book review – wild at heart by john eldredge

For a couple of years I had been skeptical about reading this book – a book written to men about men. Wouldn’t it be wierd?

I eventually picked it up a couple of months ago after I went to a session for wives at the end of a men’s conference that Adam went to. I wanted to find out more about the wildness of man created in God’s image.

The basic premise of the book is that deep within his heart, every man longs for a battle to fight, an adventure to live and a beauty to rescue. And that every man has received some kind of wounding to the heart – a wounding only God can heal, usually directly opposed to their heart’s desire and calling.

Somewhere in the first few chapters I realised that maybe little boys playing with guns is ok after all.

I have a younger sister (Heidi) and a younger brother (Tim) – he’s four and a half years younger – so as big sister I was pretty protective (and let’s be honest, a little bit bossy and mothering) as we were growing up. Tim ┬áloved to play with toy guns and swords. He ran around the house on weekends with his mates playing bases and shooting things ALOT. He collected used bullets, used to bail up my uncle with cap guns whenever he came over and dressed up in old army fatigues at least once a week.

I worried about this seeming obsession with fighting. My sister and I would lobby Mum and Dad to make him stop – or play with them less. But what I have learned from this book is that his delight in playing with guns and swords was one of the most natural things in the world, because every man longs for a battle to fight.

And I guess for every man the battle is different…part of the battle is acknowledging that the battle exists. The real question is whether they fight?

“Enemy occupied territory. That is what this world is.”

C S Lewis (wild at heart p.139)

Even though I’m not planning on having kids for a couple of years yet, this book has really opened my mind on raising a son. And how I can raise him to know God and the wild heart God has placed within him. Perhaps I’ll allow him to play with guns even.
I also found this book hugely helpful as a wife in understanding my man’s heart. If there’s one thing that provokes fear in his heart, it’s being trapped – or the sense of being trapped. And I know that sometimes my drive to control, plan and scrutinise the small details can really have this effect. This is soul trampling for Adam because deep in his heart, he doesn’t want to be caged in. God made him wild – spontaneous, free and made for the open places. If I cage him in he will no longer feel like a man. How awful.

“The place where God calls you is the place where your deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger meet.”

Frederick Buechner

I love the idea of an adventure to live and of living out an adventure with my man as we journey through life together, both seeking to live from the heart, taking risks and bringing what only we can bring. ┬áThere’s a line in Braveheart that says “all men die. few men ever really live.” It’s my prayer that Adam and so many more men truly lives.

I got a whole lot more out of this book than I can share here but I think this is such a powerful and helpful book for women (and for men of course!).

By the way…I wrote this post last week while I was on holidays but couldn’t upload it til today, so I’m still up to date with my post-a-week goal! New post coming very soon…

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2 Replies to “book review – wild at heart by john eldredge”

  1. Interesting. We limit the number of guns that come into the house, but Caleb makes his own anyway (Lego, paper, toilet rolls etc)! He is a very gentle boy, but he loves his “battles” nonetheless!

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