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Being the Man Your Family Needs (Part 2 of 2)

Focus on the Family / Jim Daly
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October 26, 2022 6:00 am

Being the Man Your Family Needs (Part 2 of 2)

Focus on the Family / Jim Daly

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October 26, 2022 6:00 am

Brant Hansen makes brilliant observations about what women need men to be - and six key decisions men can make to set themselves apart. Alluding to the creation story, Brant encourages men to be “Keepers of the Garden” – secure, confident protectors chasing after Christ. (Part 2 of 2)

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Masculine has been deconstructed so effectively and so much, and some of that's been very helpful to deconstruct, okay, we shouldn't be this or that, but what's the construction?

That's Brandt Hansen. He's our guest again here on Focus on the Family. We had a wonderful discussion last time about living out your true calling and purpose in life as a man, and we're going to revisit that topic today.

Your host is Focus President and author Jim Daley, and I'm John Fuller. John, it was a great discussion yesterday with Brandt, and the thing that caught me is this idea of tending the garden right out of Genesis, the fact that Adam kind of looked the other way while Eve was being lured in, and he was standing nearby according to Scripture. He didn't step in and kind of defend her and aim things in a more godly way, and we all suffer from that poor decision that Adam made. It's called a sinful environment now because he disobeyed God, and what a beautiful analogy to bring that forward and teach each of us men how to be the healthier Adam, the better Adam, the tender of the garden Adam, and that means your marriage, your household, if you're a single guy, developing yourself and aiming for something that's more meaningful than the dopamine hits we get from gaming and pornography and those things that take us down.

I thought it was really powerful. Yeah, it was a very proactive, prescriptive, and engaging conversation, and Brandt is, as I said, our guest again today. He's written a number of books he's heard on 200 Christian radio stations. He has a new book out called The Men We Need, God's Purpose for the Manly Man, The Avid Endorsment, or Any Man Willing to Show Up, and we've got copies of that here at Focus on the Family.

Just stop by the show notes for the link or give us a call. 800 the letter A and the word family. And John, you missed one of the biggest points. He won Personality of the Year. Oh, yeah.

He got a special parking spot, I'm sure. I'm just fixated on that. The irony is I don't have that much personality. No, I think it's just such a great little award. You said last time they gave it, what do you say? Well, since I've won more than one, they said I've won multiple personality of the year awards. I just love that.

We've got different iterations of brand new different awards. So great. And for the listener, they might remember you being on the program. You do struggle with autism. That's something that's part of your life, and you've really done such a fantastic job overcoming those obstacles, and you're an author, and I mean, you're a real personality. So you've done well. Well done. Well, thanks. And I think it's one reason this book is different than maybe a lot of man books.

I'm hearing that. It's biblically based and whatnot, because I've got neurological problems, being on the spectrum. Like my eyes move back and forth. I have a thing called nystagmus. It's pretty profound. I have to move my head to negotiate for that.

So it's very obvious to people when they first meet me. But that kept me from, like I can't do axe throwing. You don't want the guy.

I don't understand. I wouldn't volunteer. Yeah, don't bring me to your church axe throwing night with the guys. A sliver of your axe throwing.

No. How about not seriously don't bring it up. We find you something else to do. So coming at it from that angle, for guys that aren't into that stuff, to be able to say, everybody's welcome here.

When people say, guys need to stand up and be guys, what do you mean? Because for a lot of us, I can't play football. I can't do the thing with, again, like special forces stuff.

I couldn't qualify for the military. So what does masculinity look like then for all of us? And I think there's got to be a deeper thing that underlies. And I think this is it.

I think it's the keeper of the garden thing that Adam was given to do specifically by God. Yeah. And I so appreciate that. And it definitely will guide my conversations with my young adult sons now that are in their early twenties. So we're going to have that talk and use that metaphor and apply many of these things. Last time we talked about forsaking the fake world of technology and to relish what is real and investing in relationships, which again, everybody struggles with generally, but the younger generations particularly are really struggling in that area. The second one was protecting the vulnerable.

If you missed it last time, go back and listen again, get the app or the smartphone, whatever you need to do, call us and we'll send you to the download so you can hear it. Let's pick it up with the third decision that you've encouraged guys to make. And this is a biggie. Be ambitious about the right things. Why do you think so many men are dissatisfied about the regular world, if I could call it that? Is it about their choices or what's going on for them to have such dissatisfaction with normal? I don't think they have any idea what they're supposed to be doing and what would actually be life giving to them and to the people around them. They don't know. So they have to be told just like we all can be trained into things.

