A few months ago someone shared a YouTube clip with me of pastor and homeschooling and FIC leader, Voddie Baucham, discussing a father’s relationship with a daughter. (You will find the quote at the 2:08 time mark.) I posted that clip here as well as on True Womanhood and then, earlier this week, reposted it in a discussion on Amy Scott’s blog as an example of patriocentric teachings that I find troubling. Evidently I was not the only one who took issue with his claims that:
“A lot of men are leaving their wives for younger women because they yearn for attention from younger women. And God gave them a daughter who can give them that.”
Today, Voddie *has chosen to respond to the posting of that clip and I feel compelled to respond to his statement for several reasons. I hope you will read his essay before you continue reading here.
First of all, I have no personal issues with Voddie Baucham. I do not particularly care how he raises his children, what sort of marriage he has with his wife, or what kind of dog food he feeds his dog. It matters not to me if his wife has her head covered, uncovered, or shorn. I don’t care if his daughter can do post graduate work and research or can whistle Dixie while chewing crackers and covering one eye. I do care deeply and feel passionately, however, about some of his teachings.
It is quite sad to me that I have to go on record as saying any attempts I have made or continue to make to challenge Mr. Baucham are certainly not intended to be slanderous, libelous, or gossip. I continue to be very careful to examine what he teaches both against the backdrop of the patriocentric movement he represents and in light of my understanding of the Word of God. (I posted the entire clip so everyone could see it IN CONTEXT and have quoted it verbatim.) But since asking good questions and pondering the very real ramifications of teachings is often considered as such, here is my disclaimer. (Since I have never threatened anyone with death and can’t imagine the intelligent men and women who have discussed this topic with me doing so, I am hoping that he is certainly not assigning that to me. It is quite offensive and irresponsible to see that last accusation thrown in the general direction of those of us who are asking sincere questions.)
When I first saw the YouTube clip in question, I was stunned. I watched it in context; I tried to put it in the best possible light. Since he is a pastor, I was assuming that he was following the golden rule of preaching…making the main things the plain things and the plain things the main things. I also assumed that he was speaking from a place of Spiritual understanding rather than one of psychological conjecture. I have repeatedly asked for his quote to be placed in some sort of Biblical context and when I saw he was going to respond, I hoped I would see that. So imagine my surprise to see no Scripture whatsoever, in spite of the fact that he evokes God’s name in his initial statement.
In his initial quote, Mr. Baucham assumes that it is normal for men to yearn for the attention of younger women because he implies that God gave them daughters to righteously deal with this yearning. The only Biblical response to this “yearning for younger women,” I believe, is for men to acknowledge that they are sinning when they have that desire, to repent of it and turn away from it, and to recognize that God’s standard is yearning for ONLY the attention of his wife, whether she is 20 or 120. Any other yearning, sexual or otherwise, is sin and must be dealt with as such. God does not provide a means for fulfilling wrong yearnings, in daughters or otherwise. That is the response I would have expected from a pastor, especially one whose desire is to minister to families.
Instead, Mr. Baucham invokes “Psychology 101” and exhorts us to pursue “fleshly wisdom,” (2 Corinthians 1:12), referencing filmmaker Alfred Hitchcock and actress Amanda Peat. So, as per your example, come along, Pastor Baucham, climb up on my leather couch, and let’s take a look at what the purveyors of pop psychology have to say about the reason older men yearn for the attention of younger women.
This is what my research tells me “Psychology 101” has to say:
1. Older men pursue younger women in order to preserve their fertility. Biologically they desire to procreate and the best means of doing so is with a younger woman, not a post menopausal wife.
2. Older men are sexually aroused by a fertile woman.
3. Older men feel younger and sexually invigorated by younger women.
4. Older men are flattered by the attention of younger women who are looking for maturity and stability (as opposed to those guys who are 30 and still playing video games all day) though not necessarily father figures. In fact, most younger women who pursue older men choose men no more than 6 years their senior.
5. An older man feels the need to compete with younger men in the work force and having a younger woman makes him appear more virile. In the animal kingdom, the strongest males get the best females so a younger woman makes a man appear stronger.
6. Older men are attracted to younger women because of the hard core and even soft core pornography that has set the standard for female attractiveness.
7. Older men are attracted to younger women because they are more impressionable and are more easily influenced than women their own age. It is considered a “throw back to patriarchy.” (exact quote)
8. Older men are attracted to younger women because it is a distinctly human tendency to use visual stimuli in making choices of a mate. One author wrote: “More experimental work has been done on the connection between extreme youth, sexual attractiveness and pedophilia.”
9. Older men say they feel less anxiety about sexual performance around younger women who are more inexperienced.
Interestingly, I was unable to find a single reference to Mr. Baucham’s “well-known cultural catchphrase” that older men turn to younger women because they really want a daughter. I hope he will provide a link to this “Psychology 101” notion, though a Scriptural reference would be even better!
My second concern regarding Mr. Baucham’s statement is that there is an assumption that daughters are to give a special type of devotion to their fathers because of this alleged need. It places a responsibility on a child that should never be there. I do not know any passage of Scripture that talks about children fulfilling the needs of their parents. In fact, it seems to me that Scripture teaches just the opposite, that we are to deny ourselves and follow Christ. That we are to be like Jesus, and lay down our lives for others. That we are to be willing to be poured out as a sweet smelling sacrifice to the Lord. Godly family relationships happen when mothers and fathers and sons and daughters all practice the one anothering commands within their homes, forgetting about themselves and their own needs.
It is so sad to me that these wonderful family relationships, true gifts from the Lord, are being turned into such convoluted, unnatural bonds. This latest offering from Mr. Baucham is yet one more reason for homeschooling moms and dads to be ever vigilant and to hold all teachings up to the light of the Word of God.