Four Key Areas Where Men Must Succeed
About the Guest
Men, do you know how to lead a family? Pastor Voddie Baucham shares four areas where men should lead their families: evangelism and the fallen nature of children, marriage enrichment, discipleship and corrective discipline, and lifestyle evaluation.
Pastor Voddie Baucham shares four areas where men should lead their families: evangelism and the fallen nature of children, marriage enrichment, discipleship and discipline, and lifestyle evaluation.
Four Key Areas Where Men Must Succeed
Bob: Do you consistently discipline your children? Would you say they are well- disciplined kids? Voddie Baucham wants to know if you have the right goal in mind when it comes to discipline.
Voddie: See, for many us, discipline is about our kids not embarrassing us. Discipline, for us, is, “I just want to be able to go to the restaurant and not have people looking at me like…. [Laughter] I want people to say, ‘Oh, your children are so well-behaved.’” So, that becomes our goal. Jesus said this about the Pharisees—about the same thing, “You’re washing the outside of the cup.”
Bob: This is FamilyLife Today for Friday, May 20th. Our host is the President of FamilyLife®, Dennis Rainey, and I’m Bob Lepine. We’ll hear today from Voddie Baucham about why discipline is an important part of how we disciple our children. He’s got a lot to say about dads shepherding their families well. Stay with us.
And welcome to FamilyLife Today. Thanks for joining us on the Friday edition. You know, there is a stereotype about guys—that it is women who are hungry for Bible study—they’re the ones that want to go deep / guys, not so much—guys want to go play in the church softball league.
I was thinking back to when you and I were together with a group of guys to hear a message from Voddie Baucham. These guys were all pretty serious about what Voddie was talking about.
Dennis: They were. In fact, Bob, I compare what took place to what the Marines do with young men, whom they send to Camp Pendleton. It’s called boot camp. [Laughter] Voddie Baucham assembled about a thousand of us men; and he took us to boot camp as he talked to us straight about how to lead your kids to Christ, how to disciple them, how to set a spiritual direction for your marriage / your family. He crammed four hours of content—
Dennis: —into about an hour. Every man there was going, “I want more!”
Dennis: “I want more!” It really was like: “I’m getting it! I’ve got it! Now, give me—just give me a few more principles to be able to take home and apply.”
Bob: Yes, they were scribbling as fast as they could take notes. I wanted to say, “Guys, Voddie has written a book on the subject called Family Shepherds: Calling and Equipping Men to Lead Their Homes—you get a copy of that book, and get a highlighter, and go through it. He will give you a plan for how you can be the spiritual leader in your home, which is what God has called every one of us, as husbands and dads, to be.”
He talked in his message about the areas where men have to win. He talked about having to win in your marriage, having to win as you raise your kids, how to win in your own character / in your own lifestyle. He started off by talking about the fact that all of this is built on an understanding that God has called us to be disciplers and evangelists. If we’re going to lead our families, we’re going to have to know the basics of evangelism and discipleship.
Voddie: You’ve got to understand the fallen nature of man if you’re going to do evangelism. You’ve got to understand the fallen nature of your children. A man cannot do evangelism properly, within the context and confines of his home, if he doesn’t know the fallen nature of his children. Otherwise, if he doesn’t understand the fallen nature of his children, then, he thinks that his children just need some good habits; and, “If I just get these good habits into my children, then, they’ll grow up and be good, godly kids because they’ll do the right thing.” But if you understand the fallen nature of your children, you understand that they don’t just need good habits. They need a new nature; okay? These things we need to understand if we’re going to do evangelism.
Let’s go to the next part of this—discipleship. “Children obey your parents in the Lord for this is right. Honor your father and mother. This is the first commandment with a promise that it may go well with you and you may live long in the land.” “Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.” This, of course, is based in the mandate in Deuteronomy, Chapter 6.
We have an obligation to disciple our children. By the way, there’s nothing in the Scriptures—there’s nothing, anywhere in the Scriptures—that puts the responsibility of the discipleship of children on any person other than parents and grandparents. Nowhere else in the Bible—you’ll never find youth pastors in the Bible discipling kids / children’s ministries in the Bible discipling kids. You’re not going to find that. It’s not there! It doesn’t exist. It’s not there! The obligation—the command—is given to parents.
