (and to anyone who wants to answer)–So how will you best prepare your daughter for her husband?

  • Yes i do, but I’m not sure they’d listern.
    Thanks for the giveaway!

  • Yes, there should be standards. Marriage is no game…as well as raising children. Dating is no game either…if parents should decide to let their children date (at the appropriate age)…there should be standards in dating. Parents needs to have standards in potential spouses for the children. First, the standards will protect their children in the long run. Second, standards will protect the family. Why have no standards and run the risk of creating division? Third, standards are biblical. To not be unequally yoked is an imperative. It is an imperative for all believers to obey and it is an imperative for parents to wish and standardize for their children.

  • @ (to anyone)รƒยขรขโ€šยฌ‘So how will you best prepare your daughter for her husband?

    Great question! Unfortunately, I am a bad person to answer, as I have already raised my daughters (mid-twenties). I have made all the mistakes that parents make, and I have already failed with things in the process.

    Here are some ideas, however:

    Value your marriage above all else.

    How do your raise your children to be Godly? Raise them in a home where you love your wife (or husband) and the kids can see your ability to be gracious in times of conflict, forgiving in times of failure, reconciled quickly during hardships, caring and deferential as a matter of daily routine, and passionate in your love for each other.

    All other advice, from my experience, pales in comparison. But once you have that down, try:

    Communicate the beauty of God to them as they grow. I think this is more important with daughters than sons, but it is truth that most fathers don’t readily consider.

    Discuss scriptural truths with your daughters, not neglecting the concepts of marriage and friendships.

    In general, talk with your daughters and keep those channels of communication open.

    And pray with them.

    Today, young ladies are being assaulted by media and culture. Elementary and HS girls now text lewd messages to one another, they send pictures of themselves in suggestive poses (even nude pictures) to young men in their class, and they learn quickly about how to be alluring.

    That is what you are working against. It is a spiritual battle, above all else. Be aware of it, and do what you can to protect your daughters, while preparing them for it.

    Love to see what others suggest.

  • It is not only right to set standards for you children, but necessary. Otherwise your daughter’s “boyfriend” will set the standards according to his “desires”.

    God calls us to be fathers, not bystanders.

  • As a single 29 year old soon to be 30 (March 12, 2009) year old I think this is a great book! In my church young women are encouraged and taught to wait and as the book said for someone they are equally yoked with. I think as a Christian you want to be with someone like minded and who understands the Christian walk. Both men and women should set their standards high to someone who share the same beliefs, morals, and values. It would be foolish to date someone who doesn’t believe the same thing you do. The enemy does not like to see families together because that love represents God who is love. A wife and husband praising and worshiping together is the strongest unit.

  • Every young women who is raised in a christ-centered home is blessed beyond measure. Standards within the home can shape who you become. As a young woman who is at an age where marriage is a possibility thinking about qualities you would want within a husband are essential. Not so that I might go before God with a shopping list of what I want from a husband but so that I might wisely make a decision to choose someone who will help me honor God with my life. If my desire in life is to bring glory to my heavenly prince, then having standards of marrying a man who shares this lifelong goal is essential to the pursuit of it. It would be very difficult to keep aiming to honor God in all that I do if my husband could not relate to it or did not share my goal.

    Therefore I think setting standards for who your children will marry is a great idea and a great conversation to have with daughters, particularly at a teenage stage. These standards could be an amazing blessing when shared between parents and daughter! I don’t see these standards as a dictatorship but rather a discipleship in training young women to pursue Christ in everything, especially something as important as their lifelong companion.

  • Hello,

    I do feel that in todays climate and the attack of the culture on traditional family values that the input of parents and especially the fathers is extremely important in daughters picking their husbands.

    But that help must come in the context of an already established relationship that has built a Christian Worldview over the course of the daughters lifetime. Parents that are absent from the life of their daughters, should be careful in insisting on “guiding” their daughters.

    That said though, I do believe daughters should have the help of parents.

    John B.

  • To the unmarried and the widows I say that it is well for them to remain single as I do. (1 Corinthians 7:7-8)

  • As a daughter who does hope to get married, I do feel it is important for parents to set a standard for who their children should marry. It’s not an encroachment upon a daughter’s individual freedom, it is their right as God made them her parents to train, protect, and set standards for her future (it is the daughters role to honor them). I feel secure knowing my parents will help guide my thinking according to God’s standard when they help me to know those standards that I should have for the man I marry someday.

  • It is much better for your daughter to have the standards and understand herself and the man that will best compliment the two to becoming one for Gods purposes! This is done or not done through time and modeling of the parents.

  • YES! I absolutely believe it is right, more like required to set standards regarding who our children will marry. When my oldest was in middle school she made a list of the top 10 things she would require in a mate. She is 20 and still has it. Top of the list is loves God. We pray for, battle with, lead guide and direct in every biblical way we can to help our kids (and their friends) be in the right places and surrounded by the best friends and activities. Why wouldn’t we set the standard on THE most important decision of their earthly life?

Written by Terry Delaney