Josh Turner's first book, Man Stuff: Thoughts on Faith, Family and Fatherhood, went on sale Tuesday (April 29). When I first heard about the book, I thought, "How fun -- Man Stuff."
It was clever, cute, and, in my preconceived notion on it, I'd sort of likened it to the kind of lighthearted, uplifting coffee table books I search for in the bookstore if I'm feeling like I need a funny little pick-me-up.
And Turner's book does have those moments, but it's truly much, much more.
It's a testament to the life he's led, the life he's currently leading, the folks who got him this far and the Christian faith he's never been shy about discussing in the public eye.
And he doesn't hold back in this book. He's very openhearted as he recalls childhood moments growing up in a Christian home and community and as he talks about the man who inspired him more than anyone else in this world -- his father.
"My daddy has been a huge influence on me throughout my life," Turner told me in a recent interview. "He's been an incredible husband, an incredible father, an incredible leader in the church and in the community. He's always stood up for what was right. He's always been a selfless person. He's always put his family before himself -- just always thinking about somebody else."
Turner says his father continuously looked for ways teach him and his siblings the values they needed to lead their best life and carry on that legacy.
"He's always tried to pour wisdom into us and teach us life lessons, and he's never accepted less than our best," he said. "And that was one thing that really made an impact on me. ... He and my mama both wanted us to chase our dreams, to get the most out of life and do the right thing."
That's exactly what Turner wants for his sons Hampton Otis, Crawford Marion and Colby Lynch. During the interview, Turner made an astute observation about how children are like "replacements" for us when we leave this world and the knowledge and wisdom we leave with them is our legacy and gift to them.
So what is the one lesson Turner would like to instill within his sons?
"If I died today, I would want my sons to know that no matter what happens in their lives -- good, bad or otherwise -- Jesus Christ is their Lord and savior, and He wants the best for them. He's their Heavenly Father. They may lose their earthly father, but they will never lose their Heavenly Father. There's always gonna be a void within us that nobody or nothing else can fill except for Him."