Marriage enrichment: Listen to this from John Calvin: “The more Satan has endeavored to dishonor marriage, the more should we vindicate it from all reproach and abuse that it may receive its due reverence.” Isn’t that good? Marriage enrichment—again, talking about gospel-centered marriage, cross-centered marriage, Christ-centered marriage / eschatological view of marriage—and I’m going to try to just tread lightly and carefully here because I don’t want any of you to hear me saying what I’m not saying. There’s a glut of marriage material out there today. The overwhelming majority of it is written from a clinical, psychological perspective and not a theological one. That’s a huge problem.
Voddie: It’s a huge problem. It’s very important—when we talk about marriage enrichment—that we talk about it from a gospel-centered, cross-centered, Christ-centered, eschatological perspective. Otherwise, we’re dealing with the wrong issues.
Child training and discipline—this is incredibly important. Why?—because we’re confused about this. You know, it just burdens my heart that there are so many of us who spend more time teaching our sons how to throw a baseball than we have teaching them how to know Christ.
Voddie: If you can’t say, “Amen,” you ought to say, “Out!” [Laughter] We just want to be—discipline, for us, is, “I just want to be able to go to the restaurant and not have people looking at me like….” For many of us, that’s what the discipline of our children is all about. You know, there’s a whole continuum of biblical discipline.
Level one: Encourage proper behavior. We see them in places like Proverbs 3:13-15, 4:7-8. Level two: Inform our children of improper behavior. Level three: Explain the negative consequences of sin. Then, we get to a fourth level: We become persuasive. Gently exhort your children. Level five: Gently rebuke and reprove your children. Then, we get corrective. Level six: Corporal punishment that does not cause physical harm. That’s important. Why? Because there’s a level seven: Biblical corporal punishment that does cause physical harm. That’s when you go, “Praise God for the New Covenant”; amen? Then, level eight: Death—“Take them to the city gates and stone them.” I’m so grateful that I was born under the New Covenant. [Laughter and applause]
I was raised by a single teenage mother in drug-infested, gang-infested South Central Los Angeles, California. People ask me all the time, “How did you grow up in that environment, under those kinds of circumstances, and survive?” Two things I never doubted: Number one—that my mother loved me, and number two—that she would kill me and bury me somewhere. [Laughter] I mean, literally—you know—like for real, kill me. [Laughter] You know?
Listen to this: “But some will tell you all this is lost labor. A child need not be corrected or spanked at all. Instruction, persuasion, and advice will suffice for any child, without spanking or correction; especially, if general reproof be added as the occasion may require.” I answer: “There may be particular instances where using this method may be successful, but you must not in anywise lay this down as a universal rule—unless, you suppose yourself wiser than Solomon, or to speak more properly, wiser than God.
For it is God, Himself, who best knoweth His own creatures, that has told us expressly, “He that spareth the rod hateth his son; but he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes.” The problem is grounded in that plain commandment, directed to all that fear God, “Chasten thy son while there is hope, and let not thy soul spare for his crying.” Spank your kids early and often. [Laughter and applause]
Here’s where we err. There are some who are committed to corrective discipline and would just beat our kids at the drop of a hat, but there’s no formative discipline. All that creates is fear and legalism. Then, there are some with formative discipline but no corrective discipline. That will create a sense of licentiousness. We must have both! Amen?
Voddie: Alright, finally, lifestyle evaluation. When we talk about lifestyle evaluation, what do we mean? Again, this is the foundation for a man shepherding his home.
Number one: You know, there’s family evangelism and discipleship—“I need to know that. I need to understand that,”—that’s a given. Marriage enrichment—“Great; alright, my marriage is the foundation upon which my family is built. That’s great. I get that. You know, training my children / disciplining my children—absolutely! —got to be able to do that.”
Lifestyle evaluation—“What’s that?” Here’s what lifestyle evaluation is: “If you are committed to shepherding your family in this way, have you adopted a lifestyle that makes room for it; or are there things that need to be adjusted so that you can be the kind of family shepherd God has called you to be?”
You hear about a lot of guys changing careers because they can make more money. How many of you hear about changing careers so that they can be more effective family shepherds? Is your house too big? Is your debt too large? Play too much golf? “Do I love the world or the things in the world?” “If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all this—all that is in the world, the desires of the flesh, the desires of the eyes, and the pride of possessions—is not from the Father, but it’s from the world. And the world is passing away, along with its desires; but whoever does the will of God abides forever.”