This is called discipleship, but you have to give people a picture for it. What I find a lot of guys though left without being told wisdom about what it means to be a man, to be a keeper of the garden. Absent that, you just go towards whatever the culture is pushing on you.

And it can be various shades of things that are offered. But the problem is if you're ambitious, even if you're like, well, I'm going to work hard and make a lot of money and so on and so forth, be a good citizen, like, okay, but let's say you got little kids in the house now. Is it all about your work now? Because being ambitious isn't enough. It's being ambitious about the right things. And what I'm trying to say, for example, in that scenario is you need to understand that life is in seasons.

And right now is little kid season. This is it. So you make decisions based on that. You have to be, this is what wisdom is.

It's knowing what's valuable versus something else. You said you made perhaps one of the best right decisions when your kids were young. I totally did. Out of all the dumb decisions I made, seriously, I tell people this too, I nailed this one. So I had a very stressful job. I was doing talk radio. It was three hours a day of arguing about politics and whatnot. And I was fairly good at it when the gradings were fine, but stressful.

Well, I thought, you know what? I'll go to law school just to shift gears and do something less stressful. So I went ahead, got into law schools and stuff, got some really sweet offers and stuff. But I was talking to my lawyer friends who said, when you get out of law school, you're going to have to take a job at a big firm. You'll be home one evening a week.

Wow. And so I took a job that paid almost nothing. And we moved the family down to South Florida at the time. But I was done with work at noon every day. And since we homeschooled the kids, I had every afternoon to play with them. And mainly I played, I should have helped more of the homeschoolers.

You know, I mostly just took them to this pool, to the beach, played. You're the PE director. Yeah, that's why I was. Thank you.

Good call. But I know my kids. And then later on, guess what? My career was fine later on when I had more time. And that was a brilliant move. Yeah. We did not have much money.

We were stressed out a little bit about the money thing, but honestly, God provided just enough the whole way. And I would never trade that. Boy, think of that. That's a big statement. Totally.

So I don't have those regrets. But it's so important to ask God, I'm telling guys this, to understand what's of value and what's not right now. And that's a big part of being ambitious about the right things. Yeah. And I think, you know, guys find it hard to figure out where that trigger is, you know?

So if I've gone to business school, just fill in the blank, whatever education you have or vocation, let's include those folks that aren't going to college and they're getting on the fast track to do their vocational trade. It's hard to manage that. And you think it's the number one thing is we need resources, financial resources to pay the mortgage, to feed the kids, to get them to school stuff. And especially in this environment with hyper inflation and everything we've got going, it may not even show up on the screen. What if we were to do less?

I have more time with the kids. Yeah. And we'll have to stretch every penny. Yeah. For some people, this is impossible. It's like they're just in a financial situation, can't do anything.

But for most people, I don't think that's true because of the buying decisions. Yeah. And you wind up serving this car, like, why do I have to have this nice truck? Why do I have to have this nice car? Am I James Bond or something?

Why can't I drive a 87 like Corolla if I have to? I can. Yeah.

I can. So there are decisions a lot of times that I can make that will free us up from stress and allow me to enjoy my wife and enjoy my kids before it's too late because you do not get those years back. What's so interesting is your example, what you did, the one right thing you said that you did. Yeah. There's not a plethora of those examples. There's plenty of examples of men who chose career. Yeah. And we can list what the outcomes of their family life was like.

Typically, divorced remarried, maybe divorced twice remarried, who knows? Well, if they were given a vision of being a keeper of the garden, this is your actual role in this world. So these people around you need to thrive and bloom. You've been entrusted with these humans. You're not all about domineering them. You don't own them, all that sort of stuff. What you do as a loving father and husband in this scenario is like, these people should, I'm going to make sure that they can thrive.

They get to bloom. I will defend them. I will create a secure space for them. And part of that security is knowing that you're there.

So that's being ambitious for the right things. That's the third one. The fourth one now, make women and children feel safe, not threatened. This is a big thing because a lot of us will pat ourselves on the back. And again, I'm talking as a married guy here, but a lot of us will pat ourselves on the back and say, well, if an intruder ever came into my home, I would defend my wife against him. I would do whatever it takes to defend.

And most of us would. That's good. The problem, and I read this account in another book, but I had to put it in mine too because it's so honest. The guy's friend just said, the problem is most of the time that doesn't happen, but the intruder's me with my words. My wife has to guard herself against my attitude, my words, my lack of involvement, my lack of security, my hurtfulness. You can pause and hurt your wife if she says, I love you.

