This is part of our series on books that have positively impacted our lives and careers. Check out all of the books we review by following us on social media or see our previous reviews summarized here.
Wild at Heart by John Eldredge
Early in my 40s, I came across Wild at Heart by John Eldredge. To this day, I do not recall why I was drawn to this book except to say that maybe it was by the Grace of God. In every person’s life we pass through different seasons in our journey and, just perhaps, this book came along when I was transitioning from one season to another.
Wild at Heart has become one of my favorite books because it has spiritually enlightened me by illuminating what it means to be a male Christian with a masculine heart. As I reflect upon my first of several reads of this book, I believe that I did not know what it meant to be a man in the context of Christianity.
Eldredge helped me realize several things about myself that not only helped propel my professional career but also helped my marriage; to reconcile issues that I had with my father; to reconsider how I was raising my five sons; and how to deal with some troubling matters of my past.
The author makes several points that men should consider and work through as they continue to grow through Christ:
- Every aspect of a man’s manhood is a reflection of God.
- Each man has a wound he carries forward that becomes central to some deep questions in his life. Usually, that wound comes from their earthly father.
- As men, we tend to create a false self to hide our insecurities and fears as we navigate the waters of life.
- The healing of our wound can only be found in Jesus Christ.
- That a man has a warrior's heart and always needs a battle to fight. That battle being a cause, making a living, or being professionally ambitious.
- A man’s sense of adventure - an adventure to live! To explore and create is uniquely masculine and a reflection of the heart of God.
Finally, a man’s calling involves preparing himself to share his life with a “beauty to rescue.” This a not a point on male dominance but rather that for a man to truly deserve something, including a life partner, he must work hard - and sometimes fight for - her to be worthy of her.
Wild at Heart was a life-changer for me and is a recommended read for any man who desires to find a greater understanding of his masculinity.
On a side note, John Eldredge and his wife Stasi wrote a similar book for women in 2005, Captivating. I read this book as well and I found it equally enlightening.