Full text of Paul Washer’s sermon titled ‘A Young Man’s Attitude Towards Women’ – Biblical Manhood Part 3
Listen to the MP3 Audio here:
Paul Washer – Founder of HeartCry Missionary Society
Yesterday night we finished by determining what a young man must be in order to even begin to think about someone of the opposite sex and entering into a relationship with them. Again, it is something that you earn. It is not yours by some right of privilege. You have to earn this. When you’re awakened to the beauty of the opposite sex, you’re awakened to the desire to have a relationship, then you begin to prepare. You make yourself a man. And you do that primarily by studying the Scriptures, by imitating Jesus Christ, by growing in integrity.
And again, let me say this, one of the most terrifying things for a man is to take to himself a daughter of God. Because God loves His daughter.
Now, before we go on, let me just say something that is very, very important. It may sound kind of just too simple, but you need to hear it. It’s this, you do not treat a girl like you do one of your friends who’s male. I don’t care if you think she’s your best friend in the world, you do not treat her like you would a boy, like you would a man.
And another thing, guys, what are you doing? I know a lot of guys who say, well, my best friend is this girl. What on earth are you doing? That’s wrong. It’s just flat out wrong.
You say, why is it wrong? Here’s something you need to understand. A girl does not listen to what you say. She listens or she looks at what you do. You can tell her all day long, you are just friends. She is not going to believe you if you keep coming around. And even though you probably cannot see it, if she’s still around you and hanging around you as a friend, it’s because that’s the best that she can do right now. And she’s hoping your sentiments toward her will change. You are doing wrong.
When I talked about you enter into a relationship with someone of the opposite sex, you enter into a relationship with a girl, that there is an emotional bond there that’s never going to be erased even if there’s no physical contact, well, it’s even more so for her.
When you are around girls, you treat them with the utmost dignity even though it might even be offensive to them. I mean, honestly. I want to tell you something, we live in an age where I discern many times when I’m in certain situations in the street or whatever, going on a campus, being in a high school, walking through a mall, what has happened to the feminine gender is frightening. The horrible things that I’ve heard them say, the spirit that they carry, many times it’s more dangerous, it’s more frightening than even what you see in young men.
I’m telling you guys, our culture is just totally messed up so that the ideas of purity, innocence, chaseness are just out the window. It’s mocked. Not just among guys. It’s mocked among girls.
But, you are to be different. You are to treat girls completely different. You do not wrestle with them. You do not play with them. You do not punch them. You do not grab them. You do not yell at them. You do not talk to them the way that you may roughhouse around another guy.
God’s will is that you demonstrate the utmost respect and you afford them dignity even if they do not even care. You know, I was teaching in Europe last year and a bunch of girls came into the auditorium and kind of European techno-punk type stuff and pretty wild. And I tell you, my heart went out for them because you could tell immediately they didn’t have a father. And it was a lot of them there.
So I asked them this question. I said, ‘Girls, how many of you have seen BBC’s version of Pride and Prejudice?’ Or even Pride and Prejudice with Keira Knightley? And most of them raised their hand.
And I said, after you saw the movie or while you were viewing the movie, did it just make you feel sad in a way? A melancholy maybe that you couldn’t understand. Most of them said yes.
And I said, let me suggest to you what was the reason for the melancholy. It’s that you live in a culture that has killed beauty. It’s killed dignity. It’s killed innocence. It’s killed manners and courtesy and chivalry and absolutely everything.
And here you watch this movie where women dress a certain way. They’re refined in a certain way. They don’t participate in the brutish things of men. They’re concealed. They’re, again, innocent. It’s like this, I say, young girls, can you imagine a movie where a girl is sitting there and all of a sudden, a guy reaches for a book, and while he reaches for the book, she reaches for the book, and he happens just to touch her hand lightly while he’s reaching for the book. And it literally takes her breath away.
See, we can’t experience that anymore, can we? Because we’re so just immoral and gross that the touching of a hand can’t cause your heart to beat faster. It can’t take your breath away because of the culture in which you live. The death of beauty. It’s your job to restore that in your life and in the life of your wife. To restore that. That is your job.
Now, let me share with you something. My boys are for the most part always going to buy their clothes at Walmart. That’s choices that we’ve made. They’re not going to look high fashion. Let’s say that there’s a bunch of young guys, typical college guys, and they’re all in this room, and a bunch of girls, kind of in a room like this, let’s say. And they’re all just typical.
You know, talking to the girls like you would a guy, and just kind of walking around slumped all over just acting cool and whatever. Alright? You’ve got really nice cars. You’ve got really nice clothes. You look cool. You’ve got all the right stuff.
But then, my two boys walk in. They don’t have the right shoes on. They don’t have the right pants. Maybe their hair’s not even cut right. They don’t look cool, and they don’t even know your language. But when they walk in, you see two guys that stand up straight. Two guys that have a seriousness to them even though there’s a joy. They have a strength to them in character and body and everything else. And they walk over. They know how to carry on a conversation. They look at the girls, treat them with an absolute dignity.
And when they leave, no one is going to be talking about their car, their clothes, how cool they were, how relevant, how contemporary, or anything else. They’re just going to say, man, who were those two guys? The girls are going to walk away going, I never had anyone talk to me that way.
See, it’s the idea of Christ-like character. But I want to tell you this, you act like a biblical man today, and I hate to tell you this, but you act like a biblical man today, don’t expect people to appreciate it. Some people will. Some people will hate you. They’ll just hate you. Even though you don’t say anything to them to rebuke them.
Again, guys, just to start off, being a Christian is more than just simply listening to Christian music or reading your Bible. And it’s more than just getting a few doctrines right. And it’s more than witnessing. It’s literally every aspect of your life being submitted to Scripture so that you do stick out like a sore thumb.
See, you have been led to believe that in order to be relevant in the world, you’ve got to be like the world. And that’s just the opposite of what the Bible actually teaches. To be relevant, you want to not look like the world. You don’t want to know their stuff. You don’t want to be innocent to their evil. You’re going to stick out like an alternative. You’re going to stick out like something completely different.