Pause, yeah, I love you too. Like it's all about even the slightest things can be a curse to somebody. So what I'm trying to say is to guys to rethink that scenario where I would defend my wife, okay, start with your presence and your words. And when you see that, it's not a guilt trip because a lot of guys can be hearing this and going, oh boy, yeah, I guess I won't. Like, no, no, it's an opportunity. We can change.

Starting today. You know, for our Hope Restored program, this is the main thing they talk about, the security that women need security and they need to feel that from their husbands. You know, one of the things too, I don't even realize this at times. I mean, I'm a pretty big guy.

I played football. And sometimes when I'm talking to the boys or to Gene, I mean, Gene will say, whew, you're coming off a little strong right now. I don't even know it.

Honestly, you don't even know. You're kind of, whew, and you know, getting up for the big game, I guess. Me too.

And she'll be able to talk me down a little bit. I didn't even realize it. I didn't know I was being aggressive. Yeah. And I get all lawyerly. So that's too bad. Yeah. It's an insistent and whatever. And my wife has had to make me aware of that.

And now... But those are threatening things. Exactly. I wouldn't think that, especially if I'm up against another guy and we're in the weight room talking. Right.

You don't think it at all. This is the way we banter. But this is my garden.

Right. And these are the species in my garden, which I love. And again, I want them to thrive and flourish because they knew me.

I want them to flourish because they knew me. So when your wife calls you on being lawyerly, is it against the backdrop of, I know your heart, but right now, or does she tend to be a little firmer on that? She's pretty firm.

My wife's brilliant and she's also direct and firm. But I mean, she's right. So I have to be willing to understand she respects me more when I'm embodying this thing that I'm talking about here about being a source of security. Yeah. People are drawn to that too.

Everybody's so insecure now. This is men, women, everybody, children, but to have somebody who's not anxious, somebody who's at peace, somebody who's not angry, who is secure, people are drawn to it because there's just not much of that. Yeah.

Protection of safety. I mean, it goes beyond the physical needs. We've alluded to that, how we speak, the posture that we take. How did Jesus model this for us with his statements and his actions? Yeah.

I wrote it. I mean, whipping the tables. That's pretty aggressive, right?

But then asking the questions of the woman at the well, it's pretty gentle. Yeah. I write one chapter called The Jesus Masterclass on how to treat women. And there's several things that he does.

Oh, give him to me. It's very honoring. Well, just an example, like the Jairus or Jairus, I don't know how to pronounce it, but he's like the head guy at the synagogue. So he's a big shot important guy. His daughter's sick. Jesus puts him on the back burner for a woman who wasn't even supposed to be there in the crowd, who's bleeding and is embarrassed and unclean. And Jairus and his retinue had to be like, wait, her?

Why? He elevates her. You're not supposed to do that in that culture. You don't even do that in this culture very often where you're like bump a woman who's considered unclean above an important guy. Or when he's at Mary and Martha's and Mary comes in and sits at his feet or she's in the living room sitting on the floor, probably they all were, that's where the guys go. Like I've been in cultures, if you travel, there's cultures where you don't see the women of the house.

They stay in the kitchen and they pass the food underneath the curtain where all the guys are sitting in the main room or they have the kids bring out the food and set it down there. Mary's like, no, I'm going to learn from this man. He was doing something revolutionary by saying, you're welcome here and this is a very good idea.

Like there's a million ways that Jesus subtly and not so subtly elevates women and respects them in a lot of ways that we just don't even think about. Well, you're hearing from Brandt Hansen. He is our guest today on Focus on the Family. The book that forms the foundation for the conversation these past couple of days is called The Men We Need, God's Purpose for the Manly Man, the Avid Endorsment, or Any Man Willing to Show Up.

Stop by the show notes to get your copy or call us and we'll be happy to tell you more. 800 the letter A and the word family. Brandt, becoming a godly man is all wound up I think in point five which is choosing today who you want to become tomorrow. I like that.

For the guys that are feeling guilty right now or maybe the wives that are listening saying, Bob's not going to like this. There's always tomorrow. I mean, the Lord gives you breath and you want to wake up and do things better so speak to that idea of having a plan for correcting those things that aren't tending the garden. So here's the plan and I like that it's hopeful. Again, like you said, this isn't about beating ourselves up because we've failed and we didn't know sometimes.

We didn't know exactly what we're supposed to be doing and sometimes and we make mistakes. The plan is this. You're going to become whatever you're paying attention to right now. That's it. What you pay attention to is who you're going to become and you do pay attention. You pay to attend things. Your brain can sit and attend to this or that but that's shaping who you're becoming. Yeah.

