Category Archives: Fathering

All podcasts on fathering

DadAwesome Podcast on Manhood, Courage, and Adventure

Dadawesome Podcast With Jeff Zaugg and Vince Miller

Manhood, Courage, and Adventure

MANTALK PODCAST:

TRANSCRIPT:

We need to pray bigger dreams, we need to live more adventurously and I think the fact that we sometimes don't communicate a lot to our families about what we believe about God, unfortunately, and that's not to shame anybody out there, but I think people miss out on a great adventure when they don't live adventurous.

Hey guys. Welcome back to dad. Awesome. You just heard a clip from Vince Miller and I'll introduce him in just a moment here, but this is episode 31 and I'm so thankful for each of you joining us. My name is Jeff Zog and my voice is just a little bit deeper than usual. It's that summer cold, that summer, like raspy sounding, and I'm just going to own it and rock with the deep voice today. So thanks for your patience, but he, the heart and the prayer behind a dad awesome is that we pray that we would just be a community of men who were not seeking to be perfect, not seeking to be the awesome ideal dad, but we're simply loving and leading our kids towards a God who is awesome. So that's our prayer. Thank you for joining us. If this podcast has been helpful to you or this current episode or other episodes or our midweek data ideas, the shorter version, if any of this has been helpful, if you wouldn't mind for this, just send a text message or an email to a friend, send them to send them to dad.

Awesome.org. That's where all the resources are. We would be super grateful for your support in sharing on social media at instagram or facebook or sending that message, so thanks for sharing the love Vince Miller. I've been encouraged for years now. People have been like, man, you need to meet Vince. He's an awesome guy. The ministry resolute I've heard about for a long time and in finally I just reached out and I was like, Vince, I would love to meet you. I'd love to connect more and I would love if you'd be willing for me to interview you for this podcast for the dad, awesome podcast, and right away he shot back, was willing to meet up and I'm just so excited for this conversation in my prayers that it would inspire you. Like it inspired me in my role as a dad soap. Let's jump right to Vince Miller introducing himself.

Yeah. So, uh, just an overall view. It'd be. So today I'm a speaker, author, mentor. Demand is what I say to guys obviously founded the ministry called resolute a family is super energetic right now to be quite honest. I mean I've got a 20 year old, a 17 year old and a 14 year old, so girl, boy, boy. So we're just drinking from a fire hose as it relates to a kid's activities. Looking at colleges, spending money on all kinds of things. I mean we got four cars in the driveway right now. We're about to have five and I feel like I'm about to be broke from all the insurance money we give to this guy. That's my insurance guy. I mean, it's crazy, so I'm having a good time a family wise, marriage wise, ministry wise. It's just been incredible. I've, I've always had passion around mentorship, right?

So I've worked in ministry about 26 years now and, and I just have an undying passion for mentorship, but I also have this incredible heart for men and the Hartford and of course comes from some of my story. I've obviously looked for men to invest in my life, had a hard time finding it, and so I built a ministry that solves the problem that I had so many men out there looking for mentorship. They're looking for dads, so to speak, kind of like you're talking about today, right? Dads, to kind of mentor them through the challenges of life. So that's why resolute exists. We exist to disciple and development to lead and so I provide men with all kinds of resources, whether it be daily devotionals, audio podcast, a small group materials, a devotional materials that a guy can use on his own books to read, et Cetera, et cetera.

I want to empower a guy to lead in his life. My Dad abandoned me when I was a kid, about two and a half and of course my mom raised me for some of those young kid years. She got remarried, divorced again, and uh, finally Kinda gave up on raising me and when I was about 15 or so I moved in with my grandfather and grandmother. Now, you know, they were, they were older. Um, my grandfather was still a robust kinda husky athletic guy, you know, he was a navy veteran and loved the guy he was, he was all kinds of cool though. But the one thing that was unique about him was he was a Christian and, and my mom was, I would call her an agnostic at best. My father was an atheist and so we didn't even use the name of God in our house, believe it or not, not even as a curse word.

Seriously. I wasn't allowed to use the name of God in our house. And then I moved in with my grandfather who can't stop talking about God. And so now I'm having, this is healthy, I would say youth experience and because of his influence between the ages of 15 to 20, I finally made a profession of faith at 20 and uh, unfortunately lost him at 21 to cancer, which is, I know something that you're challenged with right now as well. And I mean, that was a tragic moment. But after my grandfather was gone, I realized that I had this void and it was a man void, a, I was longing for someone to be dead to me, to mentor me. And uh, for about 20 years I sought men to mentor me and could never find anybody to do it. And I thought it was strange, right?

We, we as men, look for model men to point us in the direct us the way. And that's the only way we learn is by other people passing on the wisdom they have. It's very biblical, by the way, right? It's called discipleship mentorship call. Whatever you want doesn't really matter. But, uh, out of this pain of seeking out people to mentor me and not finding it, that's where I discovered my call and my passion, my passion is to see men mentor and I want every man that ever wants it to have either the tools or the opportunity to be mentored so he can become more like Jesus Christ. And I have experienced some of those similar challenges with, with finding a mentor that fits in. And I know that we were talking off mic before we sat down today about how even your latest book, this idea of 30 virtues that build a man is a tool that really comes from that place of passion of could you help in a bite size like that?

You can get your arms around this in a few moments. Spark conversations between two men that could even help a mentor relationship. So that, I mean, obviously that's one resource, but what would you say are some of your top tips to help in this case? Dad's find a mentor or find a, uh, it could also be tips to finding brotherhood because that, which is also very valuable. But what are some of those tips to get us guys out of just the Rut of survival mode into, no, I want to grow and I want to do it through relationship. Yeah, that's a. that's a great question. So maybe I could tell this short little snippet for my life, so I will never forget the moment that my daughter graduated high school. Okay. This is a frightening moment for men and if you. I know some of these guys out there listening, don't they have a little kid so it's the long way off, but there will be a moment when you're dropping your daughter off at college for the very first time.

We're all of a sudden you have guilt and regret just smacks you across the face. Maybe it's a slight kick to the growing too, right? But you feel this like, did I do enough? Did I mentor, did I disciple? Et Cetera, et Cetera, et cetera. And I've reflected on that for almost a year. I mean it just plagued me and then I basically reduced fathering and mentoring down to two very simple ideas. The first one is this, tip number one would be look being a great mentor to anybody, whether it be your daughter, another man or building brotherhood, and your life has a lot to do with living in the character of Jesus Christ. Right on a daily basis. If I am the right man right now, right then I will always be influencing other people the right way. I will be the right mentor and I will be the right med team.

The other part is really point number two would be make every teachable moment an available moment to teach something. A principle about God, and I was pretty good about that with my kids, especially when they were living underneath my my home before they were starting to graduate college. I. I just took the most available moment to teach them and to impart to them godly principles in that moment. It's not, we don't have to figure out path from a to Z, right? We don't have to disqualify ourselves around actually doing it or being a mentee. We can just dive in by being a man of character and then number two, making these available moments, teachable moments, and I think that's all we need to remember his dads, if we can remember those two things, we will all be great dads and great mentors. I hope that all three of my kids, regardless of what they choose to do kind what their God given Dna, their talents or gifts, whatever it might be, would be that in every moment they live in godly character.

I mean, I, I pray for their virtue, for the attributes of who they are to shine through, like in the challenges of life or when they run into an obstacle or they face a moment that's difficult, that maybe they would come to me and we'd find ways to live out of that moment in godly character. If they did that for their whole life, I would feel like the most successful that. And you know what, they're going to fail at it just like you and I have. Right? And then, uh, hopefully I'm there to pick them up and to demonstrate what that looks like. But that's my dream for is that for the rest of their life, they would honor God from the inside out. And the reason I love that question is I think it helps all of us as, as dads and many of us, a step younger dads, we got little littler kids and your kids start to ask that same question and pray about what is my big prayer, what are my dreams for my kids?

So. So thanks. That's helpful. It's very helpful. Let's talk about having fun with our kids for a moment. So I know that you, you guys get it on the water together. You enjoy on the lake boating. I know you work out with your, you show me one picture of you guys walking out together. Tell me some of the ways that you laugh together. Play together, connect with your kids. This is, this is fun, but I, I know you'll appreciate those maybe, but. So we're a very athletic family so we actually all do crossfit together. Is that crazy or what? I know it sounds kind of cool. It's amazing. Yeah. But we actually, I'm across that athlete and so I compete and uh, but it's been so much fun because I'm going to confess this to you is actually my wife that got me into crossfit.

Right? That's amazing. And then amazing. And she's, she's a great athlete. A also are my kids. My kids are all great athletes, but it, it's something that we do that's fun together. So another thing we do that's fun together as we love to get out in the lake together. And the reason why we like to go out in the lake is because we have such beautiful lakes in Minnesota of course. But you know what happens when you get on a lake, you're trapped in a boat for your phone because you don't really want your phone to go zipping over this. Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. And they took their phones away and every once in a while I'll look down at it, but you know what? Kids are trapped. And I found that when our kids were younger, we could trap them at the table, but as they get older and become teenagers, you can't trap them the way that you get them trapped into a relationship with you as you put them out on a boat where they can't get off of it.

It's great. I love to do that kind of stuff with my kids. Was there a moment, and this could be a few years ago or could go back and, you know, a decade ago when the kids were younger, a moment for you and your wife that you look back on and you're like, that was a breakthrough moment. It altered, it. Change the trajectory of our parenting, the priorities of our parenting. Sometimes it's a hurtful, like a hard moment that you made it through. Or a a moment where a mentor maybe gave you some wisdom and it helped change how you were walking through your roles at dad. Uh, can you think of a moment you'd be willing to share with us? Yeah. You know, uh, I'll, I'll share with you maybe one that happened. It's just a few years back, but we, you know, we have, we have three kids. I'm the middle child who's name is grant turned 15, got his permit and uh, two days later we were driving up to duluth, which is a, you know, a couple of hours north, right.

And we had my daughter and my youngest son, we had her boyfriend's, my daughter's boyfriend's family. We're all driving up. We left the middle child at home with a brand new driver's permit, not a license, a permit. Uh, he, uh, gets in the truck, my truck, um, and it's brand new. It's Ford F150 supercrew jumps in. It decides to take it out for a joy ride with a couple of friends going up to culver's, drives it up to culver's, drives it back home, which is only a few miles away. Total. Said he hits a telephone pole, totals of the truck. And, uh, this was really a pivotal moment, not only for us in relationship with grant, but the entire family, uh, for a couple of reasons. Uh, number one, uh, you can't imagine a more financially devastating decision than having an unlicensed uninsured driver in your home.

The steal the car and total it brand new. So financially this was devastating for us because we're looking at about a $50,000 vehicle and they had to work on these telephone poles for two days. So that's another 20 to $30,000 of labor and all kinds of stuff that I didn't know that I had to pay for it. Right? We got real. It got real really quick. But I want to tell you that moment, um, and how I handled it was so important as a father. I'm so glad I had two and a half hours to drive home to think about how I was going to handle that. And uh, the way that I handled it changed. I think the entire makeup of our family. Even my son who is now 17 today will tell you that, that, how we handled that as a family and what happened, I do want you to know that miraculously the insurance company paid for everything.

I know I'm really thankful for that, but it's a miracle because I want you to know that I had totaled my truck a year before in an accident and I was sitting in court for that lawsuit when they called and agreed to pay the entire bill for the other one. They were suing me for $2,000 of medical bills on the other previous accident. I mean, that's like a godsend moment. Right? So this changed not only how we viewed possessions, but how we viewed our son, how we view this moment, how we parented the other kid. The kid saw us respond to it. It was a revolutionary moment. There's a lot of details to it, but I just want you to know that that moment how I responded as a father and as a man made a difference and I'm so glad that I didn't be raped my son or yell at him.

I didn't raise my voice one bit. I just said to him, son, I value more than this car, but the choice that you made led to a lot of subsequent choices that we have to make as a family. And I want you to know that's how sin works. It creates suffering for other people when they don't deserve it. And boy, did he learn a lesson and he'll tell you, he could sit in here today and tell you, it was probably one of my finer moments as a father. And I would say it was one of our finer moments. His family.

