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Embracing Your Role as a Family's Spiritual Leader

Focus on the Family / Jim Daly
The Truth Network Radio
October 16, 2020 6:00 am

Embracing Your Role as a Family's Spiritual Leader

Focus on the Family / Jim Daly

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October 16, 2020 6:00 am

Jerrad Lopes offers his insights on God's purpose and plan for a father's spiritual leadership of his family and encourages dads to embrace God's grace for their imperfections and to rely on His guidance for fulfilling their role as a leader.

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And I felt like the prodigal son who runs to the father and has the feast with the father and then that night and sneaking back out and and and I'm just like man I just so relate.

That's Jared lopes. Our guest on today's episode of Focus on the Family explaining how you don't have to be perfect dad to be used by God, and you might be a new parent or give adult kids wherever you are on that spectrum. This discussion is going encourage you to be the dad but God is destined you to be welcomed. Your program on John Fuller and your hostess focus president and author Jim Dale John this Wednesday to be a little uncomfortable herself well as a dad.

There are many times when I know I don't have it all together. You feel that was all. The truth is we've all felt that way at some point trying to raise our kids. I think his men. It's easy for us to act like we do have it figured out that we cannot fake it, but deep inside. Many of us wonder if we actually can measure up to the job in the great news is, Jesus meets us where were at in our imperfections and in our mistakes. Thank the Lord, you have that. So if your dad to stay with us for I think a fun conversation that should really inspire you to keep going into be the spiritual leader in your home that you can be in our guest. As I said, is Jared lopes he's the founder of dad tired.

It's an online community of men who are striving together to lead their families well. He's married to Layla and they have three children and I he's written a book called dad tired and loving it. Stumbling your way to spiritual leadership and of course I will recommend you stop by our website to get your copy the link is in the episode notes Jared welcomed Focus on the Family how man so good to be here with you guys. Are you grew up without a dad and I know that feeling. What was that like for you and what impact did it have on you. I know what it had on me. In terms of insecurities and other things but how to not having data in your home and what happened was I mean it's still having an impact on me. I'm in my early 30s and I and I would can confidently say it. It still affects me to this time in my 50s and I say yes it out till they're absolutely so my dad left when I was three. He was a professional musician. He is a professional musician and he my mom and I were never married. I think that they can have a fling had me ended up having my sisters well and when I think you try to stick around for as long as he could and then just realize that the whole dad thing was, and can be a good fit for him and so he left and I was three, I remember as a kid.

Even I would's arm member playing basketball in my driveway.

I have very vivid memories of this hotplate possible my driveway and I would picture him sitting on the steps coaching me and but he wasn't he wasn't there an address or member thinking man like I can't wait to be a dad one day and I I'm just I'm positive that I'm going to be the best dad and I me to be the dad that I was wanted, which hasn't played out. I don't know if my boys have enjoyed me coaching them. It's kinda like he can write you be that bad that you didn't have and then we tried to sometimes your kids don't really embrace it.

Wyman that's honestly that's the heartbeat of dad tired is I in my mind for years.

Thought I was going to be the best on the world and then I became married and I became husband and became a father and like all men, I'm not nearly as good at this as I had pictured that I would be for my whole life and that's the first time I really realize like I'm in a need some help beyond myself here because I don't have what it takes in me to be the kind of doubt that actually want to be here that he felt God wants me to be and let let's touch on that you got married pretty young really and today standard 22 and Layla.

Your wife. Let's get in the little bit of that insecurity as a guide marrying somebody didn't have a dad tell you what to expect. What's going to happen, what did you trip on early in your marriage and then when kids came kids came fast for you right now so Layla and I met I was a pastor a church in Portland. We were hosting a Chris Tomlin concert at the church. Layla came to that concert the system perfect Christian way to meet your daily grant so were hosting common see of the concert she walked in and my job as the pastor that I was to welcome everyone.

I thought I'm really gonna make sure she feels welcome.

