Wild at Heart: Discovering the Secret of a Man's Soul

Wild at Heart: Discovering the Secret of a Man's Soul

4.2 251
by John Eldredge
     
 

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ISBN-10: 0785268839

ISBN-13: 9780785268833

Pub. Date: 04/28/2001

Publisher: Nelson, Thomas, Inc.

God designed men to be dangerous, says John Eldredge. Simply look at the dreams and desires written in the heart of every boy: To be a hero, to be a warrior, to live a life of adventure and risk. Sadly, most men abandon those dreams and desires—aided by a Christianity that feels like nothing more than pressure to be a “nice guy.” It is no wonder that many men

Overview

God designed men to be dangerous, says John Eldredge. Simply look at the dreams and desires written in the heart of every boy: To be a hero, to be a warrior, to live a life of adventure and risk. Sadly, most men abandon those dreams and desires—aided by a Christianity that feels like nothing more than pressure to be a “nice guy.” It is no wonder that many men avoid church, and those who go are often passive and bored to death. In this provocative book, Eldredge gives women a look inside the true heart of a man and gives men permission to be what God designed them to be—dangerous, passionate, alive, and free.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780785268833
Publisher:
Nelson, Thomas, Inc.
Publication date:
04/28/2001
Pages:
256
Product dimensions:
8.48(w) x 5.60(h) x 0.99(d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix

