“Wild at Heart” by John Eldredge is a book aimed to help men rediscover their masculine self with guidance from the Bible. The book also invites women to discover the secret of a man’s soul and to delight in the strength and wildness men were created to offer.
John Eldredge is a bestselling author, a counselor, and a teacher. He is also president of Ransomed Heart, a ministry devoted to helping people discover the heart of God, recover their own hearts in God’s love, and learn to live in God’s kingdom.
This book is similar to Jordan Peterson’s “12 Rules for Life” since both books examine biblical scripture and extract life lessons from the Bible that can be applied to modern-day situations. The book is also similar to “No More Mr. Nice Guy” by Dr. Glover because it encourages men to be good guys instead of nice guys.
1) The 3 Things That Men Desire
Eldredge writes that the desire for a battle to fight, an adventure to live and a beauty to rescue, are the three things that men desire most.
He argues that aggression is part of the masculine design and that men are hardwired for it. In the bible it even says that “the LORD is a warrior; the LORD is his name” (Ex. 15:3). Even as kids, boys want to play war and attack something–whether it be another person or an object like a ball.
The desire to battle can also be found in books and movies. In almost every famous film, the main character has to fight something or someone to become a hero (ex. Braveheart, Top Gun, Gladiator).
The desire for an adventure to live is also part of being a hero in one’s own life. “Adventure requires something of us, puts us to the test,” says the author. In every James Bond and Indiana Jones film, the main character goes on an adventure that tests them as a man and makes them stronger afterward. Men are made to go into the unknown and conquer it.
A man’s last desire is to find a beauty to rescue. Romeo has Juliet, King Arthur had Guinevere and Robin Hood had Maid Marian.
Eldredge writes that for a beautiful woman, men will storm the castle, slay the dragon–or in modern times, hit a game-winning shot. “A man wants to be the hero to the beauty. Young men going off to war carry a photo of their sweetheart in their wallet” writes the author. What a man really wants, Eldredge says, is to be a hero to the person he loves.
2) Heal Your Wounds
No man will go through life without facing any battles, whether it be physical or spiritual. Often times these battles will result in some kind of wounds. These wounds can take a variety of forms such as anger issues, rejection, breakups, or failure.
Many men carry deep wounds, but no one sees it because the cut is spiritual and men will bury it deep inside and never take it out. However, Eldredge argues that the only way to heal the wound is to take it out, or better yet enter it.
When it comes to healing the wound, Eldredge writes that Christ never used the same method twice. In the bible, he spits on the ground to make mud and heals the person by putting the mud on their eyes, to another person Christ simply speaks and the person is healed, and to another Christ touches him and he is healed. Every man carries a wound that is unique to them and they must find their own way to heal it. Once healed, the man will be stronger than ever before.
3) Stop Sabotaging Yourself
Eldredge says that within each person, there is a civil war going on. Just as God fights the devil, man must fight the traitor within them that tells them to do the wrong things. As the quote says, taking a bribe or refusing to confront an issue are forms of sabotage that chip away at a man’s masculinity.
Instead, men should choose to live out their strength and purpose the right decision. Men should not run away from their problems–they should face them head-on. Men do not let people take advantage of them–they stand up for themselves and those that cannot defend themselves.
As mentioned earlier, men have a desire to go to battle. However, some of the toughest battles a man will face, are the battles inside of them. Go to battle with the things that are trying to sabotage your soul and defeat them. That is the role of a masculine man.
Before reading this book, I had never heard of John Eldredge or any of his other work. However, I decided to take a chance–no risk, no reward I thought. It was a good choice. The book is about 200 pages and is easy to read.
There are plenty of insightful lessons that readers will learn from reading this book, such as the three things men desire, the three things women desire, the role of adventure in life, the role that men and women play in each other’s lives, and what men need to do to feel alive.
If you’re a fan of “12 Rules for Life “ by Peterson or “No More Mr. Nice Guy” by Dr. Glover, I highly recommend reading this book. I would also recommend this book to young adults and men that are of Christian/Catholic faith. Even if you aren’t religious, you can still view the Bible as literature and learn several lessons from Eldredge about the masculinity and the role men play in life.
Rating: 4/5 stars
If you’re interested in reading the book, click here or on the image below!
- Book: “Wild at Heart” by John Eldredge
- Pages: 221
- For: Young men, Jordan Peterson fans, Christian men, men that are bored with life
- Lesson: Learn what is needed to grow from a boy to a man and recover your masculine role