Yeah. You know, I know one thing that you lead by example and doing was walking, uh, chasing this dream of launching resolute a dream of passion on your hearts during a season that didn't make sense in the world's eyes to walk away from a steady salary. Um, you know, a great upward into the right trajectory of your leadership and your resume, right? To walk away and say, I'm going to start something and take a massive risk. And I know you said your wife was truly behind you and with you in this, in this, but to do it in that season of parenting love for you to reflect for a moment for our listeners about, you know, the dad who is in a career that they're realizing the passion level is going down or that they're just stalled out, but they feel stuck because of financial responsibilities. How W, what would you share from reflecting on your experience and on just this drive towards. We as men need to be racing towards a passion like were designed to take ground, not to stall out to any, any reflections you'd be willing to share on that topic? Yeah,

absolutely. I, you know, I was of course 43 when I was starting to transition into like my calling and you know, I felt like I was doing my calling for awhile, but I think men have three kind of transitions in the monetary part of their life. They have, first off, they have their job, which is where they learn skills and then typically they move into a career. It's like where they're starting to kind of use their talents to advance themselves a little bit and then we have this last kind of calling is what I call it. So we moved from job to career to calling and I think some men never make that transition from not just job to career but career to calling because I think they're scared to be quite honest. And I think of men were really honest with themselves. They are scared.

They're scared because we like security, we like safety, we like to provide for our family and we get caught into the financial rat race. Right? So when my kids saw me make that transition at 43 when they were still teens living in the home, I mean this is a risky time for us to venture into a nonprofit. That means we don't make money, right? A nonprofit ministry as the sole breadwinner for the home. But my wife pushed me to do it and we did it and my kids got to see me live in the greatest adventure of my whole life. I am more happy today because not only does my career and my calling align, they are the same things and I'm 47 today, but I would say to the guys out there that are thinking about this in regards to their family and their career and their calling and what that looks like into the future is man, what are you waiting for?

Right. I think we need to pray bigger dreams. We need to live more adventurously and I think the fact that we sometimes don't communicates a lot to our families about what we believe about God unfortunately. And that's not to shame anybody out there, but I think people miss out on a great adventure when they don't live adventurously that perspective of someone who's done it and now it's like, I cannot imagine staying the course of safety because you've lived the adventure. Well, yeah. And you know, guys asked me all the time, how could you do that when you're 43 with a family? Like how were you able to do it? They want to understand financially how is able to do it and I have to go back and tell them I couldn't give you a business plan that could prove out my concept. I just trusted in God and, and they look at me and they're just like, oh, I'd love to be you.

But I think deep in their hearts they really want to do things like that. And I think that's where really manhood is born, is in the adventure of getting out of the boat like Peter did. And He. Why was he the, he was the only one who ever walked on water besides Jesus. Why was the only the only one? Because he was willing to take a risk that no one else was willing to take. And I think men miss out on this far too often. Let's talk for a moment about rhythms of just disciplines that help keep the most important things the most important. So it could be a rhythms of, of fitness, of staying in shape to stay healthy. It could be rhythms of, uh, in, in your Bible, so time in the word or rhythms have date nights with whatever rhythms that you think might, um, that you have found, whether it's a younger season when kids were a little younger or today with, with high schoolers or teenagers.

Any rhythms that you'd shared that have been helpful for you? Yeah, absolutely. So I have this thing called my. I called my eight f framework. I'm looking at it right now, my phone, I'm just going to read it to you. It's called faith family. Then I jumped to friends, fitness, food, fun, finances, and future. So I have these eight like pieces of framework that are all related to the words that begin with F, right? No joke. I'm very faithful to this. So it's a goal setting pyramid. So I have two to three goals around each one. So let's just take fun. Here's my goal around fun adventure. Do one adventurous thing each month. It's a monthly goal, very tangible, very tangible monthly. Go, um, I could jump to something else here. So a fitness. I'm going to run each week. Yeah. Every week I'm going to run one time.

It could be three miles, it could be five miles, could be seven, it doesn't really matter. I just have to run each week and then I can check that thing off. But this is how I create rhythms that are meaningful to me. You know, some guys let life happen to me. I don't let life happen to me. I make life happen by setting goals and rhythms and the fun part about it is I can look back at this at the end of the year and I can look at my eight apps and I can go, did I really accomplish it? So one of the rhythms I have in guys, I'm not going to say all the guys out there need to do this, but I write a men's daily, Debo for resolute. But guess who? The first people I send that to every day is my family. I text my family everyday.

I call it the dad's daily Devos, so triple d, but I have men's daily depot. I just basically copy and paste it for my family and make it for my family. So I write about 300 words to my family every day on a text. Yeah. And I love it. It's a spiritual discipline that I give it to them and it's good for me and it's good for them and they read it sometimes. Sometimes they don't. Right. But it doesn't matter. I'm doing a discipline that spiritually encourages my family. Yeah. And simplifying, even in we'll include in the show notes. Those are all the apps. I'll probably forget them somewhat. Someone's driving while this include those as a framework though, because it's so helpful to not just say, well, this is something I hope for, but this is what it's working. You're doing this rhythm of tangible within each of those categories.

So yeah. Thanks for sharing. That's really helpful. Let's go to mistakes for a second. A mistake, and we call this dad. Awesome. This podcast is dad. Awesome. Very, and I, I know I repeat this all the time, but maybe there a new listener this week. Dad, awesome exists to help us as dads intentionally love and lead our kids towards a God who is awesome. So we do not have to be awesome. So we have to ask the mistake question to prove that you're not an awesome dad. What have you learned from just like, hey man, this is a mistake that I made and that I would just really work towards not repeating in, in my role as a data? Yeah, absolutely. So this is bottom line and this took me years to figure out this. Um, but I, I think men more often than not privately shame and disqualify themselves.

I think the inner voice of our own guilt and regret and fears is screaming at us all the time. And I think most men don't learn to understand that voice and a turn, that stinking thing off. Um, you know, when I read Ephesians one, I discover that I'm adopted, I'm loved and forgiven. I'm full of grace and mercy. I'm, I'm, I'm a part of something that's reconciled, that's worth loving. And I think that the private voices of shame that come from my own personal dialogue or some of the loudest voices I listened to, and I think men need to find ways to silence those voices. And not just turn it off with the positive of power, a positive of, uh, uh, the power of positive thinking, right? We're talking about living out the identity of Christ. And so I've got to turn off these private voices of shame and regret that I have about the mistakes that I've made is whether it be a father, a husband, I'm a, whether it be actual things that I've fallen down on in my responsibility as a man.

I got to turn off those voices and I got to turn on the reality that I live in a new and redeemed identity in Jesus Christ. And I've got to repeat positive things about who I in him. I think Satan is looking to diminish men with these private voices with dads that don't feel like they've done a good job. Husbands that privately Shaman beat themselves up, right? And men that maybe make mistakes in their leadership. Man, if we could turn those voices off, we're dealing with them privately and no one knows about them. And there's guys that are having this dialogue as they drive in their car right now with themselves. I'm not a great dad, I'm not a great dad. I'm not as great as Vincent, Jeff, whatever, whatever. We're all fallen, broken people. I've screwed things up, all screwed things up all the time in my life, but it doesn't mean that I have to allow those voices to run my life.

I am a lead by a new leader, Jesus Christ, and he leads my life down a path that is much different, right? Right. His plan is for us to thrive, to live this life, the fullness of life, right? And the devil is going to just keep stealing, killing, keep destroying John Ten, 10. I mean it's classic, but it's such easy framework, right? Those voices, shame stuff, the, all those lies. It's a lie. He's a liar. He's still stealing our emotions. He stealing and he's getting guys off track from this, this sweet adventure. I love that you talk about like, no, there's an adventure for you, so thanks for. Yeah, thanks for your vulnerability with the fact that you lived. That was a mistake. I still have those voices, man. Like every once in a while when an argument goes sour at home with the wife, right? I shamed myself for that man.

I could have handled that better. Yeah. I could have handled it better. Yes. But I'm also redeemed and loved in Jesus Christ. When we think about resources, the dads listening that uh, you know, have not read every book that we recommend, but just a little snippet about resources that you'd recommend and we know, and this is so fun, that resolute your ministry is the largest men's curriculum, men's resources to help Christian men in their pursuit of the Lord. You got, you guys have an amazing platform. All these videos, all these books and devotionals and your daily devotional. So I won't let you recommend your own. I'll recommend that. Yeah. Any, any other though? Top one or two resources for a Christian Dad's? Yeah. You know, I think when kids are younger, resource would be things like music and singing. I used to grab my guitar, I saw yours and your office.

I used to grab my guitar and just seeing my kids. That's a great resource by singing worship. I also think just the regular activity of praying over them and, and being methodical about it. Um, as kids get older, I think that you're going to have to have meaningful conversations. So dialogues about major and important topics, right? Sex, finances, relationship reconciliation, how, how to, how to deal with pressures in life. Like those are the kinds of things that I did. And then I think finally, I think this is huge and we shouldn't undermine this. Dragging our kids to church kicking and screaming is, is a good thing. Yeah. Even when church doesn't feel all that great, right? That we have a positive attitude about it. We're bringing our kids with us, we're encouraging them to come. We're encouraging them to build relationships, to think about their spiritual future.

I think those are all great resources, so whether it be worship, music, it'd be conversations, it'd be the church itself. I think they just need to dig in and it's not just about one resource. I think it's about that, that evolution of resources and a man and a father's life. Yeah. And Initiative, right? Yeah. Just taking the initiative saying, yeah, all those areas, and then as we enter your vince, again, thank you for joining us. Really grateful for you. Taking time to sit down and share with our listeners. Parting words though, if you, if you thinking about, man, I'm, I'm a writing in my, a boat across the lake, you know, I'm out with a group of young dads. What would you share is just kind of parting words with these dads to encourage but also to speak some life to a stats. Yeah. I think, you know, I think being a dad is a lonely job just as much as being a mother is right.

Um, I think it's a lonely because of all of our wounds and I think dads out there listening today, if they haven't gotten in touch with the wounds that they've experienced as a child from their own father, whether he was great or not, uh, you're missing out on the deep healing that you need to be a great dad, period. And we all have wounds. Um, we should not just diminish our dad's though, right? We should find ways to elevate them. And Love them for who they were and what God showed us through that. So there's, there's the great resource. It's not just about the wounds, but it's about how father God in his sovereignty has said to us this phrase, this is my son in whom I am well pleased. If we know those words, we know perfect and beautiful handling. So no those words guys.

Well that was my conversation with Vince Miller. Thank you so much for joining us for episode 31 and let me add and just reiterate for just a quick moment the, the last point about wounds and that each of us as dads, we have wounds. It's real. Some of those wounds come from a dad figure, a person in our life that it was our dad or someone who played that dad role and in God's heart is that we as dads would not carry that forward, that we wouldn't take that baggage and that hurts and, and carry it forward, but that we would receive forgiveness, that we would receive healing. And, and it's a painful process, but it's such a worth it process. It's so worth it to take time in prayer, to take time with Christian brotherhood, to take time with mentors, to actually pray through a process of forgiveness so that we can walk in freedom and in peace, and we can walk with boldness in our role as dads not not carrying forward the hurt that was done to us.

So that's God's heart. You again, you are loved. God is well pleased in you. Those same words that God spoke to to Jesus, he speaks to us as his sons. He God is our heavenly father. So, so thank you for walking out this journey. Thank you for being intentional dads. As always, we're thankful for you joining us for episode 31 and thanks for sharing this episode with others who might find it helpful, all of the resources and and follow up information to get connected with resolute ministry and Vince Miller is available at [inaudible] dot org or in the show notes on your podcast app or in the email that you received with this link. So thanks again for joining us. And an amazing. Yeah.

Fathering And Leadership

fathering resolute men's daily devo men's ministry

FATHERING AND LEADERSHIP

SUMMARY:

Today's discussion involves the topics of fathering and leadership. Discover how the small things we do matter as a father and leader and have the potential to impact children and people for a lifetime.

KEY VERSES:

Fathers, do not provoke your children, lest they become discouraged. Colossians 3:21

Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old, he will not depart from it. Proverbs 22:6

QUESTIONS FOR REFLECTION & DISCUSSION:

  • Check in with each other.
  • Share some of your experiences with your father growing up. Where did he succeed and what were his short-coming?
  • How has this positively and negatively impacted your leadership?
  • What changes would you like to make in your leadership today?
  • If you have children, how do you think they perceive your voice and training?
  • What issues do you need to address? And what steps do you need to take out of this time?

TRANSCRIPT:

Hey fellas.

Welcome to the Resolute Mid-Week Devo.

Today's thoughts are on fatherhood and leadership, and full credit for these thoughts go out to Roger Thompson, from Minneapolis. Thank you, Roger. I met with Roger this week, and he dared to ask me about my past, my family, and how that's impacted me over the years. Which of course set me on this path of reflection. So thanks, Roger, first for being a good mentor and second for stirring my thinking.

