Title: Disciplines of a Godly Man
Author: R. Kent Hughes
Publisher: Crossway Books, 2009; 304 pp. $15.99
There are a variety of reasons that people fail to live disciplined lives — laziness and apathy, fleeting awareness of the cost of feeble discipline, weakness and immaturity, lack of a role model, and sometimes, we’re simply uneducated and untaught.
It is this last issue that Kent Hughes addresses in his wonderfully helpful book, Disciplines of a Godly Man.
Why write a book like this? Because, Hughes says, “disciplined Christian lives are the exception, not the rule…[and because] men are so much less spiritually inclined and spiritually disciplined than women.”
To help men become more disciplined, Hughes fingers four primary areas of a man’s life — his relationships, his soul, his character, and his ministry — and writes several chapters in each area to address specific areas of need. For instance, under “character,” he addresses the needs of integrity, tongue, and work.
Each chapter is relatively brief — 10-15 pages — and includes a simple discussion guide that can be used either individually or in a group setting. Hughes’ writing is also engaging with multiple illustrations and examples, along with concise explanations of Bible passages. Even for the man who is disinclined to read, this book is invitingly readable.
A sample statement from his chapter on devotion:
The reason many men do not have an effective devotional life is, they never plan for it. They do not know what it is because they have never taken the time to find out. They do not pray because they do not set aside the time.…The question for prayerless men is a very masculine one: Are we man enough to meditate? To confess? To adore? To submit? To sweat and endure?
Now the real challenge in writing a book like this is not just in the writing, but in persuading men to read it. Face it, more books for men are purchased by women for their men than by the men themselves. Let’s be culturally different at GBC — men, don’t just buy this book. Buy it, read it, and implement it in your life.
This book is available in the church library, and in the bookstore ($11).