This was a difficult book to review. The subject matter of Every Man’s Battle is that of lust and the enslavement to which it inevitably leads men, and few writers can share in such vivid detail their own personal struggles and failures in this area so publicly. I personally lack the fortitude (or perhaps the motivation) to do so publicly, but Arteburn and Stoeker press on with sharing their own journeys through the valleys of sexual sin, and they do so with great honesty and tact. Ever since this book’s release in 2000, I have desired to read it, just not enough to put my money down and, by doing so, admit that I had a problem with lust. Like many of the men depicted in the book, I had simply thought that time would heal all wounds; that maturity would squelch the addiction; that marriage would satisfy my every craving. And like all of the men depicted in the book (and like “every man” in the world otherwise, I suppose), I was also deceived.
The authors of Battle succeed in pointing out the obvious sinfulness of every man’s battle with lust, as well as in pointing out the not-so-obvious pitfalls we men tend to jump into. We claim that our struggles are just part of being male and, thus, not at all sinful. We tend to justify our cravings (and our acting on those cravings through fantasy, masturbation and possibly even adultery) by blaming our wives for being selfish or the world for being too vulgar. We shift the blame and minimize our sin continuously, and all the while we break God’s commandments and break our wives hearts. True, comes from our being man: but it comes because we are sinful me, not godly men.
If you desire true victory in this all-too-dangerous area of lust, you need to look no further than the example of Jesus Christ, “Who was tempted in every way that we are, but did not sin” (Hebrews 4:15, GNB). But if you need extra help in understanding just how this was possible for Christ and how this can be possible for you as well, then I encourage you to pick up Every Man’s Battle. It can be a life-altering book, if you let. Give it a try and find out what freedom in Christ really means (Galatians 5:1).
[Note: I received this book free through the Waterbrook-Multnomah Blogging for Books program]
© 2011 E.T.