Hey guys, David Robbins here, President of Family Life, and I'm joined here with my wife Meg.
And look, we don't need to convince you that we are living in dangerous days and times. But at Family Life today, we don't spend a ton of time focusing on the scary culture wars, but on you as families following Jesus faithfully in our cultural moment. So our goal is to equip you with solutions, not problems. Here's one of the ways we do that. Every single day, we engage in positive, uplifting conversations that reflect God's best for your relationships. This program is for you. And our plan is to be here for you every single day in 2023. You can join this mission to cultivate healthy relationships by investing generously right now while your gift will be matched dollar for dollar and double your impact.
Stick around and we'll give you more information later in the program. So here's my question for you today. I don't know, besides my incredible hair that I had when we started dating, what was it?
It's no longer here. That drew you to me. I mean, I literally used to think I had a good head of hair and so much for that. But, you know, when we started dating, it wasn't my hair. Well, you were super cute. You still are super cute. I'm not looking for that.
But. Welcome to Family Life Today, where we want to help you pursue the relationships that matter most. I'm Ann Wilson. And I'm Dave Wilson. And you can find us at familylifetoday.com or on the Family Life app.
This is Family Life Today. I think one of the things I saw in you was you're a leader and, well, maybe it's more of two. People are drawn to you. You're funny.
I didn't set this up for you to compliment me. Okay, but let me get to the biggest thing. I remember as a believer watching you, we were both really new in our faith. And I remember thinking, this guy is going to do something with his life for Jesus. And I want to be a part of that because he's running fast. And I feel like I'm pretty fast running after Jesus too. Oh, yeah.
But I thought, I want to, like, what would it be like to change the world together for the kingdom of God? Well, I remember you saying to me early in the first couple months, you're the first guy I've ever dated that knows who he is and where he wants to go. Yeah. Do you remember saying that? Yeah. And there's something about you too that you didn't really care what people, like you would be dumb in front of people. You'd try anything. You were just, you were uninhibited.
And I didn't have any of that. Well, I think, you know, we're bringing this up because I think every man wants to know who he is and why he's here. And I think every woman does too as well.
I do too. Yeah. But we've got in the studio back with us today, Brant Hansen, who's written a book about what men need, what we need in a man.
It's called The Men We Need. Yeah. It's a great book title as well. So, Brant, welcome back. Thank you.
So glad to be back. I mean, even as you hear us discussing this, you're over there smiling. What are you thinking? I was wondering about heaven. You know how there's going to be reunions? I was wondering, are there going to be guys who later to be reunited with their hair? Will this be a tearful? It better be.
Like he'll come running down in front of the crowd. That's mine. So that's what I was thinking about.
It's probably not the most mature thought, but let's be honest. I hope my hair just comes meeting me at the pearly gates. There it is. We're back together again. Dave was giving our son.
Reunited and you feel so good. He's back with his hair. When our son was three, Dave was giving him a bath. And our son, this is big, he's very analytical and he keeps staring at Dave's head. And he finally says to Dave, Dad, how old were you when your head started sucking your hair back inside? That's how his brain works. I didn't laugh because I didn't know exactly how old I was.
I was like 19. By the way, Brent, you've written a book called The Men We Need, God's Purpose for the Manly Man, the Avid Endorsement, and Any Man Willing to Show Up. You're married with a couple of kids. We talked yesterday about your vision from scripture of what a man is called to be. Say it in a minute or less. Absolutely. I think it's Adam's job to be a keeper of the garden. That's the specific job that he was given. And you can't be passive about it because he actually was passive and we're still paying the price for it. Yeah, I was going to say he was given a clear vision and yet he ended up not doing it.
He's like the picture of what we shouldn't do even though we know what the vision is. Yeah, he's given this place to tend and it's partnering with God thing. And being a keeper of the garden means you're protecting this space and providing for the space and cultivating. And I think about that in my own life, like the people around me, protecting them and helping them bloom and thrive.
Again, it's not about me owning them. It's about just helping them to thrive. That's with my wife, my kids, neighbors, anybody I interact with, I feel like that's my role. It really is helpful to have that viewpoint in life and you can have that again.
