Many years ago I was blessed to attend a local men’s conference where Steve Farrar and Stu Weber were teaching. If you are not familiar with these names, these men spend a great deal of time teaching, training, and encouraging men to live godly lives as husbands and fathers for their families, A very convicting conference. It has been a while since I have read any of Steve Farrar’s books but recently this book came across my radar and I downloaded it to my kindle …
The full title of the book is Real Valor: A Charge to Nurture and Protect Your Family. The entire book is grounded in the book of Ruth from the Old Testament. And you may be wondering …
What can men learn about being godly husbands and fathers from Ruth?
No doubt both sexes could learn a great deal from the account of Ruth’s commitment and faithfulness to her mother-in-law Naomi … and at times Farrar reveals those lessons to be learned. But the real focus of this book is on what we can learn from Boaz. In fact, Farrar strongly believes the greatest lessons in the book of Ruth are found in comparing and contrasting the lives, principles and actions of Elimelech (Naomi’s dead husband) and Boaz (Ruth’s husband-to-be). Therefore, he frequently refers to Ruth as the Book of Boaz.
As I write this post, I am looking back at the notes and highlights I captured in my moleskine while reading this book to determine why I want to recommend this book …
- This book is an extremely comprehensive overview of the book of Ruth revealing some background about the entire story from other parts of the Old Testament that I probably never would have considered. At times, with all its biblical background and interpretation, the book almost borders on being a commentary … only I found it a lot more fun and insightful to read. The author has inserted many colorful stories along the way to help in illustrating key points … and these entertaining stories really work.
- Real Valor reveals quite a few principles and truths that men … and even women for that matter … should embrace as they trust IN God during the midst of times of crisis and trial. At times I found myself thinking ‘Yes, I recently learned that lesson’ while at other times I found myself saying, ‘Well, I wish I had known that bit of wisdom’ two years ago.
- For me, I found it extremely interesting to see how God transformed the ‘bads’ in Naomi and Ruth’s lives into ‘goods’. Never, never give up hope … we have absolutely no idea what God has planned next.
- The book also outlines the traits of a godly man as exhibited in the life of Boaz and I found these characteristics both helpful and insightful. And admittedly, in some instances I found myself feeling pangs of guilt and subsequently being challenged.
I could share more … but if you’re interested I would highly recommend reading this book.
Just in case you don’t remember, Boaz and Ruth are the great-grandparents of King David … which also means you will find their names in the genealogy of Jesus (see Matthew 1:1-16 noting their honorable mention in verse 5).
If you have read or do read this book, please share your insights in a comment.
Have you read any good books recently you would recommend?
(NOTE: I read a lot of books each year. In fact, this is the 41st book I have completed in 2013 and most of them were very good books but rarely do I feel prompted to write a book review about them. This morning as I was reviewing my notes from Real Valor, adding it to my Booklist [a list of every book I have read since 1984 … the first book on the list is the Orwellian classic of the same number], and filing it away into my Christian Living collection on my kindle; I felt a real prompting … a conviction … to share this book with others. And that’s the rest of this story …)