I don't know exactly what I really want you to feel welcome here. Let me give you a tour of the ultra introduced myself to her and we ended up talking in habits up talking for the last 11 years, but from that day, the day I met her until the day we set I do was nine months so we had a very short courtship. I just knew if I don't ask you to marry me, someone else is going to really quickly, so I better get on the site so I asked her to marry me and we had kids nine months she got pregnant nine months into our marriage. Silent was fat a lot of lot of fast things happening. And again I thought to be a great husband and be a great dad and I would say nothing exposes your sin better than marriage and having and I member the first time so just a dive right into can add depth here. I'm in the first time we were early on in marriage and actually confess to Layla that had looked at pornography and I was a pastor at the time as a young guy and I just felt such heaviness like man I I am breaking marriage covenant here and and I need to confess this to my wife and I did and I saw the pain in her eyes, and I thought, man, my sin now carries twice the weight and thinking through and I think she was extra pregnant with our first and I thought when I was a single guy. It was one thing to say and kinda deal with the consequences of your sin, but now as a married guy and a soon-to-be father, like my, my sin carries twice, three times.

Eventually, four, five, six times the weight like man I I need to figure this thing out because I am not the kind husband or dad. I thought I was going to be and I just I mean you don't realize how much sin you have. You don't realize how much anger you have and how much impatient you have, how selfish you are until you get married and have kids. It's so true and II appreciate the vulnerability mean I never thought it about it quite that way in terms of the weight of that sin particularly good for you and you know I'm sure some women particularly say what how did Layla respondent did you guys get through it and how are you doing in that area well I mean I think God is so gracious you Genesis talks about how God creates for Adam a helper right and I think that beyond my wife being a soulmate or best friend or a travel partner a lot of things I thought she would be in marriage, naďvely going to marriage beyond all that, like Layla is a helper to help me become more like Jesus ask you this.

You know, one of the problems I think with transparency, especially marriage you set it up really well. Saying marriage is hard for us sometimes to be honest in etc. and so I member guest one time said that men are still like little boys we hide from those bad things we do and I don't know that our wives understand that that mechanism then us to go hide when we steal the cookie and then you can go from there.

Why is that vulnerability so hard for us. Why do we fear being honest with our our wives man just hit such a nerve because you as I now spend my all my days working with men I did. I literally just said this to the dietary community. Two days ago I the more I interact with men, the more I'm convinced were all just boys in adult masks trying to make our way in this world to try to figure out if I'm really yeah so true. I was just in Montana speaking recently and they're all real men.

And that's what I'm saying is like you know the ins men unite men's mission and I watched as their walls came down in some of these guys were trying so hard to fight back tears and eventually they just broke down. I thought man were all just boys I not entered into your point. I've heard a lot a guy say I feel comfortable confessing to God my sins and my shortcomings but I don't feel comfortable confessing to my wife and I think Manfredi wife listening. This is if you can do will give your husband one gift is to create an environment in your marriage where you can say husband I see what God is doing in you and this is a safe place because I'm partnering with God to help you become the man that God is created you will and in fairness I get this to from the wives. I mean, were usually hurting them right in their area of vulnerability, especially in that area talked about in our family that crushes them as women are not enough for you and all those things but there's that whole new array of things that emotions that we can wound their wives with an unintentionally I think most the time that Jared let's go to a story in your book that I thought was really funny because in the title Satan's cesspool immediately could have made these things that the better. But this was a great little outdoor experience. All of us guys again relate to what happened at Satan's cesspool. What is yeah so I was it was right as I was getting out of high school, my friends asked me Haiti Jared you want to go on a float on the American River with us. In sacrament I said absolutely I love being on the water anything nasty with water. We had been goofing off just being a bunch of young dumb young guys is over floating have a good time and at the end of our trip. My buddy said hey I you want to get in the inflatable kayak and I'll get in your innertube will swap and so I said okay so I got in his inflamed kayak and I'm kind of an introvert.

Sometimes little bit of a loner.

Some like a minute. Go up ahead of everyone and I just kind of enjoy some peace. So I am paddling very calm, peace wide, I'm just when board shorts and flip-flops.

No T-shirt on and I'm just now – no helmet, no vest know how it is very understated. Relax and enjoy a nice calm time on the river and two guys come up behind me and I can hear them say as I'm just kind of in my nirvana. They say amen. Have you ever done this river before and my I turned around and there and Whitewater kayaks with wetsuits on and in life jackets and helmets and I turn around him like what he said have you ever done this river before and I'm kind of little punk kid in my cleaning done.

