Wild at Heart: Discovering the Secret of A Man's Soul (2001)
by John Eldredge
Introduction: "We need permission. Permission to be what we are - men made in God's image. Permission to live from the heart and not from the list of 'should' and 'ought to' that has left so many of us tired and bored. Most messages from men ultimately fail. The reason is simple: they ignore what is deep and true to man's heart, his real passions, and simply try to shape him up through various forms of pressure..."
Chapter 1 is bang bang brutally true: "Christianity, as it currently exists, has done some terrible things to men. When all is said and done, I think most men in church believe that God put them on the earth to be a good boy. The problem with men, we are told, is that they don't know how to keep their promises, be spiritual leaders, talk to their wives, or raise their children. But, if they try real hard they can reach the lofty summit of becoming... a nice guy. That's what we hold up as models of Christian maturity: Really Nice Guys. We don't smoke, drink, or swear; that's what makes us men. Now let me ask my male readers: In all your boyhood dreams growing up, did you ever dream of becoming a Nice Guy?"
"What is a Christian man? Don't listen to what is said, look at what you find there (in the church)... You'd have to admit a Christian man is... bored... But God made the masculine heart, set within every man, and thereby offers him an invitation: Come, and live out what I meant you to be."
After John concludes what God's desire for men, he then continue: "There are three desires I find written so deeply into my heart I know now I can no longer disregard them without losing my soul. There are core to who and what I am and yearn to be. I gaze into boyhood, I search the pages of literature, I listen carefully to many, many men, and I am convinced these desires are universal, a clue into masculinity itself. They may be misplaced, forgotten, or misdirected, but in the heart of every man is 1) A desperate desire for a battle to fight; 2) An adventure to live, and 3) A beauty to rescue. I want you to think of the films men love, the things they do with their free time, and especially the aspirations of little boys and see if I am not right on this."
Do you like what you read, men? Oh, this is only the first chapter. This book is filled with true stories, men's struggles, practical advices and biblically challenging. I almost cry when I read chapter about The Father's Voice, two chapters on A Battle to Fight make me think hard about my life, and chapter on The Wound is soo true. Man, wow! I recommend wholeheartedly this book for men (I'll get this audiobook to listen over and over again). Buy it and it worth all your ringgit!
[P.s: There are lots of John's videos on YouTube about this topic on manhood. Go and watch it. I also subscribed to John's podcast Ransomed Heart to listen to his talks and interviews. My first encounters with John was thru his amazing book Beautiful Outlaw on the person of Jesus. In the Evangelical circles, John is somewhat controversial especially on some of his teachings. I've checked and I found out nothing serious]
THINK BIG. START SMALL. GO DEEP.