“If you want something you’ve never had, you must be willing to do something you’ve never done.” Thomas Jefferson
I’m often asked who or what made the difference in my life that enable me to break free from years of sexual dependency. There have been many men and women who’ve influence my life through loving me, teaching me, guiding me and challenging me. It would take 100 blogs to share how they have impacted my life. But one thing they all have in common is that they are lifelong learners. Now so am I.
The key isn’t how great a book is, or how timely of topic it is. They key was recognizing that if I truly wanted to break free, I had to be willing to learn. Not just to get me through this I struggled, but a willingness to be teachable all the time. Becoming a lifelong learner is both a belief and a lifestyle. Lifelong learners intentionally cultivate their curiosity. A curiosity that goes way beyond healthy manhood or overcoming sexual addiction. A deep desire to learn as much as I can about everything; life, love, relationships, history, faith, and art. Over the years I come to love learning from successful, influential leaders, but in their own words. Not just what they said, but how they lived.
I’m going to share a few of the memorable books that have influenced my beliefs, my thoughts, my feeling and my behavior. These are some of what I call “mentor authors”. Men and women who words and wisdom have made and are making a significant difference in my life.
The 5 Masculine Instincts
Don’t trust your instincts—there is a better path to becoming a better man.
It’s no secret: today’s men face a dilemma. Our culture tells them that their instincts are either toxic or salvific. Men are left with only two options: deconstruct and forfeit masculine identity or embrace it with wild abandon. They’re left to decide between ignoring their instincts or indulging them. Neither approach helps them actually understand their own masculine experiences nor how those experiences can lead them to become better men of God.
The Bible doesn’t shy away from the reality of masculine instincts nor all of the ways those instincts can lead to destruction. Examining the lives of five men of the Bible, The 5 Masculine Instincts shows that these men aren’t masculine role models or heroes but are men who wrestled with their own desires and, by faith, matured them into something better.
Through this book you’ll discover your own instincts are neither curse nor virtue. They are the experiences by which you develop a new and better instinct—an instinct of faith. By exploring sarcasm, adventure, ambition, reputation, and apathy, The 5 Masculine Instincts shows you how to better understand yourself and how your own instincts can be matured into something better.
This is the path by which we become better men.
Play the Man
by Mark Batterson.
Somewhere along the way, our culture lost its definition of manhood, leaving generations of men and men-to-be confused about their roles, responsibilities, relationships, and the reason God made them men.
It’s into this “no-mans-land” Mark Batterson brings his inspiring call to something greater, helping men understand what it means to be a man of God. Along the way he shares inspiring stories of manhood, coupling those stories with practical ideas about how to disciple the next generation of men. This is more than a book—it’s a movement of men who will settle for nothing less than fulfilling their highest calling to be the man and the father God has destined them to be.
Lost Boy: My Story
by Greg Laurie,
As a hippie and drug user who had grown up in a dysfunctional family, Greg Laurie knew what it was to be lost. A seventeen-year-old, long-haired Greg soon discovered his passion for seeing people rescued from hopelessness and transformed into renewed beings with a saving faith in Christ. Laurie quickly became a wonder and an example as to how God could use someone with a sordid past to impact the world with the gospel. Throughout Greg’s autobiography, be encouraged by the trials he overcame and the far-reaching impact these lessons have had. The Lord’s influence in Greg’s life has been thoroughly evidenced by the fruit seen from the ministries Greg has planted, watered, and grown; namely, Harvest Christian Fellowship (one of the eight largest churches in America) and the Harvest Crusades. Greg Laurie’s legacy has been seasoned with trials and questions, but if God can take a hippie from a severely
To be totally transparent, I have difficulty remember what I read. So, I use audiobooks instead. I can retain about 75% of what I hear, but only about 25% of what I read. Maybe, audio books would work better for you. Some of you may prefer e-books. The key is remaining teachable and developing a love for learning. Remember, you can’t solve new problems using old information.
Love, Sex & Money
By Ron & Tina Konkin
Love, Sex, and Money is not just another world-view about love, sex and money, but rather a powerful, proven system that is restoring marriages in crisis. The R3 Factor of Great Relationships is a revolutionary approach to rewriting and restoring your relationships. It covers the most critical areas of marriage. There are many factors that can make or break a relationship.
In this book, you will find the tools you need to understand and identify what is working, and conversely, not working in your relationships. Love, Sex, and Money offers a simple solution to help you find not just a formula, but true healing as thousands of others from Hollywood, and around the world have discovered who dare to adopt the Reveal, Rewrite and Renew directive found in the R2 Factor of Great Relationships
52 Uncommon Dates
by Randy Southern.