It’s unbelievable today how Christianity has totally flip-flopped from its biblical purpose. We’re relevant to the world because we’re completely different. But today we’re taught even by ministers and everything else to be relevant. You’ve got to look like them, act like them, talk like them, know their lingo, everything else.
No, Paul said to be innocent to evil. To be innocent to it. Not even know their game. You don’t care to know.
Now, we talked about what a young man must be in order to think about marriage, but now, I want to talk about just the women for a moment. We’re going to look at Proverbs 31. Why?
Because again, Proverbs 31 was not written to a young girl. Proverbs 31 was written to a young man. Because I want to tell you something, guys, the choice you make in a wife is going to determine the blessing or the curse of your entire life. It really is.
I just want to look at a few things. First of all, a young woman may pursue a relationship with the opposite sex only after she has embraced adulthood and its responsibilities. You’re going to be looking for a woman that’s not just beautiful, because she might just have no character whatsoever, but someone who has embraced adulthood. Biblical adulthood. She doesn’t want to be a child. She doesn’t want to just play with her friends. She wants to follow Christ in the context of a family.
The first thing you’ve got to ask yourself is: Is she mature in the fear of the Lord? Does she fear the Lord?
Proverbs 31:30, ‘Charm is deceitful and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised.’
I want you to think about that. You can look. We say the same thing about young men, but right now we’re talking about young women. Guys, after a while, a beautiful woman without discretion is like a golden ring in a pig’s snout. It will be the most disgusting, vile thing to you.
Because literally, as you grow older, your intimacy and the relationship and everything will continue on. It should grow. But the thing about it is, what’s going to keep your marriage together is her character. To be able to talk to you. To be able to share the same things. To be able to invest in something eternal.
Now, she is mature in the fear of the Lord. Also, she recognizes her role as her husband’s helpmate to carry out His divine appointment. I know that sounds so wrong, but I’m sorry. That’s why God created Eve after He created Adam. That she would be a helpmate.
Now, I want you to look at something. You’ve all probably heard about biblical submission, how the husband is the head of the home. What you need to understand though, is authority is given to a man not to build his kingdom. Authority is given to a man to serve his wife and his children. He seeks to lead his wife and his children biblically for their greatest eternal good.
Now, if a woman believes, a godly girl believes, that she is to submit to her husband, and she looks over there and all she sees is an immature boy who does everything for himself, that has a great way of creating bitterness in her heart. But if she looks over there and sees a husband that his whole focus is this: Hallowed be Your name, Your kingdom come, Your will be done. And he’s using everything he has, all his gifts, his talents, his authority, his place as a husband and father, he’s using it all to bless his wife and children and to bless the church and to bless the world. It’s easy for her to submit to a man like that.
So, she needs to realize in Genesis 2:18, Then the Lord God said, ‘It is not good for man to be alone. I will make him a helper suitable for him.’ Someone who comes alongside him and helps him do the work that God gave him. She doesn’t help him become all he can be in this life. She doesn’t help him attain all his selfish goals. She helps him carry out the divine commandments that he’s been given to advance the kingdom of Christ in the world, whether it’s as a missionary or an orthodontist.
He finds his fulfillment in leading. She finds her fulfillment in helping.
Now, something very important that I want you to see. If that young lady does not submit to her father and does not honor her father, she will not submit to you. She will not honor you.
So it’s one of the things you want to look for. What is her relationship with her father? Now, she could be a very dignified young lady, but her father is a terrible sinner. So I mean, you need to be very careful here, but if you see a rebellious spirit which is the boast of people today, run from it. I don’t care how beautiful you think she is. Run from it.
Now, also, she must be willing to be a caregiver, teacher, and disciplinarian of her children. This woman, she is going to be the mother of your children. So do you want a girl who dresses sensually and wants to party all the time? I mean, is that really what you want? Is that what you want for your children? I don’t think so.
A caregiver, Psalms 131:2 says, “…Surely I have composed and quieted my soul like a weaned child rests against his mother.” My soul is like a weaned child within me. The idea of a child resting upon its mother. That she is someone upon whom the children can rest. Someone in which they can find comfort and care. Someone that you would want to entrust your children to. She needs to be a teacher and a discipler.
Proverbs 6:20, “…My son, observe the commandments of your father, and do not forsake the teaching of your mother.”
You do not want to marry a fool. And if girls were sitting here right now, I’d be telling them, you do not want to marry a fool. Because that fool is going to have to lead you. That fool is going to have to teach your children in the same way. You do not want to marry a girl who is just this vain, sensual creature without any sense in her head who can absolutely do nothing except dress up and party. You need to marry someone who can manage the home.
Now here’s the thing that you need to be very careful about, and it’s this. Brother Voddie Baucham and I were teaching one time on a platform together answering questions. And these three girls were kind of angry at some of the things — let’s just say some of the things Voddie said. They couldn’t have been angry at me. And Voddie picked up on it and so did I. You could tell.
Well, these three girls were brilliant. I think two of them were studying to be doctors and one of them was studying to be a lawyer. They were top of their class, everything else. And the girl basically said, the girl said, look, we’re going to do this and be mothers.
And Voddie and I both responded to that in this way: I’m sorry, you’re wrong.
And they said, what do you mean we’re wrong?
Okay, how much, young lady, does the average doctor work a week?
The average doctor works somewhere between 75 and 85 hours a week. More than double what most men work at an office job. So now how, just mathematically, how do you plan on doing this? You’re either going to be a doctor for a while and you’re going to quit in order to take care of your family, or a few months after your child is born, they’re going to be put in preschool, daycare, and then kindergarten, then grade school, then middle school, then high school, then college. And no, you are not going to have been a mother. You are going to be a doctor who paid someone else to raise the children.
