Hey, Dads . . . We Need to Talk about Being a Man

Joe Willmann Teaching the Faith at Home Leave a Comment

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There are a lot of amazing things that come along with working for Concordia Publishing House. For instance, our curriculum team gathers in the morning four days a week to read Scripture from the daily lectionary as well as an associated devotion and to pray together. On Wednesday mornings, a wider portion of the workforce gathers together for our weekly chapel service. Those things that hold us together as the Body of Christ here in our building are joys for each and every one of us.

Another joy we get to experience is getting to learn about new products, well in advance of their release. I was fortunate to meet Rev. Jeffrey Hemmer to learn about his book, Man Up! The Quest For Masculinity about five months before its release. Listening to Pastor Hemmer speak about the realities of being a man and who the Perfect Man is, made me realize quite quickly that his book would be one that I would be picking up the day it came out.

So, dads, why should you read this book? I hope by this point in my blog, you know I’m not writing this just to try and sell books. And I’m not here to tell you you need this book because I think you aren’t manly. No, I’m here because this book so clearly points us to our Savior and helps us understand our vocations as husbands, fathers, sons, brothers, and Christians. As we raise the next generation of men and women, we want them to know who the Perfect Man is.

The book is written in two parts. Part 1 is titled Nuts and Bolts: The Basics. This section will teach you about what Scripture teaches us about our vocations as men. Luther might call this the “What does this mean?” section.

Part 2 is titled Reclaiming a Biblical Portrait of a Man. These chapters are devoted to helping us men improve in the true vocations we’ve been given. Hemmer presents a “Battle Plan” for men, a list of tools to help you be introspective and consider your own shortcomings and then how to strive to improve.

Hemmer challenges you in this book and gives practical advice. For example, in the “Battle Plan” for chapter 12, he encourages fathers to:

Raise your sons to be good men.

Raise your daughters to desire good men.

Love the mother of your children.

Cultivate a growth mind-set.

Have a family altar.

What is a good man? How do you love your wife? What’s a growth mind-set? How do you use a family altar? Well, you’re going to have to read the book for all of that.

All of this Hemmer writes with a style that any man can relate to. He opens the preface of the book with this statement:

I don’t know what it says about you that you either bought a book on how to be a man or were given a book on how to be a man.

Or how about his encouragement to fathers to sing our beautiful hymnody:

So, check your love songs to Jesus at the door, confirm that your testes still secrete testosterone, and join in the more robust, more vigorous marching cadences of Christian men. These hymns are certainly vigorous. You might grow chest hair just by singing them.

I think we can all connect to his direct and earthy style of writing. He lays it all out on the line and points us directly to the One who is the Perfect Man, Christ Jesus, our Lord.

So what does it mean to be a man? Go pick up this book and find out for yourself. You’ll be glad you did.

Quotes are from Man Up! The Quest for Masculinity  © 2017 Jeffrey Hemmer. Used by Permission.


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About the Author

Joe Willmann


Joe Willmann is the Senior Instructional Designer for Concordia Publishing House in St. Louis, MO. A former teacher and administrator, Joe has a passion for education and learning theory. He earned his Bachelor's Degree from Ball State University and his Master's Degree from Concordia University - Ann Arbor. He lives with his wife, Nicole, his daughter Ava, and his son Carter. You can read his latest posts here.

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