Introduction xi

Chapter 1 Wild at Heart 1

Chapter 2 The Wild One Whose Image We Bear 21

Chapter 3 The Question That Haunts Every Man 41

Chapter 4 The Wound 61

Chapter 5 The Battle for a Man's Heart 79

Chapter 6 The Father's Voice 99

Chapter 7 Healing the Wound 121

Chapter 8 A Battle to Fight: The Enemy 141

Chapter 9 A Battle to Fight: The Strategy 159

Chapter 10 A Beauty to Rescue 181

Chapter 11 An Adventure to Live 199

Chapter 12 Writing the Next Chapter 221

Epilogue 223

Appendix: The Daily Prayer 225

A Prayer for Sexual Healing 230

Excerpt from Fathered by God 235

About the Author 256

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Wild at Heart 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 251 reviews.
nickerbocker4181 More than 1 year ago
I am very thankful for the recommendation to read this book. This book deepened my understanding of myself and my life in many profound ways. Out of the heart are the issues of life and this book proves to be most useful in understanding the masculine heart. The wisdom inherent in this read freed my soul and helped facilitate a deeper unity between my mind and my heart. This book gave me perspective to better understand other guys as well as many historical movements. Although I feel this book is very sound in its empirical wisdom and heart, I found the book did lack a certain intellectual refinement and accuracy. This, perhaps, is only because I'm an engineer who graduated at the top of my class and am accustomed to very accurate and educated intelligence. In this regard the room for improvement does not detract from my high recommendation for this read. Essentially, there are other aspects of manhood that this book neglects. For instance, consider also reading "The American Gentleman." In my opinion, much of the problems facing the modern world stem from a lack of good men. So many people focus their efforts on improving systems and structures forsaking effort on the people behind everything. I hope and pray that more men will rise up in future generations and lead with their wild hearts. I'm an intelligent, well-read, wise and strong man of 26. All in all, this book is easily one of the BEST books I've ever read.
LycanGal More than 1 year ago
I read this book during a troubled time in my marriage, and though I won't say this book saved my marriage it did go a long way to helping me understand my husband. I think every man who is struggling with connection or emotion should read this, and frankly every single woman on the planet should read it in order to understand men a bit better. There is more to a man than most of us give them credit for!
HappyJG More than 1 year ago
Wild at Heart by John Eldredge is, as much as a Christian book can be, a cultural phenomenon. It seems everyone has read that book. I know people who loved it, crafted a way of living because of it. And I know people who hated it, disagreed with almost every word between the covers. So, when I saw it on the free books for bloggers list at Thomas Nelson, I snatched it up immediately. This new edition is "revised and expanded" although I suspect that's just publisher speak for "Look, something you thought was old is actually new and shiny." But since I haven't read the first edition, I can't prove my hunch. Wild at Heart is based on the idea that men are really, well, wild at heart, that they yearn to be unshackled from the tedium of nice-guy living, to roam the plains bucking like the broncos God made them to be. I don't intend even a smidgen of sarcasm there. I feel like that's exactly what Eldredge is saying, and, to a certain extent, I agree. This book was written for men and as I'm not a man there are certain judgments I'm not equipped to make. I can't verify the validity of his sweeping assumptions about men-I can, however, say the assumptions are sweeping and perhaps too categorical to fit every kind of man. Honestly, I was far less interested in Eldredge's comments on what makes a man than I was in his thoughts on women-thoughts I was shocked to find especially close to my own heart. I have NEVER considered myself to be a stereotypical woman. I've dismissed many traditional gender assignments and wriggled in agony during my fair share of women's conferences and events. So, when Eldredge starting talking about saving the princess I wanted to gag. Until I realized I was a princess needing saving. His three questions that every woman asks had me crying: "Will you pursue me? Do you delight in me? Will you fight for me?" I loved this paragraph, too: "If masculinity has come under assault, femininity has been brutalized. Eve is the crown of creation, remember? She embodies the exquisite beauty and the exotic mystery of God in a way that nothing else in all creation even comes close to. And so she is the special target of the evil one; he turns his most vicious malice against her. If he can destroy her or keep her captive, he can ruin the story." Thing is, I'm not positive this is totally true-I felt that way a lot while reading this book. But I like it. Whether or not Eve is the prime target, I think Eldredge would benefit from seeing himself in the princess role, too. He envisions men as warriors (which sometimes they're called to be-and sometimes I'm called to be, too) but I think he misses their role as a part of "the bride of Christ." Still, this chapter is packed with good stuff-his description of sex as a spilling of one's strength is awesome and his argument that women want "a lover and a warrior-not a really nice guy" is too easily proven to even be debated. This chapter also has super insightful info on spiritual warfare. The next chapter "An Adventure to Live," is even better. It's all about embracing risk, living freely and dangerously-which, as you start to see from the buckets of scriptures he incorporates, is totally Biblical. Right now, I'm flipping through the chapter looking for a quote to give you but I'm finding so many I can't pick one. You need to read this chapter, even if it's just this chapter. What Eldredge does so powerfully in this book is to inspire his reader to live a
