The Key To A Man’s Soul

14 01 2012

I meet with a cadre of young men once a week.  These are leaders seeking to grow and become more effective as fathers, employees, business owners and husbands.  As men.

This morning we followed a discussion trail blazed by John Eldredge’s remarkable book Wild At Heart: Discovering The Secret Of A Man’s Soul.

There are books and then there are life-changing forays into the literary world.  This bestseller has changed the destinies of a lot of men.

The author says in the preface that what men need is not another book on men and male leadership.  What men need is permission.   This book does just that.  Like Aslan, it’s not safe but it’s good.

Touché.

Popular culture, especially the various entertainment media, as well as a large sector of the Christian Church, have sought for the past 40 years or more to redefine masculinity.  This re-creation has thus made the ideal man docile, well-behaved, compliant, inane and effeminate.  The result: An incompetent doofus.

This re-imagining of essential maleness has been a disaster.

Men are builders of society.  Boiled down to essentials, a man is by nature:

  • Adventurous and untameable.  Unless he surrenders his heart and his testicles.
  • A protector.  He finds his male identity strengthened by looking after those who are vulnerable.  Chief among these are women and children.
  • A warrior.  He loves a challenge, a battle to fight and win.  Something worth dying for.
  • Rugged.  He loves the struggle of taking dominion in his world.  Whether he is building a house, sailing the open seas or navigating a corporation, he finds fulfillment in not surrendering but wrestling and overcoming challenges.

I remember reading this book back in 2003.  As soon as I finished, I gave it to a colleague—we were both pastors—on a retreat and he simply could not put it down.  Some of us are voracious readers.  Others read regularly.  Some hardly at all.  But when guys get hold of this book, it touches something so deep within them with such power that they latch on like a pit bull.  There is dynamite in its pages.

This book matters.  If you’re a guy and haven’t read it, you should.  Two thumbs up to John Eldredge for putting a dent in the male universe.

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2 responses

14 01 2012
sabbiwhims

I also read this even though it’s addressed mainly to men… and I have to say i HIGHLY recommend this book for women to read as well. There are so many women out there who don’t understand the way that God designed the heart of a man. Such an insightful read. “Captivating” was also wonderful, and i recommend men read that for the same reason women should read “Wild at Heart.” The better we understand how God has put a piece of his own nature more prominently displayed in each of the genders, the better off our marriages, our families, and ultimately our society will be.

14 01 2012
Christian Fahey

I totally agree Sabbi. In these times especially having a clear and accurate understanding of masculinity and femininity is essential. Thanks for reading!

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