Episode 49 – Fathered By God | Book Study Part 3: Boyhood & Cowboy

Cowboy hearding horses

Jake and Brett continue their book study series on John Eldredge’s Fathered By God. Today, they unpack boyhood and cowboy by discussing how knowing we are loved is foundational to the masculine journey but always seeking childish comfort is not the path to real masculinity.

Guiding Quotes

Boyhood: “Safe in your father’s arms-that is what it feels like to be the beloved son. (Fathered By God, p 41)

Cowboy: “For masculine initiation is not a spectator sport. It is something that must be entered into. It is one part instruction and nine parts experience.” (Fathered By God, p 41)

Key Points

  • Boys need to first know they are safe so they can then go out and test the world and grow stronger. Safety is the foundational key.
  • The enemy is strategically assault our belief in the goodness of God
  • In all of these lessons, the Father is working even if we haven’t had a great upbringing
  • God is fathering you and the enemy is assaulting you
  • “the ‘rays of fatherhood’ meet a first resistance in the obscure but real fact of original sin. This is truly the key for interpreting reality. … Original sin attempts…to abolish fatherhood…placing in doubt the truth about God who is Love and leaving man only with a sense of the master-slave relationship.” (JPII, Crossing the Threshold of Hope)
  • Working through the Fathered By God workbook can be very helpful
  • It’s normal to come in and out of the various stages but to have one that seems to be a primary emphasis for a season of time
  • The stage of boyhood is most foundational
  • We react to truths in the book (or elsewhere) because of the beliefs we have
  • We can’t get masculine initiation by simply reading the book; we have to live out the map/book in real life
  • It’s one thing to be told you have what it takes; it’s a whole other thing to discover it
  • It’s okay to be fathered through what we don’t know what to do – that’s the whole point
  • The message that adversity is our enemy can be very misleading in the masculine journey

Discussion Questions

  • What struck you from this episode?
  • How was your experience of boyhood? How is the Father fathering you through that now (lately)?
  • How do you typically react to adversity? How might the Father be growing you through that?
  • How do you react to the idea that you can’t just read book, you have to actually walk the journey of masculinity? Where do you look for shortcuts? What’s the effect of that on you and those around you?


  • See below

Download the free Fathered By God Workbook from John Eldredge and Ransomed Heart

Purchase Fathered By God