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book has really inspired me and help me to understand why we man think and act the way we do. This book, backed by Scripture, has a lot of truth and valuable information that every man must know. Great book this was well needed in my life
CAJ More than 1 year ago
I loved this book. It speaks to a man's heart and encourages me to be a true man of God. Adventurous, Strong, Wise, and striving to be Right before God. All men should read this book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
John Eldredge is the kind of man that other men who love the great outdoors can really relate to. He has great insights into what it is to be a real man. This book was recommended to me by a dear friend I have known for years who said I should read 'Captivating' by John and Staci Eldredge and also 'Wild at Heart' by John Eldredge. To say it was highly anticipated by me is putting it mildly. I ordered the book from the library and picked it up this past Sunday. I sat down in the library and read 'Wild at Heart' in four hours cover to cover. What a page turner! To say the least this book exceeded my expectations. Though it is directed towards men, this is a great book for singles both male or female. John Eldrege is a man's man. He likes to hunt and fish. He is married with three sons. This book says it is a book about healing a man's soul. But it is much more than that. In our search for truth we search for the truth about life, others and ourselves. This is a great book about all of the above. The search for the truth about the meaning of life. The adventure it is meant to be and the battle it has to be. It is a book about the search for the truth about the different motivations of our hearts depending on whether we are a man or a woman. It is about the search for the real self which is hidden behind a false self and the exciting adventure and battle for the transformation of ourselves from the false self to the real self. I was truly moved by this book at my deepest levels. My own struggle to be transformed to my real self was brought into focus more clearly. My desire to have the man I love experience the type of transformation John Eldredge speaks of from false self to real self was also awakened in my heart. I also gained valuble insights and understanding the differences in men and women and how we can relate to eachother better. This book also asks a man to consider 'what makes you feel fully alive' and suggests they pursue that as their career choice. Great advice. It also explores the idea that a man is out there to save the fair maiden and rescue her. But his explanation of fighting for the fair maiden is different than the fairy tales you have read. I don't want to spoil it for you, so I won't go into detail. You have got to read it for yourself. This book has an exciting and life changing message that both men and women will appreciate. I consider it a 'must read' for all men and women single or otherwise. On a scale of one to five stars I give this one five stars!
Shamaalthedog More than 1 year ago
An amazing look at the heart of man. If Christianity seems dull to you, check out this short read from John Eldredge. He delves deep to let us know what being a man truly is, and how to live that our through the eyes of faith.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I was sucked into this book. It helped answer do many questions that i struggled with my relationship with my masculinity and with my dad. I couldn't put it down. It gave me a permission slip and validated my desire to hunt and do manly things. I thank God he wrote this book. I shared it with my wife when i was done and she absolutely loved it. I would call the book transformational in its message. I'm surprised there are people that find or boring or irrelevant. I took a half day off just to process what it meant for me, I'm not kidding. I don't second guess decisions i used to question and i feel at peace doing the many things that i want to do that to dubs may seem like childish, boyish pastimes. This book provided me with that permission slip.
Jiffy_Jordan More than 1 year ago
Wild at Heart by John Eldredge is a creative and bias book about the masculinity of men. I read this book for a college writing class this year; although before I read it I had many friends that recommended it. It’s all about how troubled a man’s heart can be, especially when he has no father figure in his life to show him how to be a man. I believe Wild at Heart was an out of the ballpark book. It shows many ideas to why the man is so struck with brokenness. Moreover, the ideas are logical and strong. I was enlightened when I read the book because of how many thoughts and arguments that lined up to my life. It’s a highly relatable book for men above the age of 17. Furthermore, John Eldredge brings opinions to the table, and backs many of them up with scripture. One that stuck out was the interpretation of Adam and Eve in the garden when Eve at the fruit. Eldredge points out that in scripture, Adam was standing silent right next to Eve when she ate the fruit. Then Eldredge goes on to say that men are weak and troubled just like Adam was when he was in the garden. In addition the quote “Deep in his heart, every man longs for a battle to fight, an adventure to live, and a beauty to rescue” by Eldredge shows an opinion that I agree with. More importantly he shows his heart to the readers about masculinity and gives reasonable examples for each of his findings. This book has helped me unify my heart and my mind. I loved the book and I would recommend it to any man who has a heart problem, and in my opinion all men do.
MFH72 More than 1 year ago
