I think that may be my strangest title yet for a blog post. But, hear me out.
I had the privilege of working for one of the authors of this book for almost 3 years. During those years, I heard him give many session talks at conferences and then got to transcribe those talks. This helped me remember them and learn them and pray for my future husband. Dr. Stinson not only can teach these principles and lifestyles, but he really does live them out.
The Guide to Biblical Manhood is based on a class that he and Dan Dumas taught together at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. We had begged Dr. S to teach this class for a while, so I’m grateful that they put it in the lineup. I hope every male student at SBTS is required to take this class. Not only does it go through general concepts which apply to all men: but then they break the book down into sections for husbands, fathers, and pastors. And not all of this book has to do with baseball and hunting – though that is definitely included! I laughed aloud reading some of the illustrations because I could hear my boss saying them or knew them definitely to be true. I’m thankful for godly, wise, “older” men in my life, like Dr. Stinson and Dan Dumas, who live out what they teach.
Anyway, so why did I read it? Well, when I saw it come across Kindle for cheap, I one-clicked it. I wanted to read it to know how to pray for my now-known future husband.
Here are some principles if you are going to do what I did:
1. Pray: Don’t NAG. If you are going to read this and pray these traits for your husband/future husband – then pray, don’t nag. Many women are very good at nagging about one thing or another. Men usually don’t respond well to nagging. But, pray the Holy Spirit would be the agent of change in your spouse’s life and heart.
2. Encourage. If you see a trait that your husband lives out very well – thank him for it. Bless him – be a blessing in his life by affirming God-type things in his life. If he plans a date night (which this book suggests), don’t gripe because its not your idea of a romantic evening – give him kudos for planning a great night for the two of you. If he leads in saying prayer at night for the family – don’t fuss because it doesn’t work into your time schedule. Stop what you are doing and make prayer a priority.
3. Pray for yourself too. Pray that you would respond graciously and kindly to these attributes in your husband. Just as Genesis 3 talks about the woman wanting to gain control in the relationship with her husband…we need to be on guard against the sin of wanting to be in control.
Since I bought this book on Kindle, I don’t have page numbers – and there are too many quotes I “underlined”, but here are a few of my favorites:
“We need men who will shoulder the weight of manhood as God designed it, who will live it out day to day but will incline their manhood toward the Gospel.”
“The pattern and order of creation set in these chapters is for me to bear the authority and responsibility of leadership. And that hasn’t changed. If you’re a man, it’s not optional to be a leader.”
“The man will take the initiative to leave his family and go create a new family. And men have to lead in the initiation because once they form a family, they are responsible to lead the whole thing.”
As I talked a few times with Dr. Stinson about being single and wanting a man who was a leader, provider, and protector – his word of caution to me was that I can’t expect men who have been single their entire lives to be perfect at these three things. But, they all need to be pursuing these three traits – and the Gospel. I am grateful for the man that God provided me with. With God’s help – he is a tremendous leader, provider, and protector.
Thanks Dr. Stinson and Dan. I appreciate the time and candidness with which you both wrote this and taught this. I’m excited to see how marriages will change because of this little book.