The Heart Behind the Title

About a year ago, I began reading through 1 and 2 Samuel. From there I read 1 and 2 Kings, Psalms and 1 and 2 Chronicles. The life and adventures of David, both as a young man and later king, fascinated me more in this read through than ever before. The Psalms read more and more like a hero’s adventure diary. I gave a teaching at a youth retreat about the life of David called, “The Heart of a Hero.” Now, a year later, I have a humble, little book of poetry named after two favorite words of the great king, warrior, and poet: shield and fortress.

As I read through the psalms this time, I began underlining every time I came across the word, “shield”. The metaphor is used fifteen times throughout the book of Psalms. It became clear to me, this was because it was a metaphor he used for God, that meant the world to David. No matter how seasoned a soldier David was, he needed that shield. No doubt, his shield saved his life, time and time again. No warrior would go out into battle without it. When David was ever routed, a fortress is where he and his men would run for safety. When the battle became too much, a strong fortress was a much needed refuge. This is who God was for David: a shield he would never march forward without and a refuge for when the battle was too much.

I’m no warrior, as cool as that would be, but God has been the same for me. He has been the shield I fight from behind, and the first place I run when the hardships of life overwhelm me. So while I’m no king, warrior, or even a poet half as prolific as David, I understand David’s love of the metaphors, shield and fortress, with every fiber of my being. Thus, I named this book, A Man’s Shield and Fortress, because God was David’s shield and fortress. God has been my shield and fortress, and He can be the shield and fortress for any man or woman who calls on Him. In a world where men are either told, “toughen/man up!”, “pull yourself together”, “men don’t cry”, or told to abandon masculinity altogether, God instead calls us to courageous strength. Not abandoning emotion in that, but surrendering emotion to God’s truth, and not abandoning strength, but rather finding true strength in God.

That is the heart behind the title, A Man’s Shield and Fortress, and hopefully as you read the poems, you are encouraged by my testimony of how God has protected and strengthened me throughout my life. You can find my book of poetry on Amazon and Barnes and Noble’s website.

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