Sunday, December 24, 2017

Book Review: The Hidden Value of a Man (1992) by Gary Smalley and John Trent

The Hidden Value of a Man: The Incredible Impact of a Man on His Family (1992)
by Gary Smalley and John Trent

As a man, the authors writes, whether you realize it or not, own two “swords,” two form of power – a silver-handed sword called man’s positional power, and a gold-handed sword called man’s personal power. Positional power is “the clout, control, prestige and authority that come to a man because of where he works or what he does. It’s his job title, his resume… it’s the number of academic degrees he has earned… it centres on an image… and doing whatever it takes, to whomever, to increase and maintain the image of excellent.” Personal power on the other hand is “the ability to develop meaningful, fulfilling relationships; a willingness to do whatever it takes to strengthen our families and find the help we need to overcome any strains in our marriages.” Both are important, but men today lack personal power, the gold-handed sword, said the authors. “When you speak of a man’s personal power, you immediately think of words reflecting character like warmth, sensitivity, dependability, determination, genuine compassion and caring.”

Deep down, men may realize something of the power they have to touch the lives of their families, wives and children. But because we don’t understand how does it work and when to use it, we stumble along the way. We sometime have no real concept of the damage caused by our actions, our words, our absence, even our silence (just like my dad). As with smoking or alcohol abuse, we don’t see the damage immediately. So it’s easy to think that because everything looks fine on the outside, problems aren’t building up on the inside. Both authors are counsellors tell real-life-stories about how a child’s heart is within a man’s reach, the strength of a fulfilling marriage is within a man’s reach, and the destruction of our society lies within a man’s reach. “When will we realize we’re so powerful that we can’t ‘do our own thing’ without affecting everything and everyone around us?” For good and bad, for better and worst.

I’m not married yet, but I read this because I want to change my way of using my silver and gold swords, to equip myself in Biblical manhood, to improve my family relationships, and as preparation for marriage life. Successful in the world of work is important, but men also need to be successful at home. This is even more important. This remind me of 1 Timothy 3:5, “For if a man does not know how to rule his own house, how will he take care of the church of God?” Great question!

This book is divided into 14 chapters, namely:

#1 The Hidden Value of a Man
#2 The Two Swords of Value in Every Man
#3 When We Fail to Pick Up the Gold Sword
#4 Creating Your Own Gold Sword
#5 Seven Reflections of the Gold Sword, Part 1
#6 Seven Reflections of the Gold Sword, Part 2
#7 Being Male May Be Hazardous to Your Family’s Health
#8 The Little “e” Can Spell Big Trouble
#9 Women Who Hide Our Swords
#10 Healing the Hole in Our Hearts
#11 When Actions Don’t Measure Up to Words
#12 The Hidden Power of Friends
#13 What to Do When Nothing Else Words
#14 Master of the Gold Sword

I love how this book end with Jesus Christ, the Master of the Gold Sword. Wow! I bought this book at second-hand book fair at The Hill, Kuching for only RM3.90.

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