Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Review of "Every Man's Battle"

Having read Every Young Man's Battle as a teenager and again as a young adult, I had seen the book Every Man's Battle mentioned and had planned to read it after I married since I knew that it was addressed to married men. Since I thought the likelihood that I would get married was quite low (at age 25 I had never had a girlfriend), I thought I would never get the book. Luckily, I found the love of my life and married her on February 11, 2017. However, as mentioned in Every Young Man's Battle, just because you get married does not mean that the bad habits you developed before your nuptials will suddenly vanish (I add my own testimony that this is true). In order to be the husband that God has called you to be, you will have to make some real and perhaps drastic changes.

The main praise I have of this book is its talk about how we as men get visual satisfaction from our eyes, which at first glance doesn't seem that interesting since we know that many men enjoy pornography, which is based on visual stimulation. However, I did not think that this eye stimulation also came from just looking at women you pass by in your day-to-day life. I noticed that I often looked at women who walked by lustfully, which is easy to do considering that I am a college student and am on a college campus five days a week. However, this does not give me the right to scope out other women lustfully; the only woman I am permitted by scripture to think about in a sexual manner is my wife. So, how do we as married men avoid this problem?

The authors point out a method that I have found useful as I have tried it over the last few days: Bouncing your eyes. The method is simply that when you encounter attractive women or pictures of them, you look at something else immediately since you have no right to look at women in lustful manner. This not to say you cannot talk to attractive women other than your wife, but you need to maintain eye contact and not allow your eyes to wander. I have found it useful also when thoughts enter my mind to twist my wedding band, which changes the focus of my thoughts and reminds me of the person that I have committed myself to.

Like I said in my review for the former book, the authors tend to go overboard at times. At one point, Fred (one of the authors) mentions that you cannot even be attracted to other women if you are married (yes, he really said that). This is nonsense and dangerous. In life you will meet other women who are attractive, just as your wife will meet other attractive men. It is simply a brute fact that attraction is something that occurs which you have little if any causal control over. While you can control your lusts, you cannot control your attractions. I mention this because the authors can get a little out there at times, and this can cloud their important message.

I recommend this book to every married man, with the caution that he is a Christian of some sort. It will help put you on the road to being the man your wife envisioned when she married you.

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