You need to ask yourself a real strong question here. Listen, my wife is very intelligent, could do a lot of things, could be making money right now. We live on a lower income. My wife does not work. She manages our home. We homeschool our children. That’s a decision you’re going to have to make.
Everybody says, no, my wife and I have to work. We both have to work in order to make ends meet. That’s a lie in most cases. In most cases, it’s a lie. Your wife and you have to work because you want two new cars and you want to live in a house far too big and far too expensive and far too nice. You want to wear certain clothes and you want to go out to eat all the time. I mean, don’t kid yourself. You’re going to have to make these decisions.
How are you going to live? And really, some guys, and I’m not mad at them, but some guys should just say, I’m not going to marry. I want to be selfish and I want to play with my friends.
Go ahead, do that until you’re 80 years old, but don’t bring a woman into it. And some couples, they should just go out and remove every possibility from themselves of having children. Why? Because they think they can have their cake and eat it too. Well, I’m here to tell you, you cannot. Unless someone leaves you several millions of dollars, forget it. You can’t. You’ve got to make some hard choices. And some couples should just make the choice that they’re never going to have children.
And I don’t even know why some couples have children. Because immediately when the children are born, they turn them over to somebody for someone else to raise.
And so these are big, important questions. Your wife is going to have to be a caregiver, she’s going to have to be a teacher, a discipler, and she’s going to have to be a disciplinarian. If she herself is not disciplined, how is she going to discipline the children?
Proverbs 29:15: The rod and reproof give wisdom, but a child who gets his own way brings shame to his mother. Most children bring shame to their mother, because their mother does not discipline them; their father does not discipline them. You live in an age of no discipline. And that’s why they run wild. That’s why in the end, parents end up almost hating their children by the time their children are six years old. Because they do not discipline them. These are things that you’ve got to think about when you’re going to marry a girl.
See, most of you, probably if you’re like normal guys, you’re just thinking about is she pretty, is she nice, do I like being around her? Look, you’re going to make an enterprise with her. If you’re the boss, a recruiter, or you’re hiring people for a company, you don’t go in and hire somebody because they have a nice personal appearance and you kind of like being around them. You don’t do that.
Why? You’re building something that is going to require integrity, talent, ability, everything on the part of that person. It’s the same way when you’re looking for a wife. You’re not going to sit there and go, she’s cute. She may be a moron. She may be so vain that you couldn’t even begin to even deal with her vanity. She may be something — she doesn’t even know — she can’t cook, she doesn’t know how to run a house; she knows absolutely nothing.
But see, that’s what they’re taught today, isn’t it? Most girls are taught that if you want to be a homemaker, you are a loser. A total loser. If all you want to be is a wife and raise children, you are a loser. I would admit to you, our entire country is a loser because no one’s raising our children. And we’re going back to that same thing I talked about last night with Rousseau and all those others, we’re just paying taxes so the government can raise our children. And that’s why after our children are in that mess for a few years, we don’t even know who they are anymore.
You were taught things and continue to be taught things that to your grandfather would have been an unspeakable abomination. And you’re taught and forced to believe every day it’s okay.
What do you think’s going to happen to your children? The next generation, what will they be taught? Sooner or later, you’ve got to stand up and say, look, the whole world is going to hell in a handbasket. I’m not turning my children over to them. I am going to raise up a family, a godly heritage to the Lord, no matter what it costs me with regard to career or anything else, I am going to serve my God by serving my family and serving my church.
Sooner or later, guys, you’re going to have to make this decision several times in your life. I’ve had to make it not only in the secular world, but also in the religious world. Sooner or later, you’ve got to say, stop the carousel. I’m getting off. I’m not playing this game anymore. I’m going to follow Christ. And these are hard decisions.
Now, another thing, I want to look really quick. She is the manager of the household. Okay? She’s the manager of the household. She can do organization, financing, cooking, handling the home, everything about the home, she can handle it. If you ever want to read a neat book, it’s Marriage to a Difficult Man. It’s about Mrs. Edwards, the wife of Jonathan Edwards. I mean, all that guy did was study. He didn’t even know what was going on most of the time. I think the story is told that one time he said, honey, we’ve got to bring the crops in. She said, husband, we did that two weeks ago.
She recognized that he was given a tremendous gift, unlike very few men that ever lived on the planet. She molded her life around not him, but what God was doing in him. She recognized that he was one of the greatest Christian scholars that ever walked the planet. And she said he needs to be locked away in that office 13 hours a day, or whatever, studying and writing. She took care of everything.
I am not the man Jonathan Edwards is, but praise God I have a wife who manages the home. She manages just almost everything about it. That’s what you’re looking for, guys. That’s what you’re looking for.
And so, now I want to look at just a few things from Proverbs really quick. And again, you can have these notes. I can give them to Doug.
Lessons from Proverbs.
Proverbs 31:27: ‘She looks well to the ways of her household.’ That’s one of the number one things that you need to think about. Here is a girl that looks to her household. She looks to her home.
Now, just a few things about her. We’re going to look at 14 THINGS. I’m just going to read them off.
Verse 11: Her husband trusts in her to manage the home and the family.
Verse 12: She does him good and not evil.
Verse 16 and 24: she is industrious. She is the very opposite of a sluggard. One of the ways you can discover whether or not you need to marry a girl when they have open house or whatever in the dorms. I guess now it’s always open house. You just go look at her dorm room. If it’s a pigsty, run away from her. And I would tell her the same thing about you too. Okay?
Guys, let me tell you something. It is biblical. It would be biblical for me to pull off my belt and whip you, okay? If I ever go to your home when you come home from school and you go back to see your mom and dad and she has to do your wash, pick up your underwear and make your bed, you deserve to be horse whipped.
Your mother was not brought into this world to do your wash. As soon as a young man is able, he ought to be picking up his room, clinging his room, making his bed, and washing everything else. Mom is not his servant. Your wife is not your servant. She will manage the home. She will do wash and laundry and things like this, but she should not be picking up your underwear. Okay?
