Weekend Reading: God Guy
The Book: As the father of three sons, I have a very real appreciation for the need to raise young men who have a deep desire to be real men and serve and follow after God with their whole hearts. God Guy (2009, Revell) is author Michael DiMarco’s attempt to help with meeting this need. This is not a book written to the parents to help with sons. It is written directly to adolescent boys. It was not a difficult read, which is good since so many young people, especially boys are either not good readers or just don’t like reading. God Guy clocks in at about 170 pages and took me about three hours or so to complete. While it was not difficult for me, I did find it uncomfortable at times. This had nothing to do with the subject matter, but rather some of the language. Don’t worry; there was nothing bad or off-color. Just things I am not used to in a book, like: “yo”, “wack”, and some other phrasing that is a better fit my 14 year old son than this 40 year old dad. I also found the page layout a bit distracting. Really, it is laid out more like a magazine. There are scripture verses in a sidebar, individual lines in a different typeface, and entire pages devoted to a quote or excerpt from another work. All that being said, it is a pretty good book.
The Point: DiMarco wants to help young men understand what it means to be a God Guy (Double G). The first chapter describes what a God Guy is. The author uses the vine and branches illustration from John 15 to describe that a God Guy is a man who is not only in a relationship with God, but is in full reliance on him.
The second chapter explains that a God Guy is a guy who knows love. He is primarily talking about the love the heavenly Father, as illustrated through a good earthly father. He applies this to the love of friends, family, girls, enemies, and strangers.
The rest of the chapters follow a similar pattern. A God Guy is a guy who knows:
How to communicate
One of the best features is that DiMarco summarizes each chapter with a “Double G Checklist”. These are practical action steps a young man can take to apply the teaching in the chapter to everyday life.
Like most book, I have a few minor quibbles. One of the most notable is that more than once DiMarco talks about overcoming depression, or a “depressed mind”, with a close walk with God. I think he should make the distinction between a sad emotional state type of depression and clinical depression caused by a chemical imbalance. Not that there isn’t often some overlap, but depression is a real medical condition.
The Result: I thought it was a good book and should be very useful for many adolescent young men. It encourages them to find their contentment in their relationship with Christ, as opposed to girls, social status, or other external forces.
I will share my plans for this book. I am going to have my oldest son, a 14 year old, read a chapter each week. I am going to ask him to mark up the book with questions, notations, and other things that we will talk about at a weekly meeting. I am looking forward to good outcomes from this exercise.
I recommend this book for adolescent boys. But before you just hand the book over to your son, give it a read for yourself. It also might be a good resource for a middle school boys group to read together and discuss in their group time.