"Most of our families are starving for fathers, even if Dad is around, and there's a huge cost to our children and our society because of it," says Douglas Wilson, author of Father Hunger: Why God Calls Men to Love and Lead their Families. He addresses some fundamental questions. What is fatherhood? Where did it come from? What does it mean? What is it for? Who cares?
True fatherhood begins with worship and finds its meaning in our heavenly Father according to Wilson, and this belief is the basis of the entire book.
As one can expect from Douglas Wilson, Father Hunger is full of illuminating concepts. Not only are men assigned to the father role of provider and protector, but fatherhood is basic to all human relationships. Fathers are much more important than they believe themselves to be, and this book goes a long ways towards showing them just how crucial they are. Atheism, education, economics, poverty, crime, politics, feminism, and America's weight problem are all related to fathers. Missing fathers. Distant fathers. Mistaken fathers. Uncertain fathers. All contribute to the father ache that is a "jagged hole in this generation's soul."
God our Father is central to life, faith, fatherhood, and society. Understanding what He says about Himself (as in a tip-of-the- iceberg analysis of the book of John), worshipping Him, and living for Him are fundamental to curing our culture's father hunger. This is true for men who are fathers as well as for those who miss their fathers. It is also the key to preventing more father hunger.
There's a lot here for fathers to learn. There's a lot for mothers, pastors, politicians, sons, and daughters to learn, too. And it all centers around God our Father who â€˜calls men to love and lead their families.'
Do note that Wilson doesn't leave fathers in despair over their high calling and dismal failures. He encourages them to find wisdom and understanding from God. He reminds them that God is generous, that we must all focus on â€˜being before doing', and that â€˜a father should be a father in the presence of God first' before he sets out to change his family.
This is one of the most important books I've reviewed in the past year. If read, remembered, and applied, it would lead to dramatic and life-giving change in individuals, families, and society. I highly recommend Father Hunger to all Christian families. Non-Christians could benefit, too, but they would need to change some of their fundamental beliefs.
Just how important is fatherhood anyway? Our culture has no answer as it can't think of one good reason for fatherhood beyond the biological one. For that matter, many fathers can't add any more items to the list. Shall we listen to our culture? I'm not sure what our listless age has to commend to itself to be our guide. God, as the Master Designer, is left out of our thinking and the consequences are horrific. That's where one of the most incredible books on fathers I have ever read comes into play. "Father Hunger" by Douglas Wilson is profound and greatly impacted me. Every page was like the hard steel blades of the plow tilling through the soil of my heart.
What Mr. Wilson was able to accomplish in this volume is rarely done. When the subtitle proclaims "Why God calls men to love and lead their families", the book actually delivers on the "why." Few books can give us the big picture and get especially practical as well. As an avid reader, it's my opinion that most authors can give us only one or the other. Mr. Wilson, with verve, skill, and a pastoral heart actually pulls it off.
With deftness he upholds the essential equality of men and women while showing that the Lord, again the Master Designer, has assigned men and women different roles. That will probably keep this book off the New York Times Bestseller List, but it will have the smile of Heaven for its Biblical faithfulness. God is Father, so do you imagine in His design fathers would have a non-essential role? Ladies, don't panicâ€”Mr. Wilson never gives men power to be selfish brats, just power to love and be unselfish and sacrifice himself for his family. Listen to this incredible statement on men taking responsibility: "_ to take on a lifetime of sacrifice and hard work. A man who takes a woman to the altar is going there to die to himself. But that is all right because it is not good for man to be alone."
He looks at our country and where it is today and sees the absent father as the biggest culprit for the mess we are in. From fathers who provide the seed for a child and vanish to the fathers who live at the same address and mostly do their own thing in life, we have a generation of absentee fathers. The Lord designed everyone to need a father. A father's loving hand is needed in the life of every child. He says, "Your actual pursuits are a running scoreboard. They reveal what you actually prize." Are you challenged here? I am.
He shows how feminism, or the dire warnings of overpopulation, or the design of the welfare system, or the plea for gay marriage are all direct attacks on fatherhood. It also a direct attack on what every one of us needs to thrive as God intended. Statistics on everything from crime to education are given. The jury is in and the verdict says that homes without fathers are destroying children today. Without a Dad they will much more likely be a school dropout or be in prison. Also, the worst we see out of men comes from not encouraging them to settle down, accept responsibility, and protect their family. He shows how God is masculine (not male) and how masculinity (defined with care) is needed all around.
There's so much more, but this review is getting ridiculously long. For the practical side, the chapter "Some Father Mechanics" is worth the price of the book alone. I saw my lack all over its pages. Thank you Mr. Wilson. If no one else needed your book, I did.
I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255 .
It seems that more pastors are challenging the men of their churches to be the leaders of their homes. Not only that, but there a growing challenge for the men to take their role of father more seriously than ever before. How many homes do we hear about where the father is absent or won't do anything for his family?
Douglas Wilson talks about the role of the men in leading their families as a father in his book, Father Hunger. Wilson discussed in a wide range of catergories concerning Fatherhood for why fathers are need, not just from Scripture's view point, but also from history. Wilson also addresses the issues of the absentee father which has a hot topic for the last few years.
Other topics include the true and false fact of masculinity and proper godly education. Wilson devoted one chapter on God as our Father. Using scripture, he tells his readers all the Father is without comparing God to some product we use everyday like Coke or Alka Seltzer.
This book is a good resource to have during Father's Day and possibly one to give to all young fathers.
Douglas Wilson has written a powerful book on a hot topic. Now, he can get a bit pedantic and a little too moralistic, but I think the reader can handle a little passionate exposition of truth. Some statements you might not agree with. Some statements are boldly proclaimed and you wonder if you have to swallow the conjectured point completely, like "Simply put, masculinity is the glad assumption of sacrificial responsibility." Hmmmm, I'll have to contemplate that.
Expect to cover a very broad array of topics underneath the concept of what Fatherhood is and deals with: gender roles, the role of the state, Atheism, Education (if you went to boarding school you'll want to read his opinion on that!), the Church,etc. You might sometimes think he's going off track.
But there are some poignant and powerful points he makes that might rock you off your feet. "Fathers are speaking about God the Father constantly" he says, even if what they are saying indirectly leads to an awful depiction of what God the Father is. Hopefully you had a loving human father. Chances are, though, he was a very human father, and therefore you've got some "issues" to deal with.
Chapters 11 and 12 are not for the faint of heart, but boy are they eye opening! There's some very frank discussion of sexuality and gender roles.
At the end of each chapter, he has some great study questions called "Questions to Consider." This book could be a great resource for study groups and it would certainly prompt some vigorous discussion!
I hope you consider reading this book, if for no other reason than that you need to know God as your Father in a better way. We all do. Since earthly fathers are human and botch things up, and human fathers are an indirect representation of the Heavenly Father, this book could shed some light on some "issues" you might have in your theology of the Father.
This book is deep, weighty, controversial, and not at all a light read. But it's impacting and illuminating as well.
Because everyone is hungry for more of the Father's love, even if they don't realize they are.