Your eight-year-old boy can understand that. This is what you do. You are a protector and you're a cultivator and you're here to help other people thrive. And if people really inhabited that, we wouldn't have a Me Too movement.
There wouldn't be a need for that. Because we realize actually making a woman feel threatened is a betrayal of this role. You're not the protector now. You're the problem.
You're the invader that needs to be protected from. So once guys get a hold of that and we teach them an actual positive vision for this is what masculinity looks like and it's clear, it changes everything. Let me ask you this. I mean, this might take us into a direction you're not thinking of going, but as women, we see our men do that out in the world, out in their jobs, out in their occupation. Maybe they've been called to. But then I've talked to so many women that when a man comes home, the husband comes home. I like how you're saying this is otherwise, not your home. He kind of checks out. So to say that he's, you know, helping his wife or his kids to bloom and blossom to become what they were created to be. I think a lot of listeners are thinking, yeah, my husband doesn't do that at home. He does it out of the home.
Is that our fault? Because as women, we think, what am I doing? Well, I think it can help to have this vision that I'm talking about. Like, this is the role that a man should have. As a female, when you understand that, you can draw that out of him. Not nagging it out of him. No, at the exact opposite. I'll give you a concrete example.
And the fact that this is crystallized in my head will tell you the power that women have over their husbands in a beautiful way. But some people were out, it was like a few months ago, but they're out like wrestling or I don't know what they're doing out in the street. It was like 11 o'clock at night. People wrestle out in the street in your neighborhood? No, not normally.
That's what I mean. It was really strange. It was like a bunch of teenagers or something. I mean, a big group.
They're not normally out there. And my wife and I were upstairs in bed and they kept making noise. And she's like, well, this is really making me nervous. We need to do something. They're just teenagers.
They're not threatening us. Let's just go to bed. We'll turn up the white noise thing. Well, then she gets up after a little bit and goes downstairs. And I'm left lying there.
Hey, you know what? My wife would do the same thing. Okay. So she goes down. You're tracking with me?
Yeah. I'm lying there when my wife is dealing with whatever and I'm going, I can't do that. I can't let my wife deal with like, this is upsetting to her.
Whether it's upsetting to me doesn't matter. So I get up, I get dressed or whatever, I go downstairs and I say, okay, I'll go out there. And I open the door and I go out. As soon as I start walking out there, I see they're all dispersing. And I don't think it was because of me.
I think they just happened to be dispersed. I went out there at just the right time to avoid a fight. When I came back in and I did nothing.
My wife's like, that is so attractive. Why? I said, I didn't do anything.
They all just dispersed. She's like, yeah, but you were willing to. Exactly. See, okay. So that's crystallized in my mind. Next time that happens, guess my reaction. It's not from nagging.
It's from going, I really like it when you do that. I remember because we live in South Florida, putting up hurricane shutters. Again, I'm the worst fix it guy ever. I can't do anything practical.
It seems like very well, but I was able to put the shutters up and same reaction. And she wasn't doing it to manipulate me or anything, but you can draw. Once you have this picture. Oh, that's what a man's supposed to be. He's supposed to be the keeper of the garden when your husband does that stuff.
Or you can recognize that in your son. And you say that is manly. That is very cool. Nice fellow sisters. Are you hearing this?
Yes. Like, I'm telling you, I've done it wrong for so many years, but there is power in our words that are positive. I remember, Brent, I was walking out of the boys' bedroom.
There were little boys, like seven, five, three. Just read a Bible story with them or whatever, putting them to bed. I'm walking out of their bedroom. They're going to bed and Ann says to me in the hallway, wow, the power you have as a man and as their dad over them spiritually. Like, that is so wow.
Way to go. I said, I'm jealous of the power. They hang on your every word. And you remember this. And I remember walking down the stairs going, really? And trust me, she just said it. For years, she would say something like, why don't you ever put the boys to bed and pray with them?
It didn't motivate me. I'm telling you the next night I'm running upstairs. The next time I'm running upstairs, I'm like, I'm the man.
