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Embracing Your Role as a Family’s Spiritual Leader

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Embracing Your Role as a Family’s Spiritual Leader

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.
Original Air Date: October 16, 2020

Today's Guests

Episode Summary

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.
Original Air Date: October 16, 2020

Episode Transcript

Excerpt:

Mr. Jerrad Lopes: And I felt like the prodigal son who runs to the Father and has the feast with the Father. And then that night I’m sneaking back out. And I’m just like, “Man, I just so relate to that.”

End of Excerpt

John Fuller: That’s Jerrad Lopes, our guest on today’s episode of Focus on the Family, explaining how you don’t have to be a perfect dad to be used by God and you might be a new parent, or you have adult kids. Wherever you are on that spectrum, this discussion is going to encourage you to be the dad that God is destined you to be. Welcome to our program. I’m John Fuller and your host is Focus president and author, Jim Daly.

Jim Daly: John, this one is going to be a little uncomfortable, isn’t it? (Laughter)

John: Well, speak for yourself.

Jim: Well, as a dad, there are many times when I know I don’t have it all together.

John: Oh, yeah. Yeah.

Jim: Yeah? You feel that way sometimes? (Laughter)

John: All the time.

Jim: And the truth is, we’ve all felt that way at some point trying to raise our kids. Um, I think as men, it’s easy for us to act like we do have it figured out. We kind of fake it. But deep inside, many of us wonder if we actually can measure up to the job. And the great news is Jesus meets us where we’re at in our imperfections and in our mistakes. Thank the Lord for that.
John: Yeah.

Jim: So, if you’re a dad stay with us for, I think, a fun conversation that should really inspire you to keep going and to be the spiritual leader in your home that you can be.

John: And our guest, as I said, is Jerrad 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 Leila and they have three children. And he’s written a book called Dad Tired and Loving It: Stumbling Your Way to Spiritual Leadership. And, of course, we’ll recommend you stop by our website to get your copy – focusonthefamily.com/broadcast.

Jim: Jerrad, welcome to Focus on the Family.

Jerrad: Oh man, so good to be here with you guys.

Jim: All right. You grew up without a dad and I know that feeling. Um, what was that like for you and, uh, what impact did it have on you? I know what it had on me in terms of insecurities and other things. But how did not having a dad in your home – and what happened?

Jerrad: Well, 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 still affects me to this day.

Jim: I’m in my 50s and I would say, “Yes. it is still there.”

Jerrad: (Laughter) Yeah. Yeah. Absolutely. So, my dad left when I was 3. He was a professional musician. He is a professional musician. And, uh, he – my mom and dad were never married. I think that they kind of had a fling, had me, ended up having my sister as well. And, uh, when I – I think he tried to stick around for as long as he could and then just realized that the whole dad thing wasn’t going to be a good fit for him. And so, he left when I was 3. I remember as a kid even I would – I remember playing basketball in my driveway. I have very vivid memories of this. I would play basketball my driveway and I would picture him sitting on the steps coaching me. And, uh, but he wasn’t. He wasn’t there. And I just remember thinking, “Man, like, I can’t wait to be a dad one day. And I’m just – I’m positive that I’m going to be the best dad and I’m going to be the dad that I always wanted.” Which hasn’t played out the way I thought it was going to. (Laughter)

Jim: (Laughter) I was going to say. I don’t know if my boys have enjoyed me coaching them.

(LAUGHTER)

Jerrad: Right.

Jim: It’s kind of like you can’t win, right?

Jerrad: Yeah. Yeah.

Jim: You want to be that dad that you didn’t have. And then when you try to lose, sometimes your kids don’t really embrace it.

Jerrad: Well, I mean, 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 dad in the world. And then I became married and I became a husband and I became a father. And I’m like, “Oh, man, I’m not nearly as good at this as I had pictured that I would be for my whole life.” And, uh, that’s the first time I really realized, like, “I’m going to need some help beyond myself here because I don’t have what it takes in me to be the kind of dad that I actually want to be or that I feel like God wants me to be”

Jim: Yeah. And let – let’s touch on that. You got married pretty young, really, in today’s standard 22.

Jerrad: Mm-hmm.

Jim: And Leila, your wife. Uh, let’s get into a little bit of that insecurity. As a guy marrying somebody who didn’t have a dad telling 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?

Jerrad: Yeah. So, uh, Leila and I met – I was a pastor at a church in Portland. Uh, we were hosting a Chris Tomlin concert at the church. Leila came to that concert. This is just the perfect, Christian way to meet your – your spouse.

