"He is an initiator and she is a responder. That's masculinity and femininity in the proverbial nutshell" (128).
I start with that, because so many readers evaluate books solely upon whether the author's view of gender roles agrees with theirs. If you believe in firm roles for men and women, husbands and wives, you will appreciate this book's message. Complementarianism is written on every page.
Stu Weber wrote this book to paint a picture of men as tender warriors, both strong and sensitive. In Weber's view, men's strongest trait is their ability to stand strong in the face of whatever may come, so each chapter traces how a godly man can stand firm in a specific role.
I most appreciated Weber's chapters on fatherhood and friendship. Regarding parenting, Weber spoke life into the idea that a father's impact spans generations: "That is the incredible power of fathering. It is so potent it is transgenerational in scope. Both positive and negative" (156). Where many authors touch the topic, Weber dug into it deeply and presented powerful examples of men whose influence changed the world.
Tender Warrior paints a compelling picture of manhood at its best, submitted to God and leading a family. I give it four stars rather than five only because I don't expect to reread this one. Weber's gift is writing to the reader's heart, stirring me to honor God in my roles as husband, father, and friend; but he doesn't offer much that is new. This isn't a resource to return to as much as it is a great encouragement to spur you on.