Fun, creative, and spiritually engaging . . . these are no ordinary dates! Have you ever tried a photography date? A water date? What about the second first date? 52 Uncommon Dates is more than a book . . . it’s an experience! Each date will set the scene for you and walk you through how to make it happen. Finish strong with questions that help keep the conversation alive, incorporate prayer in ways that are natural and relevant to real life, and learn ways to practically speak each other’s love language along the way. You can even dig deeper to discover Bible passages that fit the theme of each date.
Ignite prayerful and playful connections in ways that deepen the relational, physical, emotional, and spiritual aspects of your relationship—one date at a time.
Love & Respect
By Dr. Emerson Eggerichs
Cracking the communication code between husband and wife involves understanding one thing: that unconditional respect is as powerful for him as unconditional love is for her.
Discover the single greatest secret to a successful marriage.
Psychological studies affirm it, and the Bible has been saying it for ages. Cracking the communication code between husband and wife involves understanding one thing: that unconditional respect is as powerful for him as unconditional love is for her. It’s the secret to marriage that every couple seeks, and yet few couples ever find.
Today, you and your mate can start fresh with the ground-breaking guidance that Dr. Emerson Eggerichs provides in this book. His revolutionary message, featured on Focus on the Family, is for anyone: in marital crisis…wanting to stay happily married…who’s feeling lonely. It’s for engaged couples…victims of affairs…pastors and counselors seeking material that can save a marriage
John Trent & Gary Smalley
The best-selling classic that helps children thrive today and experience a special future tomorrow. Now revised, updated, and enhanced for a new generation!
Offering solid, practical advice and a fresh perspective on making this gift a bigger part of our families, The Blessing powerfully communicates these biblically based elements as necessary to prepare children for positive future relationships, including their relationship with a loving God.
But what if we’ve missed out on the blessing in our own lives? The book includes hope for “reversing the curse” and helps readers find blessing in situations of divorce, death, desertion, adoption, and blended families.
New to this updated edition are practical ideas, questions, exercises, and links for online resources — plus practical advice for planning a blessing event for a child, preparing a written keepsake blessing, and living out the blessing every day of our lives.
The Way of the Wild Heart
By John Edredge
It’s a guide to the process of masculine initiation–that ancient path every boy and man must take if they would become the man they long to be. The path whereby they come to know they are a man and are able to live and love from a deep, centered strength.
We live in a time where most men (and boys) are essentially fatherless. Whatever their circumstance, they have no man actually taking them through the many adventures, trials, battles, and experiences they need to shape a masculine heart within them. They find themselves on their own to figure life out, and that is a lonely place to be. Their fears, anger, boredom, and their many addictions all come out of this fatherless place within them–a fundamental uncertainty in the core of their being. But there is a way.
“We aren’t meant to figure life out on our own,” says Eldredge. “God wants to father us.”
In The Way of the Wild Heart, John Eldredge reveals how God comes to a man and takes him on the masculine journey–how nearly all the events of a man’s life can come together to provide the initiation he never received. And how parents can offer that initiation to their sons.
by Tony Dungy
Super Bowl–winning coach and #1 New York Times best selling author Tony Dungy has had an unusual opportunity to reflect on what it takes to achieve significance. He is looked to by many as the epitome of the success and significance that is highly valued in our culture. He also works every day with young men who are trying to achieve significance through football and all that goes with a professional athletic career—such as money, power, and celebrity. Coach Dungy has had all that, but he passionately believes that there is a different path to significance, a path characterized by attitudes, ambitions, and allegiances that are all too rare but uncommonly rewarding. Uncommon reveals lessons on achieving significance that the coach has learned from his remarkable parents, his athletic and coaching career, his mentors, and his journey with God. A particular focus of the book: what it means to be a man of significance in a culture that is offering young men few positive role models.
Thank you for taking the time to read today’ blog, I hope you’ve found it interesting an informative. Make sure you sign up to receive blogs posted every Tuesday and Thursday. TransformingFamilies.org resources are designed to guide you through the restoration process of developing your heart, mind, and strength, enabling you to become the man God created you to be.
I also provide one-on-one coaching, if you want to improve your relationships, let’s connect through e-mail at ‘firstname.lastname@example.org’. My hope for you is that through these blogs, references, and resources, God will transform you from being bruised or broken to an abundantly blessed man.