So, she is going to be the very opposite of a sluggard, but you need to be the very opposite of a sluggard too.
Verse 13: She delights in her work.
Verse 15: She arises while it is still night.
Verse 18: Her lamp does not go out at night.
Verse 27: She does not eat the bread of idleness.
She is a person who is industrious. She is serious about serving God in the context of the family. She is knowledgeable in practical duties. I mean, and this is not the fault of the young ladies. This is the fault of our culture and parents. But I mean, there are girls right now that are on campus right now, they couldn’t boil water. They couldn’t sew. They couldn’t manage a home. They couldn’t do anything.
And be very careful about your Christian ministries. Because you’ll take a girl like that and try to get her involved in discipleship. What? She can’t even do the basic things of a human being, and you want her discipling someone else because she’s got some of your discipleship material?
We need to realize this Christianity thing is supposed to make its way down, folks, into everything. Okay? Into the way we live. Teaching people how to do what’s necessary to sustain a family.
Guys, family is God’s will. It is God’s will. There are only a few people in history that have the gift of celibacy. By and large, family is God’s will. God instituted the family before He did the church. It doesn’t mean the family’s more important than the church, but the church cannot function without the family. And the family cannot function without the church. And this world hates marriage, it hates family, it hates the role of men, and it hates the role of women. That’s why men are applauded for being feminine, and women today are applauded for being masculine.
Now, she’s knowledgeable in practical duties. I guess her mother’s taught her something.
Verse 25: She has strength of character and body.
She is prepared for the future. She has something of a bring-it-on mentality (verse 21-25) She’s cared for her home. She’s prepared everything that needs to be done. And she kind of stands there and says, bring it on, I’m ready.
She goes beyond what the world would call beauty. She is beautiful, and she may be physically beautiful, but her beauty is inward. You’re going to discover something that after a while, it’s not going to be the physical beauty of your wife that’s going to make or break you. It’s going to be her character.
And even when she gets older, you’ll sit there and one day when she’s walking with Christ unusually in the power of the Holy Spirit one day, you’re going to recognize her physical appearance hasn’t changed a bit, but her spiritual appearance has changed and it’s caused you to love her like you’ve never loved her before. In the end, guys, the beauty has to be inward.
Now, I want you to look at verse 21 and 22. Her family is not just clothed, but her family is clothed with scarlet. Not just her family, but she herself. She’s not a person who just is this miserly person that everything is poor in the home and she’s just pinching pennies. No, she’s a person who’s able to take what she has and even make beauty out of it.
Let me give you an example, guys. This is very important. Several, several years ago, it might have been 15 years ago, 20 years ago, I don’t know. I was looking at the news and they came on with this guy. He had a typical home in the suburbs. Kind of just an average home probably built in the 60’s or something. He had two cars. He had a boat. He wasn’t in debt. And at that time, he made something like $21,000 a year. People were saying this is impossible.
The guy has a home. The guy has two cars. The guy has a boat. They’re all paid for. And he makes $21,000 a year. This is impossible. And then they started looking at his life and it wasn’t impossible.
A godly person, now listen to me, can take half the money of a wealthy person and do far more with it, and prosper much, much more. I’ll give you an example. You think you need something, so you go in debt. A godly person will wait upon the Lord and pray, and oftentimes God will provide what he needs without him ever having to go in debt. He won’t compete with other people with regard to homes and cars and everything else. He saves his money.
One of the things that I like to do is find ways to just… Well, I’ll give you an example. My wife lived in Peru with me. She’s lived in tents, you name it. She’s done every kind of sacrifice you can imagine. When we came to the States, I wanted to make her a kitchen, a really nice kitchen, because she loves to cook. She’s a great cook.
And so I got her a stainless steel stove, stainless steel microwave, fridge, put this big counter, everything. People say, how did you do it? I did it over a period of a year. Two times each week I went to Lowe’s to scratch and dent where they have things that have a scratch behind it, no one will see, and they’re half what they would normally cost. It took an entire year to do it. But I built her entire kitchen with less money than it would have taken most people to buy just junk and put it in the kitchen.
Praying and asking God, ‘Open up the door. Please provide something.’ You see? It’s the same way with clothing. It’s the same way with a godly woman. My wife is doing this study right now on coupons because she found this lady who goes literally and buys something like a couple hundred dollars worth of groceries every week and pays something like 46 cents because she’s got these huge books of coupons. That’s what I’m talking about.
I’m not talking about people who live miserly and they always look bad and they have nothing. I’m talking about godly people who God takes the little that they do have because they’ve given away, because they’ve made hard choices not to make money because of their family, things like that. But God can prosper them above what He prospers the wealthy. He can. He most certainly can.
Now, she is charitable, verse 20. She is marked by kindness and wisdom, verse 26. She is fruitful, verse 14. She delights in her gain and it encourages her. She sets about with a home business.
Her husband is honored by the most respected men of the city because of her, verse 23. She fears the Lord, verse 30.
To end this, let me just say this. Do not marry a Cinderella. Do not marry some beauty queen. You may marry a girl that is gorgeous. You may marry a girl physically beautiful. I can assure you this is one of the ways in which you know the girl is God’s girl for you is you will be attracted to her. You will think she’s beautiful. She will be the girl you want to be with.
But realize this, guys, you can be carried away by your sensuality and you can follow after a girl that is death. In the Scripture, there are sensual girls all throughout the book of Proverbs and the Bible describes them as the grave, as the pit, as death, as destruction. And they really can be.
Now, I want us to look at preparation prior to entering into a relationship of courtship.
First of all, every aspect of our life — in every aspect of our life, every season is God’s will and we must be content. Sometimes my little boys will say, I wish I was 16. I wish I was this. I wish I was that. And I have to point out to them that is wrong. That’s even sin. That we are to be content in every stage of our lives that God has given us. Every stage.
