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April 26, 2022 6:00 am
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I'm in a room with 500 guys a year to go and I asked them how many of them were discipled by the father and three hands when 3/5 three out of and we have a problem. Let's mark Batterson and he joins us again today on Focus on the Family and your hostess focus president Dr. Jim Daly I'm John from John. Last I restarted a great program on what it means to be a man of God intrinsically put him in a desire to become a man of character and virtue, and that's I think in our spiritual DNA, and as we grow into God's design. They also become better men, but also better husbands and fathers.
I know most of you wives are going. Amen thank you Jim for talking about that well today were going to specifically address how we can raise sons to be godly men and hopefully spark in men that idea that there's more to manhood than maybe what they have seen here Focus on the Family we want to help you to thrive as a dad as a husband and that's why were here in part and we have a lot of resources available online to help you do that and those would include Mark's excellent book, play the man becoming the man God created you to be and other encouragement. The first half of this conversation last time Jim was really inspirational when incurred you as a listener to get a copy on CD or to download it or listen on her mobile app Mr. great way to take it with you as you go. Those resources are email@example.com/broadcast and mark Batterson is the senior pastor of national community church that is in Washington DC and he and his wife Laura live on Capitol Hill with their three children. As I said his book is called play the man becoming the man God created you to be Mark welcome back to Focus on the Family well excited about doing hey we ended our conversation last time talking about men who demonstrated virtue such as raw passion and moral courage.
Let's recap that for the listeners joining us today and what it means to play the man. Well, I think playing the man is tough love playing the man is childlike wonder. I think play.
The man is raw passion in true grit and clear vision and moral courage. It's it's these biblical virtues and let's be honest, I think women need clear vision and raw passion and moral courage so it's not like these are just simply for men but what I'm doing is calling out meant to step up to step in and I think that in many ways we fallen short in part because manhood is largely been devalued in our culture, and so did something that we need to celebrate and cultivate and as John mentioned you applied people in history that really exemplified attributes are virtues that you say is Biblical manhood and that you didn't talk about Teddy Roosevelt that childlike wonder why we touch that one yet as I I've read the biography of Teddy Roosevelt. I really enjoyed it.
He was a man's man. Oh, he was an one of my favorite he is, in fact, 1912, is campaigning in Milwaukee and he shot it point blank range bullet in his chest and he gets up and he says I cannot make a long speech because I've just been shot 53 minute time is Donnie standing in a pool of his own blood. And I'm thinking to myself if he had been shot.
How long would you go. I was a joke to Everett. We must to our speech that he can dance, but yes, almost crazy though, but that's kind of the pioneer spirit of that era. It is in a course you know he did so many things from exploring the Amazon to you know being a hero in war.
He wrote a moose who does that. My point of the book is that childlike wonder while he was president. He read 500 books a year, so he was a gentleman and a scholar and someone that was set had a holy curiosity is what I like to call and is your point that were just missing that kinda manhood today or we don't have enough men stepping up like that that you could say he was a unique individual, but you only get one of those ever. Well yeah but I think what I'm trying to talk about in the book is the apostle Paul says put childish ways behind you and let's be honest there a lot of men who are really boys who haven't fully grown up.
So let's put childish ways behind us. But Jesus said that unless you become like a little child you cannot enter the kingdom of heaven.
And so that's a unique character trait. I think of manhood. This childlike wonder towards life and I think it's exemplified by Teddy Roosevelt.
Well, it's good and that was kind of the essence of the program. Last time talking about Louis Zaffirini or John Muir.
We didn't get to John Wesley Powell.
Your example of true grit wise Powell deserving of that description true grit well the first one to traverse the Colorado River go all the way through the Grand Canyon. It was unmapped at the time, but here's the amazing thing he did it with one arm he lost an arm in the Civil War and so here's a guy who can't even row the boat and he is leading he didn't let what he couldn't do keep him from doing what he could and really an example of manhood. It's pretty inspiring. That's the man of like Powell yeah that's it yet. Enter Jackson in there for clear vision. Yeah well here's a guy a little known story that how he got the name old Hickory that his troops were badly battled. I believe they were in Georgia needed to get back to Tennessee and the first person to put one of those wounded soldiers on his horse was the general himself, and he walked.
I want to say something like 500 miles that he walked on foot. The general from that battlefield back home and I think in doing that model something for the men followed him. Hey, here's a guy that I can follow here someone that has that Christlike servants heart so that kind of rounds out the characters and those characteristics. Those godly characteristics that are part of manhood and like you said.
