Becoming the Man God Created You to Be
Fr. Larry Richards
This book was an incredible read. But to be honest I have had a hard time figuring out how to review it. Fr. Larry Richards in this book, challenges us to be real men, authentic men, men of God. It is a call to be true Christian men, to be a Catholic gentleman.
When I first read this section it had an instant impact:
"I make this very explicit when I am preaching at a marriage ceremony. I start with the bride and I say, "Sweetheart, you read the Bible every day, don't you?" At first I usually get a "Yes, Father", and then I say kiddingly, "If you lie to a priest, you know, you go to hell." Then she will usually quickly say, "Okay, no, Father." Then I continue, "Well, there is a verse in Ephesians that says, 'Wives, be submissive to your husbands, as to the Lord.' " And then I ask, "Do you think it means what it says?" And I always get an emphatic "No, Father!" Then I literally jump up and down and scream, "Yes, it means what it says!" When I say this, all the feminists in the crowd become very upset and say things like, "This is another reason I hate the Catholic Church." And the bride thinks, "Why did we ever get this priest to marry us?" I love this!
Then, as anyone who knows me knows, I am an equal opportunity offender, so I turn to the groom, who usually likes all of this. Once I said to a groom, "That will cost you another hundred dollars", and he responded, "That would be the best one hundred dollars I ever spent!" But now it is time for the other shoe to fall. I then ask the groom, "You read the Bible every day, right?" He always responds, "No, Father." Then I ask, "Well, do you know what it says in Ephesians after 'Wives, be submissive to your husbands'?" The groom always shakes his head and says, "No." Then I continue, "It says, 'Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the Church and gave himself up for her.' " Then I ask, "Do you know what that means?" I then continue kiddingly, "Your life is over!" Then I tell them that every day they need to be more concerned about each other than they are about themselves! That is what marriage is about!
So you need to start to do at least one unselfish act for your wife every day. Surprise her. When was the last time you treated her the same way you did when you were still trying to get her to marry you?" -"
The chapters in this book are:
Chapter 1: Be a Man Who Stays Focused on the Final Goal
Chapter 2: Be a Man Who Lives as a Beloved Son
Chapter 3: Be a Man Who Repents
Chapter 4: Be a Man Who Lives in the Holy Spirit
Chapter 5: Be a Man Who Is Strong
Chapter 6: Be a Man Who Is Loving
Chapter 7: Be a Man Who Is Wise
Chapter 8: Be a Man Who Lives as He Was Created
Chapter 9: Be a Man Who Is Holy
Chapter 10: Be a Man Who Changes the World
Thirty Tasks You Must Accomplish to Help You Become the Man You were Created to Be
Each chapter ends with three tasks, three tasks you must accomplish, and also three questions for reflection and discussion. Not since I read the first promise Keepers book back in the early 90's have I felt a book was so important for men to read, and to implement. I know so many men who should read this book. Friends heading into their second or third marriage, men who have abandoned careers with no goals or prospects, men who seem to shirk all responsibility in order to pursue their own plans and agendas.
Father Larry does not pull any punches, and he is fully honest about his own weaknesses and failings. But in writing to men he draws extensively from the bible. In fact almost every paragraph has at least one biblical reference. This book is not an easy read, for any man who is open and honest while reading this book will find a few areas of his life that needs improvement. For some men it will directly speak to their weaknesses, or failures. For others it will be a guide to help them grow and avoid some of the pitfalls of manhood.
This was a great read, and to be honest I plan to come back to it and read it again in about a year. It is great for person reading but would be even better worked through as a group. I enjoyed the writing style so much I have added a few of Father Richards books to next year's reading list. As men you owe it to yourself and the people in your life to read this book!
Non-Fiction Books by Fr. Larry Richards:
Be a Man! Becoming the Man God Created You to Be
Surrender! The Life Changing Power of Doing God's Will
Spiritual Warfare Jesus' Way: How to Conquer Evil Spirits and Live Victoriously
Satan Exposed: Defeating the Powers of Darkness
Becoming One in the Spirit
Men of the Bible
The Essential Guide to Deliverance: Finding True Freedom in Christ
Smart Guide to the Bible Series:
How to Read (and Understand) the Bible: Meeting God in the Book You Love But Never Fully Understood
The Book of Revelation
Prophecies of the Bible - Smart Guide
The Book of Romans
Men of the Bible
Women of the Bible
Paul and the Prison Epistles
The Invisible War Series:
The Day of the Others
The Blind Prophet
The 69th Week
The Third Temple
(Note: This book is part of a series of reviews: A Year of Reading Intention - Catholic Reading!)