Trapped somewhere between boyhood and manhood are some 20 million young men between the ages of 22 and 35 who are seeking direction. These young men lack the skills to successfully leave boyhood behind and enter fully into the role of manhood and the responsibilities that belong to that mantle. Xan Hood, author of Untamed and director of Training Ground in Colorado, has written Sweat, Blood, & Tears: What God Uses to Make a Man out of his own experience related to this difficult transition period in his own life. He wants to encourage other young men that they can and will make this transition into becoming the man God wants them to be, but that along the journey God uses three intentional elements to make a man—sweat, blood, and tears.
Xan Hood has lived through the uncertainty of moving beyond boyhood into manhood. He has recognized that young men who are raised in homes of both economic privilege and economic adversity often grow up in the absence of a father who is willing and able to teach them the skills they will need to enter into manhood successfully. Oftentimes, a father’s willingness to supply his son’s every need is done without teaching him the true cost of obtaining a particular goal. While the role of provider is vital in a man’s life, provision without teaching responsibility creates a void of understanding and skill that leaves the boy ill equipped to become a man in his own right. Hood feels compelled to address this void and reassure young men that they are not alone in this awkward place of transition. He wants them to know that God can equip them to enter into adulthood with confidence and the assurance that they can understand and become men of God who have much to offer those around them.
Written from the narrative perspective of a young man, Sweat, Blood, & Tears shares Hood’s own process of leaving boyhood behind and embracing his role as an adult. With searing honesty, Hood shares his experiences with God and men and paint and trout and fashion and hunting. He examines critical issues common to many young men, and then outlines the journey that must be traversed in order for them to become the men God created them to be. Through the pain of physical labor, emotional trials, and rewarding adventures, Hood carries the reader to a place of understanding that will equip young men to confidently enter adulthood and leave boyhood behind once and for all.
About the Author:
Xan Hood is an author and speaker ministering to young men between the ages of 18 and 25. He is the co-founder and co-director of Training Ground in Colorado Springs where he disciples young men through their program in work, wilderness and worship. (www.trainingground.com). He has also written for New Man magazine and Discipleship Journal. Xan began working with young men in Tennessee and in youth groups in Nashville and Knoxville. He and his wife live in Colorado Springs, Colorado, with their first child.
I said yes to this book on two counts: First, my son was interested in reading it and true stories/testimonies are his preferred genre of read and second, there is not a whole lot of testimony type books out there written by young contemporary fellas.
The author takes us through his life being raised in a privileged family having everything he wanted. Come his early adulthood he noticed that the easy access to stuff was not fulfilling his heart. This is his story of how God lead him to understanding what He wanted his life to be, what constitutes a Godly man and the path his life took to work towards it.
From taking the author from an expensive neighborhood and an expensive education to showing him how to really work hard, to connecting with the land through hunting and fishing, this is definitely a guy's book. LOL. I have to admit I did get a tad bit bogged down in the hunting & fishing stuff and the male psyche involved but in the end I get what he was saying. The chapter that really stood out to me was the one on learning and how the author shared how he had to learn that education and knowledge was not the same as experience. I also liked his strong belief in mentorship. Throughout the book it was enjoyable and encouraging as the he revealed his "aha moments". I know my son will enjoy reading this young man's story.
Thanks to B&B Media Group for providing the book for me to read.
Sweat, Blood & Tears is available for purchase at David C. Cook here.