So as I was reflecting on his questions, I thought back to how my experience as a child had an impact on my parenting and leadership today. And I came across two great verses this morning.

First, Colossians 3:21, which reads, "Fathers, do not provoke your children, lest they become discouraged." Now while it's easy to read this and think only about how "the leadership of others" has impacted us, I believe there is a compelling warning to MY leadership in this verse. What captured me today is how often parenting, and leadership is a "moment to moment" experience regardless of who we lead. And in these surprising moments, guess what matters? MY voice matters. This is because the voice of my leadership impacts the tenderness of the child's heart often for a lifetime. So the caution here is to become aware of the power of my voice moment to moment.

The second verse is from Proverbs 22:6, it reads, "Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it."

A very familiar verse, but this one is rich with hope. The critical action of the father and leader is "training." Training is teaching behaviors over time. And I often wonder if the little people in my home appreciate my training. While I repeat, repeat, and repeat. And wonder if anything sticks. And it hit me this morning, that training is not only exhausting for the trainee but sometimes is exhausting for the trainer, the leader, and the parent. And yes, we all get tired of training our kids, but while it is exhausting, it appears that Proverbs 22:6 says it will result in a payoff down the road - sometimes we don't see it. The key to this is to not give up as a trainer when my spirit is weak. So words like perseverance, endurance, and grit are sometimes needed as a word of encouragement for parents and leaders.

So today gentlemen whether you are a son, leader, or father there is something here for you to consider today. Lead moment to moment today, give attention to your voice and preserve and join with me in building better men.

Two things for you today.
First, if you want to take these thoughts further follow the link provided and there are some reflection and small group discussion questions you can use on your own or with other men.

Second, if you are looking for a Men's Daily Devo, then you need to go to the link today. Every day we send out a short email with a scripture, thought, and action to keep you fueled by God's word.

Love you guys, and I will see you back here next week, from Vail, Colorado. Till then -- be resolute.

SIGN UP FOR THE MEN'S DAILY DEVO

Be a brother and share this with a friend below.

Build Better Men – Vince Miller

BUILD BETTER MEN

"Men are born male, but becoming a man is a choice, and it takes another man to show him the way."

Vince Miller, born in the California, Bay Area, like many young men, grew up without a father in the home. However, after his mother’s second failed marriage, his grandfather took him in and mentored him into manhood. His compelling story of the problem and need for building better men has impassioned thousands of men to live with greater conviction and become the men God intended them to be. Be prepared to be challenged with his message entitled, “Build Better Men.” #buildbettermen #resolute #beresolute #resolutemen

Strategic Fathering – Situational Engagement

SUMMARY: Our children do not just one type of engagement from their dad; they may need a variety of different kinds of engagement based on the moment, challenges, and the needs of the child. In this Resolute Podcast, Vince Miller interviews Greg Bourgond, founder of Heart of a Warrior Ministries on the hurdle of engaging with our kids.

PODCAST:

TRANSCRIPT:

Vince: This is resolute, and the Resolute Podcast, where we make men better. I am Vince Miller, your host. And today we’re in a series entitled, “Strategic Fathering.” Today we are discussing the topic of situational engagement.

Welcome back to the program. If this is your first time tuning in, well thank you for joining us We exist to make men better. For more information on our program for small groups of men, you’ve got to go to beresolute.org. We have numerous great tools for men on our website. We want to be your men’s content provider for any small group that you lead or participate in. We have beautifully laid out small group videos and handbooks for participants. You’ve got to check it out. Go there today, beresolute.org. And now guys, let’s dive in.

We are joined again today by Doctor Greg Bourgond. He is president and founder of Heart of the Warrior Ministries. He has served over ten years in the defense industry, and commercial business, as well as 18 years in various ministry positions. He serves as a consultant and teacher in the areas of leadership formation and personal spiritual development. And we are excited to have him join us on this topic of strategic fathering.

Greg, welcome back to the show one more time. We are so excited to have you with us. One of the books that you wrote was entitled, “Papa’s blessing,” okay? And this self-titled book, “Papa’s blessing,” was named after the title that your grandchildren gave you. Because what you’re doing in the book is you’re telling us the importance of a father passing on the blessing to their children, and to their grandchildren. Something that happened in Biblical times, which often doesn’t happen in our culture today. Now you teach us the importance of this, but while you’re teaching us the importance of these blessings – you’re also teaching us situational engagement, or situational engagement styles. Tell the listeners today why you chose this approach or this style to talk about strategic fathering.

Greg: I guess you could phrase it “situational engagement.” Because sometimes we’re called to be a sage on the stage with our children, and sometimes just simply a guy by the side. And knowing what to be under, in what circumstances is important. So you can be a director, you can be a coach, you can be a supporter, or you can be an observer. And it all depends on the readiness of your children – which has to do with their competence and confidence in whatever task you assign them.

For instance – two weeks ago I’m training my grandson how to cut the lawn because we’ll be leaving for Ireland and he’s – his job is to take care of the lawn. Since he’s never done it before, I needed to be a director. I director tells him exactly what needs to be done, and how to do it. Because he didn’t have confidence, and he didn’t have competence yet. So the next time he cut the lawn – and I was there – I decided to go ahead and move to coach.

Which means that “Well, here’s some changes you need to make. And I see that you put your own design on the lawn, that’s a good thing son.” And but I’m still being a sage on this stage, “Hey, you forgot to do this over here. This needs to be done as well.” But you’re going to have your own way of doing it. And so I move to coach. So he was gaining a little more confidence, but he still lacked the competence.

So as we move along, let’s – let’s extend this out into the future here. As he starts to gain, and he’s growing in his confidence and his competence. The next time you cut the lawn is this Thursday. And so I’m going to let him do it, and just watch him. And as he gains in that confidence initially, and that competence – then I move to a guide by the side, where I’m supporting him in that endeavor – and making only minor corrections.

And then when he’s fully confident, or is approaching full confidence and competence – I let him be, and I only interject myself when necessary as an adviser or a supporter. So you move from director to coach to supporter and to observer. You see, my – my contention is that we’re – God isn’t calling us to be thermometers that merely registers the temperature of our environment in our homes. He’s expecting us to be thermostats that control it. Sometimes, frankly – we need to heat things up. Sometimes we need to cool them down.

So being a strategic father – using these 4 engagement patterns, and knowing how to use them over time – will help you to be a strategic father, and help you to guide your children to the place where they have competence and confidence.

Vince: Okay so I’m thinking about myself as a father right now, and of course with these words that you’re using – such as director, coach, supporter, observer. I almost feel like you’re suggesting that there’s kind of stages of our engagement. There’s times and levels of our engagement. There’s ways and patterns in how we do that. And we need some flexibility in our life as a strategic father. That I need to be open to a changing, moving dynamic all the time. There isn’t one right way to do this thing.

Greg: Yeah.

Vince: And because there’s not one right way to do this thing, I am going to have to figure out how to be some kind of a strategic father on the fly sometimes.

Greg: Yeah.

Vince: And being strategic means being susceptible to change.

Greg: Yeah, and it’s not as complex as it may initially sound. Because once you start practicing it, it’s going to become second nature to you. If you take the time as a strategic father to observe your children – how they respond to certain crises how they deal, how they make decisions. What entertains, and the friends they hang around with. And you’re observing that. You’re going to know when they reach levels of competence and confidence at various stages, and when to shift your style. Because all of us, frankly are – one of these styles is a default for us. We’re either a director all the time–

The worst thing you can do to a child, for instance – let’s say that Kieran really learns how to cut the lawn well. That the next time he cuts it, I go out there, and I’m a director, and say, “Well here’s how you need to cut it son, this is what you need to do.” That’s going to discourage him. I need to be hands off. On the other hand, if I just simply said to him – without him ever having, never having done it before, “Hey go in the garage, light out the lawnmower, cut the lawn for me.” That’s moving all the way to an observer, when I should’ve been a director. And so knowing– And it, it takes a little time and practicing this, because you have a default – you’ve got to resist on occasion.

Vince: That’s good.

Greg: And sometimes you have to move in the opposite direction because then we have experienced a broken relationship as they get older. Or failed a course in school or something. And they’ve forgotten how to do what you taught them to do. So sometimes you need to go in the opposite direction. Find that level of competence and confidence, and adjust your fathering style to that competence and confidence.

Vince: Okay so I’m sitting here thinking to myself, “Greg, I wish I would’ve met you 19 years ago.” Because, I’ve got to tell you – the one thing that I have learned for certain, is that there’s phases of parenting and they’re – and that every one of my children are different. And you are so right. We do have a default mechanism. For some of the guys out there, they love to direct, and that’s their one methodology.

Greg: Yeah, yeah.

Vince: And how they engage with their children. And how wrong they are to not be flexible and sometimes become the coach or the supporter. And there are other guys – parents out there that are just kind of the supporter, cheerleader. That never get in, get in the game and direct, right?

Greg: Right, yeah.

Vince: And so, what I hear you saying is – that we don’t need to be frustrated about the changes and the environments of change and our children’s life. We as a strategic father need to strategically adapt.

Greg: Yeah, it’s like being a chameleon leader. You change the color of your engagement based on the environment you’re in.

Vince: Right.

Greg: And it’s learning how to do that and be flexible. It doesn’t mean that you’re giving up on what you feel is absolutely necessary to do. It means that you’re adopting a style–

Vince: Right.

Greg: That’s going to be best for those you’re leading. Now this – this is not only true in a family, Vince–

Vince: Yeah.

Greg: This is true in how you conduct a project team. How you work with volunteers. It means that – simply this – you do have to be observant of the people you’re working with or the children that you have in terms of how – their personality temperament, what they do to solve problems. It’s just being observant. And then that gives you the ability to determine when to shift, given a certain task or a certain competence that you’re asking them to achieve.

Vince: Okay so here’s the challenge for me now as a father. At least this is how I’m hearing it from you. Is that it’s got to create some thinking, some time and energy. When I leave and set down my work for the day, I come home and put on my fathering hat, okay? Let’s just say we ever take that off, which we don’t. But we put on my fathering hat. I sometimes am walking into an environment where I’ve got to be sharp. I can’t just expect things to be the way that I want them to be. I’ve got to put on my fathering hat, and be ready for the situations that come my way. And I’ve got to be as sharp as I am when I go to work.

Greg: Well we’re calling scripture to be leaders in our home. And that’s the responsibility and the obligation we have. But I’m here to tell you – there are times when I should’ve been a supporter when I’ve been a director. But I knew, because I’ve been practicing this for a long time – where I made the mistake. And it doesn’t take me 5 seconds to go back to my, my grandson and say, “You know what? I engaged you wrongly, son. You really do know how to do this. And I was giving you direction on how to get it done. And I should’ve let you do it the way that you were taught to do it, and not have interfered – so I apologize. So it– Cut yourself some slack.

Vince: Yeah.

Greg: You’re not going to be perfect at this. But learning it well and practicing it will lead you towards that. And you’ll have less times to say that you’re sorry.

Vince: Yeah.

Greg: And more time to say, “Well yeah, that’s this situation, so I need to shift my style on how I engage my child.”

Vince: Yeah, you know– I love that you confessed that maybe you default to the director mode. I probably default to the coach mode. And then fail at times to really take strong direction of my own. Or maybe support, when I need to do that. And so I can definitely hear you. And it’s probably the voice of action for the guys listening today – would be to say, “Look guys, figure out which one you are, and which one’s you’re not. And try to figure out how you can strategically father – to the point that you engage with your family and your children in a way that’s appropriate to them, and in the moment.”

Greg: Yeah.

Vince: So here are your 4 styles again, Greg. They’re director, coach, supporter, observer. Guys, maybe today you need to identify which you are and which you aren’t. And as you walk in your home, figure out how you can adapt – so that you can lead from a higher level and strategically parent your kids. Well Greg, thank you again for being with us.

Greg: Oh you’re welcome, it’s good to be here.

Vince: Well that’s the show. Thanks again for listening. Gentlemen – as we close, I want to remind you that none of this would be possible without you. Your prayers, your financial support and your encouragement keep us going. Therefore, we would be honored to have you consider a monthly donation to Resolute. Even a small gift each month, makes a huge difference for men around the country. Just head to our website, beresolute.org. Click the word “store,” on the menu bar, and then select the word, “donation.” All gifts to this organization are tax deductible.

And as usual, I want you to know, I hope you enjoy this podcast – but please know that the time that we spend together is worthless unless you act on it. So do something today by getting off the bench and into the game. And I will see you right back here next time on another edition of the Resolute Podcast.