I highly recommend this book to men, women, and parents of boys. I am a Christian woman who started out reading this book to gain a better perspective and understanding of the adult male psyche from a Christian viewpoint. I was in a great relationship with a wonderful man, yet something was missing from him that I couldn't fulfill. This book was recommended by a trusted Christian mentor. I began to read it and soon realized that it delved into more than just men. It dove into the hearts of boys and women and how the role of a woman affects the life of a man at various stages through out from boyhood to adulthood. It answers many of the "whys" we, as mothers, find ourselves scratching our heads and asking as our little boys begin the transition from boys to adolescents to teens to young adults. It explains so much of the DNA hardwiring that is engrained in them. "Wild at Heart" tells the story of God's creation of Adam in the Garden of Eden and how he chose Eve over God in that Garden. John Eldredge tells how that choice is engraved in every heart today of every man. He tells us how Eve's deception by the serpent has haunted every woman who has walked the earth since and will until the end. I believe that "Wild at Heart" is an excellent resource for any married man and/or woman. It is my opinion that if you are the parent of a boy, regardless of age, you should read and take to heart its contents. I feel that it should be re-read again later for a refresher if you have younger boys, just to be reminded. I know it could have saved me some "mom-guilt" had I read it sooner and helped me to understand some of the reasons why my son started to distance himself in some of the ways he did. As well, I could have known better how to respond rather than feeling lost and as though I was "losing" him. It is an absolute must read for fathers. I believe it should be handed out to all new fathers of sons in the hospital and they should read it every year as their child grows. That is how much I believe in this book. It is not someone's opinion. It is Bible-based and grounded in the Word. I cannot say enough about how much this book has helped open my eyes, heart and mind to see much clearer!
NicoleDeb More than 1 year ago
Wild at Heart was one of the rare occasions when reading for a class wasn’t just for homework, but because I was actually interested in the topic. In the book, Eldredge, gives his opinion on what makes men tick – what they’re thinking, why they act a certain way, and other subjects under that theme. It was especially interesting reading this book from a female perspective; specifically when Eldredge speaks about women’s rolls in a man’s life. He says that as much as women would like to, they cannot give men their masculinity. “A man needs a much bigger orbit than a woman. He needs a mission, a life purpose, and he needs to know his name,” (pg 97). This was a very cool thing to read, because I agree that men need to know who they are. Men, and women, need to decide what they want in life before they can be able to share their life with another person. One point Eldredge made that I was a bit skeptical about was that the Church wants men to be soft. I personally think Christianity calls men to be strong and confident, rather than just “nice guys.” He says, “Christianity, as it currently exists, has done some terrible things to men. When all is said and done, I think most men in the church believe that God put them on the earth to be a good boy,” (pg71). Yes, God wants everyone to be of good character and set a good example to others. This doesn’t mean men have to be passive, push-overs. Overall, I really enjoyed this book. I would recommend it to any curious reader: male, female, Christian, non-Christian. Whether you agree with what John Eldredge has to say about men, it is interesting to see another perspective. 
CarolynnS More than 1 year ago
I truly loved this book. For women who don't understand why men are the way they are - you will have a better understanding after reading this book. For men searching for a deeper "inside look" about themselves, this is a must read. Eldredge did a great job of supporting his point of views with Biblical text as well as "visual" references, such as the movie "Braveheart." It helps create a better understanding of what he is trying to say. This makes it, in my opinion, an easy and interesting read. One thing to point out -- you have to read past the first couple of chapters before you can truly understand what he is saying. The first couple of chapters are filled with some “stereotypes,” but after that, you’ll realize that he’s talking about something different. So why only 4/5 stars? Well, though it is a good read, and his points can make sense, he can be single-minded. He stereotypes all men when talking about them, instead of just stating his opinion and point out that it may be different others. All in all, I would definitely recommend this book, especially to those whom are Christian and are looking to possibly understand a male mind. I recommend this to a Christian because Eldredge references a lot of biblical text.
vander1020 More than 1 year ago
After reading this book, I took a look at the life I lived. This book helped to bring me to Christ. I know not everyone will read it the same. And in no way do I consider John Eldredge a modern day prophet. But for me, I can't even explain how this book changed my views on life, family, and God.
knottmywill More than 1 year ago
John Eldredge does an excellent job of relating God's design and purpose for the modern man! I recommend this to high school Seniors and young fathers especially, but it's relevant to men of all ages!
John White More than 1 year ago
