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Book Review: Wild at Heart by John Eldredge

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This book was primarily written for men and is a companion to “Captivating” by John and Stasi Eldredge which I will review later in the year. At this point, you probably know I have read several books written for men on relationships and what they don’t understand about women but this is the first book I’ve ever read written for men on themselves. It is an incredible look at the ways we have warped masculinity in our culture and within the church. It calls men to find their true name and heart within God and as a woman it opened my eyes to the core desires and drives of a man but also to the unseen battles they face. Just as men don’t understand the complexities and mysteries harbored within a woman’s soul, we don’t understand the impact of their daily lives on their view of self and success.

I have a friend who, to me, is the epitome of a man’s man and success. I know guys who would kill to live his life for one week or have half his abilities yet he often worries that he isn’t successful enough. That he needs to do more to measure up. It makes me want to shake him to his core. To shout at him how proud he makes me and how incredible he is, yet, for a man that isn’t enough… even if it is true. Kind of how we can be told we are beautiful or desirable and still not believe it because Satan loves to attack us where we are most vulnerable but also, where we can be most powerful. That’s actually one of the big takeaways I had after reading this book. Chances are where Satan is attacking the most is the very area that he fears as your greatest strength. In war, do you want to get rid of the enemy’s tank or their slingshot?

In his book, Eldredge gives his personal story of discovery along with the testimonies and struggles of friends and family. He knows he is writing for a predominantly male audience but he also takes moments to emphasize things for the women who are trying to understand the men in their lives. The book was so overwhelming to this very female perspective so there is no way I could concisely give you a summary and I highly suggest everyone giving it a read but here are some of the main points that stuck with me…

  • The church has injured men and women by telling men their ultimate goal is to be a nice guy and that a woman is her fullest self when she is being a good servant. We now have buildings full of bored men and exhausted women but that is not God’s plan.

  • In their core, all men desire a battle to fight, an adventure to go on and a beauty to rescue. These desires match up like puzzle pieces for the core desires of women but we will get to that in “Captivating”.

  • Men are created in the image of God per Genesis but we forget that God is a mighty warrior and lion! We’ve tried to make him a tame house cat.

  • All men are haunted by a deep question of if they are truly a man and if they have what it takes.

  • All men have a wound that impacts how they function in the world and as men.

  • Men need each other… a band of brothers.

  • A woman can arouse a man’s masculinity but she can never bestow it.

  • Life is not a problem to be solved but an adventure to be lived.

I could go on and on with all the insight I gained while reading this book. In fact, I started a word document just to keep up with all the key points that I knew would help me in the future or that I still didn’t understand completely. It was also very surprising but reassuring to see that many of my core desires as a woman make sense in the context of what God intended men to be as a reflection of Himself. I wish I could make every man I know sit down and read this, especially my amazing friend, because I want so much for them to be released from the lie Satan has them trapped under but as I learned that is not a truth that I can get through to them. That is the very essence of what God is speaking into their very wild hearts!


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