Jim: Oh, yeah. Ours was Amy Grant.

(LAUGHTER)

Jerrad: There – there you go. Yeah. So, we’re hosting a conference – she – the concert. She walked in and my job as the pastor that night was to welcome everyone. I thought, “I’m really going to make sure she feels welcome.”

(LAUGHTER)

John: Discharge your pastoral duties. A special way.

Jim: Hi. Welcome to Leila who I don’t know yet.

(CROSSTALK)

Jerrad: Yeah. Exactly. I really want you to feel welcome here. Let me give you a tour of the whole church.

Jim: (Laughter).

Jerrad: So, I introduced myself to her and we ended up talking and haven’t stopped talking for the last 11 years. But from that day – the day I met her until the day we said “I do” was nine months. So, we had a very short courtship.

Jim: Yeah.

Jerrad: I just knew if I don’t ask her to marry me, someone else is going to really quickly. So, I better get on this. So – so, I asked her to marry me and then we had kids nine months – uh, she got pregnant nine months into our marriage. So, I mean…

Jim: So, it was fast. Everything.

Jerrad: A lot of – a lot of fast things happening. And again, I thought, “I’m going to be a great husband. I’m going to be a great dad.” And I would say nothing exposes your sin better than marriage and having to get…

Jim: It’s so true.

Jerrad: (Laughter) And I remember the first time – so, just to dive right into kind of the depths here.

Jim: Yeah.

Jerrad: I remember the first time – um, we were early on in marriage and actually confessed to Leila that I had looked at pornography. And I was a pastor at the time. I was a young guy and I just felt such heaviness like, “Man, I – I am breaking marriage covenant here. And, uh – 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 actually pregnant with our first. And I thought, “When I was a single guy, it was one thing to sin and kind of deal with the consequences of your sin. But now, as a married guy and an as soon to be father, like my – my sin carries twice, three times eventually four or five, six times the weight.”

Jim: Huh.

Jerrad: And I’m like, “Man, I – I need to figure this thing out because I am not the kind of husband or dad, I thought I was going to be.” And – and I just, I mean, you don’t realize how much sin you have. You don’t realize how much anger you have, how much impatience you have, how selfish are until you get married and you have kids.

John: Yeah.

Jim: Yeah. I mean, it’s so true. And I appreciate that vulnerability. I mean, I never thought about it quite that way in terms of the weight of that sin particularly. But good for you. And, you know, I’m sure some women particularly saying, “Well, how did Leila respond, and did you guys get through it and how are you doing in that area?”

Jerrad: Well, I mean, I think God is so gracious. You know, Genesis talks about how God creates for Adam a helper, right? And, uh, 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 kind of naively going into marriage – beyond all that, like Leila is a helper to help me become more like Jesus.

Jim: Let me ask you this.

Jerrad: Yeah.

Jim: You know, one of the problems, I think with transparency, especially in marriage – you’ve set it up really well saying marriage is hard for us sometimes to be honest and et cetera. And so, I remember a 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 in 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 wives?

Jerrad: Oh, man, you just hit such a nerve. Because, you know, as I now spend my – all my days working with men. I literally just said this to the Dad Tired community two days ago. The more I interact with men, the more I’m convinced we’re all just boys in adult masks trying to make our way in this world. Trying to figure out…

Jim: Well, trying to figure out if we’re really men.

Jerrad: Yeah. I was…

Jim: That’s so true.

Jerrad: I was just in Montana speaking recently.

Jim: Well, they’re all real men up there.

Jerrad: That’s what I’m saying.

Jim: (Laughter).

Jerrad: These guys were just like, you know, men’s men, right? Men’s men. And I watched as their walls came down and some of these guys were trying so hard to fight back tears and eventually, they just broke down. I thought, “Man, we’re all just boys.” And to your point, I’ve heard a lot of guys say, “I feel comfortable confessing to God my sins and my shortcomings, but I don’t feel comfortable confessing to my wife.”

Jim: Yeah.

Jerrad: And I think, man, for any wife listening, this is – if you can do give your husband one gift, it’s 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 has created you to be.”

Jim: Well, and in fairness, I get this, too, from the wives. I mean, we’re usually hurting them right in their area of vulnerability.

Jerrad: Right.

Jim: Especially in that area, you talked about pornography. I mean, that crushes them as women.

Jerrad: Absolutely.