Right now in your singleness, you ought to be content. What ought you to be doing? You shouldn’t be chasing girls. You shouldn’t be doing this and that and all these crazy things. With this free time in your singleness, you should be preparing for marriage. You should be serving the Lord in a way that you can as a single person. You should be studying hard. You should be putting back money. You should be preparing. This is a time to prepare.
Look what the world tells you: You’re single, you’re free, waste it. Just think about this. You’re single, you’re free, waste it. Play Xbox until three in the morning. Go out partying. Run around with your friends. And in the end, you’ve accomplished nothing. We’re a culture of fun. And in the end, there’s nothing to show for it. Use this time. Completely opposite of what the world tells you. Use it to invest.
Now, I want us to look at areas of preparation. This is important. First of all, spiritually. I like to say if you think John the Baptist wrote the Gospel of John, then you are not spiritually prepared to be married. If you don’t know the Scriptures, you should not think at all about the opposite sex.
Intellectually, if you have books with only big pictures in them, you’re probably not ready to marry. Now guys, spiritually we need to be ready. Intellectually, we need to be ready to marry. Why?
What do you want to hand down to your children? Do you literally want to be this person who knows nothing? So that then you have to hand your children off to some government institution to fill them up with everything they believe? You must be a person who desires to know. Most people after they graduate from college never read a book. You need to develop yourself intellectually. You need to read the classics. You need to think about using that mind of yours for a purpose and to grow in every area of your life spiritually, intellectually, emotionally.
Now let me just say this, if you throw a temper tantrum because your parents will not let you go to the mall, if you’re depressed because you do not have the latest version of Xbox and you lock yourself in a room and cry because it looks like the barber used a weed eater to cut your hair and it doesn’t look nice, you’ve got some serious problems.
But the reason why I give these illustrations, I’ve seen this. I’ve seen this out of college students. Guys, they’re emotionally, they’re just little girls. And they’re always crying to one another and sharing feelings. That’s not who you are. You were taught to do that. You were taught to think this way. But you were not taught by Scripture to think this way. Practically.
You know, guys, here’s the thing. Do you know how to use jumper cables? Can you fix something? I don’t know where I saw this or if someone told it to me, but Fortune 500 companies and things. Now again, I need to research this better, but if it is true, it’s a good illustration. There’s a lot of companies that before, they wouldn’t look at somebody unless they had a college degree. Now they’re not doing that anymore because they recognize the guys coming out of college know absolutely zero.
And even some of the bigger companies are hiring guys from technical schools because at least they can do something. At least they know something. They didn’t go to school and just get a certain degree and party all the time. Or just run around with their friends. Or just learn nothing.
You see, guys, you need to be developed practically. I mean, what can you do? There’s kind of a foxhole mentality here. If there was a war, would I jump in a foxhole with you? Or would I run past and look for someone else? Or are you the type of person that someone has said, yeah, he’ll figure it out. He’ll do it. He’ll accomplish it. If he doesn’t understand it, he’ll just figure it out. He’s got the wisdom to do it.
And these are things that are no longer developed in manhood. I mean, our fathers aren’t teaching us how to hammer, nail, fix plumbing, work on a car, or anything else anymore. The practical aspects of life. I mean, let’s think about it for a moment. If some kind of apocalyptic thing happened and you were just out there on your own, whether it’s thrown out in the woods or thrown out in an urban setting in which literally war was going on, what would you do? Hide in a closet and cry? Get together and weep to one another and have a group hug or sing Kumbaya together? What would you do?
You know, here’s the thing. Someone’s got to get up and say, look, we’re going to die. If we’re going to eat, we’ve got to go kill something. If we’re going to make it through this, we’re going to have to use our head.
You see, we’ve lost so much of this. My dad was just an incredible mathematician and things like that. He worked with Union Carbide and did some things even with the space program and things like that. And I can remember my dad sitting down there when I was a kid with a slide ruler and just working out calculations like you could not believe.
Now we can do all those in the blink of an eye because we have a computer, but could we actually do the calculations? You know, there’s a practical aspect of life, guys. One of the things that I do with my boys every Christmas, every birthday, I go to Sears and I get each of them a lifetime guarantee craftsman tool so that when they leave my home, they’re going to have all the tools they need to work on things.
See, we don’t think about that anymore, do we? We go to some Toys R Us and buy our boys all kinds of silly things that tear up in about a day, you know? Buy them a wrench. Let them take the car apart. That type of thing. Let them learn something, you see?
And guys, I’m telling you this because even though I was raised on a farm, raised on a horse ranch, cattle ranch, honestly, everything I know how to do, I know how to do simply because I watched men do it. No one taught me. They should have taught me. We should teach our sons.
And what’s great, you know what’s fantastic about having children? It’s you get to educate yourself. You think to yourself, I’ve got to teach my kid how to do this. I don’t even know how to do this. So you learn how to do it, and you teach your kid. But see, you’re not going to be able to do that if you’re a dislocated father who’s just abandoned the family because all you do is bring home the money. A coach teaches your kid how to be tough. Teachers teach your kid all about ethics, worldview, and everything. Isn’t that scary?
And then you take your son to Sunday school for 30 minutes so he can draw pictures of Noah’s Ark. And then you wonder, why can’t we combat culture? This is why.
Now, the young man, here’s some of the things I want you to see. First of all, we’re going to just have to skip this part because I want to get down to another part. I want to look at the principles of courtship before we close this.
First of all, in the principles of courtship, the relationship is initiated by the young man. It is not initiated by the girl. Now, right now, if this was on film and Oprah got a hold of it, I’d probably be on the Oprah Winfrey show tomorrow, and they’d all be laughing at me. I don’t care. If it was on CNN right now, it would be a cause of scandal throughout the nation that I said that a young man ought to initiate the relationship. But that’s what the Bible teaches.
It says this in Genesis 2:24, for this reason, a man shall leave his father and mother — in the Scriptures, women who pursue men are considered immoral. Proverbs 7. Women who pursue men are considered immoral. In every situation where you see women pursuing men, it’s immoral. It’s looked down upon with Scripture.
