I have read almost everything Mark Batterson has written. All In, In a Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day, and my favorite Circle Maker. Most of Batterson’s books have the same underlying theme: Spiritually, give all that you have to whatever the concept is he is covering.
In Play the Man, Mark does an amazing job at explaining manhood and how we, as men, should step up and be the men God made us to be. We are not women. We are men, so we should act like it. The underlying theme is: we should be MEN in our home. Too many times we (myself included), want to be famous. Not so much in the terms of being in a movie or on TV but we want to be the MAN in so many areas of our life. The gym, the office, on social media – the image we portray to our friends. When in reality, we need to be famous in our own home.
Batterson says in the book, “At the end of the day, I want to be famous in my home. It’s hard to be famous in my home when I am never home.” That was powerful. Here I am trying to make my business the best I can make it so I can touch and inspire thousands of people locally and abroad, and I am spending more time helping them than I am helping my little boy be the man God has created him to be.
Batterson goes on to explain that men, at sometime in their lives, will go through a rite of passage. In that rite of passage, they will enter into manhood. Jews do it with a Bar Mitzvah, but the Western W.A.S.P. (White Anglo Saxton Protestant) Crowd has dropped this from our culture. We shrug this aside as if it is not important. Another author, Stephen James, explains in his book Wild Things that boys will go through some rite of passage in their lives. Whether it is led by you as the father, with a girl in the back seat of a car, in the locker room, or at someone else’s home – boys will go through that event at some point. There may not be a huge celebration or ceremony but there is an event in every boy’s life where they cross the threshold into manhood. Many times boys do not go through a proper rite of passage either because they do not have a man present at home, or they have a father that is so preoccupied with other things, they spoil them and feel as though they are “doing their job” by “providing for their family.”
Both of these situations are tragic. Men that have boys need to nurture and lead them through the ways of being a man. From how to treat women, to being fearless, to being able to survive in the wild, to balancing a checkbook, to the value of hard work, to leading a family spiritually.
In this book, Batterson also goes into detail as to why we have to do this, and HOW he did this with his two boys. He did it different with each one, but Batterson gives a blueprint of how he did it. This is something I will apply to my home starting the day I finish the book. I highly recommend this book for anyone that has boys or is going to have boys.
Let us know in the comments below if you read Play the Man, and what you thought about it!