American author Gordon Dalbey was brought to tears when he first read the words, “Get on your knees and fight like a man”.
Dalbey has been a leading figure in the Christian Men’s movement for several decades, having already penned two widely acclaimed books Healing the Masculine Soul, and Father and Son.
In Fight like a Man, he fervently advocates that God’s Kingdom on earth can only be restored when men face the pain of their ‘father wound’ and surrender themselves to God.
Dalbey describes the ‘father wound’ as the absence experienced by generations of men who have lived a broken relationship with their fathers. It is a wound, he claims, that cannot be healed by any other person, no matter how genuine and dedicated.
“Only Jesus can heal the father wound because only he can overcome our sin nature and restore relationship with the true and present father of all men,” he explains.
In his introduction, Dalbey acknowledges the ground-breaking effects of the secular men’s movement of the early 1990’s, but believes it was destined to wane because, while it recognised the ‘father wound’ that was robbing men of their true identity, it did not have the resources to redeem them.
This is the crux of Dalbey’s potentially world-altering view. He believes that the secular men’s movement “dropped the sword of truth”; it is now the duty of Christian men “to pick it up and fight for all God’s worth”.
Dalbey’s passion for the cause shines through as he combines his experience as a pastor and father with anecdotes and stories from his many years as a leader in the Christian Men’s movement to provide convincing reasons why surrendering to Christ is the key to ‘Redeeming Manhood for Kingdom Warfare’, the subtitle of his book.
The 315-page book is specifically aimed at Christian men and designed to help them gauge how far they may have journeyed from God’s true definition of manhood. But ultimately it is a book of hope and redemption.
Dalbey explains how the character of man has been distorted and defined by a world that has separated itself from God which has created either violent or over-feminised alternatives. Neither are what God intended, he claims, but he is adamant that there is a way out.
Dalbey does not resort to statistics and studies to emphasise his ideas. But he creates an awareness of both the subtle and obvious ways individuals and society have drifted from God’s blueprint by intertwining entertaining and relevant life snapshots with Scriptural wisdom.
The battle that we are all a part of, and what defines us, Dalbey announces in chapter one, is this, “Do you know God as your Father and yourself as His son?”
In latter chapters, Dalbey explores specific issues such as racism, addictions, false religion, living by Law alone and appropriate relating to women, but not before providing the reasons and steps required for men to move forward from the shame and brokenness that have stemmed from imperfect relationships with their fathers.
“Whatever part of a man is not surrendered to Father God,” he writes, “becomes a chink in his armour.”
This is a book that should be read by every Christian man because it addresses the foundational issues of many individual and societal ills.
However, it could also prove invaluable to women in their attempt to understand not only the brokenness in men’s lives, but also by providing hope of a way forward. It is a book he has written not only for today’s generation, but for those yet to come.
To go through life without knowing God is “like dying of starvation at a banquet”, Dalbey writes. In Fight like a man, he has provided us with a life-changing menu. Bon appetit.