Strategic Fathering – Becoming Strategic

SUMMARY: Being a father is a challenging calling and role, but it can be very fulfilling as we become more strategic. In this Resolute Podcast, Vince Miller interviews the president and founder of Heart of the Warrior Ministries, Greg Bourgond as we hear his perspective on how to become more strategic in our role as fathers and adaptable to each of their children at each stage of their development.

PODCAST:

TRANSCRIPT:

Vince: This is Resolute, and the Resolute Podcast – where we make men better. I am Vince Miller, your host. And today we are starting a new series entitled, “Strategic Fathering.” And today we’re discussing the topic of how to become a strategic father.

Men, welcome back to the program. If this is your very first time tuning in, well thank you for joining us. Resolute exists to make men better. Because we know men today face unique challenges in their quest for Godly manhood. For more information on our program for small groups, you’ve got to go to beresolute.org.

We have numerous great tools for men on our website, specifically those who want to lead a men’s group. If you’re looking for tools, we want to be your men’s content provider. You’ve got to check out our high-quality small group videos, and our handbooks for participants. They’re second to none. So please check it out, along with all of our other resources. And now, guys let’s dive in.

Today we are joined by Doctor Greg Bourgond. He is president and founder of Heart of a Warrior Ministries, located in Minnesota. He holds previous experience, including 10 years in the defense industry and commercial business – and over 18 years in various ministry positions throughout the country. Greg serves as a consultant and teacher in the areas of leadership formation and personal spiritual development. And recently I was at a conference, heard Doctor Greg Bourgond speak, and was moved by his address on strategic fathering.

Today we’re going to look at this message of strategic fathering, and how we ourselves, men can become more strategic as a parent in our family. Well Greg, welcome back to the show again. One of the things that I’ve appreciated about you, Greg – is that God has called you into multiple phases of fathering in your life. I know that you have spent time fathering your own children, but that you’ve also helped with fathering and parenting some of your grandchildren – stepping in as dad to them.

I want to dig into this topic of strategic fathering, because I – I know that you’ve learned quite a few lessons now, having been in the game as a father over the years. And guys like me, that didn’t really grow up with a – with a father in the home, or at least one that was present to us – are often challenged as Christian men to know what that looks like. So you talk about strategic fathering. Can you just tell us for a minute what it means to be a strategic father?

Greg: Well most fathers today are fathers tactically. Which means that they respond to the immediate circumstance at the moment. Oftentimes without giving any thought to its strategic implications. A strategist sees the whole battlefield and understands what the dynamics are, and how to engage those dynamics for an ultimate objective. So for me, strategic fathering is having an ultimate objective.

And my ultimate objective as a strategic father is to teach my daughter – or my 4 grandsons, who we’re raising – how to navigate an ever darkening world. To find what true north is and Jesus Christ. Because they’re going to be battered by the world. They’re going to hear all kind of ideologies and philosophies on how to manage themselves in the world. I want to make sure that I give them a strategic perspective of what they can expect.

So a strategic father looks out into the future all the time. He’s looking for trend lines in what he sees in his children so that he can mediate their, their journey going forward. Sometimes it means small corrections. At other times it means seizing that teachable moment to illustrate a point – either in something you are observing together, or something that they’ve endured at school or whatever it might be. But having the strategic perspective to know what the ultimate objective is – to teach them how to navigate an ever darkening world, and to make sure that their internal compass is pointed at true north so that they can find their way long after you’re gone.

Vince: Okay, so I’m hearing it has something to do with a long view. I’m hearing that it has something to do with capturing teachable moments. It has something to do with forming a young man or a young woman’s character. Now can I – I just want to make an observation about this. This is a very, very hard, changing job – right? It’s – it’s always moving, it’s always changing. And I know that as a guy who didn’t grow up in a home necessarily with a biological father there with me all the time, it can be very hard to traverse without that guide.

And for me – who, I am a father. I have 3 teenage children. I – I find that my job is very challenging sometimes because it’s really moment to moment. Yet you still have to lift my – I still have to lift my head up enough to see the long view of what I want for my kids.

Greg: Yeah.

Vince: Do you think that parenting today as a father is more difficult than it used to be?

Greg: Yeah I do. And the reason that I do is that of all they’re exposed to from a variety of, of sources. Whether it’s their friends or it’s the internet or it’s media. They just get bombarded with all of these messages. And if you don’t give them the tools to be able to properly interpret the message – and then to bounce it against what you know to be biblically accurate – they’re going to get lost in the midst of that.

One way in which I tried to be a strategic father with my – my grandsons, is – at a very early age, that I gave them values. For instance, Brayden – who is now 19 years old – his values were strength and honor. Kieran, who is now 17 – I gave him the values of courage and strength. And for – courage and valor. And for Gaylen, it was goodness and integrity. And Lachlan was truth and honor.

Now why did I do that? First of all, when they were young – they didn’t know what that meant. They just thought it was a kinda neat way that Papa addressed them. Because I’d always address them with their values. I’d say, “Hello Brayden, strength, and honor.” Or when they went to bed at night, I’d say, “Goodnight Kieren, courage and valor.” And I waited for that teachable moment.

I’ll give you an example of a teachable moment. Brayden was in preschool at the – we had a preschool at the seminary that I attended. And I got called by the director one day. And said, “I need to talk to you about your grandson.” And I thought – like any other would, “He’s in trouble, he must’ve cold 07:24 clocked somebody on the playground or done something wrong.” That was my thought. So to make matters worse, when I got there – she invited me into her office. And I thought, “Oh no, what did he do?”

And she says, “I need to tell you about what took place on the playground.” And says, “Your, your grandson, Brayden is very popular. Everybody loves to play with him. But he noticed that they weren’t playing with this little girl. And he stood up in front of his friends, and says, “I’m not going to play with you until you play with her.” Well I got all puffed up and proud, and so we got in the car and I’m driving him home.

And I’m looking in the rear view mirror, and I said, “What happened on the playground today, Brayden?” So, so he told me. And I said, “Son, what you did took strength, and you did the honorable thing.” And that was the teachable moment. All of a sudden her connected this term of endearment, of these values that I gave him. This unique way in which we greeted each other – to something concrete. And to this day, he’ll say to me, “Papa, can I tell you about the honorable thing I did this week?” I say, “Yeah, as long as you tell me about the dishonorable stuff you did too.”

But there was the connection. So I’ve done that with every one of my grandsons. That’s being strategic. Because I knew this. That every decision that they would make in life is going to be processed through the filter of a value. The hills you’re prepared to die for, the principles you intend to live by. And so I knew that if I – I established that strategically at a young age – and it’s never too late to begin doing this, by the way. That we’d be able to go ahead and nurture it in their life, so that when they have to make decisions and I’m not around – they’ll be able to make the right decision because they’re going to constantly think of those values. So that’s what it means to be strategic.

Vince: Okay so you just – you just challenged me in – I think a very important way. And I think some of the young fathers that are listening today really need to pay attention to what you just said. Because there’s something strategic that has that really long view that says, “I’m going to way back here when they’re young, start to impart these concepts and these ideas and these images – to my sons, to my daughters, so that they can capture the meaning of this over a lifetime.” And as soon as soon as you said that, I felt a little bit of a deficit in my own life as if I’ve missed the moments. But yet, there’s still hope to fuse these things together, I believe.

Greg: Well yeah, not only that – but here’s what’ll have a greater impact on your children than anything else. They’ll probably forget 90% of what you tell them. But they won’t forget how you lived. If you live a Godly life, that is the gift that will keep giving. You’re living it – right out in front of it. I mean, it doesn’t mean that you make the right decision every day, or you don’t have some off days or some struggles that you’re dealing with. But when they see you proactively trying to live a Godly life – against the culture, against the backdrop of the culture in which we live – that takes root.

And so living a Godly life will go much further in training our children, than just about anything we will say. When you do live a Godly life, and it’s consistent and it’s congruent – then what you say matters to them. But until they see the correlation, they won’t phrase it this way – but until they see the correlation with what you – how you live, and then with what you say – it doesn’t click for them. Because they’re visual. They’re going to pick up on how you live your life.

Vince: Yeah, speaking of – of how we live our life, I– I’m always challenged Greg, by digging into God’s word, and then discovering that we – we don’t have a lot of really solid examples in the Bible of parents. I mean I’ve heard you talk about people like Samuel, Eli, David – and they – they had some failed moments as fathers with their children. And yet, there’s something about the challenge of parenting – even for great men, that’s very difficult.

I sometimes – when I, when I hear something like this – like being a strategic father – I may be tempted to think of myself as a failure in areas, but I can still be aiming — Aiming for Godliness in my own life, and aiming for Godliness in my children’s lives. So what – what do you think would be a challenge for the fathers out there today, in the face of the failures that they sometimes face regarding strategic parenting? What would you say to those guys today?

Greg: Well, first of all – when you take a look at these biblical characters that– Replete with examples of poor fathering. I think it was inspired for the Lord to put that in his word. Because oftentimes, you’re going to learn a lot from what not to do – than from what you’re being declared to do. And so when you look at the lives of these giants of a faith – and understand that there are some frailties there, and there are some weaknesses there – well it doesn’t mean that you can’t make those corrections yourself. So you can learn what not to do by just spending some time in these biographies of these, of these giants.

For the men that are listening, one thing I want to clarify for you – it’s easy to be defeated as a father. It’s easy to go ahead when you’re confronted with a child about some parameter that you set, some rule that you’ve made – and you get the backlash to capitulate and fold. And then to feel like you’re a failure. But the idea is this. The enemy always wants to bring you to the failures of your past. God wants to bring you to the victory of your future, and the battle is in the present. For God is God, and Satan is not.

So if you’re constantly reminded of your failures, that’s not of God. Don’t allow that to deter you. Don’t allow that to step back from the obligation and responsibility and the privilege we have to be a strategic father in the lives of our children. Because that’s just what the enemy wants. So if you’re constantly reminded of those failures, that’s not of the Lord. Because he says in several scriptures that he has cast that behind him. The idea is to remember that he wants to bring you to the victory of your future, and the struggle is in the present.

Vince: That’s good.

Greg: So it’s one step at a time. It’s not putting together a whole strategic plan on how you’re going to manage your family. It’s engaging the moment with the future in view.

Vince: That’s it. I love that, Greg. And in fact, as I sit here and talk you to you, I’m – I’m realizing that we really all have a father, and he’s a very healthy one. And he loves us perfectly. And all we really have to do is to model our parenting after the way that our father has parented us.

Greg: Yeah.

Vince: And deeply trust in him. So guys, thanks for listening today. That’s the show. And we hope that you will lean in today to what it means to be a strategic father in your world. With your kids, your sons, your daughters – and even your grandchildren. Strategically parent them. Keep the long view – and take the time to turn every moment that you can into a teachable moment that guides them along the way, and be the father to them that God has been to you.

Well, that’s the show. Thanks for listening. Gentlemen as we close, I want to remind you that none of this would be possible without you. Your prayers, your financial support, and your encouragement keep us going. Therefore we would be honored to have you consider a monthly donation to Resolute. Even a small gift makes a huge difference for men around the country. If you would like to share a gift with our organization, just head to the website – beresolute.org. Click the word “store” on the menu bar, and then “select donation.” All gifts to this organization are tax-deductible.

And I hope that you enjoyed this podcast, but please know that the time that we spent together today is worthless, unless you act on it. So do something today by getting off the bench, and into the game. And I will see you right back here next time on the Resolute Podcast.

Strategic Fathering – The Three Types of Fathers

SUMMARY: There are numerous approaches to becoming a great father, but there are some that we need to avoid. In this Resolute Podcast, Vince Miller interviews Greg Bourgond president of Heart of a Warrior Ministries about the call to becoming a strategic father and the challenges associated with making changes to our approach to parenting.

PODCAST:

TRANSCRIPT:

Vince: This is Resolute, and the Resolute Podcast, where we make men better. I am Vince Miller, your host. And today we’re in a series entitled, “Strategic Fathering.” And today we are discussing the topic of the 3 types of fathers.

So men, welcome back to the program. If this is your very first time tuning in, thank you for joining us. We exist to make men better. If you want more information on our program for small groups, all you need to do is go to beresolute.org. We have numerous great tools for men who want to lead small groups with other men. Great, high-quality videos. Beautiful handouts for participants. All the stuff we would love to put in your hands as you lead other men. Just head to the website today – beresolute.org, and check it all out. And now let’s dive in.