It doesn’t say the young girl shall leave her father and mother. It says the young man shall leave his father and mother and pursue the girl.
You’ve probably all heard the statement: her hand in marriage. There’s a reason for it. It actually comes from a biblical belief that until that girl, for that girl’s life, from the time she is born, she’s under the authority, care, and protection of her father until the day her father takes her hand and puts her hand in the hand of her husband. And at that moment, she’s under his care and protection. She’s never to be wandering around in the world.
I want you to think about something for a moment. Am I going to take my little girl who I’ve trained, who I’ve guarded in purity, who I’ve taught modesty, who I’ve poured my life into, and my wife has poured her life into, would I actually throw her into a university like yours? Not on your life would I do that. I know what will happen to her on that campus. I know what young guys your age will say to her. I know the approaches they’ll make. I would never throw my daughter into such a disgusting situation.
Now that sounds hard. I’m not talking about you. I don’t know you. But I know what goes on on college campuses. I throw my daughter in that cesspool, there is no way. No way. A bunch of brutish animals. Young men driven by lust with no sense, no wisdom. There is no way my daughter will be put in that situation.
You say, well, is she going to go to college? If the schooling is right at home, she’ll know more literature and things when she graduates the 12th grade from our home than she will if she graduated from your college. I mean, how many classics are you guys reading? And she will be under our care. And then one day, God will bring a fine young man. It’s my desire.
And she will never know of the evil that everyone tells me she’s supposed to know about because her husband will protect her innocence. You see how wrong the world is? It’s wrong, guys. Take our little daughters and bring them into the wolves. It’s terrible.
Now, next, the young man should prayerfully evaluate his own motives as to why he’s attracted to a certain young lady.
Lamentations 3:40 says, let us examine and probe our ways and let us return to the Lord. Why are you attracted to this young lady? Are you attracted to biblical beauty? Or are you attracted to sensuality?
Sensuality proceeds from a wicked heart. Mark 7:21-23, For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, fornications, thefts, murders, adulteries, deeds of coveting and wickedness, as well as deceit, sensuality, evil, slander, pride, and foolishness.
You walk down the street and there is a girl dressed to kill. I mean, she is dressed to kill to the point that if you actually are a Christian, the moment she passes your path, you’re going to have to put your head down and turn away from her. And if you don’t, you’re going to be snared.
You know exactly what I’m talking about. Alright, I can tell you she has a wicked heart. I don’t care if she loves puppies. I don’t care. She has a wicked heart, because out of that heart of hers is coming that sensuality in which she’s literally parading her body in front of everyone she can to capture somebody. That’s not the kind of woman you want to marry, my friend. It’s not.
Now, sensuality is a deed of the flesh.
Galatians 5:19, now the deeds of the flesh are evident which are immorality, impurity, and sensuality.
It’s pitiful when you go to some churches and you literally have to pray. Me as a preacher, I know when I go into some churches to preach, I have to prepare my heart because I know when I look out over the congregation, I’m going to see people dressed sensuously. That’s pathetic.
But you’ve probably never heard a sermon on clothing in any of the churches you attend. Because immediately, even some of you would probably jump up and say that’s legalism. Because you’ve been trained that if anybody talks about a command or the manifest will of God, your first declaration is to be that’s legalism. And you know what you’re proving? You’re proving just what Jesus said, Depart from Me. I never knew you. Those of you who claim to be My disciples, but you lived as though I never gave you a law to obey.
See how dangerous it is to be in contemporary Christianity? It’s extremely dangerous. So, you need to ask yourself, are you attracted to biblical beauty or sensuality? Also, are you attracted to virtue or are you attracted to personality?
Now we’re not saying it’s bad to have a personality, but personality without virtue is extremely dangerous. I know wicked preachers who can charm you to no end, can take you in, grab a hold of you, pull you in, and you think that they’re the greatest things since John the Baptist. And in fact, they’re wicked. They’ve just got a tremendous personality that can overpower people.
Proverbs 31:10 says, Who can find a virtuous woman? Yes, who can find a virtuous woman? For her price is far above rubies. You’re not wanting just a flashy personality in a woman. You’re wanting virtue.
Now, when you think that you’re prepared, that you have the right motives, that this is the girl for you, what should you do? The young man should seek out godly counsel from the biblical authorities over him. First of all, from his father. Even if your father is an unbeliever, you should honor your father and go to him. Even if he laughs and don’t want to do it, at least make the attempt. Go to him and say, ‘Father, do you think that I am prepared to marry?’
Proverbs 4:1, Hear, O sons, the instruction of a father, and give attention that you may gain understanding. You need to go to your father.
But secondly, and especially if your father drops the ball and just doesn’t care, you need to go to your elders. 1 Peter 5:5, ‘You younger men likewise, be subject to your elders, and all of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, for God is opposed to the proud but gives grace to the humble.’
You need to go to godly, godly men, preferably elders in the church, and say, do you think I’m prepared? The problem is, again, you go to these megachurches and most elders won’t even know if you’re a member or not. You see how things just start declining?
Go to other godly Christians.
Proverbs 11:14: Where there is no guidance, the people fall, but in abundance of counselors there is victory. And if all the authorities in your life say, look, you’re too young, this, that, don’t follow country music that tells you to go ahead and marry. If all the authorities in your life tell you, look, you’re not ready, that should be some serious red flags for you. And you should maybe put on the brakes.
Or if they tell you she is not ready, you should maybe put on the brakes for a while. You say, well, what if I miss my opportunity? If God’s sovereign, you won’t miss your opportunity.
Now, what I usually do is if I am, as a leader, if I tell a young man, you’re not ready to marry, and his father has dropped the ball totally, he’s not a member of the church or anything, then I just don’t have the right of telling a young man you’re not ready. I have to tell him you’re not ready and let me try to work out something with the elders and see if we can make you ready. You always want to give somebody hope, don’t you? Because a lot of guys, they just need some help. Just need some help.
