I rarely pick up nonfiction (unless it’s related to the American Civil War, WWI, or WWII), however, I’m certainly not above spreading my wings and one cannot be well-rounded unless, well, you’re well-rounded…
The Heroic Path begins with the author describing the birth of his twin daughters. It is a powerful moment – solidifying the goal of this book. In finding his masculine heart, Sowers would become a better man, husband, father, and warrior in Christ.
This monograph is geared toward men – what type of man are you now and what type of man do you want to be – finding the strength to see past your current circumstances to your hibernating potential – being the type of man your spouse needs, your children, friends and co-workers…and yet, as a woman, I found the reading experience to be unexpectedly enlightening – a chance to delve into a man’s greatest fears, many never considered, and walking away with far more empathy. Growing up we all pick up assigned gender roles and all too readily begin to focus on our own, failing to see when self-reliance becomes self-centeredness, ultimately letting our partner down and ourselves.
From a female perspective, I feel it not out of place to share some take-away thoughts from the book. From girlhood on I’ve been a reader (and reading is a lone sport). No one in my family read. As a teenager, I knew that I wanted to marry a man whose love of books rivaled my own – kind of like a book club partner with benefits… A man who wanted to sit indoors, reading quietly together, discussing style, plot, and characters all while taking in the beauty of a sunset – I ended up marrying a replica of my dad…loud, social (seriously social), and would wilt at the suggestion of reading a book. Why did I do it? My dad is the best of men. He’s hardworking, loyal, loving, and to me, a slayer of dragons, a hero…my protector. Did my marriage work? Yes, it did. There have been a few hurdles (perhaps pole vaulting is more apt), but all surmountable – and with all of that said, my point – Sowers’ compulsion to discover what being a man is surely ranks high as one of mans’ most vital journeys. The potential impact to those under their care is innumerable and, I imagine, terrifying. My dad’s influence changed the course of my life.
If the author’s goal for The Heroic Path is to force the reader to action – to burst your comfort zone bubble – to help reveal the glorious potential God has in store for you – to encourage you to live fearlessly, in a fearfully scorched world – to cast whispers of self-doubt and recriminations out like the dark plague they are – to understand it is never too late to create a better version of yourself – then the author’s goal was well met.
I highly recommend following John Sowers in his search for the masculine heart. His words will breathe fire into your belly. His path, along with the mentors who guided him, is one of surrender. The payoff – becoming a warrior, in every part of your life in God’s name.