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The Complete Guide to Living With Men

Author: E James Wilder
Published: Shepherd's House Inc.  Jun 1, 2004
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Living With Men

Chris Coursey took the controversial picture of his best friend Scott Durham and daughter Emma that is now on the cover of The Complete Guide to Living With Men. Scott's hands were full so he placed her binky in the only available location. We didn’t mean to create a sort of inkblot test but we did. Depending on your feelings about men, the picture will either look endearing or insulting. That was not great marketing on our part since we wanted a cover everyone would love.

Wilder took a year off work when he turned 49. He was celebrating the ancient time of jubilee. It was a year to live off the land with the fruit and berries that grew in his yard. As for food and finances, it was not his most brilliant plan but in that year he wrote this book. Wilder called it “The Goal.” As always happens, his favorite title did not get used on the book. Although Wilder has some phenomenal insights, marketing them is not his strong point. The very factors that help him think in ways that most people never think keep him from coming up with catchy phrases that grab most people’s attention.

This is the best book on maturity for any person male or female but it was written for men and packaged for women. Men need the clearest directions on maturity and women do most of the book buying. Probably, as a package, it pleases no one. However, the content is so compelling that person after person calls it “life changing.” This book has been translated into more languages than anything Wilder has written. The power of this maturity model moves people from widely different cultures.

The most controversial aspect of Living With Men continues to be developing a full group identity as part of maturity. The way a group identity is anchored in community makes a huge change in how we view elders. The word elders has been a difficult term to translate in many languages. Most Christians use the word elder to refer to an office that has almost no connection to maturity. Living With Men uses the same idealized model structure as the rest of the Life Model. When we begin with the end in mind we develop a view of elders that is beyond what most people expect. This should not be a surprise. When people have no goal they don’t get very far.

If you don’t like the father/daughter moment Coursey captured for the cover, then keep this book in a brown paper wrapper or hide it under your blanket and read it with a flashlight. Either way, you will treat yourself and others better when you are through.

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