Tender Warrior by Stu Weber is an excellent resource for men.
Being a former Green Beret continues to leave its mark on Weber. He writes with passion and compassion, as one who knows what it means to put his life on the line for others, for the ones he loves. Soldiers do this as a motivator to their service to their country and families and friends. Christian men ought to have the same values and same vision in serving Christ, their families and their friends.
Weber states many things worth noting, and they flow from what he describes as the Four Pillars of Manhood, and these are what he describes as the “rhythms in a man” :
These are like the four points on a compass (North, South, East and West), or like the seasons (Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter), and the four elements of our planet (Earth, Wind, Fire, and Water). Weber states, ” Four undergirding life rhythms throb in the veins of every male-child. They pipe a four-part cadence to which every man must march if he chooses to be a complete man. Always intermingled, never exclusive, they provide the primary colors of the masculine rainbow from which all others draw their hue. Blending perfectly with one another, they reflect the light of the One in whose image they are made. To the degree they are balanced, the image is clear and the man and those around him flourish. To the degree the are abased, the image is distorted, the man withers, and those around him experience pain” (p.38).
Weber provides a blue print that reveals men as tender warriors to be ones who watch for what lies ahead, like a wagon train scout; keep their commitments, even when it is difficult or painful to do so; have tender heart beating beneath their armour; recognize that they are “under higher orders”; learn to speak “Woman”; understand that their lives will impact generations of others; practice releasing their children like arrows; lock arms with other men; and the look a lot like Christ.
Tender Warrior: God’s Intention For Man – Every man’s purpose, every woman’s dream, every child’s hope…
Locking Arms by Stu Weber, is the follow-up to Tender Warrior.
This books is an exceptional book that really builds on what was written in the Tender Warrior. While the Tender Warrior compelled men to discover for themselves what God has declared about biblical manhood, and to get a grip on how we as men, can fully become the men God has always intended, Weber follows that up, by raising the bar to another level, and that men were not meant to be men on their own. Weber asserts that men can only truly learn to be strong husbands, fathers, providers and protectors by walking with other men who are pursuing the same things.
Weber illustrates from the life of Paul, what it means to be a “brother, fellow worker, fellow soldier”, and from there demonstrates how men can experience this unique, life altering and changing band of brothers. It all comes down to building relationship and friendship.
Weber builds his case for the need for friendships to sustain, motivate and encourage and strengthen men. He gives a context of what it means to be a man in our own day and the challenges that are faced. He even develops “A Theology of Friendship” which is very biblical grounded, perhaps the most grounded I have yet read. Weber then spends time explaining the Four Mileposts of Masculine Friendship, and these are:
On this relationship journey, men choose to accept each other as we are, no conditions. “You will be my friend. I will keep your confidence. You can trust me.” We as men affirm, and commit to building each other up through genuine expression of interest and regular encouragement. “I will focus on meeting your needs, not mine.” Also, as men, we embrace accountability where we will regularly check in with one another in key areas of our personal and spiritual growth. Our goal is to become godly men. “Because I care about you, I will warn you when I see danger ahead of you.” And lastly, as men, we recognize and necessary remind one another of God’s ultimate authority in our lives. To fully grasp that authority, we must delve ever deeper into His Word. “I will submit to the leadership of Christ in everything.”
As Weber puts it, ” Every friendship should enjoy traveling toward those four “A’s.” Every friendship should see itself as an “A-team.” Specifically, a “Four-A” team. Big league friendships are all in the AAAA category” (p 131).
Weber uses the lives of David and Jonathon in a powerful way to demonstrate this bond of friendship. This is a no holds barred look at what it means for men to be men, to be friends with one another, to be a band of brothers. It is the in your face, “I’ll go to the wall with you” kind of reality that is addressed here.
There two resources together provide answers to such questions as:
- Are you connected with friends gutsy enough to go beyond the surface regarding issues of character, marriage and family?
- When was the last time you and a buddy slapped high-fives and rejoiced because you had just conquered one of life’s in-your-face moments?
- Do you have a friend who’s willing to work with you on the things that really matter? Are you man enough to listen?
Life is filled with battles, but no man can get through them on his own. A man needs friends. A man needs another fellow soldier. He needs another man, he can lock arms with and take a stand.
Great reads, both of these books. They will give you insight and point you in the right direction. Highly recommended.