Posted in Biblical Manhood and Womanhood, Book Reviews, Discipleship
Turns out that duct tape is good for a variety of things—except for sealing ducts. In other words, it is failing in the very task for which it was named. Randy Stinson and Dan Dumas tell us this as they begin their book on manhood and close with this observation: “There’s a lot men can do, but they are struggling to do what they were created for” (p. 3).
That’s the point of A Guide to Biblical Manhood, defining what men are created for. The book is a worthwhile read, especially if you want a short call to remember key aspects of what it means to be a godly man, or if you want a good discipleship tool to use with your sons.
They open the book by looking at several biblical characters and making solid observations about manhood. Adam, Job, David, Jesus, and Paul are all surveyed in a brief but useful manner. As an example, looking at David fighting Goliath they make the observation that we should “run to the battle”:
Passivity is one of the main enemies of biblical masculinity and it’s most obvious where it’s needed most. It’s a pattern of waiting on the sidelines until you’re specifically asked to step in. Even worse than that, it can be a pattern of trying to duck out of responsibilities or to run away from challenges. Men who think conflict should be avoided, or who refuse to engage with those who would harm the body of Christ or their family, not only model passivity but fail in their responsibilities as protectors (p. 28).
Randy contributes an excellent section on “Baseball, Biblical Masculinity, and Godly Character.” There he gives us eleven ways that baseball trains boys to be godly men. Yes, he’s biased about baseball. But the idea of using youth activities as training opportunities is excellent. You can use hunting, algebra, music, or about anything in the same way.
What does baseball teach that applies to manhood?
It teaches you to: Respond rightly to authority (umpires),
- To take one for the team (sacrifice flies, sliding into home),
- Obedience (listen to your coach),
- Responding to injustice (bad calls by umpires),
- Being godly in the face of failure (strikeouts, getting out),
- Humility and humiliation (errors, bad pitching),
- Resilience (when you fail, get back in there),
- Winning with grace and losing with dignity,
- Gratitude (toward coaches, volunteers),
- Encouraging others (teammates), and
- Adults spending time with kids.
Like I said, about any activity can give you this kind of list, but they have served us in providing one for starters.
As a short book (99 pages) and a good balance of biblical discussion and practical application, this book could serve in a variety of contexts. Use it for yourself. Use it to read with your sons. Use it as a quick book study for a men’s breakfast. Grab a single man in the church and ask if he’d like to work through it with you.
In the coming weeks I’ll look at two other books on biblical manhood, but this one is a good resource.