This river before I float aplenty, rivers, and this it would just be careful because Satan cesspool subhead, and I thought oh my clutch and I feel like this, you got your attention yet just as they said that the water the current picked up Jan so all of a sudden I find myself in very fast-moving water and I realize I'm on minute like this is there's no show map and as we get closer. The horizon actually see people on shore taking pictures of these kayakers going off of this wonderful and so I just think I this is it, man were were going for and I hit that waterfall man and I immediately my inflatable kayak folds in half. I get tossed out and I just I get stuck to the bottom and the waterfall is just pushing me under and hidden rocks and just pray for my left. My life got please let me die. Please don't meet these only die and is going to get pushed out and I'm laying there on shore and Mike in the world just happened but I tell that story in the book because I think so many guys actually think men and women get into marriage thinking it's going to be relaxing, float down the river by this is just can be a fun relaxing time and I say you need to be married longer than six months before you realize this is seen separately. This is a lot harder than I thought it was going to be what's a great analogy and it really is one of the things you mention your book is time.

And you know I think we that would be my thing. I don't think it's an ego thing. I think for me I could just get so busy and I neglect and I remember a story and I like you directed this and then talk about yourself as a pastor was 11 years and how you tried to divide her time between people: on you and your family your own family by this youth pastor told me once he said you know I was really busy at this time I had a four-year-old daughter came home from youth event I needed to shower quickly get back to the church in order to have a team get together my four-year-old daughter came up to me wanting to hug me and I said honey, I'm sorry I gotta go teach people about Jesus. And she said will daddy when you and teach me about Jesus is not a cutting line coming out of the mouth of a babe right and so he quit that job and got on 8 to 5 job at GM in Detroit. There so he could be home at night to be the father to that little girl but that's such a great example especially with ministry and then you know different vocation that allows you to be there, speak to that white man I think so many guys struggle with this. I think part of it has to do with we feel better. Often times at our jobs and we feel that we do at home.

I can go to work and get rewarded. I have a paycheck coming in a boss might pat me on the back said he did a good job. It's a very calm river right it's a call exactly and I and I kinda know what I'm doing and the notes expected to me and then when guys get home. They don't quite know their role as husband and dad and so often times I don't know if it's a time think honestly I don't know if it's in the US, guys. You they say why don't have enough time to spend my family kids and working so much but you also have time to play fantasy football and you're also watching some Netflix and you're on your phone and I yeah you got time in yet time.

I think you just feel more comfortable at work and CF Deb on his conversation with yourself like why am I why don't I want to be home and want to give the intentionality to my wife and kids that they really want from well and that was your dilemma right that mean when your pastor. These 11 years you were noticing things at home or going quite right to explain your personal story in that regard. Yes.

So for me I had you know II had to come to the conclusion like okay I this is in a time issue. This is an intentionality issue and I had it I had a mentor tell me one time he's injured you have a million different job titles.

By the time you die. I'm confident you'll probably have a million different things on your business cards by time you retire.

He said, but you will die a husband you will die a father and you will die a disciple go crush it at those things don't go do really well at the slit of the stricken husband and father disciple.

Those will go with you to the great while and I and and and for him. He was really successful in business and I thought man okay if this is priority to him. I want to make this party for me at let's talk about devotions with our children.

I mean, that's one of the things you know I think every Christian home. This becomes a little bit of the battle between mom and dad not in front of the kids, hopefully. But you know honey are you to do some tonight with the kids some spiritual thing. Have you heard that all my gosh I hear daily in our Facebook group and on our own like you know I think that prompting is a good thing I'm not getting unwise for reminding us it would be good to teach the kids something spiritual but there is that I think generally with men and women. There is a different approach to doing this. I mean, my wife's a great example. She was a chemistry major, so she's really sorted out. I mean she's got her plan. She can go into nights can be 30 minutes is smarter than she smartly made absolutely no doubt about that. She's much higher on the SAT, but you know the point of that is that she wants something a little more formal and then I'm a guy driving on the road and I see some illustration all talk to the abortionist just like Proverbs 3 right and and I use in the moment moments to really talk about Scripture how that applies.

I think both are valid. Neither is invalid but but we tend to esteem things differently so hot. How do we manage that his men had a we manage you know mom's expectation of doing something more formal and there were not meeting it. What I mean what you just said is such a beautiful example because will look at what Jesus did, he did help her. He had the times were they were studying the Scripture and then they would take the Scripture and apply them in real life: love your enemies.

