Wild at Heart – Discovering the Secret of a Man's Soul by John Eldredge takes you to a journey and rediscovery of a man's heart. The book invites every man to look deeper into himself to gain a better understanding of why he longs for battles, adventures, and a Beauty far from what the society demands from him in the form of "shoulds" and "ought to's".
For purposes of presenting the core ideas contained in the book without revealing too much of it, I'm going to outline key themes with some short descriptions and quotes from the author. These themes relate in particular to the deepest longings of the masculine soul.
A Battle to Fight
Every man is called to have a warrior heart. There is a Great Battle going on around us and we men are called to be warriors and blood brothers – up to the challenge of overcoming and defeating the multitude of enemies that seek to destroy us.
John Eldredge quotes, "A man must have a battle to fight, a great mission to his life that involves and yet transcends even home and family. He must have a cause to which he is devoted even unto death, for this is written into the fabric of his being."
A Beauty to Rescue
Every woman looks for her knight in shining armor and every man wants to be a hero to the Beauty. Men need to know and understand how to treat a woman well by seeking to understand the longings of the feminine soul. According to Eldredge, every woman yearns to be fought for, to be wanted, to be swept off her feet. A man needs to be the valiant warrior who is ever ready to defend her and pursue her because she counts on him to be her hero.
An Adventure to Live
Deep inside every man's heart is the desire to set out and conquer, to explore, and to head into the unknown, but many of us men have sublimated these desires in exchange for control and security. In effect, we stifle our spirit and miss out on the adventures that really make us feel truly alive. John Eldredge says it best and I quote:
"Adventure, with all its requisite danger and wildness, is a deeply spiritual longing written into the soul of man. The masculine heart needs a place where nothing is prefabricated, modular, nonfat, zip lock, franchised, on-line, microwavable. Where there are no deadlines, cell phones, or committee meetings. Where there is room for the soul. Where, finally, the geography around us corresponds to the geography of our heart."
Wild at Heart is not for the faint hearted. This book will challenge you to "saddle up" and "step up to the plate" in your true calling as a man made in the image of the "Wild One". This is not your 12-step guide to becoming a better man, but more of a road map towards an unchartered territory. The author did a good job of incorporating real-world experiences of men and anchoring it on a solid biblical foundation of godly masculinity.
There is more to Wild at Heart than the themes I've already mentioned above – a battle to fight, a beauty to rescue, and an adventure to live – he also touched on other subjects such as our woundings, true identity, fatherhood, initiation, and the 'question that haunts every man' that will help you to further know yourself and become the man God has intended you to be.
I highly recommend this book to all men who feel that there is more to their life than going through the daily grind and after reading it you are now better equipped to fight your battles, live your adventures, and find the 'beauty'.
Inside the Book
Chapter I - Wild at Heart
Chapter II - The Wild One Whose Image We Bear
Chapter III - The Question That Haunts Every Man
Chapter IV - The Wound
Chapter V - The Battle for a Man's Heart
Chapter VI - The Father's Voice
Chapter VII - Healing the Wound
Chapter VIII - A Battle to Fight: The Enemy
Chapter IX - A Battle to Fight: The Strategy
Chapter X - A Beauty to Rescue
Chapter XI - An Adventure to Live
Chapter XII - Writing the Next Chapter
About the Author
John Eldredge is the founder and director of Ransomed Heart Ministries in Colorado Springs, Colorado, a fellowship devoted to helping people discover the heart of God. John is the author of numerous books, including Epic, Waking the Dead, The Journey of Desire, and co-author of Captivating and The Sacred Romance. John lives in Colorado with his wife Stasi, and their three sons, Samuel, Blaine, and Luke. He loves living in the Rocky Mountains so he can pursue his other passions, including fly-fishing, mountain climbing, and exploring the waters of the West in his canoe.