Honestly. You told me I'm the man. And it happens with our sons too. You said it was like those affirming words brought life to remind me that's what I'm supposed to do. That's what I'm supposed to be.
They will work. Look, I'm writing this stuff. Because of your wife's encouragement. It still works on me. Exactly. I know better. It's like, but if she could, if she wanted to manipulate me, but she doesn't. But I mean, it still is powerful. So don't think that your husband's over that or doesn't care, doesn't absorb it.
He may not respond verbally or whatever. But this is extremely powerful. But you have to have this vision in your own head of what a man is made for. This is what I'm trying to say.
Keeper of the garden. But in a sense, what Anne was saying earlier is we tend, maybe I'm exaggerating, but men tend to do that well or better outside the home, in the workplace, in my job, in maybe even community events that I've been called to. And then often we come home and we check out. Or, you used the word before, we get passive. We're active out there. And they watch us like, look at you, Lee, look at you.
And then we come home. I mean, Anne said to me, we shared this here before, I won't go into long detail, but she said to me one night, and you know, I was a pastor for 30 years. She said, you know, I wish the man who led our church lived here. That was the words at like 1130 at night. And I'm like, what was that about? And it's a long story, but the gist of it was you stand on that stage and you preach with passion and you pray with fervency and you come home and that's not the man that lives here.
And I was like, oh my goodness. Okay. So we don't get the ego strokes for the behind the scenes stuff at home. In the world, I mean, the culture itself isn't set up to do that. So they teach us to be ambitious maybe, but it's about other stuff. So I understand that entirely.
I get it. I can be wiped out after doing the stuff I do or whatever, just socially wiped out or whatever. But I realized some things like I need to be, and this is one of the decisions I put in the book, be ambitious about the right things.
What are the right things? Well, you need wisdom to know that. So ask God for wisdom because wisdom will save you from pain. One of the things that cause immense pain for guys later in life is why did I not spend more time with the kids and enjoy my wife and kids more?
Why? It's because at the time you didn't know what to value. Well, that's what wisdom does. It tells you this is more important than that.
So you want to know that in the moment. Well, when you've got little kids, for example, just use that phase of life, what matters now is little kids and your wife, not your job. And I know that sounds crazy because you're in this career building mode, but I actually made the decision, I've passed up on law school because I thought it'd be too much for the kids at the time and took a job that paid almost nothing, but I was done by noon or one every day. It was a morning radio job and spent the rest of the afternoon at the beach or swimming with the kids in the pool or playing and laughing for years.
And we barely scraped by. Was it worth it? That was the smartest thing I ever did. And guess what? You know, now my kids are older. I got all kinds of time for this career stuff. And God has provided in time.
Like all that other stuff is coming, I'm fine. And I bet they want to be with you guys. They know me. I know my kids so they can listen to my podcasts or read my books and stuff.
And they're like, Hey, that's dad. There is no disconnect. That's big. So I'm trying to tell guys like, you need to know right now, you don't get this back. That time does not come back. So be brilliant. Go ahead and stress that. Be ambitious about the wife and kids.
That's where your energy goes. And then of course, do your best at work as well. But you can't undo that. I do tell guys that. Like that's one of the few things I can speak out of. Like I did the right thing, but it worked out. Be ambitious about the right things. Right things. And you need wisdom for that.
Yeah, you mentioned, you write about the six decisions that will set you apart. Right. You just hit one of them. Let me ask you this one.
Decision one, forsake the fake and relish the real. Yeah. This I'm trying to tell guys, especially younger, but this is me too, talking about video games. They are wonderfully fun. That's almost the problem is they're too fun.
So I'm not saying they're inherently evil. I play video games. Like it's not, but they let you level up really quickly and you get a dopamine hit from seeming accomplishments. So you're fighting fake enemies for fake causes or you're in fake sports events, which is what I love.
You know, I play FIFA or Madden or something like that. Like I love all that stuff, but it's not real. And you don't want to look back over the course of your life and think that all of your adventures and accomplishments were fake. But that's what it's going to do to us. Let's make sure that we look back on our lives and know that we actually lived it with reality, flesh and blood. And that the people around us benefited from our gifts instead of getting it all sucked away into this. So that's why I'm talking about relishing the real. What about protecting the vulnerable?
