Title:  Craftsmen:  Christ-Centered Proverbs for Men

Author:  John Crotts

Publisher:  Shepherd Press, 2005; 159 pp. $12.99

Recommendation (4-star scale):  3-stars2

Talking to someone the other day, he remarked something like, “The hardest thing I do is to try to lead my wife spiritually — why is it so hard to have even a 3-minute spiritual conversation with her?”

He’s right.  For most Christian men, the most difficult task they have is to disciple their wives and intentionally lead them so that they are matured in Christ.

And part of the reason some of us struggle is that we ourselves are not proactively and intentionally pursuing maturity in Christ for ourselves.  And is difficult to lead someone where we have never ourselves been.  This book is an attempt by one pastor to help men grow in their own walk with Christ.

Craftsmen is divided into two main sections:  “The Foundation” — identifying what wisdom is and demonstrating that Christ is the ultimate Wise Man, and “The Handiwork” — the application of God’s wisdom to a number of areas of leadership and life (like work, friendships, our words, sexuality and marriage, teachability, and anger).

In both sections, Crotts uses Proverbs as the foundation.  He demonstrates from Proverbs that wisdom is fundamentally cultivating a fear of the Lord and that the overflow of that fear of God will produce real life change in numerous areas.  And again in the second section he primarily uses Proverbs to teach the reader biblical life skills.

For instance, reflecting on the husband’s role with his wife, he notes,

The loving leadership of the craftsman can even transform your wife’s appearance.  If all you do is tease her, insult her, or encourage her to work out more, she isn’t going to change (at least not for the good).  As a man pursuing wisdom, you must “step up” in your house.  You must lovingly lead her in holiness.  Help her with her sins.  Pray for her heart.  Encourage her to fear the Lord and walk in his ways.  Hold her accountable to grow and change. [p. 102]

The usefulness of this book is not only is it valuable for the man who wants to grow himself, but it will also translate well to his using it in the home.  The principles taught here are not only beneficial for men, but are appropriate for every believer in Christ.

Read this book if you want to be more skillful in the application of Proverbs to your life.