Let me give you this—we’ll go to this, and then we’ll be done: What creation teaches us about the use of time. What is a year? A year is the measurement of the amount of time that it takes the earth to orbit the sun; alright?—simple enough. What is a month? A month is a unit of time corresponding approximately to one cycle of the moon’s phases. What is a day? A day is a unit of time corresponding to one cycle of the earth’s rotation on its axis.
What’s a week? A week is the only unit of time that does not correspond to the cycle of any heavenly body—no moon, no sun, no stars. A week is an ecclesiastical measurement of time that only makes sense in light of the creation account in Genesis. It’s the only reason we have the concept of a week.
Genesis 2:1-3. So, the Lord’s Day and the pace of life: “Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy. Six days, you shall labor and do all your work; but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord, your God. On it, you shall not do any work—you, your sons, your daughters, your male servant, your female servant, your livestock, or the sojourner within your gates. For in six days, the Lord made the heavens and earth, the sea and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day. Therefore, because of what God did in creation, the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.”
So, what does this teach us? What does this concept teach us? This is not about how you observe the Sabbath; okay? We can have discussions about that, but that’s not the point right now because, regardless of where you are theologically on that, it still matters. It teaches us the balance of work and life. It teaches us the balance of work and life. That’s written in the creation and written in the Scripture. It teaches us the priority of worship—one day in seven, one day in seven, one day in seven. It always comes, and it’s always His. We’re always reminded that it is the center point of our lives.
In fact, in the New Testament—it’s a very interesting point here. In the New Testament, you don’t find days of the week. In the Greek New Testament, you won’t find the names of the days of the week; okay? It is: first day of the week, second day of the week, third day of the week. So, what happens is—the Lord’s Day becomes the center of all time. Everything else is measured by its distance from the Lord’s Day. The priority of worship—this teaches us the sovereignty of God.
What does this have to do with lifestyle evaluation? “How are you living, man?” Evaluate your use of time. Is your use of time consistent with a man who understands that all creation belongs to God?
Evaluate your use of money. Evaluate your use of technology. Evaluate your use of entertainment. Evaluate your use of your spiritual gifts. This is what I am referring to when I talk about lifestyle evaluation.
It is your job—by the way, also, you notice, there, in the fourth commandment—when He talks about that you should do no work, or your servants, or your livestock, or your…, or your…, or your—to whom is He speaking? Head of household—that it’s your job to govern the way your family uses its time—not to sit there and have however many people, running off in however many different directions, and you’re just twiddling your thumbs because you just don’t know what to do about it.
Men, I realize that this is a lot to take in; okay? I get that, but what I want you to do today is at least see the paradigm, at least understand the significance to what it is to which we have been called, at least understand how we ought to be thinking about these things, at least understand the magnitude of our task at hand, and at least begin to seek God in these four very specific areas:
Family evangelism and discipleship—that we would understand the gospel, and evangelism, and discipleship, and lead in that way in our homes. Marriage enrichment—that we would understand the significance and the importance of a God-centered, cross-centered, Christ-centered, eschatological view of marriage.
In child training, and discipline, and discipleship of our children—that we would be thinking about the formative discipline of our children, and the corrective discipline of our children, and the significant role we play in that regard. And then, lifestyle evaluation—that we’d be thinking about the way we use our time, and our money, and technology, and entertainment, and spiritual gifts, and so on and so forth. All of these things are significant.
I talk more about this in my book, Family Shepherds. We have it, actually, here, on the ship. You can get access to that. Talks about, not only these things for you, but talks about how we do them in church—gives you some things to think about if you’re in leadership—how it is that you can start equipping and discipling other men in this area—whether you want to do that in a small group in your home or whether you want to do that, as a leader of a church, for your entire congregation.
Whatever the case, at least, I want you to leave here today with these things on your mind so that when you hear, again, about the need for us to lead our homes, there’s no longer a blank stare; but there is clear, concise thought about what that means and what that looks like.
Bob: Well, again today, we have been hearing from our friend, Voddie Baucham, with some clear instruction on our assignment, as men, to provide spiritual leadership in our home. Honestly, this is something that does not come naturally for us as guys. It’s something that most guys don’t do well instinctively.