Because that's your number two. That's a big part of being the keeper of the garden. For guys, a lot of times we don't think about that. That that's actually when we're at our best and using whatever skills we have to protect the vulnerable.
It's interesting. I read in another book, it was this guy who was telling the author. He's like, you know, I always thought I would defend my wife and kids if there's an intruder. I defend my wife no matter what. And I would tell myself, you're a real man because you can grab a gun or you'd whatever you defend your wife.
Keep her from being hurt. And then he said, but then I realized the intruder most of the time is me. It's my words that hurt my wife or my lack of words or my tone or the things I say to my kids or my lack of. I'm the guy that needs defended against a lot of times.
I can't be anymore. So when I talk about defending the vulnerable, it's not just about being armed or guarding the house with a good alarm system or something. It's about building them up, realizing the role that you have, the power that you have, which you identified with regard to the kids at seven, five and three. It's a decision that you make. But once you see that that's your role, you can use whatever skills you have.
Again, for me, I'm a words guy, so I use my words platform to try to do this with kids with disabilities. But you can find your own way of defending the vulnerable with whatever you have. I mean, one of the things we've talked about is Adam was the keeper of the garden, but he failed. He actually became passive and he's like an example of what you shouldn't do. And yet Jesus is the example of what a real man looks like.
Totally. Give us a study of what does Jesus model for us? I call it the Jesus masterclass. There's several things I talk about briefly in the book about things I admire about Jesus. But look at the women around him. Look at the women he met at the well. She blossoms and thrives and comes alive. Becomes the first evangelist in her city. She's the first missionary, I think, in Christian history. It's a woman with a terrible reputation. Jesus picks her. What does that mean for the way we value people?
There's another example. There's a big shot head of the synagogue who wants Jesus to heal his kid. He is an important guy.
He'd be like a big time CEO of Silicon Valley saying, I need you to come speak at this thing or I need you to do this thing for me. But there's a woman in the crowd who touches the hem of his garment, Jesus' garment. Jesus stops everything, including delaying helping that guy. He falls out of the picture for a little while.
Everybody's like, hey, we need you. And he talks to her and calls her daughter in front of this crowd. She's not even supposed to be there. She's unclean. She's unclean. She's breaking the rules. And Jesus is like, everybody else goes to the back of the bus. You're in front. As a man, we're all into a lot of times valuing certain people and this person's important.
We're always indexing important. Jesus just flips that on its head. So I do see that as an example of a man not being passive. He's defending women. He's advancing women. Whereas Adam is right there with Eve and he does nothing.
Well, he does say, the woman you gave me. Exactly. Adam is brilliant about blaming simultaneously.
It's so genius in a way because it's economical. He blames God and Eve at the same time. So at first it's like, flesh of my flesh and bone of my bone. He's waxing poetic. And then when he's in trouble, it's like, what's that woman you gave me?
Suddenly it's not poetic anymore. And he does the double blame move. And here's Jesus not blaming, of course, taking responsibility in defending and advancing women, which is exactly the opposite of what Adam did when he could have intervened. He could have, but he wasn't a good keeper of the garden. And Jesus is like this person who everyone around him who knows him comes alive. Literally comes alive. That is a keeper of the garden, a cultivator. And we bear fruit because of him.
I mean, come on. That's the exact opposite. That was the job that Adam was given and Jesus completed it. And we get to be part of it. So in a sense, you're saying like when we walk in the front door of our home, our wife and our kids should be, something in their soul stirs and comes to life like, Dad's home.
My husband's home. That's a good thing. I feel seen. I feel heard. I feel like I come to become who God's made me to be because this man, his presence does that. That's what Jesus did.
Is that what you're saying? Yeah, I think of yourself as like a farmer. Like you want to see these plants bloom spectacularly.
I'm going to get watered today. Dad's home. Yeah, he's making this space work where we can do our thing.
He makes that work. And it's not about him. It's not about, well, you have to.