If some but how often should should you forgive someone, one of his disciples asked and he basically said you never stop forgiving right and so they're hearing that's in the Scripture and then someone comes to rest Jesus and that disciple is now chopping the ear off the guy and Jesus is saying put your sword away so he's doing both. Let me teach you what the Scripture say about how to follow Jesus and now let me show you how to put those in the practice in this is what a debt like a dad. I want to be a spiritual leader does both. We study God's word. We have times we actually break open the Bible and read but then I'm using every opportunity that I possibly can. I was going to ask you just as you're speaking there and thinking about the guy that wants to do what you're saying but he doesn't have a clue on really how to take that first step 20 finding out with guys that works well will so that's majority of guys. I mean every every guy in our dietary community. That's what they're saying if you can.

It's an interesting enough you go to the park if I go to any park right now.

They're going to be dads were playing with their kids going down the slide. There can be dads were changing diapers were doing more things than most of our dad stayed right there swinging the pendulum hard the other way and so we have a lot of really engaged as but if you asked that dad do you feel like the spiritual leader of your home, you feel like you know how to point your family to Jesus, they would say no I don't. I don't know where to begin. And that's will return do like with that tire were trying to acquit guys give them actual very practical tools so they can step into that role as the spiritual leader you know at Jerry to do such a good job in the book explaining to guys how to turn those situations into spiritual moments. I think she for this is really funny because I can relate to this.

It's something going on with the water again you love water, you said in your kids in a cell phone or two cell phones or maybe 20 cell phone. So what have full incident look at is yeah well it's a long story, so I'll give you the short version, but we were fishing with my head my family in town.

We were fishing at a dock my my sister caught a fish. She was so excited and cut efficiency was a little girl. She said take a picture pulled out my phone took a picture went, but the phone back my pocket.

It fell into the river without two days later I take my daughter out and my son fishing and my daughter says I'm bored. Daddy can I plan your phone like no, don't you remember what just happened to daddy, please. So I give into her so little adhesive yeah I hand her the phone put her in the middle this big dock she could drop the phone in any direction and is not in the land in the water while my little girl at that time. He thinks you for five years old all her patients had her patient's tank had run empty that day because the Internet wasn't moving fast enough for her little pepper pig video or whatever she was watching and in her frustration.

She took that brand-new iPhone that I just bought two days earlier with cash, no insurance through that thing.

As far as she could into the middle of the river and I will say this, that was the most embarrassing moment of my parenting journey thus far as how much I yelled at her.

I'm confident people were called the cops like this get some's going on down there, but I was so furious I will bet you were like $1000 fear is that well again. It just shows how the imperfections that we have and I think that so much of the battle for some of us I mean if you're a type A kinda guy you're in trouble. Does God's coming to root that out and it's not your wife. It's not your kids. It's the Lord working through them maybe to say I got a little different approach to life for you type A dad and here's how it's going to happen right will yet so we often times we think that our kids and our wife. You know were there to help shape them Swisher kids man God is using every dad knows this, God is using our kids to help make us more like so when you look at the characters in Scripture in the book you speak to your favorite and I think that's Peter so I think Peter's a good. Most guys like Peter because these messing up all the time and we relate to that. That's why we say we like Peter does were like Peter right so how does Peter relate to your daily troubles and why do you identify with him so much will Peter always says in a ready fire aim. That's Peter's yet yet he he says something and then later ease get rebuked by Jesus and yet he's Jesus one of Jesus's closest friends know what he says to Jesus Jesus IT pulled him aside says I just want you know I'm never going to deny you right every Olevia that night he did. He denied him three times ages is a mess and I look at myself and how often I was just praying this morning got and I'm drawn to you. And I felt like the prodigal son who runs to the father and has the feast with the father and then that night and sneaking back out and and and I'm just like man I just so relate to that what Peter was going through this constantly just fumbling up my journey of trying to fall in love with Jesus. It captures the spirit of a man. I mean, it really is a man you know I want to be this, but quietly I'm not that, and that's the battle that's the struggle. I know what I should be when it comes to all these behaviors and things but not measuring up and I injured your pastor so you know this, but I mean this is where Jesus has to come into your life as a man and repair those breaches that you've had for whatever reason, the reason you can't measure up your insecurities, your lack of confidence. Whatever might be and I say make a pitch right now the guy the father and the husband who isn't measuring up what they gotta do first thing spiritually to move in the right direction so there I think there a lot of guys who aren't leave their families because they're ignorant.

They did not have a leader to show them how dad somebody to teach in, but I think there are more guys who know what they should be doing and they're not doing it because they are burdened with Shane. I think there are so many guys who are paralyzed by their shame and they feel like, how could I leave my family to a God that I don't personally feel close to and going back to Peter.