Jim: “I’m not enough for you and all those things.” But there’s that whole, you know, array of things that emotions that we can wound our wives with and unintentionally, I think, most of the time. Jerrad, let’s go to a story in your book that I thought was really funny because of the title “Satan’s Cesspool.” I mean, you couldn’t have made these things up even better, but this was a great little outdoor experience. All of us guys are going to relate to what happened at Satan’s Cesspool. What is it?

Jerrad: Yeah. So, I was – it was right as I was getting out of high school. My friends asked me, “Hey, do you – Jerrad do you want to go on a float down the American River with us in Sacramento?” I said, “Absolutely.” I love being on the water – anything that has to do with water. We had been goofing off just being a bunch of young, dumb, you know, young guys.

Jim: Yeah.

Jerrad: And so, we’re floating having a good time. And at the end of our trip, my buddy said, “Hey, do you want to get in the inflatable kayak, and I’ll get in your innertube. We’ll swap?”

Jim: (Laughter).

Jerrad: And so, I said, “Okay.” So, I got in his inflatable kayak and I’m kind of an introvert, sometimes a little bit of a loner. So, I’m like, “I’m going to go up ahead of everyone and just kind of enjoy some peace.” So, I’m paddling. Very calm, peaceful. I’m just when board shorts and flip flops, no T-shirt on and I’m just…

Jim: No vest. No helmet. Nothing

Jerrad: No vest. No helmet. Just very – I’m just there to relax and enjoy a nice calm time on the river. And two guys come up behind me and – and I can hear them say as I’m just kind of in my nirvana, they say, “Hey, man, have you ever done this river before?” And I’m like – I turn around and they’re in whitewater kayaks with wet suits on and life jackets and helmets. And I turn around, I’m like, “What?” And they said, “Have you ever done this really before?” And, you know, I’m kind of a little punk kid. I’m like, “What do you mean ‘done this river before?’ I’ve floated plenty of rivers.” And they said, “Well, just be careful ’cause Satan’s Cesspool is up ahead.” And I thought, “Oh, my gosh.” And I feel like, just…

Jim: That should have got your attention.

Jerrad: Yeah. Just as they said that the water – the current picked up, you know?

Jim: Yeah.

Jerrad: And so, all of a sudden, I find myself in very fast moving water and I realize I’m – I’m in it. Like this is – there’s no turning back.

Jim: There’s no way out.

Jerrad: And as we get closer the horizon actually see people on shore taking pictures of these kayakers going off of this waterfall.

John: Oh my.

Jerrad: And, uh, so I just think, “All right, this is it, man. We’re – we’re going for it.” And I hit that waterfall, man. And, uh, immediately my inflatable kayak folds in half. I get tossed out and I just – I get sucked to the bottom and the waterfall is just pushing me under. And I’m hitting rocks. I’m just praying for my life. “God, please don’t let me die. Please don’t let me die. Please let me die.” And I just kind of get pushed out and I’m laying there on shore and I’m like, “What in the world just happened?” Um, but I tell that story in the book because I think so many guys – actually I think men and women – get into marriage thinking it’s going to be a relaxing float down the river, right? This is just going to be a fun, relaxing time. And I say you don’t need to be married longer than six months before you realize this is Satan’s Cesspool current. (Laughter)

Jim: Right. The current – the currents picking up here. (Laughter)

Jerrad: This is a lot harder than I thought it was going to be.

Jim: Well, it’s a great analogy. I mean, it really is. One of those things you mention in your book is time. And, you know, I think we – that – 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’d like you to react to this and then talk about yourself as a pastor those 11 years and how you tried to divide your time between people pulling on you and your family, your own family. But I remember this youth pastor told me once, he said, “You know, I was really busy at this time. I had a 4-year-old daughter. I came home from a youth event. I needed to shower quickly and get back to the church in order to have a teen get together. And my 4-year-old daughter came up to me wanting to hug me. And I said, ‘Honey, I’m sorry. I got to go lead people to Jesus.’ And she said, ‘Well, Daddy, when are you going to teach me about Jesus?’” Isn’t that a cutting line?

Jerrad: Jeez.

Jim: I mean, out of the mouth of a babe, right? And so, he quit that job and got on eight to five 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, a different vocation that allows you to be there. Speak to that.

Jerrad: Well, I – I – man, I think so many guys struggle with this. I think part of it has to do with we feel better oftentimes at our jobs than we feel – than we do at home. Um, I can go to work and get rewarded. I have a paycheck coming in. A boss might pat me on the back, said, “You did a good job today.”

