Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Is Your Man "Wild at Heart?'

image found at amazon.com

I just finished reading Wild at Heart: Discovering the Secret of A Man's Soul by John Eldredge.  The back cover of the book reads,

Every man was once a boy. And every little boy has dreams, big dreams: dreams of being the hero, of beating the bad guys, of doing daring feats and rescuing the damsel in distress.  Every little girl has dreams, too: of being rescued by her prince and swept up into a great adventure, knowing that she is the beauty.
   But what happens to those dreams when we grow up?  Walk into most churches, have a look around, and ask yourself: What is a Christian man?  Without listening to what is said, look at what you find there.  Most Christian men are...bored.
   In Wild at Heart, John Eldredge invites men to recover their masculine heart, defined in the image of a passionate God.  And he invites women to discover the secret of a man's soul and to delight in the strength and wildness men are created to offer.
When I read that back cover I thought, "Oh boy, another man thinking every woman wants and needs to be rescued."  But the more I read, the more the points the author talked about made sense to me.

According to Eldredge, if man is created in God's image, and if God created this wild world, and if God gave man the authority and desire to have dominion over the natural world, then why do we, as a society, spend our time telling our little boys, "Don't climb on that?" "Stay out of the mud?" "Quit running!" 

Women are also created in God's image.  We know that God created men and women to be different.  Women and men display different attributes of God.  For the most part, women are created to display the nurturing, compassionate, tender attributes of God.  But society teaches girls that they must be pretty to attract attention, but "they don't need that attention."  "Women can do anything men can do."  "Females don't need rescuing." 

Women may not need to be rescued, but sometimes we like to feel like our husband would rescue us if it were required.  Sometimes our husbands want to feel like they are the conquering hero that we adore.  What does all of this have to do with God and being the person God wants you to be?

Ultimately it comes down to this, if we deny the very nature that God created us with (not the sinful nature) then how can we fully live out the life God has for us?  Eldredge says every man has three desires.  Those desires are:
  1. a battle to fight
  2. and adventure to live
  3. a beauty to rescue
In the 250+ pages that follow the introduction, the author provides anecdotes and scripture to make his points.  The chapters were just the right length, and the concepts were easy to understand.  I especially liked how the author related the points he was trying to make to himself and the spiritual journey of his own life.  My favorite chapter was titled "A Beauty to Rescue."

Whether women will admit it or not, at some point in their childhood, they played princess.  We wanted to be the beauty in the story that a hero would come and rescue from the terrible situation we somehow found ourselves in.  As we grew up, some of us began to believe this was only a fairy tale.  Some waited patiently until all hope was lost.  There is only one man who is the Ultimate Rescuer...Jesus.  He rescues every single woman (and man) from the death brought by sin.  But here on earth, God designed marriage and when the man is the warrior, lover, rescuer and the woman is the maiden, lover, encourager, the fairy tale does come true.

Would I recommend this book? Absolutely!  I recommend that couples read it together or at least both read it.  It has allowed me to recognize and understand some of the behaviors of my own husband and allowed me to cherish him even more for them.  Also, I don't like to be vulnerable.  I don't want anyone to think I'm weak or "can't handle it."  I'm not fooling anyone and I honor my husband by letting him be my earthly protector. 

I received this book free of charge from Thomas Nelson Publishing.  I was not compensated for my opinion in any way except by receiving this book.  All opinions given here are 100% my own unless otherwise stated.


  1. I know my husband has been my hero in many ways, I wish I could be more of the "beauty" to him and I am not just talking outside....
    I think I ate my "princess" Just Kidding lol

  2. Oh Starla you make me laugh!

  3. This new edition is "revised and expanded" although I suspect that's just publisher speak for "Look, something you thought was old is actually new and shiny." But since I haven't read the first edition, I can't prove my hunch.

    Wild at Heart is based on the idea that men are really, well, wild at heart, that they yearn to be unshackled from the tedium of nice-guy living, to roam the plains bucking like the broncos God made them to be. I don't intend even a smidgen of sarcasm there. I feel like that's exactly what Eldredge is saying, and, to a certain extent, I agree.


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