I don’t like to camp that much. And I’ve only shot a gun once. I’ve seen Bravehart like everyone else in the country, but I don’t look at it as a “Life Montra.” For those reasons, I tend to shy away from books about “discovering my inner man” and stuff. You know, where you read that all men love to make live things dead and grow bushy beards. So I approached Four Pillars of a Man’s Heart by Stu Webber with some hesitancy. It was actually assigned to me to read as part of a men’s discipleship and leadership group I’m a part of.
I loved it.
Stu argues that every man has 4 Pillars in their heart they need to pay attention to: the King Pillar, the Warrior Pillar, the Mentor Pillar, and the Friend Pillar. And that you as a man have to work to develop these pillars in your own life, but not just develop them – to hold them in balance. If a pillar starts to lean too far one way or the other, bad things start to happen. For example, the king pillar is about leadership and vision for your family. It’s the father’s job to set the direction everyone is headed. However, that pillar can easily get out of balance. If it leans too far to the left, you become an abdicator, someone who doesn’t chart any direction for the family at all and instead lets culture or chance dictate where your wife and kids are headed. On the other hand, you can just as easily become drunk with the power of “being the top dog in the house,” and become a tyrant, ruling over everyone just because you can.
The warrior pillar is about strength. The mentor pillar is about wisdom. The friend pillar is about love. And each can easily slip from side to side.
I think perhaps the greatest lesson I took from Stu’s book is the new conviction that as the father goes, the household goes. And inside every man is the ability to lead; it’s who God has made us to be. The question is whether or not we want to take up the mantle to do so.
If we do, as Stu reminds us, there’s no guarantee that people will follow – at least not at first. And there’s certainly no guarantee that it will be easy. Indeed, becoming a “true man” is the process of forgetting about yourself and thinking about the good of the people God has entrusted to your care. And that idea is incredibly helpful in and of itself – these people – Jana, Joshua, Andi, and the new one on the way – these are the ones God has given to me. Now what am I going to do with them?