Welcome to my Blog 2.0 for 2022! I hope to bring you more book reviews, more “behind the scenes”, more author interviews, and more “everything books” this coming year.
And we’re going to kick off January, 2022 with a dandy, short book by Christian clinical psychologist, Andrew J. Bauman, called “How Not To Be An *SS”.
I “met” Andrew Bauman on Facebook and was thrilled to be on his launch team because after following him for nearly a year, I realized he had much to say to men who’d grown up in evangelical Christianity.
While I’m not sure I would’ve titled the book this way (although it is eye-catching and that’s likely what he was going for), these short essays are such that you can open the book and browse through them and read them out of order, or in order, depending on your mood.
Here’s the back cover copy:
“I am a recovering ass. Of course, at times I still am one, but it’s less often. I now recognize my “assness” more quickly, recalibrate, and take action to make amends for my poor behavior. It’s important to acknowledge the truth of our mistakes without turning towards self-contempt, shame, or beating ourselves up for the harm we have caused to those we love. Yet, we must take full responsibility for our poor behavior and fully own what we have done and learn to live differently, becoming men who bring life rather than further heartache. This book is just as much for me as it is for you. I am in the process of learning to become a good and safe man and writing out these truths in this book has helped me immensely. I hope it will help you on your journey to becoming the man you most desire to be.”
What I love about Andrew is that he’s transparent with his own journey of addiction and recovery, and writes about it in such a way that the reader can’t help but feel he can relate – without the self-condemnation and shame that prevents healing and growth.
But that’s not all the book is about – it’s about healing childhood trauma because abused children grow up to be abusers. (Yes, women too, although this book deals with men) It’s about what domestic abuse/violence actually IS, and it’s not just black eyes and broken wrists. It’s much more insidious than that and comes from darker places.
Andrew takes on the evangelical church and it’s lack of nurturing for boys, the lack of “good and safe” role models for them to aspire to become, and it’s an eye-opener. He provides a “self-test” in case the reader wants to know where he might fall on the evangelical scale of “am I an abuser?”
People who’ve been deeply hurt, hurt other people. Even in the church – especially in the church. And this book has the statistics to back up that statement.
Women will also learn a lot from this book. If you’re in a relationship/marriage where things don’t feel right, where you’re walking on eggshells or don’t know when the shoe’s going to fall next, then this book is for you.
And, if you’re single, this book will give you a clear picture of what a “good and safe” man looks like so that you can use that ruler to watch for any red flags in your dating relationships. Of particular interest is an essay written by a female psychologist who gives training on domestic abuse, called “If I Were An Abuser, What Church Would I Go To?”.
As Christians, we can’t close our eyes to the fact that we have hurting families in our churches. The statistics for domestic abuse don’t stop at our doors and we’re not exempt from bad parenting, bad teaching, or dysfunctional relationships.
This book goes a long way towards opening up that conversation between men and women, wives and husbands, pastors and their boards/councils.
I highly recommend it. *****5 Stars
You can buy it here: https://amzn.to/3GaFF49
And you can find more of Andrew J. Bauman’s books at his website here:
If you are in an unsafe relationship or marriage, please seek help from your local women’s shelter or the police.