Wild at Heart: Discovering the Secret of a Man’s Soul
I loved this book. I’ve been happily married to a “manly-man” for ten years. Although it is not politically correct to say, I do believe that there are inherent differences in the way men and women are wired. The author of Wild at Heart thinks so too, and it helped me understand some of the reasons men behave the way they do. It celebrates manhood…the rugged, daring aspects that are often stamped out in an attempt to make boys behave in the classroom or on the playground.
Eldredge’s thesis is that built into the soul of every man is the desire to be a hero, live a life of adventure, take risks, and be a warrior. Little boys like to play with toy guns. If you take the toy gun away, they will pick up sticks and make bang-bang noises to simulate a gun. If you take the sticks away, they’ll point with their finger and thumb. They are boys! Eldredge suggests that rather than try to stamp these qualities out of boys, these impulses should be channeled to allow boys to become the heroic warriors they have the potential to become. He is careful to draw the distinction between a heroic man and the dim-witted macho version of the unthinking male. Most importantly, he tackles the dicey aspect of how modern interpretations of Christianity are often at odds with those ideals, in which men are pressured to be “nice guys” who would be comfortable in great-aunt Irma’s parlor fetching her a cup of tea.
This is a controversial book. You will see from some of the excoriating reviews on amazon that many people reject Eldrege’s thesis. Anytime an author attempts to characterize 50% of the human race in broad brushstrokes, you are going to be able to point out thousands of exceptions. Nevertheless, I found Wild at Heart to be a wonderful, unapologetic celebration of manhood. HIGHLY recommended.