I'm sure there's women like Amelia Ehrhardt and others. You can throw in there, but this is talking about becoming a man play the man your great book. Now let's focus on how that applies to us today tell us about how you got the idea to create a vision for your family.
I mean, that comes down to it, the visionary. What were some of the events that led to creating that document for your family. Yeah, I think there was a moment where I realized that I had more vision for the church that I was pastoring then the family that God called me to lead and guys could put anything in there more vision for my business more vision for my vocation. We tend to do that would look externally yeah you know, here I am like cutting your typical driven personality that performance oriented, and I think doing good things. But I remember this moment Jim or I'm walking through an airport and I hardly even remember what time zone I'm in, because here there and everywhere preaching the gospel, but there's just this emptiness inside and I realize that it I may be putting my family on the altar of ministry and I just don't believe God called me to do that. I believe that my chief function is to be a husband to my wife and the father my children and so there is just this moment where it the end of the day.
I want to be famous in my home and that it's hard to be famous in your home. If you aren't home and so have a little definition of success. It's when those who know you best respect you most. That's good and that's my wife and my kids you know I in the book a good dad that I wrote. There's a story captured and there was really caught my attention was a youth pastor young guy who had a family had little daughter maybe four years old and he was busy with doing use pastoring and he was between events and came home and quickly showered and said a four-year-old girl hunt. I'm sorry but tonight I got to go out and teach teenagers about Jesus, and she said to him talk about an amazing statement. She said that's great daddy when you get to stay home and teach me about Jesus while he quit that pastor job took a job at GM it was 8 to 5 just put on the assembly line and he just said I'll get back to ministry. When my daughter is 18 and he poured into her life. What a dad yet there's an example yet of putting the priorities right yes and he could still be a minister in that environment.
God could still use them on the assembly line at GM but what an amazing commitment to his little girl who send daddy be my daddy yes teach me about Jesus. Yes, how you know Jim, we think about revival is something that needs to happen in America or in our culture, but here I am at focus on family and the truth is, I think revival starts in the home and it's why last note of the Old Testament that God would turn the hearts of the fathers to their children and then if I quiz the average pastor and I'm a pastor and said what was John the Baptist message you most of them would say repent and be baptized. And that's true. But there's another little piece of that puzzle where he says that I've come to turn the hearts of the father to the children. Isn't that interesting last note of the Old Testament.
First note of the New Testament. I think God's kingdom is good, his wills can be done if we could just focus on the family always appreciated.
And here's how I like to say Jim you know it's a love youth pastors but is not their job to disciple my kids.
That's my job not take the tagteam.
I'll take all the help I can get but at the end of the day it's my job to disciple my kids. That's the support team around you. Let me pressure for the practical ways that is worked in your family as you've done this vision casting with them where to be seen yeah well this is so fun for me because I consider it one of the most important things I ever done more important in writing a book or pastoring a church before my oldest son's 13th birthday. I decided that I would create a discipleship covenant and that we went camping and I put it on parchment paper and try to make it pretty official and I created a mental challenge spiritual challenge and physical challenge. And if you want we can, dive into some of that but then it began a year of discipleship and I said if if you fulfill this covenant at the end of it. We will do a right of passage and and I can tell you what I did with both my sons but it it really I believe is one of the most important things I've done in terms of discipling my own sons yeah know that is good to explain the five practical ways to create a family vision and I like the concept and we can fill in the blanks and yeah things uniquely yet one of the five basic components well and it starts with prayer may let's pray into this and then I think you do your homework. Let's learn. So I started studying what other dad said done with other cultures had done in terms of discipling and then you know I think you take a little vision retreat. I had this formula change of pace plus change of place equals change of perspective and so take some time.
This is the important stuff and let's find the margin to get a vision for our marriages and for our children. And then I think you write down the division and need to be perfect the first time. You know it doesn't it's a rough draft and it's going to change over time, and then you rewrite the vision and over time what you have is a vision statement for your family and something that can help guide you. What is it sound like give us an exam well for us. We came up with four family values.
For example, humility, generosity, gratitude and courage. So if there's anything that's going to define what it means to be a Patterson I wanted to be those four things in and then what you do is you just in the course of life. The rhythm of the week in and week out you find opportunities to cultivate gratitude into model generosity and to show courage and to just operate in that spirit of humility. What would be with play. The man what would be an example in your marriage where you had the play, the man something parenting you can kinda control that environment.
