When I initially set out to write What it Means to be a Man, I had in mind a picture of the typical guy who comes into my office for counseling.
- Probably somewhere between 20-55.
- Struggling with relationships.
- Has shut themselves off from their emotions and feelings. Anger seems to be all they can feel at times.
- And if they aren’t shut off, doesn’t know how to communicate them in a healthy way.
- Fears being relational intimacy with people, because that would require being vulnerable…which is super scary for many men.
- They describe themselves as being depressed…but they won’t use that word. Maybe they say “I’m down.” “I’m unmotivated.”
- They feel on edge and anxious.
- And ultimately all these things lead to them feeling stuck in life. Stuck as a spouse. Stuck as a parent. Stuck as a friend. Stuck at work. Stuck in their faith.
- et cetera
So I wrote a book that I imagined I could hand to a guy to read that would essentially cover months and months of us doing therapy together.
What it Means to be a Man is essentially a primer for men on manhood.
It is 13 different themes in a very short book. Each chapter is only a few pages long and ends with a challenge. A man could read it alone, but hopefully they would talk about the book with other men, and ultimately work through the 16-week study guide in the back in a group of men.
This is who and what I envisioned when I first started drafting the outline of the book almost two years ago.
But as I have worked through the book many times over in groups of men and women readers I have broadened my view of who this book is really for.
So who should read this book?
Men should read this book. Any man who pictures themselves in the above scenario. Men who want to transform their life and their relationships should read this book.
Young men should read this book. I’ve had lots of people tell me that they want their high school or college son to read this book so that they have the tools they need to succeed as a man. They wanted their sons to have these necessary tools early in manhood.
Women should read this book. Just look at the number of women posting Amazon reviews who found this book helpful. Prior to the book coming out I led two private Facebook groups of readers (48 men and 22 women). It was powerful to hear the comments and the insight gained into men’s lives by many women in those groups. So if you are a mom, spouse, sister, daughter or friend of a man — then this book may be the tool you need to better understand men better. And instead of a tie this year, how about this book for Father’s Day?
Over the next couple of weeks I will let you in on more of the details of the book and how you can best utilize it in your life.
But for today, if you fall into one of those categories above I hope that you will pick the book and begin the journey to better understand and live out what it means to be a man.