I've been reading this book in my men's small group and I love it. It is a must for every man who wants to grow stronger and become more secure in his masculinity. It is also a must read to improve your relationship with your spouse or significant other.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I bought the book for my husband but began reading it first. We have a four year old son. We also have three grown daughters the youngest of which is 21 and raising her own son. This book helped me to realize how emasculating I and my husband have been toward our youngest. We have now stopped telling him to be calm and settle down much the way we raised our girls. I encouraged my husband to take a look at this book and he thanked me for buying it. He is reading it every morning and reflecting on the issues he has suffered by loosing his own father when he was eleven years old. It has helped us both to see and understand why our son likes to be a warrior, a gun-slinger, and even Spider Man and all the other hereos he mimics. The saying "boys will be boys" falls short of the true reason they actually should be treated as such. This book not only helped our family realize what Jesus meant when He said, "my Father and I are one" but to show all, especially men, how to allow God to Father us and draws us nigh unto Him and his blessings. This may seem like drivel to those who do not seek the Lord, but to those of us who do and who also dedicated our children to the Lord, this book definitely helped us to see our son, grandsons, and daughters for the uniqueness of both feminine and masculine personalities. God is not a wimp. And men do not or should not be either. Bravery is not foolishness, but a gift of God. It has lead to the ability to forgive our own earthly fathers for their failures and hurts toward us, and to heal; as well as draw us closer to our Heavenly Father. Mothers and Fathers alike would benefit from the reading of this book if only for the sake of their own sons and daughters.
Books-In-Brief More than 1 year ago
Consider how young boys spend their leisure time. They pretend to be cowboys, police officers, fire fighters, or explorers - anything that involves a sense of danger, adventure, and fighting for what is right. They experiment, take risks, push boundaries, and wear their hearts on their sleeves. Contrast this with how adult males often behave: they are passionless, tame, mild-mannered, riskless, calculated, and bored. While many argue that life's experiences and responsibilities have caused these traits to surface, author John Eldredge argues that it is man's loss of his boyhood desires - "for a battle to fight, an adventure to live, and a beauty to rescue" - that has caused him to live an unfulfilled, directionless life. In an effort to help men become the men God created them to be, Eldredge probes deep within man's soul to discover why men have rejected their calling, whether consciously or unconsciously. He argues that "this is every man's deepest fear: to be exposed, to be found out, to be discovered as an imposter, and not really a man." How a man handles this fear, for better or worse, determines how successful he is in living up to his God-given design. Indeed, Eldredge's primary goal in Wild at Heart is to challenge men to discover the kind of man God desires him to be through developing an intimate relationship with God. While many of today's Christian men have reduced "intimacy with God" to a series of formulas and doctrines, Eldredge advocates developing a deepening relationship with God by "an informal friendship," and by giving up our tendency to control - and this is indeed a tough trait to surrender - for "God's offer of companionship." For it is only through this relationship with God that men can live as God made them to live: as if life was an adventure. Eldredge laments that contemporary man resorts too often to living a calculated, comfortable life devoid of taking the leaps of faith that might ultimately lead him to finding greater fulfillment in life. He encourages men to leave the predictable and instead trek into the unknown with God serving as his guide and mentor. Throughout this book, I found myself challenged and encouraged by nearly every chapter. Eldredge skillfully describes the desires and fears that are hidden deep within the soul of every man. While reading this book, I found myself pausing countless times to reflect upon my own experience and discovered that sometimes I need to heed Eldredge's advice and "let people feel the weight of who you are and let them deal with it." Sometimes I need to take a step outside of my calculated comfort zone and chase the desires and dreams that God has placed within my heart, for God has not made man to be passive, meek, and mild but forceful, strong, and brave. I was most inspired by a quote by Gil Bailie, who shared a piece of advice from his mentor: "Don't ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive, and go do that, because what the world needs is people who have come alive." I know so many men, even Christian men, who appear so beat down by the things of life that they are like the walking dead. What our families, our schools, our communities, and our churches really need are not nice, content guys who are dead on the inside, but men - real men - who have a fire in their heart for living out their passions and embarking on a wild journey with God.
Anonymous 3 months ago
It is not for the gay community that's for sure I never read anything like that but a lot of people are fine so you have your opinion and others have there's nothing. I believe in god he has saved me many time's in my life the battles I was in. The love i have with god is beteewn god and myself god loves everyone it docent matter to him as long as you live a life with him in you heart
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Just do it. It'll open your eyes. Amazing. Thanks John.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book answered so many quotations and doubts that I had, and set me on a new course in life.
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