Now, the young man, if his father and the elders of the church say, yeah, this is a great thing, you’re ready, she seems to be ready, then the young man should seek permission from the authorities in the young woman’s life. He should seek to honor her father and mother.
Now, I just want to throw some principles at you that are principles. First of all, the young woman’s father has the right to deny permission immediately. Exodus 22:16-17; Numbers 30:3-5. You could go to the father and say, I’ve been praying about your daughter and I would like to maybe court her. The father has the right to say no.
And if you go, what does she say? You right there prove that you’re not ready to marry her. When I wanted to marry my wife, I was 31 years old. Her father said no. So I honored him.
And after six months — he doesn’t know the Lord — after six months, he told my wife’s grandparents, he said, I’m going to go ahead and say yes because I cannot believe that young man obeyed me. I mean, who would do that today? Who would obey me? I mean, I don’t understand his Christianity and everything, but I mean, he’s 31 years old. They’re in a completely different country. He didn’t have to submit to me. He did. He can marry her.
You see? Now, if the father approves of the young man, he should not communicate his approval unto him until he has his daughter’s approval. For example, if you’re the greatest guy in the world, and the father thinks, man, you’re the apostle Paul made over. He just thinks you’re the greatest thing in the world. He does not tell you as a father, yes, I would love to see you court my daughter. He doesn’t say that. Why? It’s not about the dad. If he approves it, he should just look at you and say, you know, let me pray about it for two weeks. He doesn’t say, let me go talk to my daughter. And I’m going to tell you why in a minute. He just says, hey, let me pray about it for a couple weeks, and then I’ll call you up and we’ll set up another time to talk.
Why? He goes back and he talks to his daughter. If he mentions your name to the daughter and she throws up, it’s probably you don’t have a very good chance. But if he says to the daughter, look, so-and-so came and wants to court you, and she jumps up on her bed, starts doing flips and sings the Hallelujah Chorus, then you’re probably doing ok.
But if she says to her father, she says, dad, I don’t want to court that guy. I have no feelings for that guy.
Then here’s what dad does. Dad goes back in two weeks, and if she says that, he may tell her, look, pray about it for a week, ok? Just pray about it. She prays about it after a week. She says, dad, I just don’t want to court that guy. But he goes back, calls up the boy and says, come visit me. The boy comes and he says, I’ve prayed about it for two weeks and I’ve made my decision. The answer is no.
Now look what the father’s doing. He doesn’t say I went and talked to my daughter and she said no. Because as the father, it’s his responsibility to protect her from any conflict with a man. So the father takes the brunt of it. So if the young man’s angry, let him be angry at dad, ok?
So he says, look, I’ve prayed about it. The answer is no. And if the young man again says, well, what did your daughter say? I say, son, you just proved why my answer is no. Look at you. You can’t even respect me. You won’t respect my daughter. See, I’m protecting my daughter. I stand between my daughter and some young guy.
See, that doesn’t happen on your campus, does it? Girls are in conflict all the time with guys. No dad to protect them. And the government’s sure not going to do it. School’s not going to do it. And the churches aren’t going to do it. So she’s there wandering all alone.
Now, but if my daughter says, yes, daddy, I mean daddy, I’ve just been praying about this guy. This is absolutely, yes, yes, dad. So I call up the young man and I say, come visit me, come visit me. I sit down with him and I said, I’ve approved of this.
Now, here’s what we’re going to do. I would like to talk to your father.
Now, this is a perfect case scenario because some families would just laugh at this if I called them. But in a perfect case scenario, what I’d do if your father was a Christian and was dedicated to the things of God, I would call your father and I’d say, we need to sit down and talk. You and I, your wife and my wife, we need to sit down and talk.
And someone says, well, what if they live across the country? Dude, take a plane. This is important. I mean, you’ll spend money to go to Walt Disney World. I mean, this is important.
And why are we going to sit down together? We’re going to sit down together to find a way to bless our children, to line out a plan where they can get to know one another without falling — without falling. We’re going to build a relationship because we may be in-laws. We’re going to be united in purpose. We’re going to pray together. We’re going to build parameters of protection and we’re going to provide accountability.
Now, I know this sounds so different than anything you’ve probably ever heard before, but look at the alternative.
Now, let me share with you to bring to an end some warnings against sexual immorality. The most dangerous aspect of any relationship between two people of the opposite sex is sexual immorality. That’s it.
Now, I want you to understand something. If you don’t agree with me, you’re wrong. And if you don’t agree with me, you are going to really hurt yourself. So that’s just so that you know. Here it is.
It is impossible to be alone with someone of the opposite sex for any extended period of time without falling into some form of sexual immorality.
I had a guy call me up one time. He was getting ready to go to seminary and I knew him. He’s a godly guy. I knew the girl he was dating. I knew her a little bit. She’s a godly girl. And he calls me up one day and I mean, this guy’s a man’s man. And he’s crying. He’s like, I can’t take it anymore.
I said, man, what is wrong?
He said, you know, I pray, I read the Word, she prays, reads the Word, but when we get together, sometimes we make these commitments that we’re not going to touch, we’re not going to hug, we’re not going to do this, and then one thing leads to another. And in the end, you know, she’s confused. She feels shameful. I feel like an idiot who can’t lead a woman and we do this and we’ve fallen. We haven’t gone all the way, as they say, but we’ve done things that’s just caused such confusion to the relationship.
And I said, well, what do your college counsellors tell you to do? Because he had a lot of guys counseling him on campus.
And he said, well, they tell me that this is tough, I need to pray, I need to read the Word, it’s difficult.
And I said, you use my name and you go back and tell them they need to stop counseling people. You tell them to come talk to me if they want to, but I’m telling them to stop counseling people.
Look, God does not command you to pray to be strong enough to do something He told you not to do. It’s just a plain fact. If you’re with a girl long enough that you’re attracted to and you’re isolated enough, alone enough, you are going to fall. Now that’s just all that’s going to happen. It’s not a question of are you strong enough. The Bible answers that. No, you’re not strong enough, so don’t do it. Do not be alone in dangerous places with that girl, because you are going to fall. And when you do, she’s going to feel ashamed because she’s not acted like a godly young lady. You’re going to feel ashamed and embarrassed because you’ve led her. It’s your fault.