Well, today I am joined one more time by Doctor Greg Bourgond. Doctor Bourgond is the president and founder of Heart of the Warrior Ministries. He spent about 10 years in the defense industry and in commercial business. And over 18 years in various ministry positions throughout the country. He has served as a consultant and teacher in the areas of leadership formation and personal development, and I am pleased to have him with us again today. We are looking at the topic of strategic fathering. Today addressing the 3 types of fathers in our culture.

Well Greg, thanks for being with us again. I – one of the things I have wanted to do is really lean into you on this topic of strategic fathering, or strategic fatherhood. You’ve built a wealth of wisdom in this area over the years, simply because you’ve not only had the opportunity to parent your own children, but you’ve also brought your grandchildren into the mix, and functioned as a father to your daughter’s children. And I just think it’s such an emotional and powerful story.

And I heard you speak recently on the topic of strategic fatherhood, and I heard you say that engaged, healthy fathers are important to the spiritual, emotional, intellectual and physical well-being and health of the children. And of course, I can’t agree more – because I grew up in a fatherless home. Take just a moment and set this up for us. What do you mean that fathers – healthy, engaged fathers are important to the spiritual development of children?

Greg: Well, there’s a – it’s called the National Fatherhood Initiative, puts statistics out on fathering on a regular basis. And some of the statistics are quite alarming. In essence, what they’re saying is – is that children who live absent their biological fathers are on an average, at least 2 to 3 times more likely – to be poor, to use drugs. To experience educational, health and emotional and behavioral problems. To be victims of child abuse. To engage in criminal behavior and so on. Just statistic after statistic.

Some time ago, Heart of a Warrior was brought in to Atlanta 03:43 Lakes Prison for several years to work with – with prisoners. And what I found is that most of these men – many of them had taken somebody’s life, but almost all of them lived in fatherless homes. And whether you’re a biological father or a father who has adopted their children, or surrogate father – is the key issue. Children need a male influence in the home. And so that’s what strategic fathering is all about.

And so, essentially – there are 3 different types of fathers. There’s the absent father, who is apathetic, oftentimes self-absorbed or self-centered – oblivious to what’s happening around. They may be physically present, but they’re not emotionally present. They’re focused on doing this. They feel that “Gee, I’m providing for my family, they should appreciate that.” Or, “They know I love them, I don’t have to tell them,” which is a huge error. Your children – by the way, man, have to hear it regularly that you love them. So an absent father is apathetic, self-centered, oblivious, focused on doing this. In the end, the child ends up being very lonely and feeling alone.

The second type of father, and it’s very prevalent here in – in western society, is the emotional father. They’re always at the dance recitals or at the hockey games. But in essence, they’re a kid in adult clothes. They feel that the best way to relate to their children is to be like them. So even when they have their friends over, they act like their friends. They’re joking and– There’s nothing wrong with joking and being jovial -but when you’re acting like the teenager or the adolescent, you’re not really being a father. Matter of fact, these types of fathers would rather be a friend. They’re more comfortable with that. But in the end, if that’s your fathering style – the emotional father – your children will ultimately tell you – either by word or deed that they wanted a father, not a friend.

Vince: Yeah.

Greg: It may be cool at the moment, but later on as they have their own children they wished they would’ve had a model so that they could manage their own families.

And then finally, the model that I prefer – and that I’m recommending to all of the listeners, is a strategic father. He’s observant, he’s aware of what’s going on in that child’s life. It may seem like he’s a warden on occasion, checking up on them. But it’s more for not trying to find out what they’re doing wrong – it’s finding out what they’re doing right. And then to underscore that for them. But learning what their personality temperament is, learning how they select friends, how they talk, what they’re interested in – all of these things are important for you to be able to engage them effectively.

A strategic father is also intentional. He’s not just sliding and gliding through life and expecting some traumatic thing to take place, and all of a sudden it’s going to correct the direction or the course of their child. They have to be intentional about it. Be strategic in their life. They have to be engaged. And finally, they have to be situationally responsive. You can’t react to a child the same way every time. And you can’t react to all of your children the same way all the time. It’s individual, and that’s what makes it sometimes difficult – but it can be done.

Vince: Okay so, I am – I’m listening to you, and I think you’re right on. Especially about the first 2, regarding western culture. Just anybody living in our country – you can see these people all the time, right? Like I go to my kid’s hockey games. I go to their lacrosse games, their soccer games. And you can see these types of fathers present on the sidelines. They’re either absent or apathetic, or they’re over-engaged in emotional – and you can – you can kinda see that take place.

And yet, you’re calling us to a type of fathering that may be a little bit out of our comfort zone. It may throw our family into a little bit of disruption, so to speak. Because we have to really – it sounds like – unlearn some patterns maybe that we picked up over time. Maybe we picked up through culture? And that can be often challenging. But I – I love these 3 types of fathers. Because you’re describing some things that we don’t want to be, and maybe something that we want to be.

How do we make this transition? I mean, you talk about absent father, you talk about the emotional father, you talk about the strategic father. How do we make the shift, Greg – to being more of a strategic father in moving away from the other styles?

Greg: Decide to do so. I mean, it’s a choice that you have to make. Just because you’re changing the dynamic of the relationship, moving from either being an absent father or an emotional father to a strategic father – is not a bad thing. It’s not something that you can slide into over the course of time. It’s a decision you have to make.

Sometimes it’s sitting your family down and saying, “You know what? This is the kind of father that I’ve been, and it’s not the kind of father I want to be. So I’m letting you know, and I’m taking the onus on myself kids, that I am going to be a better father. I am going to be more strategic in your life. And you’re going to have to cut me a little slack because I’m new at this. So I’m going to make some mistakes. But I want you to know, I want to be involved in your life. I want to help you navigate an ever darkening world.”

Vince: I – I love that. That is so powerful. Because really it might just start with realizing who we’ve been and making a conscious decision. And then – maybe it’s stepping into a family meeting?

Greg: Yeah, exactly.

Vince: And confessing some weaknesses, and saying, “Look, I want to change. I know that if – if a number of our fathers out there sit down and had that moment with their family, I think that would be a very emotional, transformative moment.

Greg: Yeah.

Vince: And by the way, when you speak things out loud, they tend to want to come to be, right?

Greg: Exactly. I mean, especially for men. We can think about things we want to do, or changes we want to make. But rarely do we ever accomplish them. It’s when we publicly declare them in front of people that matter in our lives. It gives us the courage to lean into our fear, to do what we need to do. But there are payoffs. And sometimes they’re incremental.

Just a couple of days ago when we celebrated father’s day – 4 of my grandsons came to me and gave me a card that they all signed. And as I opened it, I thought it was going to be the normal thing, “Happy Father’s day.” Each of them had written a paragraph about what I meant in their life. And about the grief that they had caused, and how I was – they didn’t use the term strategic, but that’s what they meant – and, “Thank you for being there for us, papa. Thank you for allowing us not to ever be separated. Thank you for helping us hold the line. Thanks for being a model.” I came to tears. You never know what registers with kids.

Vince: Yeah.

Greg: And sometimes you may not hear that message until they’re in their own 20’s or 30’s and they have their own family. But there is hope. It’s holding the line. Doing what needs to be done without the acclaim that sometimes comes with it. And they’re not – you’re not always going to be appreciated for being that in their lives, but there will come a point in time.

My – my oldest one – Brayden who’s now a, a certified welder in another city. He said to me this last weekend. He says, “Papa, I can’t tell you how many times it’s come to mind, the lessons you taught me – and it irritates me.” He says, “About being responsible, about doing the job right the first time. About fulfilling my promises, and I just want to thank you, papa.”

Vince: Wow.

Greg: I mean, I just got choked up.

Vince: Yeah, I mean that – not that we aim for hearing and having those moments, but that’s really what we want, isn’t it? Is to know that we as fathers have done a good job and that our children appreciate the things that we do for them.

Greg: Well and sometimes they won’t. But here’s another way to look at it, men – whatever you do for your children, do as an act of worship to God. They just happen to be the beneficiaries. Whether they appreciate it or not. As long as you are honoring your heavenly father by what you’re trying to do. Then that’s what matters. They just happen to be the beneficiaries.

Vince: Yeah.

Greg: So he’s the ultimate judge and evaluator.

Vince: Yeah.

Greg: And so, learning from what the word of God has to say. I mean – we would love to have been given a manual on how to raise kids as soon as they were born. But the fact of the matter is, we have been given a manual – it’s called the word of God.

Vince: Yeah.

Greg: That’s what you need to consult to become a strategic father, is the word of God.

Vince: Yeah, it’s still the aim, like I’ve heard you say before, Greg – it’s still Godliness, right?

Greg: Yes. That’s the objective.

Vince: The aim is Godliness, the objective is Godliness. And along the way, we act Godly. We encourage our children to become Godly followers. And if we get an accolade once in a while for a job well done–

Greg: That’s icing on the cake.

Vince: I know, it’s just part of the process, right? It’s, it’s – it’s part of the process of becoming a great and strategic dad.

Greg: And, and – it’s the idea that we’re all in the process of becoming, yet not having arrived.

Vince: Yeah.

Greg: So again, fathers – cut yourself a little slack.

Vince: Yeah.

Greg: Don’t give up, just because you made a mistake or you did something wrong. Make the correction, and make it immediately.

Vince: Yes.

Greg: Own it, and then do better the next time.

Vince: Yeah, absolutely – I love it. Thank you, Greg, again. Fantastic thoughts. The absent father, the emotional father, and the strategic father. And yes, we can reconcile. We can change, we can find new ways of doing things, and we can even stop our family in their tracks and say, “Look, I want to change, and I want to be a more strategic dad.” Well Greg, thank you again for being with us.

Well, guys, that’s the show. Thanks for listening. As we close, I want to remind you that none of this would be possible without you, your prayers, your financial support, and your encouragement keeps us going. Therefore, we would be honored to have you consider a monthly donation to Resolute. Even a small gift makes a huge difference for men around the country.

If you would like to give, just head to the website, beresolute.org. Click the word “store” on the menu bar, and then select, “donation.” All gifts to our organization are tax deductible. While you’re there, you may notice that we have great tools for men on our website, one being our free – yes it’s free- men’s Daily Devo. It is short, straightforward and sweet to get in your inbox on a daily basis. There is a button right at the top of the home page, entitled, “Men’s Daily Devo.” Sign up there, and while you’re there – poke around and notice all of our other content for men.

And as a reminder, I hope that you have enjoyed this podcast. But please know the time that we spend together is worthless unless you choose to act on it. So do something today by getting off the bench and into the game. And I will see you right back here next time on another edition of The Resolute Podcast.

Spiritual Leadership In The Home

Leading In The Home Resolute Mens Ministry

Spiritual Leadership In The Home

Everyone of us as husbands can do a better job of leading in the home. But this call often feels like a two-edged sword, and when we do lead, we can sometimes be quickly shut down only to discover that spiritual leadership is much more challenging than we thought. In this episode of the Resolute Podcast, Vince Miller and counseling expert Keith TerHaar discuss how to overcome the obstacles and build a simple understanding of spiritual leadership for men.

PODCAST:

LINKS:

Gary Chapman, The Five Love Language Assessment

TRANSCRIPT:

This is resolute and the resolute podcast where we make men better. I am Vince Miller, your host, and today we're in a series. We're entitling being a better husband. Today's topic is spiritual leadership in the home,

man. Welcome back to the program. If this is your first time tuning in, will thank you for joining us. The resolute podcast is produced multiple, multiple times each week. Come back often and feel free to add the podcast to your favorite rss feed or find us on itunes and remember, we exist to make men better because we know today's men face unique personal challenges in an eroding understanding of biblical manhood, so we desire to help men grow spiritually by guiding them toward a spiritual game plan that will launch them toward being better men, fathers, husbands, and leaders. Because we believe when you make one man better, everyone gets better. For more information on our spiritual mentoring program for individuals and groups, go to be resolute that org. We also have numerous great tools for men on our website, one being our free men's daily Devo. It's short and straightforward and sweet to get in your inbox.

Please check out our resources if you want to grow in your faith, but now let's dive in. Today we're looking at the topic of spiritual leadership in the home and over the next few episodes I'm going to be sitting with Keith Tearhar and we are a sharing with you about how we have sharpened our skill in our marriages, men and there's a couple of reasons that we've been setting together to share with you this wisdom. First because we have worked with men and marriages for about the last 20 years. Keith has been a professional licensed marriage counselor and I've counseled men passed orally for about a combined 40 years and since we both work with men, we share stories on how men are handling the issues of life and in hopes of finding better ways to address these challenges. We came together for a few podcasts here, so keith, welcome to the show.