Jim: It’s a pretty calm river.

Jerrad: Right. It’s a calm river.

Jim: Most of the time.

Jerrad: Exactly.

Jim: And, uh – and I kind of know what I’m doing, and I know what’s expected to me. And then when guys get home, they don’t quite know their role as husband and dad. And so oftentimes, I don’t know if it’s a time thing. Honestly, I don’t know if it’s – you ask guys, you know, they say, “Well, I don’t have enough time to spend my family kids. I’m 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 a ton.

Jim: So, you’re kind of hiding.

Jerrad: Yeah, you’re hiding.

Jim: You’re back to that.

Jerrad: You got time, man. You got time. I think you just feel more comfortable at work. And so, you have to have honest 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 me?

Jim: Well, and that was your dilemma, right? I mean, when you were pastor these 11 years, you were noticing things at home weren’t going quite right. Explain your personal story in that regard.

Jerrad: Yeah. So, for me, I had – you know, I had to come to the to the conclusion, like, okay, this isn’t a time issue. This is an intentionality issue. And I had a – I had a mentor tell me one time, he said, “Jerrad, you’re going to 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 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. Go do really well at those things.”

Jim: What are those three again?

Jerrad: Husband, father, disciple. Those will go with you to the grave.

Jim: Wow.

Jerrad: And, uh – 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 priority for me.”

John: Yeah. Our guest today on Focus on the Family is Jerrad Lopes and he’s written a book called Dad Tired and Loving It: Stumbling Your Way to Spiritual Leadership, full of great stories and vulnerabilities we’ve heard thus far in the program today. Stop by our website to get a copy of that book. It’s focusonthefamily.com/broadcast.

Jim: Let’s talk about devotions with our children. I mean, that’s one of the things – uh, 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 going to do some tonight with the kids, some spiritual thing?” Have you ever heard that?

Jerrad: Oh, my gosh. Daily…

Jim: (Laughter).

Jerrad: Well, I hear it daily in our – in our Facebook group and on our online community.

Jim: Yeah.

Jerrad: Yeah.

Jim: And it – you know, I think that prompting is a good thing. I’m not getting on wives for reminding us that it’d be good to teach the kids something spiritual. But there is – 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, you know, a chemistry major. So, she’s really sorted out. I mean, she’s got her plan. She’s going to go in tonight. It’s going to be 30 minutes.

Jerrad: She’s smarter than you.

Jim: She’s smarter than me.

Jerrad: That’s what you’re saying, right? (Laughter)

Jim: Absolutely. There’s no doubt about that. She’s much higher on the S.A.T. But, uh, you know, the point of that is that she wants something a little more formal. And then I’m a guy driving down the road and I see some illustration and I’ll talk to the boys. “You know, it’s just like Proverbs 3, right?” And, uh – and I use in the moment moments to really talk about Scripture and how that applies. I think both are valid. Neither is invalid. But – but we tend to esteem things differently. So, how – how do we manage that as men? How do we manage, you know, Mom’s expectation of doing something more formal and then we’re not meeting it?

Jerrad: Well, I mean, what you just said is such a beautiful example because we’ll – look at what Jesus did. He did both.

Jim: Right.

Jerrad: He had the times where they were studying the Scripture and then they would take the Scripture and apply them in real life. Go and love your enemies. If somebody – “How often should you forgive someone?” one of His disciples asked and He basically said, “You never stop forgiving.” Right? And so, they’re hearing this this in the Scripture. And then someone comes to arrest Jesus. And that disciple is now chopping the ear off the guy.

Jim: (Laughter) Right.

Jerrad: And Jesus is saying, “Put your sword away.” So, He’s doing both. Let me teach you what the Scriptures say about how to follow Jesus. And now let me show you how to put those into practice. And this is what a dad – like a dad that wants to be a spiritual leader does both. We study God’s Word. We have times where we actually break open the Bible and read. But then I’m using every opportunity that I possibly can.

John: Mm-hmm. Yeah. I was going to ask – 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. What are you finding out with guys that works well?

Jerrad: Well, so that’s majority of guys. I mean, every – every guy in our Dad Tired community, that’s what they’re saying. If you go – it’s interesting right now. If you go to the park – if I go to any park right now, there are going to be dads who are playing with their kids. Going down the slide. They are going to be dads who are changing diapers, who are doing more things than most of our dads did, right? They’re swinging the pendulum hard the other way. And so, we have a lot of really engaged dads. But if you ask that dad, “Do you feel like the spiritual leader of your home? Do 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 what we’re trying to do. Like with Dad Tired, we’re trying to equip guys, give them actual very practical tools so they can step into that role as the spiritual leader.