I think it was the late Larry Crabbe who we had on the program many times here at Focus who said line up 100 men, watch them closely for a week. 70 or 80 of them will be ruled by a passion called neediness. That's right. What was he driving toward there? I think I get that but what's the difference?

What is the neediness that 80% are looking for and what's the opposite of that? Still trying to achieve significance on their own. Through?

Through whatever. Getting that ticked some off for me? Something.

Well, like a career achievement, money, sex, yeah, attractiveness. It could be a million different things but that they're still not secure as men just comes bleeding out especially in a workplace environment where there's like, why is this so competitive or fear-based or something? It's just a weird thing.

It's because people are still trying to, they're still needy and to get to a point where, again, you start paying attention to the right things. I'm talking about bringing the Lord into your mind, growing, listening to things that are wise, paying attention to wisdom, like being around the right things, paying attention to the right things, you will become a more secure person. Yeah. No, it's so true. So many wealthy people, wealthy men that I've met, they tend to, especially the non-Christian, I think Christians tend to do this better, not perfectly, but better, where they'll say, I was aiming for that next deal and I just told myself, if I get that next deal that's going to give me X amount of money, I'm done, I'll be fine. And then what they find is when they get there, that's really the next deal. Right. It's like a deal junkie. They're never going to have enough, it won't be the perfect deal, therefore we've got to move to the next deal to get that satisfaction or that significance.

Just needing complimented all the time, needing this for that... Here's a wonderful thing that C.S. Lewis was talking about. He said, you really have to watch when you're younger because you're on a trajectory. So a little attitude, he called it a grumble. If you're a grumbly person when you're 25, people are like, okay, well, it's all right. But you're on this trajectory, you wind up when you're older, you become just a grumble. Yeah. Like we become more and more a caricature of what we're fostering in our lives. Interesting. And it's like, I mentioned in the book, like you will...

If you're off by one degree for a moonshot, you miss the moon by 3,100 miles because of the trajectory of things. So that's why I think a lot of older people, you can look at this person and say, man, he's a saint, he listens, he offers wisdom, everybody just loves being around him. Or you can see the anger on somebody's face, they become nothing but anger. And they're at the grocery store hitting you with their shopping carts. It's like, you become this extreme thing that you were fostering when you were younger.

You know, Brent, let me ask you this. In the context of your old radio days doing a lot of political commentary, that's an environment where, I mean, you do get angry because people seem like they're not thinking, how people like the word stupid comes to mind. But policies that are put in place, kind of the things that aren't helpful for the most people are put into place. And I mean, you look at public education, all the things that are going on there, what's being taught. You can gin that anger up to where you're really behaving as poorly as those you're opposing.

Or here's another thing that happens, and I think it's more subtle, especially I see this with older folks, and I'm getting to be one of those older folks. We need you to be at peace. We need you to be the voice of the family or the voice of your neighborhood, the voice of your church, where you're thinking in terms of the kingdom of God. But if you're sitting there basting in propaganda, whatever the propaganda is, whatever the news is, whatever, if you're watching that all the time, you're not going to be that person.

And now we're missing you. And people need older people with wisdom in the culture. But you're not, you're like, so awash in this stuff. And I know the news of the day is important. I know all this stuff is, it's true, but we need somebody to offer some peace and a lack of anxiety.

Instead, you're anxious now because you're sitting there like getting all gin. Well, I mean, yeah, I'm thinking nobody's tending that garden, but we need to be Christian men and do the right things and do it with the right attitude. The key though is the alternatives to that neediness that we were talking about a minute ago. If we could take that from 80% to 10%, how would we do that to get men focused on the right things again? Well, this is, I'm taking a shot with writing this book.

Like, I don't know, I really don't know beyond that. Like to try to explain, I think this is God's vision for us. I think women respond the way they do because they intuitively know it is to be a keeper of the garden, to be a source of security for the vulnerable around us.

Your neighborhood should be safer just because you're there. Yeah. Let's move to decision six. Take responsibility for your own spiritual life.

Seems right. But if I were just looking at that chapter, I'd be like, okay, here we go. What's the old, you need to do this and that. It's actually good news. It's not a guilt trip again for guys. I'm saying for a lot of guys, they associate spiritual because our culture does this with emotional. So a lot of guys feel left out or they've done something wrong with God. They don't even understand the whole thing.

It doesn't compute. If you're more analytical, this can be for more analytical women too. That's definitely me. I don't respond emotionally to a lot of stuff that other people do. Like a certain song, everybody's, wow, we went to the chorus and we modulated up and now our hands are in the air. Like I'm sitting watching them like, yeah, they do the Journey concert too.