Peter denied that he even knew Jesus as a powerful moment where Peter looks at Jesus as he's denying him write the to look at each other. They make eye contact and then Jesus dies, that's a bad day for Peter yeah is a real bad day. The next time Peter sees Jesus.

Jesus has breakfast ready for him after he is risen up again.

He has breakfast ready for him.

Peter comes off the boat from fishing and Jesus cook some breakfast. The reason I tell that story is because there a lot of guys who think I need to hide from God because I have way too much shame and the truth is that is not the God of the Bible, the God of the Bible on your very worst day has breakfast ready for you. Okay, so I would tell it back. I back I man turned away from shame because there's a God who really, really wants to be near you think about Jesus our God in the Garden of Eden. What was God doing on the worst day of history is all of creation was collapsing. He was taking a walk, God can handle your worst day so tell that guy man you feel like you to darken shame turn to Jesus, the God of the Bible wants to be near you you you have so many great illustrations of the book. I want to end on a pretty funny story how God got your attention about doing ministry in your community you wanted to sell a bad but you had it all figured out how you gonna do this because it was heavy you make in all the right guy measurements here. Fill us in on that story, so I'd been in the season where I really wanted God to show up and do miraculous thing is just praying got shops off your glory. And during this time we were moving from an apartment to home and we had got everything out of this third story apartment no elevator so everything on stairs and so we had this very heavy bedframe as a last thing to move and I tell my wife I don't want to move this thing. It's a hassle, so I put it online for sale and I put in there. Whoever buys this you need to show up in a be ready to haul it yourself. It's very heavy so this guy shows up. He said he wants to buy it and that he shows up and he's by himself and Mike do what you do what you do and I said it's very heavy. Got shops.

Anyway, I'm I'm frustrated already at the transaction.

Okay so were sitting there and I'm telling them here's how the bedframe is broken down how you want to put together and as I'm sure saying all this to him.

I just feel the prompting by the spirit give him the bed, given the bedframe and I'm like the insult to injury round like no only absently not yet one Hudson friends yeah yeah exactly. I don't want to haul this thing down and now not to get money for so absolutely not do this while the spirit over and over and over and just pushing me and eventually I was even a cheerful giver.

I was I was reluctant as Mama came and you can have the bedframe on that you can have the bedframe he said oh my gosh, what, and I try to make it spiritual. Like you, I'm blessed to be a blessing and try to throw up. Make it all Christian but were hauling this heavy bedframe down three flights of stairs, and he stops and he says he managed want you to know my wife to serve me with divorce papers and I don't have any furniture, and so the fact that your giving me this is like it's really helpful and do. I just felt like I'd been praying that God would show off his glory and he was using of bedframe. Even in my reluctance to bring the kingdom of heaven down here to earth in the sky why you know, again, I appreciate that vulnerability. I think this is a guys life. This is what we are as husbands and fathers and were enough so often were misfits because were not perfect in this life and were certainly looking forward to the next, but you've done a wonderful job pulling these thoughts together. Jared, I appreciate again your honesty were all learning as we go right and that's the bottom line and I would like for you, our listeners and viewers on you to get a copy of dead tired and loving it.

I think it has all the right mixes for us of humor. Stories like you've heard and no admonitions to get it going and do the right thing. So I think it's that wonderful blend if you can make a gift of any amount to Focus on the Family will say thank you by sending you a copy of the book and as I often do I trust that people are partnering with us in ministry. If you can afford it get in touch with us will get it in your hands.

Just like the bedframe right will send you the book so you can read it and will trust others will cover the cost of that but Jared thanks again for being with us really really good stuff is good to be here. Thank you so donate today and get your copy of dead tired and loving it. When you call 800 the letter a in the word family or the link is in the episode notes and by the way, we've got some extra video content with Jared really encouraging practical tips for dads on managing life and family that link is in the notes as well, and that while you're at the website.

Be sure to download our mobile app, the new Focus on the Family mobile app has lots of great content. This broadcast and so much more and coming up next time on this broadcast help and hope for the mom who worries that she's messing up her kids.

I think there's a lien marks beside my daughters in the carpet because I was kneeling beside her after she went to sleep, crying out to. You've got to help me. I don't know what I'm doing and all he spent time with and on behalf of Jim Daly, and the entire team.

Thanks for joining us today for Focus on the Family I'm John Fuller inviting you back. As we once again help you and your family thrive in Christ

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