Jim: You know, Jerrad, you do such a good job in the book explaining to guys how to turn those situations into spiritual moments. I think, you had – (laughter) this is really funny, because I could relate to this. You had something going on with the water again. You love water, you said.

Jerrad: I love water.

Jim: And your kids and a cell phone or two cell phones or maybe 20 cell phones. What happened?

John: That’s a painful incident. Look at his face. (Laughter).

Jerrad: Yeah, well, um, it’s a long story, so I’ll give you the short version. But we were fishing. I had my family in town. We were fishing at a dock. My – my sister caught a fish. She was so excited. She hadn’t caught a fish since she was a little girl. She said, “Take a picture.” Pulled out my phone, took a picture, went to put the phone back my pocket, it fell into the river. Two days later, I take my daughter out and my son fishing and my daughter says, “I’m bored, Daddy. Can I play on your phone?” I’m like, “No. Don’t you remember what just happened?” She said, “Daddy, please.” So, I give in to her sweet little attitude.

Jim: “Oh, Daddy, please. Daddy.”

Jerrad: Yeah. Hand her the phone. Put her in the middle of this big dock. She could drop the phone in any direction and it’s not going to land in the water. Well, my little girl at that time – I think she was, you know, 4- or 5-years-old – all her patience had – her patience tank had run empty that day because the – the Internet wasn’t moving fast enough for her little Peppa Pig video or whatever she was watching. And in her frustration, she took that brand new iPhone that I had just bought two days earlier with cash, no insurance and she threw that thing as far as she could into the middle of the river. And I always say this, that was the most embarrassing moment of my parenting journey thus far is how much I yelled at her. I’m confident people were calling the cops. Like this kid – something is going on down there. But I was so furious, so furious.

Jim: I bet you were. Like a $1,000 furious. (Laughter)

Jerrad: Exactly. Yeah.

Jim: Well, again, it just shows how – you know, the imperfections that we have. And I think that’s so much of the battle for some of us. I mean, if you’re a type A kind of guy, you’re in trouble because 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?

Jerrad: Well, yeah. So, we oftentimes – we think that our kids and our wife, you know, we’re there to help shape them, especially our kids. Man, God is using – every dad knows this – God is using our kids to help us make us more like Him.

Jim: Yeah. 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 (laughter) – most guys like Peter because he’s messing up all the time and we relate to that. That’s why we say we like Peter because we’re like Peter, right? So, how does Peter relate to your daily troubles and why do you identify with him so much?

Jerrad: Well, Peter always says, you know, ready, fire aim.

Jim: (Laughter).

Jerrad: That’s Peter’s.

Jim: He’s that guy.

Jerrad: Yeah, he says something and then later he’s getting rebuked by Jesus. And yeah, he’s Jesus – one of Jesus’s closest friends. He says to Jesus – he pulls him aside and says, “I just want you know, I’m never gonna deny You”, right?

Jim: (Laughter) Right.

Jerrad: “I’m never going to leave You.” That night, he denied Him three times. So, he just – he’s a mess. And I look at myself and I’m like how often – I was just praying this morning, “God – 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 I’m sneaking back out.

Jim: Yeah.

Jerrad: And – and I’m just like, “Man, I just so relate to that, to what Peter was going through. This constantly – just fumbling up my journey of trying to fall in love with Jesus.

Jim: Well, it captures the spirit of a man. I mean, that really is a man. You know, I want to be this, but quietly I’m not that.

Jerrad: Mm-hmm.

Jim: 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 I’m not measuring up. And. Jerrad, you’re a 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 it might be. And I’d say make a pitch right now to the guy, the father and the husband who isn’t measuring up. What are they got to do first thing spiritually to move in the right direction?

Jerrad: Right. So, there are – I think there are a lot of guys who aren’t leading their families because they’re ignorant. They did not have a leader to show them, a dad, somebody to teach them that. 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 shame. I think there are so many guys who are paralyzed by their shame and they feel like, how could I lead 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. There’s a powerful moment where Peter looks at Jesus as he’s denying him, right? The two look at each other, they make eye contact and then Jesus dies. That’s a bad day for Peter.

Jim: Yeah.

