I need your ideas for my next book

[dropcap]M[/dropcap]y amazing and spectacular wife presented me with an equally amazing and spectacular gift for my birthday. We call it the Book of Stories. It is the most humbling gift I have ever received.

I will explain it in full later. Consider that a teaser…

One result of my Book of Stories is it spurred the desire to write a new book. The good thing is that I know the subject. The bad thing is so do a lot of other people. There are many, many related books on the market. There is a strong probability that I might just add to the noise rather than having an impact.

I want to write a simple, short book on influence. Specifically I want to write about the influence men can have on those around them from spouse to kids to friends to fellow Christ-followers.

There are many books on manhood; maybe you have read a few. Point Man, Tender Warrior, Disciplines of a Godly Man, Four Pillars of a Man’s Heart, Wild at Heart, and dozens more. It is not an unexplored area. Entire movements have been built around the idea of maximizing manhood or keeping promises.

There is nothing wrong with any of these and I have been blessed by several.

Again, perhaps my entire idea is just, to use an old football adage, “piling on.” Perhaps enough has been written.

Or, perhaps a different angle might help.

Ten chapters. Ten areas of importance. Encouragement not rebuke. A book any man would read, not just pastors or theologians. Depth without being a quagmire. Direction without the sense of failure some men feel after reading men’s books.

This is where I need your help. Man, lady or teen, in the comments name an area or two where men need the most encouragement to recognize and exercise their influence. I will use these, perhaps combine some and add to what I am already thinking or drop some of my thoughts altogether in favor of these suggestions.

Please comment here rather than Facebook; a Disqus account is not needed (although it only takes two minutes to create one). Commenting here will help me easily find your suggestions.

Marty Duren

Just a guy writing some things.

  • Learning to listen to those outside your echo chamber. We shout too much, listen too little.

    • martyduren

      Thx, Thad.

  • Greg

    love the idea … maybe a chapter on the most influential mens activities of the last generation (Promise Keepers, Faith Riders, Disaster Relief, Rewired, etal). The hands-on plugging-in of men who otherwise might have never become active in faith.

    • martyduren

      Thx, Greg.

  • The local church. Men are needed in so many areas—especially things like youth and children’s ministries (regardless of the model for these ministries that is used). Many men don’t see the local church as something worth spilling their blood for.

    • martyduren

      Thx, Mike.

  • I wrote a post for our church’s blog a couple months ago encouraging men to read the Bible to their families. I tried to make it as encouraging as possible, even bringing up the shame and discouragement we men often feel over this subject. Unfortunately the only comments I received on the post were from women (!). That’s not to say I’m not glad women read it, but that it was directed at men who either didn’t read it or did but chose not to comment. Men need encouragement that their efforts to bring God’s Word to bear on their families will be fruitful, whether or not they have seminary degrees or training as teachers.

    • martyduren

      Thx, Dan.

  • Philip Nation

    Being someone who shapes their environment at work. No matter who you are, you can be an influence on those throughout your company.

    • martyduren

      Thx, Philip.

  • Jay Sanders

    Taking the lead on discipline in the home. As in, how this influences your children as they grow into men and women who perhaps will have their own children to bring up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord. Also, what impact does this have on the wife? How does it free her to excel in other areas because she knows that while she does play a role in discipline, her husband isn’t sitting back and expecting her to do it all. It would be very interesting to see how a man who takes seriously his responsibility to lead in godly, controlled discipline influences the home and beyond.

    • martyduren

      Thx, Jay.

  • Marty King

    Men need encouragement to influence their neighbors, especially the men but also the boys and young men, so many of whom don’t have fathers in their lives

    • martyduren

      Thx, Marty.

  • Chris

    Marty! Fantastic idea. I think one of the biggest areas is influencing our children. I really feel that because selfishness pervades our culture, as dads we forget that the simple decisions, day to day, that we make have a lasting impact on our children. From what we watch, to what we eat, and how we treat our spouse or others. I would love to see something like this in book form. Blessings brother.

    • martyduren

      Thx, Chris.

  • Russell Rankin

    I look forward to talking with you about this when I see you tomorrow.

    • martyduren

      As do I, Russ.

  • Bob Cleveland

    How about delving into all the practical ways in which the characteristics of the father are passed to his progeny, based on Numbers 14:18. I know in my own life, I exhibit many of my dad’s traits (even though there are hardly any people around that knew him, now, to recognize that).

    • martyduren

      Thx, Bob.

  • Kelli G

    I love my husband, but…..I often feel as if he has too much faith in my ability to manage everything about the kids -from homework, parent conferences, doc appointments to discipline. When an issue arises and I need him to accompany me to a conference or appointment, he wants to know why I can’t handle it. I can “handle” it, but I often want him with me, to hear the things I don’t hear and ask the questions I don’t ask. I want him with me to share the load so I don’t feel like it is all up to me. I don’t know if life in the civilian world is different from life in the military world, but often he says he can’t do these things because something might come up at work. So, I need him to be the one to set up these conferences and appointments based on HIS schedule so he can be there. Right now, the best Christmas gift he could give me is for him to set up a conference with my youngest’s math teacher to discuss the curriculum options and website workings of his math program. Then go with me and process this together.

    • martyduren

      Thx, Kelli.

  • David G

    As a guy who went back to college at 30 and has spent the last 3 years as a stay-at-home dad while mama goes out and brings home the dough, I think that most things written to men focus on career and traditional gender roles. Given the current state of things economically, there are more husbandads in my position now than ever before; something that addresses a man’s ability to be a “Godly man” while cooking dinner, changing diapers, and doing laundry would be refreshing.

  • revtallen

    Seek opportunities. We have 0 teens but a local youth center has 40. I’m guessing most don’t have 2 parents and even fewer have a dad. Make it a point to influence teens or you will miss out on wide open opportunities to truly disciple.