Thank you. You know this, this topic of spiritual leadership in the home I think is one that is like almost emotionally challenging for guys. I think it's a hard topic to address because I, I think that some of us have tried it and failed, therefore we kind of give up on it. I mean, because I think we're kind of inspired by pastors and churches to lead in our home. We're told that we need to do it. We read it in the Bible and yet we're devoid on really what that's supposed to look like and how we're supposed to do it. Um, my question to you, to kick this off is, is part of this maybe a failed image of what spiritual leadership really looks like? Could that be part of the issue?

I definitely think it has been for me. Okay. And you know, even when I hear the term spiritual leadership in the home, I sweat a little bit, right? Because it's, it feels like this overwhelming responsibility of a Christian man. You know, that if you're really going to be the man God wants you to be, you better be a really strong leader in your home. And that leads to I think pressing and feeling like you have to make something happen and feeling like for me, responsible for the spiritual health of my whole family and while I want to be an influence there and I want to be a good model, I think to take responsibility for that was overstepping and taking me into kind of a setup situation where, you know, if I tried and it didn't work out that my kids and my wife didn't respond with. Thank you so much for that spiritual revelation. Then I, then I was a failure

a boy that is exceptional, Keith. Seriously. Because I, I think that part of it, it sounds like from what you're saying is misinterpreted expectations regarding the words spiritual leadership. My, and just to say back to you what I heard you say because I thought it was so good, is that we have this misconception when we hear the word spiritual leadership, that we are spiritually responsible for the faith of our family. When, when I hear you saying is we have a responsibility to influence it, not to own it personally. That really God is responsible for the nourishment and the care of our family, including our children and our wife. We just are part of the piece of the puzzle as we steward the resources of our home, including our family. So that kind of lets me down a little bit, but I don't hear you letting me off the hook completely. Right? Like spiritual leaderships got to mean something. It can't mean that I just sit around and don't do anything and be an imbecile. Right? Um, and it doesn't mean that I quit and give up either. So do you think that we fail to have maybe a good model for what this looks like then?

I did as much as I look back at my upbringing and I saw certain things that my, my dad did. I look at my family now in the current age we live in and things are very different. And so I think while there are certain things that gleaned from what my dad showed me, there are other things that are just so different and they require me to maybe take more time to try to understand what my wife wants and needs for me, what my kids do a. So it's a little bit of a game of figuring it out what they really need and trying to be faithful. I think the one thing I do feel like is be faithful to be doing and living out what I want my kids to see in me, you know, and it doesn't mean that, you know, when they walk in the room, I couldn't take out my Bible that show that I'm doing devotions, but it means that I'm doing, you know, I am reading my Bible regularly in and if I'm doing that, they are going to see me at times and they are going to hear me talk about my faith because it's important.

So if I'm not living that there's no, uh, there's no credibility to my leadership in that.

Yeah. You know, one of my challenges, Keith, was the fact that I didn't grow up in a Christian home, and because of that I never really witnessed what spiritual leadership looks like right until I moved in with my grandfather when I was in my teens, and then I started a witness. He was a Christian, so I started to witness what spiritual leadership in the home to look like and if I look back on that, it looked like reading the Bible together. It looked like sitting at the table, praying together. It looked like the occasional coaching or mentoring that came from my grandfather in a spiritual way. Spiritual discussions that were sometimes planned and sometimes impromptu. It was a number of different items that I witnessed, but after my grandfather was gone, before I even met my wife, I then found that I'm kind of on this journey alone.

Here I am, a guy with three teenage children right now trying to figure out how to spiritually lead my home. And most of the time I feel like I'm underperforming. To be quite honest with you. I do feel like this, this sense of regret or guilt or underperforming in spiritual leadership in the home and you know, when, when me and my wife first got married, we were first married. I was, you know, going to Grad School, getting my m div degree and I remember I, I felt this pressure to spiritually lead and I came home right away to share with my wife all the things I was learning in seminary. Right? And Oh boy, that was not a good experience. I will. I thought that I was doing the right thing to spiritually lead in the home and my wife felt like I was standing up a podium in the house and preaching had her and it really turned my wifi off to my spiritual leadership and it took years to reconcile that. Even today, I feel like I'm trying to make up for some of that last time, but I have found that there are certain spiritual exercises that work for me and my wife that worked for me and my kids and I've just slowly tried to import those. Can you share with me one that you use to lead your family in your home?

You know, a few years back when our kids got really busy in those middle school years and I had to drive them everywhere. I was spending hours in the car, right? Decades. The beauty of that is that you have a very captive audience and so there's opportunity to have meaningful conversations about life. For me, there was also an opportunity as we got closer to the destination to say to my kids, Hey, would it be okay if I prayed for you for a minute before you go to your game or your practice or whatever. And you know, teenage kids, they'll, they'll initially maybe roll their eyes a little bit or look at it you kind of funny and say, well, okay. And well it's something that I continued to do and it became very normal to them and I was glad that it became something that they felt like it's just what my dad does because sometime I do it with their friends too and I'm sure they're like, dad, really just what I did. And I missed that. So now that they're driving, I don't have that car time, but I do still make a point before they leave in the morning when I can to say, let me pray for you a minute. And um, it's one little thing, but it's one thing that I think they'll remember and it's one way that I think I'm living out of my worldview that, hey, before we do stuff, let's, let's bring that to God and pray for it. Asked his blessing on it. Whatever the case may be.

Yeah. I love that. I, you know, I, I, I think I hear multiple things in what you're saying, which is really powerful. It's like do simple things. Do things that are naturally a course of everyday life. Do them when they make you uncomfortable or sometimes your kids or family members to slightly uncomfortable. Don't overthink it. You don't have to over prepare for it. I mean, I hear so many things and what you're saying, and it helps me to bring down the expectations in my own mind about what spiritual leadership really looks like. I'm not responsible for their faith, but I'm responsible for influencing their faith is what it sounds like. Good spiritual leadership looks like you know. Here's a few verses. These are very familiar. We often read these, of course for our wives, right? But we should hear them as a husband, right? So Ephesians five, 22 through 30 reads, wives, submit to your own husbands as to the Lord, for the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body and is himself, its savior.

Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands, but then husbands, love your wives as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her. That sounds like spiritual leadership, right? That he might sanctify her so you're. There's some sanctification. They're having cleansed her by the washing of the water with the word so that he might present the church to in splendor without spot or wrinkle or any such thing that she might be holy without blemish. In the same way, husbands should love their wives that she might be holy and without blemish. I love that. I think that is describing that we have this opportunity to be in a sanctification process at home and we have the responsibility to care for. I mean it doesn't. He's not saying that you should stand up and preach the word to your wife or your kids. He's, he's saying he's saying that we should be a part of that process and I just, I love it because it brings us out of this, these false expectations and even some of this inward guilt that I have that I can do small things. So Keith, going back to your previous point, it sounds like a great call to action would be something as simple as finding a spiritual discipline that can engage your, you can engage your family members with like finding captive moments to pray for them.

Yeah, that's been my best one. I failed miserably at other attempts to sit them down and read something together and you know, let's have some worship time. You know, those are all good things, but they haven't connected with my family and my wife and my kids that they don't immediately submit in terms of obey that regardless, they, you know, they questioned me or they, they'll ask why or they'll need me to kind of build trust and rapport with them around some of these things. So I think to find something small that works, like you said, in those captive moments that, that is meaningful.

That's good. I let me add to that, that I thought of when my kids were really young. I used to pull out my guitar and I used to sing worship songs to them before bedtime. I would gather them all up on a bed and sing worship songs to him. Just a few. And then, uh, as, as my kids have gotten older, actually teenagers now. So my youngest one is 13 and it, you're going to laugh at this, but I actually play my podcast for him in the car. So instead of teaching him, I'm teaching him through radio and it has been such a discussion starter. It's remarkable, but we have a little bit of a 15 minute drive and I just turned on the podcast and play it and he asked me a question or two and we talk about it and then interesting. It's just so simple.

It is. No friend of mine had one throw it out real quick and he said his kids just loved it and it was at bedtime and he called it I think one question and so he would allow his kids to ask him one question, anything and and there was something just alluring about it to his kids that built this kind of energy and excitement and anticipation around it and when he wouldn't do it, they'd be like, Dad, what about one question? And he said it was just an incredible way to build relationship with his kids and you know, sometime the question was about, you know, something silly and sometimes it was much more serious, but it was a great way to connect deeply with this kid. What a great way to put yourself in the place of a mentor. Right? Right. For your children. That's really good. One question I probably not going to work so great. Yeah,

my wife, my kids. It's wonderful. That's right. That's right. Exactly. Well guys, that's the show. Thanks for listening. I hope you enjoyed the podcast today, but please know the time we spent together is worthless unless you decide to act on it and I want you to act on it. If I can help you in any way, I want you to reach out to me personally and send me an email at Info at be resolute debt org so guys, get off the bench, get into the game and join us next time for another edition of the resolute podcast.

 

Being A Better Father – Reading the Bible

SUMMARY: I think we all aspire to be great fathers. In fact, no one listening today sets out to be a bad father. Yet we know, that in that moment we reflect on how we have done as a father I would assume most of us understand that we have room for improvement in the spiritual leadership of our children. In today’s Resolute Podcast, Vince shares his commitment to being a better father by reading the Bible more.

RESOLUTE STUDY GUIDEREADING THE BIBLE

PODCAST:

TRANSCRIPT:

So guys maybe we are learning together in this series that we all want to be good fathers. I know I do. And let’s also agree, that we don’t want to look back on our time with our kids with regrets about the things we would have done, moments we would have leveraged, or things we would have said while our children were with us. So the only way to really move ahead is to consider what we want our future to look like and define or redefine it.

Just thinking this way could be a major paradigm shift for us as a dad. All of a sudden our eyes are lifted from the tyranny of the urgent, to the future, and then we address our short sightedness and begin to gain a longer view of life. Often a podcast like this helps us to see these issues with more perspective. And I am hoping some of my regrets will stir you, motivate you, and help you to gain a longer view of what it means to be a better father.

For those men listening today who aspire to be fathers, or current fathers who have young children let me say with clarity — listen to Christian men ahead of you who say, “you have a limited amount of time with your kids so gain some perspective from us and invest your time in them wisely.” Let me repeat that don’t just spend you time but rather invest it, while you have time.

And I think this is worth emphasizing, you really only get a few years with your children in a situation where they are with you quite often. Let men explain. I believe the years we have with our kids are very limited. I realized when my oldest turned 16 that her life and time with me drastically changed. In other words, I never saw here. I am serious, you think they still live at home but basically they sleep under your roof. They are now going to school, working, engaged in extra-curricular activities and they are rarely around. This essentially means my face-time went way down. And just so you know I was not prepared for this. Also looking back I felt like at about 12-13 years old the dynamic engagement with my children went through significant change. The way they talked and interacted just changed. And every psychologist listening today understands this. So really this leaves you with only a few impressionable years where you children are a real cognitive and captive audience in your home. And remember my teaching and training of them is not “done” but it just goes through a change that alters how we look at and understand our life with them. Remember we are stewards of their life for a short period of time and how we steward this time matters as they make their way toward being independent from us.

Just simply reverse engineering the future might be a first step for many of us, but we have to slow down enough to consider it. As I have been thinking through this series, one of things that has struck me is – that it seems like life moves so fast at times that reaction is the only possible response. While it does feel this way this is not the only possible response, but for busy parents this does feel like our reality on many days. So let’s slow things down a little by looking at some words from God. Today God is going to give us some encouragement that is timeless for us as fathers. We are dig into our deep heritage with God and look at timeless words that come to bear on our busy life. And keep in mind the reason for reading this words is to discover again how to leverage the time we have with our kids.

So today I am going to be reading from Deuteronomy 6:4-9. I think these are great words for us to hold to as they were a clear command with a promise. I choose this scripture today, because one of my goals this year is to spend more time in the word with my family and this text has punch. It is all about the Word and how God uses his word in our life so we can use it with our children.

4 “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. 5 You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. 6 And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. 7 You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. 8 You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. 9 You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.

So let me make a few observations here.

First we have to recall context when jumping into this Old Testament text. So the person communicating this is Moses. He is speaking and instructing Israel and delivering timeless truth that is so applicable to us today. He is giving the people of Israel instruction on how to stay close to God. And since he is functioning as the “parent” of Israel, we as men can glean some timeless truths from him that are critical to the leadership of our own family.

