Fathered by God by John Eldredge

Purpose of book

  • Fathered by God is a book about how to become a man.What does it mean to be a man? Am I am man? It’s not based on rules, principles, formulas, but based on a sure path, marked by men for centuries before us. We live in a time without fathers. We live in a world of uninitiated men. And we need initiation.

God wants to father us.

  • The more we’ve become accustomed to seeking life apart from God, the more “abnormal and stressful” it seems “to look for God directly.” Especially as a Father, fathering us. But it is worth it. It is worth it. 
  • You are the son of a kind, strong, and engaged Father, a Father wise enough to guide you in the Way, generous enough to provide for your journey, offering to walk with you every step. This is perhaps the hardest thing for us to believe – really believe, down deep in our hearts, so that it changes us forever, changes the way we approach each day.
  • “The hardest, gladdest thing in the world is to cry Father! from a full heart” – George Macdonald
  • God ordained the stages of masculine development.
  • Coming home to the Father is the goal.
  • The story of the prodigal son is not primarily about the prodigal, it is about the father’s heart. This is the kind of Father you have.

“The nearest anyone can come to finding himself at any given age is to find a story that somehow tells him about himself” – Norman Maclean

1st stage – Boyhood

  • “Keep me as the apple of your eye” – Psalm 17:8
  • There comes a time in every rightly constructed boy’s life when he has a raging desire to go somewhere and dig for hidden treasure ~ Mark Twain.
  • Every boy is asking one core question: “Do I have what it takes?”
  • Safe in your father’s arms – that is what it feels like to be the beloved son. The safety that a father’s strength provides allows a boy to be a boy, creates the universe for a boy’s heart to come fully alive.
  • The heart of a boy longs for daring adventure, battles, uncharted territory to be discovered.
  • Boyhood is a time of affirmation, the time when a boy comes to learn & learn deeply that he is the beloved son. To be adored. Uniquely. That he holds a special place in his father’s heart, a place no one and nothing else can rival.
  • Far more often than not this stage is stolen. Most especially, a boy is wounded to the core when he does not know that he is the beloved son.
  • Jeremiah 31:20 – put your name instead of Ephraim. Know that the Father yearns to be your Father now.

2nd stage – Cowboy

  • In this boy-becoming-a-young-man stage, he asks: Do I have what it takes? In this cowboy stage, the answer comes partly through adventure and partly through hard work.
  • “I hear, I forget. I see, I remember. I do, I understand” – African proverb
  • The masculine journey is not a spectator sport. It is something that must be entered into.
  • The cowboy’s heart is wounded when he has no one to take him into the adventures his soul craves.
  • Without a context, adventure is for the most part… just adventure.
  • The cowboy needs someone there to interpret the failures and setbacks, to urge him to get back up.

3rd stage – Warrior

  • Our God is a warrior because there are certain things in life worth fighting for, must be fought for. He makes man a warrior in his own image, because he intends for man to join him in that battle.
  • The Lord is a warrior; the Lord is his name ~ Exodus 15:3
  • Jesus as a warrior in John 2
  • We live in a world at war. We are supposed to fight back.
  • The time of the warrior is the time of learning discipline, a concentration of body, mind, and spirit.
  • Good discipline harnesses the passions, rather than killing them.
  • The warrior must develop an unyielding heart.
  • Good comfort comes after the fight, and is so much more enjoyable in this way. One of the spoils of war.
  • How does God raise the warrior in a man? Hardship. What better means than hardship? What better way to train a warrior than by putting a man into situation after situation where he must fight?
  • You will be tested. Give way to nothing. Like Jesus’ desert trial, the enemy comes, probing the perimeter. He knows your story, knows where the weak spots are. But this is our training. This is how we develop a resolute heart. We make no agreements with whatever temptation or accusation is. We repent the moment we do stumble. We pray for strength. We directly resist the enemy. We quote scripture against him. We command him to flee.
  • Be intentional – take the road less traveled. Engage!
  • We must face our enemy head on.
  • Jesus in the wilderness is our model for how we must resist Satan. Jesus treats him like a real person. He directly confronts the demon present out loud, with authority, and with Scripture.
  • Battlefield Counsel
    • One Battle at a Time – Ask Jesus, Do you want me to fight this? Get your orders from your King.
    • Resist it Quickly – the enemy is more easily overcome if he is resisted at first knock.
    • When you pray, or resist, or act decisively in the moments you least want to, the warrior in you is strengthened. Next time you’ll be even stronger.
    • Spiritual warfare will make you holy – Holiness is your best weapon.

4th stage – Lover

  • We must not let the battle become everything. The battle is for the Romance. What we fight for is the freedom and healing that allow us to have the intimacy with God we were created to enjoy. To drink from his river of delights.
  • The life of your heart is what God is most keenly after.
  • David as warrior and poet. “God’s love is better than life”.
  • Get into the habit of saying “Speak Lord” and your life will become a romance… one great romance, a glorious opportunity for seeing marvelous things all the time.
  • Expect and anticipate daily affection from the Father ~ Jake Khym

5th stage – King

  • You were born to rule, and you were redeemed to rule.
  • A man’s heart must be completely yielded to God, so completely surrendered, that his heart is easily moved by the Spirit of God to the purposes of God. Friendship with God is critical.
    • Moses example – Exodus Chs. 6-14. Then the Lord said to Moses… and the rest of the chapter is Moses doing what God told him to do.
  • We are given power and resources and influence for the benefit of others. 
  • The true test of a king. What is life life for the people under his authority?
    • If he is a pastor, look at his congregation – are they enjoying the genuine freedom and life Christ promised?

6th stage – Sage

  • The heart of a sage makes his greatest contribution with the last years of his life.
  • A sage differs from an expert the way a lover differs from an engineer.
  • Fr Soria = sage.
  • The greatest gift you can give a sage is to sit at his feet and ask questions. B/c the sage will often not offer until he is invited to do so.

Be intentional

  • Engage in this journey.


  • Father, okay. Okay. I don’t know how much of this I believe, but I know this – I need a father. There is so much in me that yet needs fathering. And I don’t want to live fatherless anymore. So come to me, and help me make this shift. You have taken me home, through Christ, to be your own son. I accept that. I give my life back to you, to be your true son. Father me. Father me.

Bible Quotes

  • “For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.” ~ Romans 8:15
  • Because you are sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, “Abba, Father.” So you are no longer a slave, but a son; and since you are a son, God has also made you also an heir.” ~ Galatians 4:6-7

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