No, no, no. But you thrive and blossom. The respect that you get as a man from that is intense. I mean, you're yearning for respect. It'll come because of that. You make people feel secure around you.
You can demand respect all you want. But if you make people feel secure around you, you actually get it. And that has long-term implications. That's the guy who's surrounded by generations at the end of his life that want to be with him.
It's because of that. I like what you said when you said you can have a tremendous unseen effect on those around you. You can set the tone. You start the melody and others will sing along. In your home, you're singing. I think that's true.
And you don't have to be some words guy either. Yeah. You set the tone because you're engaged.
That's the piece. And if you're not engaged, the music of the house is chaos. It's a crashing, screeching chaos. And you can hear it reverberating. And your wife's trying to make this work. But the problem is you're there, but you're not. And especially today, I can walk into our kids' houses and our house and we're all on our phones. And so I'm seeing moms of young kids that are just trying to create peace in the chaos. And the dad could be checking out on his phone. Any guy listening would be like, no, no, I feel guilty because they hear me talking about it.
I'm doing the same thing. No, no, no, exactly. It's an opportunity. And it's not too late. If you're old enough or you're alive enough to hear us talking about it, well, we can change. If one person rethinks, humbles himself and rethinks, that's what repent means. Reconsiders, starts a new way. Well, we can do that. And I think a lot of us have never had models.
What does it look like to set the tone? I don't even know. Absolutely. So we have this brilliant model in Jesus.
We've got this image of the keeper of the garden, this role that God gave Adam that we can understand and learn and grow in. But it's not too late. No matter what station in life, it's not too late to become like, oh, now I get it. Okay, good. We got it. Let's do this thing. Yeah. And I think so many men I've talked to helping lead a church for all these years, let a lot of men and would sit with them.
And they would say things like this. I know what to do with the job. I train for it.
I got a degree in it. I walk in that door and I feel competent. It's like, hey, I can do this. I do this well.
That's right. I walk in my front door. I walk in my garage door and I'm like, I don't know what to do here.
I don't know what a husband or a dad. Yes. I feel incompetent. So I get passive.
I don't want to be passive, but I just feel like I don't know what to do. She's better at this. So I just defer. And you didn't have that in dad.
Your dad was violent. Well, I'm throwing it at a brand saying, okay, what do you say to that guy? Okay.
So you're right. Besides step up. Yeah. Okay. Step up is a great thing to say.
But a lot of people are like, yeah, I'm glad you wrote a man book. Guys need to step up. Step up in what? Yeah. So this is what I'm trying to answer is like, here's how you step up.
It's the keeper of the garden thing is what we're talking about. But here's the thing with that. Okay. So here's how you do it.
We tend to gravitate, as you're saying, towards things that we feel competent in. That's just a fact. Right. Like I, well, an exception, I still play basketball.
I should have quit at a long time ago. Five, ten, can't shoot. Stop. Well, I mean, I don't go pick up a violin. Right. Okay. I'll pick up a guitar.
I can do it. We gravitate towards those things we feel confident. Relationships, almost none of us feel confident in relational stuff.
That's the home. That's other stuff too. Okay. It takes bravery to do relational stuff.
And if you engage in it, you have my respect. You don't have to be great at it, but the willingness to do it, that's bravery. It takes more bravery to walk across the street than it does to go to another country across the world, if it means talking to a neighbor when you don't feel comfortable. It's really hard for me. I am not outgoing. I'm not smooth socially. Kind of smooth, but I've had to learn it. I was going to say, you're pretty smart, baby.
No, it's only because I'm talking about something like small talk, I'm terrible, but I've had to learn it. But okay. So that's like jumping out of a plane. It's a different kind, but that's what we're here for. So it does take bravery.
It is hard. Let's acknowledge it, but let's also respect it. If you're willing to say, I'm going to do this, even though I don't feel competent, I don't always know what to do about as a dad, but I'm going to keep showing up. Faithfulness is everything. So much respect to you.
And if you haven't heard somebody say that to you before, let us be the first ones to say it. Like if you're doing that, you're doing relationships and you don't feel strong at it, we have a lot of respect for you. Even as you're saying that, Bran, I'm thinking, okay, if I want to be brave as a man, husband, dad. And I grew up with no dad. So I walked into our marriage and then as a dad, like, I don't know what to do.