A second crucial observation, is that the whole context of this chapter and the preceding chapters focuses on the Word of God and the call through this to hold to God’s character. The commandment verses 4 and 5 is called the Shema by Jews. The word shema is a Hebrew word and is the first word of this sentence which is translated “hear.” This word is central not only to this chapter but to the whole book. As men who follow of Christ our base competency is to “hear,” and to “hear” in such a way that it infiltrates into all our being. Here Moses suggests as we continue into our heart, soul, and might. Which describes for me “how” or the way he wants us to hear. Not simply with our ears, but with our motives, attitude, and energy. This is a call to maximize the effort to hear. And through this I think Moses wants God’s Word and his divine character to seep into all areas of life. Let’s call hearing mandate one in this text.

This catapults us into a third observation which is the second mandate in this text – teaching. We are called not only to hear but to teach. The connection is important. And notice the amount of time invested in this teaching the Word. This should really capture our attention. Because Moses is not only telling us how to listen but how to teach. He is giving us the mandates with the methodology. So how do we do it? Moses suggests diligently. With diligence in all parts of everyday life. This suggests that Moses wants them to know that this is going to take effort through some specific activity. So here is how to be diligent in our teaching.

  • Teaching when sitting around at home
  • Teaching when heading to another location
  • Teaching as you go to bed
  • Teaching when you get up in the morning

So now we have a very simple and clarified understanding of what God wants from us as men in our homes. What is so astounding to me is that Moses makes a very strategic choice with Israel that cannot be missed in this context. For some reason, after all his years leading the people of Israel, he makes a very strategic choice to focus his energy and teaching throughout the book of Deuteronomy. The strategic choice is the head of household. Men this is us. And it is not rocket science. We hear. Then we teach others. And this takes time.

So let me interject a thought here. Because I believe there is a reason why Moses is encouraging this focused effort.

I believe Moses understands that as they enter the this new country that complacency is their greatest enemy. Their greatest enemy will not be the kingdoms that they will fight, but the comfort and complacency that comes from living in a country with limitless resources. Complacency, apathy, or laziness in a material rich society is the silent enemy of God because when we have everything we really believe we need nothing because we believe we can self-provide. Herein lies the beginning of a slow gradual fade away from a God-centered focus. Complacency is the enemy that they will face long after Moses is gone, and he is very concerned about Israel’s future because he knows that God’s people can easily forget if they become complacent in the their relationship with Him.

And don’t forget Moses has seen times of excessive wealth in Egypt as a son to the Pharaoh, and he has seen need in the dessert with the Israelites. Moses’ position at this very moment is to play the role of a caring father of men and help us to see the future. He wants me and you to understand what lies ahead, by sharing key principles for the time we live in.

So guys I cannot think of better words for us as fathers. We are called as men to hear and teach. And we should do this with a sense of urgency. Because we could choose in this world that is so full of resource to simply be complacent. Men we need to be taking control of our time and life that God has given us to steward, and leveraging every moment we have with our children. Hearing and teaching at every opportunity.

So let me ask you two of the most challenging questions that I think I could as you today.

  • How often do you read the Bible to your children in your home?
  • How often do you talk about the principles of the Word of God in your home?

How convicting are these two questions? And don’t count time spent at church, because the church is not your kids’ parent, you are.

And guess what, this can all change today. Like right now. So here is what I want you to do to break the silence. Send your family a group text with some scripture in it. Call you wife and read Deuteronomy 6:4-9 and share with her how these words convicted you. Gather your family together tonight for a family meeting, and resurrect the Word in your home. Men, it is never too late to redeem your home for Jesus Christ. And all you have to do, is step into the awkward silence, and fill in the gap. Or as I say get off the bench and get into the game.

Being A Better Father – Defining Manhood

SUMMARY: As a man who has been fatherless almost all my life, I have found that defining masculinity and manhood is a deceptively difficult task. Difficult, but not impossible. Finding a clear and precise definition is especially difficult if we turn to the world, rather than the Bible. What we need is a better definition of masculinity, and who better to define what masculinity is than the Creator Himself. Why waste the time and effort turning to culture, entertainers, and marketing experts for answers? Why not turn to the Designer who gave us definition at the dawn of time? In this Resolute Podcast, Vince shares 9 commitments of God’s man.

RESOLUTE STUDY GUIDE: NINE ATTRIBUTES OF A MAN

PODCAST:

TRANSCRIPT:

As a man who has been fatherless almost all my life, I have found that defining masculinity and manhood is a deceptively difficult task. Difficult, but essential, not only for my sake, but for the men I serve in ministry.

Finding a clear and precise definition is especially difficult if we turn to the world, rather than the Bible. Just consider for a moment what we learn about masculinity through our cultural environment. It generally doesn’t take long for a boy to encounter an erotic image, explicit story, sexual joke, or derogatory language; even if his parents successfully shield him from inappropriate content on television and the internet, his friends might pass along what they’ve seen and heard. And so a boy’s understanding of sexuality is often distorted from an early age. Learning about sex outside of the context of biblical intimacy deeply impacts a boy’s view of manhood. Meanwhile the entertainment industry offers us one flawed depiction of manhood after another, glorifying the womanizing activities of James Bond, the stoic toughness and emotional distance of Jason Bourne, and the obsession for greed, power, and control of Gordon Gekko. As we get older we are sold a bill of goods by drug companies who suggest that if we have male performance dysfunctions, we have “lost” our masculinity and need a cure to gain it back. And of course, there is a grouping of people that argue that masculinity should not exist, regarding it as sexist, chauvinistic, immature, old-fashioned and simply a social construction. They recommend nonidentity as the best way to create less division and more equality. But how do we understand what masculinity is when it appears so convoluted?

What we need is a better definition of masculinity, and who better to define what masculinity is than the Creator, God Himself. Why waste the time and effort turning to culture, entertainers, and marketing experts for answers? Why not turn to the Designer who gave us definition at the dawn of time?

When God created life, He used a unique and mysterious process. In Genesis 1, we watch as He creates by speaking life into existence—light, water, earth, vegetation, time, sun, moon, stars, sea creatures, and animals. In contrast, and with careful thought, man enters time and space not by spoken words, but by the celestial hands and lungs of God. We watch as God reaches down to touch and mold man from the earth, at last breathing life into him. With care and intimacy, He creates man using a distinctive method, but with no less care than the rest of creation. And ultimately we learn that God is embedding His image into man.

Then the Lord God formed the man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living creature. (Genesis 2:7)

In the surrounding verses of Genesis 2, we watch as God defines the purpose of this sole man prior to the creation of woman: the purpose of his work, expanse of his authority, parameters of his obedience, and even the swelling of desire—constructing a longing for companionship.

Then at this point in the creative order, God fulfills the desires of man; He creates woman by using another unique procedure. God, the celestial surgeon, performs a divine operation on man and extracts from his body the material to create woman. Here we see woman come “out of man,” unique in order and design and no less important—just different, and thus her name. While most of the world is uncomfortable with this process, order, and procedure, God is not; He bestows no less honor on either man or woman, and embosses both with His image for covenantal relationship. In union they represent one beautiful and complete reflection of God.

So as we take a step back and look again at masculinity, we can see it finds definition by, through, and in God alone. It is not the world that gives us the meaning, description, or classification of masculinity. Not the world, not culture, not the workplace. Ultimately and completely, masculinity is defined by God.

But, the plot thickens.

In reading the grand story of God and His people and searching for ideal representations of men among the kings, priests, prophets, warriors, and leaders we meet, we sense that something is amiss. Sin has damaged the reflection of ideal masculinity; one biblical hero after another is shown to be wounded, broken, flawed, prone to disobedience if not outright treachery. And yet within the same men we see small glimpses of masculine beauty: undeterred faith, unbelievable resilience, and unwavering truth. But again only glimpses.

Until…

God breaks into time and space again to give us the model man: His son, Jesus, is the depiction of divine manhood. In His life, true masculinity is defined.

As a man who lacked a biological father, I didn’t have someone around to demonstrate true and healthy masculinity. This absence has been a source of regret and sorrow within me, but this sense of longing has driven me to God for answers, fulfillment, and sonship. He is my one faithful father—my heavenly one. And in looking at the life of Jesus, I see a series of attributes and commitments that show me exactly how to live as a man faithful to the Father’s call. Within the organization I lead, we call these the commitments of the Resolute Man. If you are a man looking for true masculinity, I want you to consider whether these commitments would make a significant impact on your masculinity if actively applied in your role as a leader, employee, husband, father, and son.

ONE: A man commits to follow a greater authority.

To another he said, “Follow me.” But he said, “Lord, let me first go and bury my father.” And Jesus said to him, “Leave the dead to bury their own dead. But as for you, go and proclaim the kingdom of God.” Yet another said, “I will follow you, Lord, but let me first say farewell to those at my home.” Jesus said to him, “No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God.” (Luke 9:57–62)

TWO: He commits to sacrifice all else in the shadow of discipleship.

“If anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple.” (Luke 14:26)

THREE: He commits to determined obedience.

After this many of his disciples turned back and no longer walked with him. So Jesus said to the Twelve, “Do you want to go away as well?” Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life, and we have believed, and have come to know, that you are the Holy One of God.” (John 6:66–69)

FOUR: He commits to spiritual discipline.

And rising very early in the morning, while it was still dark, he departed and went out to a desolate place, and there he prayed. (Mark 1:35)

FIVE: He commits to abide in the word of truth.

So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” (John 8:31–32)

SIX: He commits to growth and production.

By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples.” (John 15:8)

SEVEN: He commits to carry out God’s mission.

Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:19–20)

EIGHT: He commits to love faithfully.

“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” (John 13:34–35)

NINE: He commits to brotherhood and community.

And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near. (Hebrews 10:24–25)

Being a Better Father – Serving

SUMMARY: I think we all aspire to be great fathers. In today’s Resolute Podcast, Vince shares how serving is catalyst for your leadership and the spiritual growth of your children and four ideas to implement now before time has passed you by.

RESOLUTE STUDY GUIDE: SERVE MORE

PODCAST:

TRANSCRIPT:

Men, I think we all aspire to be great fathers. In fact, no one listening today sets out to be a bad father. Yet we know, that in that moment we reflect on how we have done as a father I would assume most of us understand that we have room for improvement in the spiritual leadership of our children.

As I mentioned last time, the last few months for me has been a reflective season, as my oldest child, of my three kids, is now in her senior year of high school. This season has me reflecting and evaluating my effectiveness as father. Now this reflection has brought me to the conclusion that “yes” I could have done more to lead my children spiritually. And with this in mind, I have decided to address a short list of the things I wish I would have done more by not missing out on, but rather leveraging while my daughter is at home. I have turned these regrets into goals. So I have made 5 goals this year as a father. The first week I shared the first goals which was LISTEN more, and last time the second which was PRAY more, today we are going to be discussing the third of these 5 goals which is SERVE more. This is definitely something I wish I would done more, and something I am trying to proactively and practically changing this year.

So here is what I would like to do today. I want to look at a few verses out of Matthew 18 and then give you 4 regret free ways to elevate service with your kids  – with the outcome of increasing your spiritual leadership. Today’s text is Matthew 18:1-5, and gentlemen do not dismiss this text! Listen very carefully…

1 At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Who, then, is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” 2 He called a little child to him, and placed the child among them. 3 And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. 4 Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. 5 And whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me.

I just want to quickly reference only one observation from this text. With great priority men, I think we need to really reflect on the major issue of this text. It is the topic of debate in verse one. So let me say this strongly and clearly. I think we are far too often distracted by our own agenda and miss precious opportunities right in front of us. This is exactly what is happening with these men. They are so focused on their own agenda that they miss what is right in front of them. Of course, Jesus appropriately turns this into a teachable moment, but I wonder if the engulfment of our own agendas is the ultimate reason we live with regret as fathers? Just a thoughtful observation from these verses. Maybe we have regrets as fathers because we have been overly distracted by our own agendas. Hmmm – just a question to ask yourself.

Unfortunately this is major contributing to factor to not investing enough time into our children. And keep in mind this can be an ongoing issue because we know this was not the only time they debated this subject. This happens 3-4 other times in the gospels which we have record of, where the disciples are debating who is the greatest and so distracted by their own ideas of success. The one that kills me, is the one argument right after the Lord’s Supper. This means that Jesus’ impending death is just moments away and they are still debating this.

Men we can easily be distracted by many pressing issues but how we engage as fathers is critical. Taking the time to invest in the them in important during the impressionable years, especially when they are young, and if it ends up costing us time for our agenda – well it is worth it if we keep the long view and want to really invest in their eternity.

