Another Kind of Courage … for Dads.

 In Jack's Dad

I’m not the world’s best reader. I am slow, words become clunky and I have to read whole paragraphs several times. I am sometimes amazed how I made it through Bible College…and graduate. But I do make an effort to read.  Seldom do I read a book that I cannot put down. Even more seldom do I read a book that I want to read twice. But I believe I have found one.

Let me digress briefly. There are lots of books on the shelves for sale that are biographies and autobiographies of people who have disabilities and highlight the truly awesome faithfulness of God in their lives as they have worked through their challenges. However, there are very, very few that are instructional to a parent who has a child with special needs.

This book does it…plus… it’s primary audience is DADs!

The book is titled, “Another Kind of Courage”. It is co-authored by Doug Mazza, President and COO of Joni and Friends International Disability Center, and Steve Bundy, VP at Joni and Friends Christian Institute on Disability. Joni and Friends is a ministry that has pioneered biblical encouragement and support to people with disabilities. You can see more at www.joniandfriends.com .

I had the privilege to meet Doug Mazza several years ago at a conference we attended. I truly wish I had more time to learn from him, especially now that I have read this book.  As I read and learned the testimony about Steve Bundy’s son, Caleb and also Doug Mazza’s son, Ryan, you understand how and why they have the credibility and integrity to speak this truth directly to Dads who are lost and don’t know where to turn.

Since this book is focused on encouraging Dad’s who have children with special needs. It hits vital topics such as True Manhood. As I read through the book, I felt like they had structured my emotions to help me work them through. Steve Bundy writes, “Men who have children without special needs have a hard time understanding how difficult it can be to reconcile your manhood with the apparent weakness of the child before you”. (pp24)

I couldn’t agree more…but he does such great job to focus us as Dads, he continues … “our manhood must take on a new image that moves from self-confidence and personal success to complete dependence on God” (pp29).

Mazza and Bundy continue to shed light on how to parent other children in the home and deals with depression that Dads experience.   One of the biggest encouragements I received from this book is a clear look at how leadership in the marketplace synthesizes with being a leader/Dad at home.  Doug, a former executive of a large vehicle manufacturer in the USA,  writes a statement that challenged me to the core, “The truth is that your employer can replace you. Your family cannot. And in a family touched by disability, your God-give role as a leader becomes even more critical” (pp159).

I cannot speak highly enough of this book. This review is not a paid-endorsement. I am a Dad reaching out to other parents to encourage you with valuable tools to be more effective parents for our children with special needs.  As I read this book I encountered humor but a lot of soul searching and heart wrenching tears.

You can learn more about book at www.joniandfriends.com/anotherkindofcourage

Be Encouraged

Jack’s Dad.

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