To some degree with your kids more difficult with your spouse yeah so give us an example of how this is played out with your marriage. Yeah, you know all be very transparent there's a moment where I'm traveling here there and everywhere and my wife who is a person of more integrity than anybody I've ever met is kind and beautiful and she says to me this is what I signed up for and that was the moment where I realized that I needed to put some boundaries in place to guard my family to make sure that my family was first. And so we made some changes as some like to travel more than 12 overnight speaking trips and I'm not to be gone more than one night a week. Gotta be helping my kids with homework and get a be coaching their teams like of God be invested in my family and you starches, reprioritizing one of things that we do is we do an annual retreat and it helps us revisit the vision and so were looking at calendar and budget but were also looking at a verse for the year in and out were revisiting hey, how are we doing on our values, and I don't want this to sound like we have it all figured out. We do not and often there needs to be a re-clarifying of that vision because life happens and writing time. Over time you refine your refine your phone and I appreciate that yet because I think that's makes a little easier for us. Others to get engaged with yeah but instead of living reactively to kind of whatever's happening in life.
You're making proactive decisions about what's important to you and how you can invest your time and money and energy. Mark, you mentioned the discipleship with your sons. I do want to come back to that because I think there's some great practical advice that will go to the right of passage, but how did you see your boys change during that year and how did you changes there that well II think it showed then that there a huge priority in my life. We did a weekly FSN father-son meeting and I wish I could tell you that all of those you know there was an angelic choir. A moment of revelation and there wasn't. But it showed my sons that were to walk together were to learn together and I tell you what one of the great pieces was actually the physical challenge we trained for a triathlon. My oldest son and I when you sweat together when you're going after a goal together it will bond a father and a son. I gotta say, when the greatest moments of my life was crossing the finish line right now is on because I'm done. And right now that my youngest son were training for a bike century soldier like Miles is outstanding for the dad listen to you that's going man I didn't get that model for me and I I would just say don't use that as a crutch that may be true, but you're a different person than your father who may never have done this with you but to their point had I really get started. I think I can feel this a little bit you know there's times where I feel like I've received an a on the lab report card but other times may be a dear enough because I haven't been as intuitive.
I haven't been.
I wasn't present.
I didn't know what I wasn't doing properly. Imagine how father was an orphan kid yes and II feel at times I'm just trying to do this by the seat of my pants. Yes, and that's where, let me say this, I'm so grateful I have a wonderful father. I also have spiritual fathers and those spiritual fathers have spoken into my life in a way that it is not based on biology and so this is like a team effort right here and I think the critical thing I want to keep saying is don't beat yourself up about mistakes you made effect by the way, I had this little theory that all of us or to feel like we failed on some level as dads but God gives us a second chance is called being a grandfather or grandparents that you get a second go around so you know the big thing was I wanted to be able to look in the mirror and know that it gave it a good effort that I really had intentionality and so I actually crafted that discipleship covenant and it's available for anybody that wants it and it's a good starting point and I think you gotta take it and adapt and put your fingerprint on it that you wanted in this book to just share what I've done with my two sons as the prototype for a little case study for other guys sure one of the creative things you did, which again I I'd like doing this because your action oriented your doing something with your boys. In this regard. He took in the theater Roosevelt Island. You know, why did you do that how'd you pick it out and what occurred there. Well, it's his beautiful little island off of the right across from Georgetown. So, right where I live. I live on Capitol Hill and I thought you was a nice, natural setting, we had grown up taking the kids on hikes there and so I thought working to do this special event at the end of this year. Discipleship and I invited their uncles to comment and by the way could be an uncle. It could be that just the guy that may be your son looks up to and I surprised my boys and these uncles had just kind of prepared speeches and gifts that symbolized what what they were calling him to come inviting him into that circle of manhood so to speak.
And just this incredible rite of passage because here's the problem in our culture. What is it, how to boys know their man I you know maybe it's the license when they're 16 or you know unfortunately I think for a lot of people in our culture that 21 drinking age become all we gotta do better than that right and so I just chose 13. I think it could be younger if you're kids are mature enough, it could be older effect is never too late to do it and so that's what I chose just this kind of rite of passage at Roosevelt Island. By the way, followed by steak dinner.
