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Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Fathered by God: Learning What Your Dad Could Never Teach You

David A. ZimmerPrint
[Click book to purchase]

I am very excited about this book. I have read only about 20-30 pages so far and if it continues to answer the questions we men have concerning our identity, it will be great. As men in today's society, we have a true identity crisis. Are we supposed to be macho, strong, leaders, decision-makers or are we supposed to be softer, gentler, getting in touch with our feminine side? Are we supposed to show our emotions or will we be perceived as being weak, if we do? Are we supposed to work our tails off to support our families (or the alimony checks) or is it time with the family which pays the biggest dividends?

So far, Eldredge has described the outlines of a man's life, from birth to grave. He discusses the progression we should travel. Unfortunately, for many men, the process gets short-circuited or terminates only halfway through. In some cases, we stop the maturing process, so we are immature beings in grown bodies. In other cases, we don't get to go through the early stages leaving a weak foundation for the later stages.
Society doesn't help in this regard. Men are repeatedly portrayed as buffoons, sex-crazed maniacs, insipid whipping boys, and my least favorite - "Never right." I have one question then: if we are supposedly so stupid and weak-kneed, how'd we get to where we are now? How did society progress? Surely there has to be answers. I believe strongly the Bible gives us the clues and God truly is the Father many never had - and needed. Unfortunately, He too has been portrayed improperly - as a mean SOB ready to hit me when I get out of line, otherwise, not a part of my life.
So, I have great expectations for this book and if it proves to be what I expect, it will certainly be something I'll have my sons read. And I will become an even better father. Stay tuned.
Epilogue: This is a great book for any man. Contrary to pop-psychology and other idiotic notions about the masculine being, we men are more complex than food and sex. We really do have needs, wants, desires, emotions and feelings. Because of today's society and its stereotypical role models and ideals placed on us males, we don't know who to be. Are we to be the stern, stoic type, the wimpy "get in touch with my feminine side" type, goofy, stupid, leaders, followers, domineering, retreating or what? Society doesn't really give us a clue.
In this book, Eldredge explores the various stages of a man's life. Through proper initiation, we mature into the persons desired and needed by others: responsible, caring, loving and well-round men. We are protectors, leaders, followers, workers, and dedicated to our families and friends. Unfortunately, because of circumstances and other reasons, various components of our maturation process is stunted, repressed or immature. As a result, many seem to psycho-paths or exhibit other anti-social behaviors.
Fathered By God is really a celebration of manhood, as God intended us to be. We seemed to have lost the ability as men to initiate younger men into the proper maturity they need to be as they pass through a stage. This book goes a long way in explaining what we should be as men, illustrates how we might be immature in a particular phase, examples of the symptoms of the immaturity and more. Most importantly, it helps us become introspective and evaluate ourselves accordingly.
In the areas we need to mature, we learn how to depend on God the Father for the fathering we need and the necessary healing from the wounds sustained earlier in life.
I would recommend any man to read this book. We need men in our society today of strong character - not domineering, overbearing idiots - but men who walk with integrity and with true leadership. Not the immature, insipid leadership and browbeating, insecure males who berate and demand things of others they are not willing to subject themselves.

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