Wild at Heart

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Back in the B.K. (Before Kids) days, a friend gave my husband Wild at Heart by John Eldredge.

I only glanced at it, thinking it was not meant for my eyes being that it is about "Discovering the Secret of a Man's Soul" and all. I figured I knew all there was to know about that. (Go ahead and laugh.)

Fast forward to these A.K. years, where I find myself in a house full of boys. I had forgotten about the book, but then came across it on Hubby's shelf and thought, "Oh, yeah. . . I am completely clueless on this subject. I'm constantly puzzled by these creatures in my midst. I need to do some research!"

So I read the book, and even if you have eight daughters (oh, my) and only one husband (I hope), I think you should read it too. I didn't agree with or understand every single proposition, but when I closed the book I felt like I understood men, and my growing boys, better. I felt much more aware of the whole idea of "manhood" and how men and boys have needs, hurts, sensitivities, and wants. I would have said, "Yes, of course," to that before I read the book, but I didn't really know it until I read the book.

See, I am often too snarky or harsh with my husband and sons because they are boys. I think, even subconsciously, "They are boys! They don't get their feelings hurt!" Oh, so wrong. Even boys can be hurt. Wild at Heart talks about male "wounds," how and why every man gets wounded (us women don't have the sole copyright on hurts), and what it takes to heal those wounds. When my stoic, man-of-few-words, father picked up the book, glanced through it, handed it back to me and said, "The part about the wounds is true," my heart changed. That was all he said; all he needed to say. I don't want to wound any of the males in my life, and when they are wounded, I want to recognize it. The part about the wounds is true.

Wild at Heart also helped me accept that men are designed to be wild. You have to read the book to fully understand what John means by "wild," but basically, I'm much cooler now with the risk-taking that my husband and boys enjoy more than me. I have a better idea of how critical that is to their development and happiness, and I'd never thought about that before.

I dog-eared many pages in the book, but I think the most significant fold is towards the end. John quotes Gil Bailie's spiritual advice, "Don't ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive, and go do that, because what the world needs is people who have come alive."

I want that for my boys, my husband, and myself; but especially for my boys. I want them to "come alive," - be wild, even - and grow into just exactly who God wants them to be.

Have you read Wild at Heart? I'd love to hear your thoughts on it.
Are you considering reading it now? I'd love to hear about that, too.

Linking up with:
(because whoa, am I am imperfect)

and Thought Provoking Thursday at
(because this provoked a lot of thoughts for me)


(because Wild at Heart has helped me soften my voice.)

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13 Responses to “Wild at Heart”

  1. very cool that you read it...and for men i think captivating should be read as well...even if it is just your wife...much to learn....

  2. Another one I may have to add to my list to read!

  3. Your friend, Jayda, sent me to your blog.  I have read Wild at Heart and I always recommend it to my friends.  It definitely helps you to realize that God designed men to be "wild" and that we, as women, need to pay close attention and make every effort not to crush their spirits in that respect.  I think it's a must read.  

  4. I read this years ago ~ it's such a GREAT book and I'm so glad I read it, it helps me so much in understanding my husband and boys and I often recommend it to others!

  5. I'm putting this on my Amazon list. Thank you for recommending such a great book.

  6. I have read the book and I have read Captivating. They both ministered to me at the time but as I have come to learn and grow more, I would have to say I dislike them more now then I did then. Just like you said you didn't agree with everything in there; I don't like that they over generalize and make all men out to be one way. What if there is a man who relates more with what they would say women are like? Would they read it and feel like less of a man? But I do think the part about wounds is good and a good reminder for us.

  7. I enjoyed that book as well - definitely helps when you're surrounded by boys :)

  8. Well, I'd never considered reading this book before, but after what you've written here, I will. Thanks for adding your perspective.

    Love your boots! Hope you had a great birthday.

  9. I have never read that book but after reading your comments I will. My sons are polar opposites, I need some insight!

  10. oh, thank you for this! i have two sons so will go ahead and read it. bless you.

  11. Megan - I haven't read Captivating, but I hear you. There were definitely parts of Wild at Heart where I did not see eye to eye with the author. I agree that there is maybe too much generalization about "men." That being said, the wounds part is significant and I do think it is worth reading overall. Thanks for your comment!

  12. Oh, this was wonderful! It's fun to hear about another side of you... the wife side. ;) LOL.  I have to confess, you got me very curious though.. how did Wildat Heart soften your voice?  A post for another day .. or a convo for us one day when we meet face to face? :)  I bought that book for my Hubby and I ended up reading it myself. ;p

  13. HI Bonnie - I don't mind telling you right here . . . though it may make a good post one day. Short version is, I'm trying to be less, "Oh, come on - you can do it!" with my boys and my husband, and more sensitive to what they are actually feeling. There is much more to it than that, of course, and I would love to share it with you face to face at some point! :)