Jerrad: That’s a real bad day. The next time Peter sees Jesus, Jesus has breakfast ready for him. After He has risen up again, He has breakfast ready for him. Peter comes off the boat from fishing and Jesus cooks some breakfast. The reason I tell that story is because there are 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.

Jim: Yeah. What a picture.

Jerrad: So, I would tell that guy – that guy, “Man, turn away from your 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 as all of creation was collapsing? He was taking a walk. God can handle your worst day. So, I would tell that guy, “Man, if you feel like you’re too dark and shame, turn to Jesus. The God of the Bible wants to be near you.”

Jim Yeah. And 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 bed, but you had it all figured out how you’re going to do this, because it was heavy. I mean, you’re making all the right guy measurements there. Fill us in on that story.

Jerrad: So, I had been in this season where I really wanted God to show up and do miraculous things. I was just praying, “God, show up. Show off Your glory.” And during this time, we were moving from an apartment to a 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 bed frame and it was the last thing to move. And I told 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. You know, be ready to haul it yourself. It’s very heavy.

Jim: (Laughter).

Jerrad: So, this guy shows up. He said he wants to buy it. And he shows up and he’s by himself. And I’m like, “Dude, what are you – you know, what are you doing? And I said, “It’s very heavy. You got to show up…” So, anyway, I’m frustrated already at the transaction.

Jim: Right.

Jerrad: Okay, so we’re sitting there and I’m telling him, here’s how the bed frames broken down, how you’re gonna want to put together. And as I’m just saying all this to him, I just feel that prompted by the Spirit, “Give him the bed. Give him the bed frame.” And I’m like…

Jim: Insult to injury, right?

Jerrad: Yeah. I’m like, “No.” I’m like, “Absolutely not. I’m not giving him the bed frame. No.”

(LAUGHTER)

John: This guy.

Jerrad: Yeah.

Jim: Brought some friends maybe.

Jerrad: Yeah. Yeah, exactly. I don’t want to haul this thing down and now I’m not going to get money for it. So, absolutely not. I’m not going to do this. Well, the Spirit, you know, over and over and over and just pushing me. And eventually I wasn’t even a cheerful giver. I was – I was reluctant. I was mad. I’m like, “Hey, man, you can have the bed frame.” I’m mad. Like, “You can have the bed frame.” He said, “Oh, my gosh. What?” And I try to make it spiritual. I’m like, “You know, I’m blessed to be a blessing.” I try to throw it – make it all Christian. But we’re hauling this heavy bed frame down three flights of stairs. And he stops and he says, “Hey, man, I just want you to know my wife just served me with divorce papers, and I don’t have any furniture. And so, the fact that you’re giving me this is like – it’s really helpful.” And, dude, I just felt like – I had been praying that God would show off His glory…

Jim: (Laughter).

Jerrad: …And He was using a bed frame…

Jim: Yeah.

Jerrad: …Even in my reluctance to bring the kingdom of heaven down here to earth.

Jim: To this guy. Well, you know, again, I appreciate that vulnerability. I think, this is a guy’s life. This is what we are as husbands and fathers. And we’re – you know, so often we’re misfits, because we’re not perfect in this life. And we’re certainly looking forward to the next. But you’ve done a wonderful job pulling these thoughts together. Jerrad, I appreciate again your honesty. And we’re all learning as we go, right? I mean, that’s the bottom line. And I would like for you, our listeners, viewers on YouTube, get a copy of Dad Tired and Loving It. I think it has all the right mixes for us of humor stories like you’ve heard. And, you know, 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, we’ll 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’t afford it, get in touch with us. We’ll get it into your hands, just like the bed frame, right? We’ll send you the book so you can read it, and we’ll trust others will cover the cost of that. But, Jerrad, thanks again for being with us. Really, really good stuff.

Jerrad: It was great to be here. Thank you.

John: So, donate today and get your copy of Dad Tired and Loving It, when you call 800, the letter A and the word FAMILY. Or online at focusonthefamily.com/broadcast. And while you’re at the website, be sure to see some extra video content that we have with Jerrad. Some practical tips for dads about managing life and family and I think you’ll be encouraged. Again, that’s on the website and, uh, that’s focusonthefamily.com/broadcast. And 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.

Teaser:

Mrs. Deb Weakly: I think there’s knee marks beside my daughter’s bed in the carpet because I was kneeling beside her bed after she went to sleep, crying out to the Lord, “You’ve got to help me. I don’t know what I’m doing. I’m making a mess of things.” And all He would say is, “Spend time with Me.”

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