I don’t care what happens, it’s your fault. You did it. You’re the man, you’re the leader, it’s your fault. You led her in a way that hurt her. And so you’re the one that’s going to marry this girl. How are you going to lead her when you get married?
You see, it is your fault, young man. But here’s the thing that no one’s told you. No one can do it. No one.
Let’s say a preacher comes to preach at your church. And they’ve given him a hotel room with the kitchen in it and things like that because he’s going to be there for a week and a half preaching. Well, let’s say that you’re on staff at the church and you and the staff and the pastors go pick him up one day at 12 o’clock to eat lunch. And you knock on the door of the hotel room and one of the single moms, a very attractive single mom in your church, opens the door.
And then all of a sudden, the preacher comes to the door and goes, how’s it going?
What on earth is going on here?
He said, well, come on in. We’re making cookies. We just finished the batch of cookies.
You’re doing what?
We’re making cookies. And you see the cookies on the tray. You see them on the table. They’ve both got aprons on. Do you realize the meetings are over? You’re going to cancel the meetings. Why?
You’re going to look at that preacher and say, what on earth are you doing? You’re alone in your hotel room with a lady from our church who’s a single mom. The meetings are over. Furthermore, we’re going to have to go call up your board. We’re going to have to talk to your church. This is a scandal.
But he says, but all I’m doing is being alone with her.
Can’t you see how dangerous that is? You have a wife. You have children. She has a testimony.
Alright? The preacher, let’s say, is 55 years old. He’s got a wife and family a whole lot more to lose than you do. He’s 55 years old. He’s a lot more tired than you are. But we think it’s absolutely insane. Criminal. It will destroy his ministry if we catch him alone with a woman even if they’re making cookies. Because we realize how dangerous it is and how quickly their testimony can be destroyed. So we see that as almost insane, but then you guys will do it every day. You’ll date a girl and be alone with her all the time and not see that you’re in the same kind of danger. You can destroy her life and yours.
Now guys, this is very, very important. The fierce nature of sexual immorality is portrayed throughout Scripture. We are told to wrestle with the devil in Ephesians 6:12-13, to resist him and he will flee from us, James 4:7, but in the matter of youthful lust we are commanded to flee. Isn’t that amazing?
We are commanded to do hand-to-hand combat with the devil. But when it comes to the youthful lust inside of you, in your flesh, you’re told to run from it. And if you don’t, you will be in a great deal of trouble.
Now, I want to close by saying this. When I teach on any form of courtship or something, it’s always scary, and I’ll tell you why. There are people who’ve written a lot of books on courtship and they get more stuff from just the Victorian era than they get from Scripture. There aren’t a lot of principles. But there are some, okay?
And it’s going to take wisdom on your part and godliness to figure out exactly how those principles apply. Let me give you an example. Exactly how you’re to address your father and hers, the Bible doesn’t tell us. The Bible does just tell us though that you should honor your father and you should honor hers.
The Bible tells us that it is extremely dangerous for you to be alone with her. But that doesn’t mean that you’re never alone with her. One of the best things to do, and again, in the house of an elder, in the house of a mom, a dad, or if you’re far away from both your parents and your church is really big and elders don’t have time, of just finding a very, very godly Christian couple who can chaperone you. That you can go over to their house and they take it on themselves as a ministry. That they will allow you to sit there in their house. They’ll even make a dinner for you, things like that. And then they’ll leave the room. They’ll allow you to talk and be with the girl and get to know her. You’ve just got to be creative, guys.
You don’t want to be legalistic, and you don’t want to get into something so strict that it’s not biblical. It’s just suffocating. But if you’ll just follow a few biblical, wise principles, you will save yourself from harm. Honor her father and her mother. Honor your father and mother. Look for the counsel of godly men and women. Do not be driven by lust or vanity or outward beauty in selecting a mate. Look for someone with Christ’s likeness who will be able to be a wife and raise your children.
When you get to know this person, do it in a way that will protect you from falling because if you do get alone with her, you will fall. And these are just some things that you need to work through.
Now, just talking to some of you, some of you are much farther along than I was when I was your age, OK? I’m proud of that. I’m glad to see that. And exactly the things I told you here, I don’t want you to swallow at hook, line, and sinker. I want you to take this and say, OK, I have really kind of been shaken up a bit. I’ve heard things I’ve never heard before. I need to ask myself. I need to look at these Scriptures and say is this true?
And if it is, how does this apply to me? And when you come up with your answers, you need to go to other people and say, hey, am I just copping out here? Or is this right? Am I being too radical here? Or is this right?
What do you think about this? And guys, look, if you guys just go with the flow of Western evangelicalism, you’re not going to amount to much. I’ll tell you that right now. If you just go with the flow of American Christianity, you’re just going to do your little Sunday thing, be a little bit cleaner than everybody else at the office and really never make an impact on the world.
If you turn your children over to be raised by other people and all these different things, you’re really not going to make that big of an impact on the world. To follow Jesus Christ in the United States of America may be more difficult than any other place on the planet. If you really do it.
Alright, let’s pray.
Father, thank You for this time, and I pray, dear God that You would — Lord, we’ve had to hurry through so many things, but I pray that You would use this as a catalyst to get the young men in the Word to seek out these things and to be careful not to interpret the Word of God through the lens of their culture. Lord, help them. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
For Further Reading:
Are You Ready for a Relationship? (Biblical Manhood Part 2): Paul Washer (Transcript)
What A Man Is Not – Biblical Manhood (Part 1): Paul Washer (Transcript)
(Through The Bible) – Book of Proverbs: Zac Poonen (Transcript)
Where Did The Bible Come From and Why Should We Care: Tim Mackie (Transcript)