Dave Grossman’s influential book, On Combat, delivered the notion that there are three kinds of people: wolves, sheep, and sheepdogs. Wolves are evil people. Sheep are the average folks. Sheepdogs are those who stay alert to the wolves and are willing to fight to protect the sheep.

All husbands and fathers need to be sheepdogs. We should be alert defenders whose eyes are wide open to the evil that exists in this world and who will not hesitate to meet that evil with a violence of action. For unlike sheep, the sheepdog has large canines and powerful jaws. They are wired to protect.

While sheep need the sheepdog, they are also unnerved at the mere sight of them because they serve as a reminder that evil exists. And sheep would rather pretend there is no danger so they can be oblivious and happy.

We men don’t get that luxury. We can’t bury our head in the sand and pretend that bad guys don’t exist. We’re wired to protect.

Over the next three weeks I’ll cover some specific ways to become a better sheepdog.

Strong dads make strong families, and strong families make a strong nation.


My job sent me to Thailand for a week, and a guy I was traveling with mentioned that he didn’t want to get an STD. Another man in our group responded, “You know the best way to not get muddy? Don’t go near the mud!”

There’s a ton of truth in that piece of farm-boy wisdom.

How often do we see just how close we can get to crossing the line, to flirting with disaster, to falling in the mud? Then if we make a mistake in judgement and cross a line we are devastated. We scratch our head and wonder how we could have ever gotten so muddy. The answer is pretty simple – we played too close to the mud.

Maybe your mud is gambling. Maybe it’s alcohol. Maybe it’s lust. Regardless of which temptation is calling your name, the answer is to stay far away from it. Not see how close you can get.

If we want to be exemplary men – fathers and husbands of integrity who are looked up to by the generations who follow, then we’d better hold ourselves to a higher standard. We’d better not even go near the mud.

**NEW** Check out the video here.

Something Completely Different

Nien Cheng

Nien Cheng

I know this guy who can only talk about one subject. You probably know him too. He’s a great guy…except for one thing; he turns every conversation back around to his one topic of interest.

It’s good to be deeply knowledgeable in one area, but it’s also important to have a broad understanding of the rest of the world. Maybe you’re an expert on American history, but you should at least know something about the rest of the world.

It’s hard to break out of our shells. I get it. But it’s also immensely rewarding.

Read broadly. Read about people different than you. Read about things you had no idea existed. Read topics on which you’re completely ignorant.

If you’re an American man who loves sports -- stop reading about American sports. You already know enough about this topic. Read the unbelievable story Life and Death in Shanghai by Nien Cheng.

If you’re not a numbers guy, read Economics in One Lesson, by Henry Hazlitt.

If you’re not a botanist, have your mind blown by Peter Wohlleben’s, The Hidden Life of Trees.

Challenge yourself with books the same way you challenge yourself in the weight room. Mix it up.