A Review of “Home Behind the Sun”, by Timothy Willard and Jason Lacy. Nelson Books, 2014.
This beautifully crafted book, coauthored by Tim and Jason, two friends sharing the journey of being serious followers of Christ, is basically addressed to men, to married couples and parents, and is dedicated to “our daughters”. Their prose is elegant, poetical and full of literary allusions, making it a joy to read.
Using reason, logic and humor, they address the issues of fatherhood and parenting with gentle and humble beauty in a series of fourteen essays designed to bring men, husbands, and fathers out of the “shadowlands” into the glorious light of true sonship with God.
“Films and sitcoms cast manhood as a mindless endeavor defined by what we can get from society: money and power. We are encouraged to chart a narcissistic course through life, racking up notches on our bedposts, dollars in our bank accounts, and toys in our garages. Manhood looks like a trophy we can win, a card we carry, an image we curate, rather than the relationships we cultivate”
Their answer is simple and powerful: “Men we are men. We are strong yet tender, bold yet caring, stern yet loving”.
They challenge us to: “counter perversion with truth, combat despair with joy, topple bitterness and resentment with forgiveness, eliminate cynicism with belief and whimsy, and overcome pain with healing”.
The end of the book has an accompanying set of discussion questions for each chapter, to further enrich the conversation and to create a meaningful dialogue among Christians about how men, fathers, husbands, friends, and brothers can live out the gospel message in today’s world.
You have to read Proverbs 32 for men (pp.160-162) I enclose a sample:
“A good man is hard to find. His wife trusts him without reserve, and never has reason to regret it. Never spiteful, he showers blessing all lifelong. He enjoys his work, pursuing a meaningful vocational existence, and seeks God’s purpose.
He doesn’t waste time on temporal pleasures such as Modern Warfare or Breaking Bad. Instead he gets his lazy backside up and studies the Word, and prays for his family before he organizes his day. He doesn’t squander his money on frivolous things like gambling or stupid gadgets. Rather he invests in things that last: his children’s education, something beautiful for his wife, and a thoughtful retirement plan. He senses the worth of his work but knows when it’s time to go home and see his family”.