While completing my book Battle for the Soul of Canada, I reconnected with an old friend, David Bentall, who has also become an author. David and I met back on a dark, rainy evening in February 1972. I had been invited to a youth meeting by another friend of David’s, John Edmondson. But my ride failed to turn up. Being a fairly determined individual, I jumped on my 10-speed Pugeot and sought to find the meeting. Unfortunately I wrote down the wrong address. By the time I found the house, I was half an hour late and totally drenched.
When I rang on the doorbell, a youth leader named Len Sawatsky welcomed me with a big smile. That evening changed my life. I remember seeing David Bentall and John Edmondson, beaming with a joy of which I knew nothing. I said to Dave and John later that evening: ‘Whatever you have, I want it’. Len Sawatsky then took me to the kitchen and patiently explained to me what it meant to know God personally. I said yes, and my life has never been the same since.
Thirty-four years later, David Bentall s book The Company You Keep (Augsburg, 2004) allowed me to catch up with his life journey. David discovered that though he was successful like his father and grandfather in running Dominion Construction, his heart was not really in construction. So David wisely chose to change course and become a family business consultant with Next Step Advisers who regularly teaches courses at the Business Families Centre at the University of British Columbia. David tells in the book how isolated most men are from each other. Our radical independence as men is the problem, not the cure.
David comments in the book that Most dating couples spend sixteen hours a week together. Once married, they are too busy to give each other one hour a week.
David shows chapter by chapter how having close male friendship helps us have stronger marriages, healthier children, more effective businesses, and better spiritual lives. David is in an accountability group with Bob Kuhn, founding partner of the law firm Kuhn and Co., and with Carson Pue, President of Arrow Leadership Ministries. This male accountability group help each other stay focused on the priorities of marriage and spirituality. David comments: Marriage is a delight, a comfort, an inspiration, and an adventure. It’s a wonderful gift from God, and at times it s exhilarating. It s all of these things and much more, but one thing it often is not easy. In fact, if you want to build a marriage that will last, you are likely in for a battle.
With unusual transparency and vibrancy, David shows how challenging it is to keep one’s head and marriage in today’s fast-paced business world. Solid male friendships have been David’s lifesaver. I strongly commend David’s book for anyone who wants to retool their life and marriage.
May David’s book inspire us as men to refocus on our wives and families in the midst of life s frantic pace.
The Rev. Dr. Ed Hird, BSW, MDiv, DMin
– previously published in the North Shore News
-award-winning author of the book Battle for the Soul of Canada
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-The sequel book Restoring Health: body, mind and spirit is available online with Amazon.com in both paperback and ebook form. In Canada, Amazon.ca has the book available in paperback and ebook.
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