Another goal I am attempting to set is to serve along my kids more. While serving is not one of my spiritual gifts, I do love to serve people. It gives me great joy to do things for someone else, and all of our gifts and talents are to be directed to serve others. However, I think there is something special about serving alongside of our kids. This is something I have not done well with my family, and actually I am ashamed to admit it. Service is a powerful language and while I have served much throughout my Christian life, I have not served along side my kids enough. Numerous times, my wife and I have talked about doing this, but we just have not come full circle on this, and it seems that every time we plan something that something gets in the way in our busy schedules that seems to compete. And even as I admit this – I think this is unacceptable.

Maybe this has not been a struggle for you, but it has for me, only because I have not taken conscious action to implement it. Often this is because serving requires a lot of exhausting by-in and work! Serving requires time, energy, and money, but  often the greater obstacle is our kids themselves who will protest the required time, work, and flexibility needed to serve. While all this is difficult serving is the incubator for a spiritual metamorphosis. In the pain, struggle, and discomfort of service we find a greater purpose and even more we discover Christ himself.

Let’s note these words from Jesus from Matthew 20:26-28

“26 But whoever would be great among you must be your servant, 27 and whoever would be first among you must be your slave, 28 even as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

Now keep in mind these words fall from the mouth of Jesus Christ himself after the mother of James and John came to Jesus, asking for her boys to have seats of prominence in the future kingdom. Again the same issue that we have addressed above. Men were distracted by significance in their life and missing the point that significance is found in service, not the guarantee of a title. But don’t miss this —  service is actually where we are most like Christ. And when we serve with our children we have the opportunity to bring them close to mission of Jesus Christ and discover the way of his life. Because his life mission was to serve us, in every way, and for this reason he has earned the title “Servant of All.”

So here are 4 practical options I have been pondering for my family for the year, which I have been in active conversation with my wife about. I think it is critical to get practical, right? So the following are only a few of my ideas. This list could be much longer, but what I have discovered is that you have to start discussing it, and not give up following through too soon.

ONE | PLAN AND EXECUTE A SERVICE PROJECT TOGETHER. This year gather your kids for at least one service project that you do together from beginning to end. While we may direct our kids on this to a some degree, giving them some decision making power helps them have stake in the game. Let them come to some conclusion on what we can do as a family to serve those around us. I believe this does not have to be complex but it should be agreed upon, executed together, bathed in prayer, debriefed after, and repeated. Keep it simple – like head to a food shelf, rake a neighbor’s leaves, serve food to the homeless, support a missionary or sponsor a kid. But be actively involved in it. I believe when we get our hands dirty we simply learn more.

TWO | TAKE A FAMILY MISSION TRIP. This year we are hoping to take a family mission trip together. Foregoing the need for a vacation. For our teenage family this is within the realm of possibilities. Now this may not be the case for you, but instead of just serving our own desires on a vacation, we are hoping that a family mission trip with fill us more and create lasting memories we will never forget. I have never done this as a family and I am excited to report back, the experience. Over my lifetime I have been on mission trips to over 20 countries, and I have discovered that serving this way awakens the spirit and is a powerful cross-cultural teacher. Why would I not want my children to have this experience? And even better with me!

THREE | SERVE IN CHURCH TOGETHER. I truly believe serving together at church can be an active way to engage as a family. Perhaps some of my greatest memories with our kids were camps that I was serving at where the kids were also engaged when they we younger. While this was great, I was not serving along side of them. I think them witnessing our service is valuable. So perhaps you can engage in some activity as a family at church. Be creative, there are more options than you think. Every pastor at your church wants help – I promise you.

FOUR | TAKE A SPIRITUAL GIFTS ASSESSMENT WITH YOUR CHILDREN. This could be a huge opportunity for you, to take the spiritual reigns with your children. Give them a spiritual gift assessment and discuss their unique spiritual gifts with them as a family and how you and others see their gifts play out. Now if your kids are too young this may not work for you. But what is powerful about this, is that you start building a language to encourage your children and pray directionally for them. If you need a spiritual gift assessment we have one you can take online on our website that will immediately compile the data for you and give you a simple language. I would recommend that you take this first and discuss the use of your own spiritual gifts and how you put them to use in your life. To access this assessment just go to the home page – one of the sliders addresses this.

So men, you could probably come up with a million ideas if you simply just paid attention to the issues around you. But these are four simple ideas. I will say again, serving with my kids, is definitely one of the things I have not done enough. We need to do this more! So don’t wait until it is too late. You get approximately 18 impressionable years to lead your kids and teach them the importance of service. If you subtract the years between 16-18 that you see them less then you can lower it to 16. This is a short period of time to leverage in the opportunity.

So men get off the bench and get into the game, and do something.

Being A Better Father – Praying

SUMMARY: As fathers, I think we all aspire to be better dads. And I believe many of also know, that in that moment, when we privately reflect on how we have done as a father I would assume most of us embrace the reality that we definitely have room for improvement. With this in mind, I have decided to address a short list of the things I want to improve as a father. So I have made 5 goals this year as dad. Last time I shared the first which was LISTEN more. Today we are going to be discussing The second of these which is PRAYING more. Today 5 tactics for improving prayer time with your kids.

RESOLUTE STUDY GUIDE: PRAYING MORE

PODCAST:

TRANSCRIPT:

Men, I think we all aspire to be great fathers. In fact, no one listening today aspires to be a failure as father. But  as many of us know — this does happen. And I believe many of also know, that in that moment, when we privately reflect on how we have done as a father I would assume most of us embrace the reality that we definitely have room for improvement in the spiritual leadership of our children.

As I mentioned last time, the last few months for me has been a reflective season, since my oldest child is in her senior year. Those fathers who have been here know what I am talking about. This season has me reflecting and evaluating my effectiveness as father. I have talked to numerous dads, who have been through this season, who say that dropping their kids off at college, is one of the hardest and most reflective drives that they have made in their life. While we like to boast that we cannot wait for our children to leave the home, I would say almost every father hopes for a do-over in these moments. Often, I hear, that men drive home with the wheels of their mind spinning about the regret of not effectively spiritually leading their children. I assume this will also be true for me since it is my nature tend to be self-critical.

What this time of reflection has resurrected for me, is the fact that I grew up in a fatherless home. And I would definitely say that not having a good example is a minor set-back in understanding my role as a father and spiritual leader. But the good news is that we all have a Heavenly Father who is the model for all fathers and he has adopted as sons. And it is God who has handed us the truth so that we can build new legacies in places where there was none.

Now all this reflection has really brought me to the conclusion that “yes” I could have done more to lead my children. And with this in mind, I have decided to address a short list of the things I wish I would have done more, in this last year that my daughter is at home. I have in turn, turned these regrets into goals. So I have made 5 goals this year as a father. Last time I shared the first which was LISTEN MORE. Today we are going to be discussing The second of these 5 which is PRAYING MORE. This is definitely something I wish I would done more and something I am trying to proactively and practically change this year.

Before I dive in too deep, I want to make the general observation that everyone wishes they prayed more. Everyone. I believe even longtime spiritual leaders will tell you when asked that if there was one thing that they would change about their spiritual life, I bet nearly everyone would say that they would have prayed more. I believe even prayer giants would say this. So this issue is not really praying more, because we can all do this, but this issue is did we pray enough! And this is where are regrets begin. But let’s keep in mind we are talking about praying more with our kids which is a specific prayer activity.

So here is what I would like to do today. Today I want to look at a few verses out of 1 John 5 and then give you 5 tactics for improving for prayer time with your kids that you can apply immediately – with the outcome  of elevating your spiritual leadership of your kids.

So let’s look at 1 John 5:13-15. It reads…

13 I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life. 14 And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us. 15 And if we know that he hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests that we have asked of him.

I just want to quickly reference a couple of items here by making a few general observations about this text. First, we see that  God wants us to ask him and inquire of him anything according to his will.. Jesus encourages this as well in the Sermon on the Mount, to ask, seek and knock. Focusing on the activity of asking God. I think this very relevant to our daily lives as fathers. We simply do not ask enough and God is inviting us into this task. This is simply part of a vibrant relationship with God. Second, that when we ask this should be in line with his will and his truth. This means we have understand his truth and be connected to his will in His Word. Third, we see that God will hear us given the first two propositions are in place. That God is listening and we can have confidence that this is true. But not only the confidence that he hears but confidence in our approach of Him and how we come to Him. Fourth, I think it is important to see that we when do this we are living in a vibrant relationship with God, Jesus and his Spirit. That when we are engaging in this activity we are actually experiencing a faith expansion in our life.

Now I want to see this just for a moment through the lens of fatherhood and the topic of praying more with our children. Gentlemen, I can definitely conclude from this that when we pray more and often with our children that we are modeling a vibrant faith connection that is pivotal in the spiritual growth and leadership of our children. When we actively pray with our children, not just for them, but with them, they are    the recipients of an amazing spiritual interaction where they “see” (quote and unquote), the spiritual inputs and outputs of expanding faith in God. We are leading them to an experience with God where we are able to join in with them. And when we deploy healthy prayer patterns then our children get to witness us asking submitting to God, his will, and the rewards of this relationship which imparts an understanding our faith in God and thus fuses the activity of faith to them in a way that they will never forget. So please be convinced of the power of praying with your children.

But let’s dive into a few tactics. I want to make sure and give you some real tangible goals or activities that will make this real for you. Here are five which I have sent for myself.

ONE: SEND A PRAYER TEXT. So many of our kids have phones. I know everyone of mine do. I would suggest a group text or an individual text on a regular basis. Just let your kids know you are praying for them. Perhaps some of my favorite texts are short prayers. Just a few sentences long and focused on them and their concerns. Now they may not always respond, which often happens, but I know they are getting them and reading them.

TWO: ASK FOR THEIR REQUESTS AND FOLLOW-UP WITH THEM. I am also trying this year to more frequently ask my kids for their prayer requests. Now I will say they do often say that there is nothing that they need prayer for, but we all know this is not true. They have tons of things to pray for, all we have to do is listen. Going back to the last podcast on LISTENING MORE, I think praying for their prayer requests is a great listening activity. Just asking them helps you take the conversation deeper than cliché, fact, and opinion and into the things that are deeper on their heart, soul, and mind. I would recommend committing to a list or memory the things that they want prayer about, then praying with them, and then following up later. The follow-up is key. This communicates that you care but also you get to discuss our God did or did not answer that prayer request. These moments can be profound moments and it is in these moments we understand the deeper meaning in 1 John 5.

THREE: HAVE A FAMILY PRAYER TIME. Men we need to be praying with our family. If you have not done this you need to. The first time I was every part of a family prayer time was when I was 25 years old. My wife and I were recently married and her parents wanted to pray for someone who needed prayer in their family and no kidding we all prayed together. Since I grew in home where this did not take place, this was very emotional for me. It was powerful and almost shocking for me as a Christian. Men, you need to pray with your family. You may not do this everyday, but I would break the silence and do this tonight if you have never done this before.

FOUR: HAVE A TIME AND PLACE WHERE YOUR KIDS CAN SEE YOUR PATTERN. Now I am not suggesting this to be showy or inauthentic, but that they witness our real example. One of the things that has been on my mind, as one of my regrets, is the fact that I get up early every morning before my kids which means my praying and reading of the Word have been out of the sight of them all their life. Now they do see me often studying the Word, but my private discipline often happens outside of their line of sight. This is a regret of mine, since I know a few kids witness their father reading and praying, and often this does leave a permanent imprint on the spiritual perception and discipline of their own life. So if you have a devotional pattern that can be witnessed by your children, I would recommend this.

FIVE: CALL AND PRAY. I think we often take for granted the powerful communication tools in our pockets and redeeming their use with the activity of prayer. I find some of the most powerful prayers are prayed right over the phone with my kids. I would recommend calling your kids and praying for them in a focused way right over the phone. If you re both in a place that is not distracting this can be incredible. And this makes for very productive drive time.

So me here is my challenge for you. Men, I want you to pick one activity over the next week and deploy it immediately. I know these simple tactics and goals have helped me to elevate my prayer time and effort with my kids over the last few months and I would love to have you join me. So here are your choices:

  • SEND A PRAYER TEXT
  • ASK FOR THEIR REQUESTS AND FOLLOW UP WITH THEM
  • HAVE A FAMILY PRAYER TIME
  • HAVE A TIME AND PLACE TO PRAY
  • CALL AND PRAY FOR THEM

Pick one and do it right away, and then repeat it a few times this week.

 

>