When they modulate or they hit that chorus again. So I'm always analyzing. Maybe I'm too skeptical and I'm okay. So that's, but what I've realized reading the stories of people in the Bible is spiritual isn't about emotions. Being spiritual is about loyalty. Huh. Faithfulness. Yeah.

Faithfulness to God. You just keep showing up. That's the fork in the road. As we've talked these last couple of days, that decision tree that's always in front of us as guys, do we look at this?

You got to say yes or no. And loyalty and faithfulness is what should drive you to God. And when you understand that, when guys understand that, they're like, I can do that. Like I get it. Guys, this is part of, if you're in the military, you have a job or like to people around you, like I can keep showing up, but God deserves my believing loyalty.

And that daily thing where it's like, I'm going to partner with God in life, like Abraham. Brent, let's wrap up right here. I mean, these are great concepts. I'm actually quite excited to talk to Trent and Troy about this.

I don't know if it's going to be drip irrigation or Niagara Falls. I'll have to make that. Yeah, we're going to sit down and read this book together.

Let's do it. But the concepts are great and the vision is so strong about being the Adam, tend the garden, protect Eve, protect your children, help the vulnerable, all the things that we've talked about these last couple of days. But I am thinking of the guy who's maybe in his 60s, maybe older, who is looking back going, I really, it's the first time I've really heard this. I did chase the money.

I did go through two marriages, whatever it might be. How would you encourage him? What would you say to him to pick up today and move forward? It's not too late. And in fact, somebody, repenting is what we're talking about. Rethinking. Somebody who repents or rethinks, gets humble when they're in their 60s or 70s. It's more impressive.

It is. You're willing to change now. My stepdad has done that a few times and he's in his 80s now and he still will be like, I thought about it and wow.

I am so impressed. All I can say to somebody who's listening and going, well, I wish I would have thought about this before. I wish I would have had that idea before, but I didn't think about that.

I didn't live that way. All I can tell you is much respect to you for saying, but now I will. I just have tons of respect for that. So that's all I have to tell you. You know, it's interesting. I'm thinking of something someone once said to me about the Holy Spirit, that evidence of the Holy Spirit in a Christian's life is a changed heart, changed actions.

That's the thing that really is the evidence. And it's continuing. He does this and he's now this. That's a changed heart. How impressive is that?

Where do you see that anywhere else in the world where 70s like, you know what? I realize I get to do this and now I'm going to serve people in this way better. That alone makes me believe in God even more.

Yeah. And it's so good. Brandt, you've done a wonderful job with this book, The Men We Need. And I think it is one of those resources that every dad, A, should digest and every husband to be able to be that garden tender and hopefully not miss the way Adam did miss.

That's the goal. And then to teach your sons what it means. You know, I hear from so many Christian parents who have daughters. I've not been blessed with a daughter.

I wish I had one, but I don't. But how they say, where are the Christian guys that my daughter can marry? And that's my job with two boys.

I've got to help prepare my sons to be the husbands they need to be. And this is one of those resources. So if you can, like we often do, if you can join us and be a part of the ministry, make a gift of any amount, a monthly gift is best for us. That's how John and I both do this with focus. We support focus monthly. But a one-time gift is good as well. We'll send you the book as our way of saying thank you if you can support us that way. If you can't afford it, we'll get it in your hands as part of the ministry here at Focus on the Family. We believe in the content that much and what Brant has to say here. So just ask for it and we'll get it to you.

And most importantly, apply it and we'll have a different world. Contact us today. Our number is 800, the letter A and the word family. We're stopped by the show notes for the link to make a donation and to get Brant's book, The Men We Need. Brant, again, thank you so much for being with us. It's always good to see you.

Thank you. It's a pleasure to be here. It's funny because I'm so nervous. I host my own radio show. That's actually quite funny.

Well, we didn't see any nervousness. I'm glad that you joined us today as a viewer or listener. On behalf of Jim Daley and the entire team, I'm John Fuller, inviting you back next time as we once more help you and your family thrive in Christ.

In Adventures in Odyssey's 73rd album, 28 Hours, Odyssey's favorite son is missing. Jason? Jason? And lives are at stake. If we move him, he dies.

And if you stay here, you all die. Above all else, everyone wants to know. What's going on? What's going on? What's going on? It's a jam-packed 28 Hours and album 73 of Adventures in Odyssey, available now on the club and download, coming soon to CD. Learn more at
Whisper: small.en / 2022-11-06 02:14:33 / 2022-11-06 02:21:33 / 7

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