This is not the first time that I have read Edwin Cole's Maximized Manhood, and I know it won't be my last. The original copy of the book was a prized possession until I passed it on to a brother in need. I believe that for the conscientious reader, it is a good habit to read a book, mark it up, and pass it on!
Maximized Manhood is but one of Cole's many works regarding Marriage and Family topics. The subtitle of the book is "A Guide to Family Survival, " and appropriately so. Despite the title, this would be an amazing book to read as a couple to get together-together on what it means to be a man and a woman, and a family unit.
Between its 15 chapters and 175 pages, the work represents one of the most comprehensive studies of what God commands the man to be. He doesn't ask. He gives directives. If a man is created in God's image, how is he created? Is he weak and weary, like the portrait of Jesus that pop culture has come to embrace, or is he the rock, the stronghold, the velvet-covered brick?
Because there is a "Man Book" stigma that usually accompanies the literature addressed to men, Cole takes time to address some pre-conceived notions in their extremes that have endangered the identity of the Christian man in his household, business, and social life. He goes into detail about what it means to be truly surrendered to God's image of the male spirit and life.
If it were up to television and music, every man would have to make the decision as to whether he would become a Macho Man or a Pansy. I can totally relate to this since I have some friends who are very BOLD and some that are more GENTEEL. You can likely recall times huddled around a fire, or an engine, or a broken pipe, or guns, or a fishing hole where your manhood was tested. Can you build a fire, fix a car, stop a leak, load and unload a gun, bate a hook, etc? Is that the extent of our Manhood? That we be useful? Maybe that is part of it.
The author takes care to explain the other side of manhood. Not only that he can be depended on to deliver results, but also that he lead from the front in developing and fostering a spiritual intimacy that goes beyond sex and physical touch.
If a woman does not believe that she possesses these things in a marriage or while dating, it's likely that her perception is reality and that she'll look elsewhere. And sadly, women often do. They run to their romantic love stories and their gossip magazines while the "male" (I use the word 'man' sparingly in this context) runs to his porn, beer, friends, golf, work, guns, sports, fishing, camping, etc...
A man is only more of a man when he becomes more surrendered to the Father. He is only more of a disciple when he becomes more disciplined by the Father. And He is only more a leader when he is led by the Father.
Surrendered, Disciplined, Led. That is God's real intention for the Christian man. AND God's intention is that the best kind of man is a Christian, because who better should a man imitate that the Son of God, the incarnation of the Father, Himself?
I was tempted to include a brief chapter summary of all 15 sections, but I believe that you should read the book yourself. It's worth it. A relationship with your First Father is worth it. Your marriage is worth it.