This is an area where we have to be equipped, we have to be trained, we have to have somebody come along and give us the kind of instruction that Voddie gave us today. Or the kind that he’s included in the book that he’s written called Family Shepherds, where he maps out a plan and a strategy. Even then, once you’ve read the book or heard the message, doing it—that’s a challenge that goes beyond simply understanding it.
Dennis: It’s almost like the Marine commercial, where you see that guy in a pristine uniform, pull out a shiny sword. It’s like: “Yes! Look at that sword. I’d love to have a sword like that.” Well, Voddie helped us sharpen our swords. He was fulfilling that passage in Proverbs, where it says, “As iron sharpens iron, so one man shapes, and sharpens, and helps, and equips, and challenges another man to become the man God intended him to be.” Now, that’s my paraphrase of that Proverb, by the way.
But Voddie did that. He sent a bunch of Marines to the home front—the battle front—that we think today must be a winning battle front. Because if we don’t win as men, and as husbands, and as fathers, at home, it’s not just us that fail—it is generations that are at stake.
Bob: You know, Voddie is currently engaged in giving leadership to a seminary in Africa. This is part of what he’s training these future pastors in because a pastor has to know how to be a spiritual leader at home before he can lead the flock of God. This is what 1 Timothy 3 and Titus 1 say: “If you’re going to lead the flock of God, you have to know how to lead your home.” Voddie’s done a great job of mapping out what that looks like for dads in a book called Family Shepherds: Calling and Equipping Men to Lead Their Homes.
It’s a book we have today in our FamilyLife Resource Center. .y mention that giving leadership in a seminary in Africa. This is part of what he've to have somebody come alonYou can go, online, at FamilyLifeToday.com and order a copy of Voddie’s book; or you can call 1-800-“F” as in family, “L” as in life, and then the word, “TODAY,” and order the book, Family Shepherds over the phone. Again, the website is FamilyLifeToday.com—order online—or order by phone at 1-800-“F” as in family, “L” as in life, and then the word, “TODAY,”— 1-800-358-6329.
By the way, one thing you can do, as a dad, to exercise some spiritual leadership is to mark out some time to get away with your son this summer. If your son is 9, 10, 11 years old / 12 years old—pre-adolescent—get away and go through Passport2Purity® with your son. Have a couple of days where the two of you get away. Do something fun together, and go through the Passport2Purity material.
If your son is 14, 15 years old, maybe even 16 years old, plan a special activity and get away and take him through the Passport2Identity™ resource that FamilyLife has just created. These kinds of father/son getaways—we’ve given you a tool that makes it very easy for you to engage with your son around real life topics that will help him be grounded spiritually in the choices that are facing him as a young man. So find out more about Passport2Purity and Passport2Identity when you go, online, at FamilyLifeToday.com.
Now, we have two couples celebrating an anniversary today—one couple that has been married for 38 years / another couple been married for 7 years. “Congratulations!” today to Tom and Mary Carol Clark, who live in Schoolcraft, Michigan. They listen to FamilyLife Today on WCSG. They’ve been married 38 years today.
Will and Barbara Howery live in Omaha, Nebraska—the Howery’s have been married seven years today. They listen to “The Fish”—KGBI—in Omaha. They have helped support the ministry of FamilyLife. We appreciate your partnership with us.
In fact, we appreciate all of you who support this ministry—partner with us. Many of you have gotten in touch with us over the last couple of weeks because of the matching-gift challenge that we’re trying to take advantage of during the month of May. Every donation we receive this month is being matched, dollar for dollar, up to a total of $350,000. We are on our way to meeting that match, but we still have a ways to go. So, would you consider, today, going to FamilyLifeToday.com—making an online donation? Or you can call us and donate over the phone. Our toll-free number is 1-800-FL-TODAY.
And with that, we’re done for today, Thanks for being with us. Hope you have a great weekend. Hope you and your family are able to worship together in your local church this weekend.
And I hope you can join us back on Monday. We’re going to meet a remarkable couple—a couple whose marriage was rocked when, as a young woman, Katherine, experienced a stroke that almost cost her life. You’ll meet Jay and Katherine Wolf next week and hear how hope heals. Hope you can be here for that.
I want to thank our engineer today, Keith Lynch, along with our entire broadcast production team. On behalf of our host, Dennis Rainey, I’m Bob Lepine. We will see you back Monday for another edition of FamilyLife Today.
FamilyLife Today is a production of FamilyLife of Little Rock, Arkansas.
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