And it could have been easily an excuse, well, you know, victim mentality, I didn't have a dad. I'm not going to do a good job. Or bravery is like, you know, I'm going to figure this out. I'm going to talk to men. I'm going to read. I'm going to study. I'm going to look at Jesus. I'm going to do whatever it takes to become the best husband that's ever lived.
I'm exaggerating, but you know, I'm going to, I'm going to make myself good at this. So I was thinking when you were saying that, I was thinking, okay, so if a man's listening right now and you want to be brave, wouldn't this be interesting? What if you're the one saying, honey, let's go to the weekend. Remember marriage getaway. I mean, your wife might go, what? You're asking me to go rather than the other, because often we get up on stage at that marriage weekend and we're like, you know, the men were dragged there.
Their wives are like, come on, will you please go with me? I want our marriage to be better. Okay. And then no, honey, let's go to a counselor. We need help.
Let's go get help. Lead in that area. I mean, that's a brave move for a guy. That's scary.
It's big time and no one outside is applauding. That's the tough thing. Like you don't get promoted, so you don't get that immediate feedback. So it does take bravery and determination.
And again, even if no one else is applauding you, please know we get it. Like that's hard. It was always hard for me even to talk about our marriage. Like I've gotten a lot better at it, but I just, I don't want to talk about relationship stuff. And yet that's what you said earlier. That's being ambitious about what matters, the right things, your marriage, your family. At the end of the day, that's all you got. Relationships are it. That's all you remember at the very end.
That's all you have. I think that's hopeful for us as women, because what we can do is we can applaud as you guys make those steps, a baby step. Some women can think, well, about time, and I've been wanting this forever. But just to acknowledge like, wow, thanks for making that step, that probably wasn't easy. That's a great thing that we can say as women.
And I would just add from one man to another, today's the day. Yeah. Don't wait till tomorrow, like this weekend. No, today. Take a step today. Small, small step.
Yeah. And God's called you to be right here, right now, and watch God move. You've been listening to David and Wilson with Brant Hansen on Family Life Today. We're going to hear an important message from Brant in just a second. But real quick, his book is called The Men We Need. God's Purpose for the Manly Man, the Avid Indoorsman, or Any Man Willing to Show Up. You can get Brant's book at familylifetoday.com or by calling 800-358-6329. That's 800, F as in family, L as in life, and then the word today. You know, we asked Brant Hansen what his thoughts were about family life and what God's doing through this ministry.
Here's what he said. Hey, my name is Brant Hansen, and I'm an author and a radio guy and a big fan of this ministry. I'm a fan of what Dave and Ann do on family life, the way they honestly talk about things and the way they point to the kingdom of God.
There's not much in our culture like this. It's such a refreshing thing. And I wanted to let you know, if you want to donate to support it, it would be wonderful. All this month, your donation gets doubled. And that's a huge thing to support this ministry. If you can't, totally understand, but if you are in a place where you could do that, thanks for locking arms with family life this month and making this incredibly important ministry happen, you will be making a difference. Giving to make a difference. Partnership is really what it's all about, and we'd love to have you partner with us. And thanks to some generous ministry partners, your gift will be matched dollar for dollar until we hit $2 million. That's a one-time gift, or if you become a monthly partner right now, your monthly gifts will be doubled for the next 12 months. Again, you can give today at familylifetoday.com, or you can give us a call at 800-358-6329. That's 800 F as in family, L as in life, and then the word today. I bet you might be able to relate to this.
I'm a dad and I'm totally clueless. Yikes. It's true. But tomorrow on Family Life Today, Dave and Anne Wilson will be joined once more with Brant Hansen to talk about showing up and getting on the right track to figuring this thing out so we aren't clueless. That's tomorrow. On behalf of Dave and Anne Wilson, I'm Shelby Abbott. We'll see you back next time for another edition of Family Life Today. Family Life Today is a production of Family Life, a crew ministry helping you pursue the relationships that matter most.
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