Book Review: Father Hunger, Why God Calls Men to Love and Lead Their Families
Sitting in your chair browsing the internet, eyes firmly affixed to the screen, you hear the sound of rushing water. The sound has a low, yet ominous rumble that raises caution in your heart. You turn to look in the direction where you hear it growing louder, louder, then suddenly, a splash! Cold water pours into your face as you suddenly feel the weight of an ocean atop your shoulders.
In the book, Father Hunger: Why God Calls Men to Love and Lead Their Families (Thomas Nelson, 2012), author and theologian Douglas Wilson leads men on a journey that provides a compelling wake-up call with frightening statistics and implications for the phenomenon of absentee Fathers on a grand macroeconomic scale.
- Curious about what all the be a better dad talk is all about?
- Want to know how you can get started in practical ways for improving your relationship with your children?
- Desiring to find a motivational or lite read on the topic of Fatherhood?
If this is you, then don’t read this book.
Unless you are specifically looking to be challenged, convicted, proved of your mistakes as a father with biblical facts, and shown the long-term economic and political consequences of missing the mark as a Father then read on.
Father Hunger provides a wide variety, a survey of sorts. Douglas Wilson uses artist’s thick brush to paint wide-strokes that highlight the underlying causes of the current father crisis in America. The book lacks many specific, practical, firm examples of how to break free of negative fatherhood cycles. However, there are statistics abounding and scriptural verses in plenty that force fathers to think and dig-in to where they stand on specific topics from a father’s perspective such as work, gender roles (masculinity versus femininity), politics, family discipline, and the economic value of the family.
One of the core arguments of the book is that fathers are asleep at the wheel of their family leadership all while our culture is changing toward a model that does not allow the father to lead as he was designed by God to lead, placing him in the backseat of a runaway car. Advocating that a man must pick up his responsibility to the family and in doing so, become a pillar within society.
Fathers are important and create a Molecular backbone to society. When men are responsible, sober, hard-working members of their local communities – self-restrained – this creates pockets of personal responsibility that the state does not easily control.
When a man picks up responsibility with the intention of being serious about it, he soon finds himself living as a pillar in the family, in the church, in the community.
It can be argued that the family is under attack in America, and in specific, the role of the Father or his lack thereof is frequently questioned. Television shows depict men as “bumbling idiots” or “sex crazed” to the exclusion of every other thing in their life. Sure, men may go to work, but once they get home it’s time for TV, back-talking kids with video game controllers in hand, and sex if they are lucky. Father hunger works to display these common deceptions within the media for what they are, revealing that these are attack’s on Fatherhood in order to cause a quick laugh a make a buck. The revelation of the extensive media reach against the family, namely the Father, is one of the strongest points in the book.
There are some golden nuggets that provide thought for the family battleground. Wilson writes of fathers who are prideful and put their children down.
Another problem is pride. Say that a young son is acting up in public settings and embarrassing his father. The father knows there is a serious problem and he finds himself making excuses to people for his sons behavior, but he doesn’t actually do anything about the problem. He is not trying to help his son, but rather he is trying to smooth over awkward situations for himself. The central problem in this situation is pride – the fathers.
Points like this are common examples that many Fathers have felt in the past, as it is easy to walk away and ignore problems with your children and make excuses than it is to deal directly with the root cause. The other side of the coin comes in one of the most profound pieces of positive encouragement to address family problems by saying, “Men don’t carry things because they happen to have broad shoulders. They have broad shoulders because God created them to carry things”.
Men need motivation, encouragement, integrity, consistency, positive influence from their wife, support from other men, and a grounded heart that lovingly desires to lead their children as part of their journey through fatherhood. For men looking to get started, avoid this book. Check-out Raising a Modern Day Knight, by Robert Lewis. His book will provide powerful examples, stories, encouragement, and some general guidelines for building a relationship with your son.
If you are already sold on the need for being a biblical father and are looking for a deep diving, sober splash of water, then read this book and drink in the many solid points. Stand firm in knowing who you work for.
A father should bring home the bread of course. But he should also provide for his family an example for living like a Christian, resisting all attempts of Corporate America to press him into its mold (rom 12:1-1), seeing Christ in all the clients and customers, and laboring in such a way that would not embarrass him if summoned to do work for a King. For come to think of it, he is working for the a King (col 3:22)
If you already know your role as a Father, then save the time spent on reading this book and take your son or daughter for a special one-on-one time with Dad. If you need some hard hitting conviction as a father with proof to back it, then go grab a copy.
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