The Dude’s Guide to Manhood: Finding True Manliness in a World of Counterfeits by Darrin Patrick
A moustache and a beard on the front cover and I am hooked. This new book entitled The Dude’s Guide to Manhood by Pastor Darrin Patrick is a look into what makes a man and also what pulls him in the opposite direction. I was excited to have this book in my hands and to read through its pages in a mere few days. The tone of the book is broadly focused to include men of kinds with a view towards becoming a certain type of man: content, working, disciplined, coachable, family, emotional, and forgiven. What was refreshing about the work was its personal connection between Darrin’s struggle to become a man who engages in responsibility in every area of life and the application of some sound principles for all men. The Drill sections in the book were quite beneficial because they provided concrete practical steps men can take to put the principles of the book into action.
The relationship between husband and wife goes a long way in securing for our children the sense that we love them. Darrin points out that, “It’s important to have friends, but your wife must be your best friend. It’s good to have a career, but your wife must be more central to you than your career. And there is nothing wrong with having a hobby, but your wife must be important to you than your hobby.” (94) Being a man of character doesn’t mean discarding everything that we enjoy for recreation but it means putting our love for our wife in proper relationship to everything else. Darrin goes onto say that the constant loving communication between husband and wife brings stability to your children. How? Well, focusing in on your spouse through actions of love lets everyone else know that you are fully committed to one another, no matter the situation or in some cases the number at the bank account. Having a stable father in the home is not just a good thing, but it provides leadership in the home that cannot be replaced.
Darrin points out that it is easy for men to share their emotions on the ball field or in a recreation, but this is harder in the context of family relationships. The important connection in the chapter on emotions is Darrin’s comment that, “When others around us don’t know what we are feeling, they will be uncertain and hesitant toward us. Those close to us want to know us.” (124) For a man to feel that his wife and children want to know him, emotions and all, is a freeing thing. Emotions become out of control when we stuff them in and not let them out or we boil over every time there is a situation out of our hands. Rather, the right way to deal with such things as anger is take some time to let things simmer down and patiently come to a right frame of mind. I would add here that the use of emotions as a man is not easy but is worth the effort in opening up our hearts to those closest to us.
Darrin’s book is a call for men everywhere to take stock of their life and own up to their insecurities, failures, and setbacks, while keeping an eye on moving forward. The focus of the book was more of men at large than it is Christian men, but the last few chapters focused on how faith in Christ makes sense of the prior chapters.
Thanks to Book Look Bloggers and Nelson Books for the copy of this book in exchange for review.