Why this book now?
Taken from the book’s introduction
The other day my daughter came to me quite concerned about her future. At seventeen she was on the cusp of completing her high school education and dreaming about the next phase of her life, which may or may not include marriage. Her concern was that the man she may one day marry might not have had the same values and upbringing that she had enjoyed. I was startled at her concerns and yet immensely proud at her thinking process. She realised that she had inherited something beautiful, good, valuable, and that she was neither ready nor willing to surrender it.
What was this inheritance? It was the value of a deep and real faith, hope and love rooted in relationship with the God of all creation, received by grace through faith in Jesus Christ who proclaimed that reconciliation to the Father (and, as a result, to others) was only possible through Him. This relationship had transformed her very being and was reflected in all aspects of her character, attitudes, actions and life choices, including that of marriage.
As a married father of three daughters, I have deliberately raised them to know and follow God wherever and however they choose to live. Contrary to popular thinking in this post-truth society, I believe that as a clear-thinking, level-headed father who has chosen a life of surrender to love (as revealed through Jesus), it is my responsibility to equip and release my daughters into the world secure in my love, and clear on their identities and destinies. I know that every father’s effect on his children—for good or evil—has lasting impact.
Children raised by such loving fathers will be confident children knowing who they are and where they are going. They will experience great success, usually becoming natural leaders. This is the kind of woman I unapologetically raised.
Returning to my daughter’s concern. Given how the world is going, it is increasingly unlikely that my daughter will commit to a man with a similar upbringing. It is in response to this question that I write this book which started as a simple letter to my future son. My hope is that many lives and marriages may be encouraged, guided, perhaps even transformed by its stories and principles.
Generally guys struggle to articulate their thoughts and even fewer keep a journal. Journaling is a learned skill that keeps you focused of your mission. I have incorporated blank pages so that you can write down your thoughts as you grapple with the text. There will be questions and exercises to help you with the various tasks that you will encounter along the journey. Don’t be afraid to write in the book. Underline and highlight portions of it as you feel it relates to you. This is not a textbook; it’s your personalised field guide, and it should include your own story.
Finally it is important to state that whilst this book is intended for universal application I have chosen to present it from the principles and perspectives rooted in the Bible. Reasons for this is two-fold. My experiences are unique and whilst may be helpful, they remain subjective. Presenting relationships through the lens of scripture helps us to view these ancient principles more objectively. Second, by choosing a life partner in ‘marriage’ automatically assumes the position of a union ordained by God and so it would make sense to help us understand these marriage objectives through its original intent.
If you do not identify yourself as a Christ-follower or even a particularly spiritual person, then I hope that you will not put this book down. Irrespective of your personal beliefs you still have much to learn as the principles of healthy relationships truly are universal. We all desire to be loved, belong and be brave.
Includes: five roles of a married man
- Gardener (Patient cultivator)
- Warrior (Courageous protector)
- Prince (Faithful lover)
- Priest (Prophetic guide)
- King (Visionary leader)