I love it for the mom listening. Who wants to see your husband investing this way and her sons. I'm sure there's a longing and many moms hearts that they're just not seeing that and they would hope that dad would step up might be praying silently for that. How can they move their husband a little further along in this way and do it in a way that doesn't damage the relationship yeah well you know that motivation has to come on some level from the inside out, and so I believe in the power of prayer. I think you start praying that God would birth that in their hearts that God would turn the heart of that father to their children. I think you find ways to encourage it a if you guys want to go camping this weekend. I'll hold down the fort. You know I let them begin to get kind of bond in that way you know I know if you people are a drop in this book are audiobook on their husband's I do it in a way that's not you know I want to listen to. Yes, right. And so you you can speak that word because of the single mom.
Yes, single-parent mom, who's struggling to be everything yes is already at such a burden.
Yet another single-parent dads as well. Assuming you can apply the man in that role yes to the mommy doesn't have that regular infusion of manhood. Yes Leslie and her boys lives yet. What can she do I love that question. You know a pastor and so here's what I believe God's given us two families, a biological family.
But he's given us a spiritual family. It's called the church and I think it's the charge that needs to rally around. I bet that there are some men with enough maturity and love and wisdom that maybe they don't have a biological son. We gotta find ways to help those men step into that role of being a spiritual father. I just think that's something that needs to be celebrated in champion in our culture impulse that II have a thousand teachers bid. Not many spiritual fathers. This is a unique capacity we need more man to step into that role to help raise up that next generation and pass that baton of faith. Man this is good. The timing is perfect for me Mark because I'm about to take my boys up to the boundary waters and spindle time with them up and that rather remote area. I've never been up there, I'm scared to death but you know canoeing in doing a little fishing sitting around the campfire is given me some great ideas of things to talk about and that I love that rite of passage idea so many good things in your book, play the man I love the way you've connected these characters in history.
Some of you know you say well they're not you talking about Christ all the time.
That's okay because the attributes of God can be seen in his creation, including humanity and just men and women that do incredible things I think so. Often those are attributes and characteristics of God in them. Especially obviously when they're doing good, noble things. Yes, godly character, even if they don't know God is not true. Yes it is and I might you share one last thought.
Jim did if all else fails, you know, I certainly share discipleship covenant rite of passage of trips that I took with my son some logistics and mechanics but not the end of the day. Can I just tell you my father's heart is the my children would hear what the father spoke over Jesus at the baptism.
He said this is my beloved son in whom I am well pleased at the end of the day. Our children need to hear those words they need to have that blessing.
And so were to make some mistakes, but let's make sure that they know you are my beloved son, my beloved daughter who's not perfect, just like their mom and dad, but in whom I am well pleased. Well that's well said and what a place to end today. I have one more question, I want to ask you. But first, let me turn to the listeners and say today's program has certainly highlighted why we exist.
We want to help you and your family and dads. A lot of it starts right there with us and I want to encourage you to get a copy of Mark's book, play the man because I think it has some of the wonderful insights that will make you a better husband a better father and that's our goal here at Focus on the Family. If you can make a donation of any amount. We will send you as our way of saying thank you a copy of Mark's book make the donation and if you can make a monthly pledge when you're at our website would really appreciate that those monthly gifts on an ongoing basis really sustain us here and allow us to do ministry every day and if you're in a spot.
You just can't pledge on a monthly basis to send a generous one-time gift of any amount. Either way will send a copy of Mark's book to you as our thank you gift do firstname.lastname@example.org/broadcast or call 800 K in the word family market. Last question is a tender one, as we close. I'm aware that there is a dad may be several who were listening who they have that older child may be late teens or they've even moved outside the home already in their in their 20s and they're not looking back the gone and maybe a lot of strife occurred and distance occurred that discipleship never really happened. For whatever reason, is it too late and better yet what Canada had do to close the gap yet. Will the good news is, it's never too late and his grace covers a multitude of sin. He's the God who brings reconciliation is the God of second chances and so here's what I believe start praying for that son. Maybe even just with complete transparency.
It meant the mistakes that you made that might even be the first step to kinda bring that reconciliation and I tell you what there still a longing in that child for a father's blessing for a father's love and you do that now you step up and begin to do that now and I believe it can change that circumstance and bring healing and bring wholeness as well said Mark. Thanks for being with us to join thinking and on behalf of Jim Daly, and the entire team here. Thanks for listening to Focus on the Family today. I'm John Fuller inviting back next time.
As we once again help you and your family thrive in Christ. I am Jim Daly the Supreme Court will soon make a significant decision on abortion. How will this impact join me. Another pro-life champions including Ben Shapiro and Candace Owens on June 14 for Focus on the Family's see life 2022 life.
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