I was in college when Wild at Heart hit the Christian world by storm. I didn’t read it until I had graduated and wanted to see what all the buzz was about. After finishing it, I wondered if I would ever get married – if this was the man Christians longed to be, I was not interested. The book so stereotyped men I did not know and boxed in our personalities, I wrote a 7 page, single-spaced letter to John Eldredge telling him exactly why he was wrong. (Thankfully, I did not mail it!) I’m glad to say that, while his book was important to some men, it wasn’t defining for all men. And, while I married a man who loves hiking and adventure and “manly” activities, he is also gentle and caring and an amazing dad to daughters.
When I first heard about Nate Pyle’s book, Man Enough: How Jesus Redefines Manhood, I was excited to see that someone had finally written a response to the wild man stereotype. But, Pyle’s book isn’t just a response and he doesn’t swing to the other side of the spectrum – that men should be passive and uncaring. No, Pyle says that men need to embrace their own spirit. So, if you find joy in going to the shooting range, do it. If you find joy in painting, do it. If you find joy in hiking, do it. Recognize that God is bigger than just one type of man – that we are all created in His image and that looks like a wide spectrum of personalities and interests.
Pyle does an excellent job of weaving his own life experience, scriptural references, and his experience as a pastor to encourage men to seek their own true identity. And, while this book is written for men, I found its message universal enough to appreciate and learn from it as well. Pyle writes for men but doesn’t forget that women are also created in God’s image.
I’d highly recommend this book, but especially for men who don’t connect with the wild, mountain man expectation that many churches present. This book gives men permission to be themselves, and by doing that, being more masculine than they could be by pretending to be someone else.
Let’s play into stereotypes: Would you rather be out hiking on an adventure or snuggled up at home with a good book?
GIVEAWAY! I am giving away my copy of Man Enough. Leave a comment telling me whether you are an adventurer or a homebody and I’ll randomly select a winner on Friday, October 9, 2015. (United States addresses only.)