160 | Raising Passionate Jesus Followers (Phil Comer & Brook Mosser)

160 | Raising Passionate Jesus Followers (Phil Comer & Brook Mosser)

Episode 160 Phil Comer and Brook Mosser



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Phil Comer

After raising four kids who are all walking with Jesus, Phil & Diane were commissioned by the elders with the task of teaching parents how to raise passionate Jesus followers.  Phil Comer, with assistance from his wife Diane and his son, John Mark, was the founding pastor of Westside: A Jesus Church, a large and vibrant church that welcomes millennials in Portland, Oregon. After handing the lead role over to his son, he and Diane launched Intentional: Raising Passionate Jesus Followers conferences as a way of teaching and training the hundreds of young parents in their church who were now raising families of their own. With his 40 years of pastoral experience and counseling, and lessons learned through his own parenting, he and Diane are bringing parents hope and practical help to accomplish their God-given task of raising children who will walk with God in vibrant faith.

Brook Mosser

Brook and Elizabeth Mosser help lead the Intentional Parent’s ministry with Phil and Diane as well as serve at Riverbend Church in Bend. Elizabeth is Phil and Diane’s daughter, which makes Brook their son in law, which means they are all family learning to do this thing called life and relationships together. They live in Bend, OR with their four children Duke (9), Scarlet (7), Birdie (3), and Sloane (1). Brook and Elizabeth are passionate about seeing their own four kids become all in disciples of Jesus and helping other’s do the same.

Show Notes:

  •  2:50 –  Raising Passionate Jesus Followers book 
  • 3:00 – Disproportionate relationships
  • 4:45 – Phil’s father’s day message “Fathering Like a Father” YouTube Link
  • 5:14 – Jeff asked Phil to speak life over Brook
  • 5:33 – John 1 – Jesus was full of grace AND truth
  • 8:12 – What does it mean to have a generational vision?
  • 10:41 – “And I think sometimes we need to remember that what we’re doing with our kids is of eternal value. We’re affecting their eternity and even generations to come.” – Phil Comer on having a generational vision
  • 11:17 – Jeff asks Brook about the concept of “Default Settings” in parenting
  • 13:39 – Praying over the emotional wounds we’ve caused our kids
  • 13:50 – Praying “God, would you just shield them from the worst parts of me?”
  • 14:11 – Being aware of where your weaknesses impact your family.
  • 15:36 – Discussing the importance of seeing the big picture and not focusing only on individual moments. Phil and Brook run an organization called “Intentional Parents”
  • 17:22 –  “Anything lasting, anything of eternal value, anything of substance, we can’t do without Him. But as far as the big picture….we parent out of relationship – our relationship with God and our relationship with our kids and life, it’s a rhythm, and God designed it that way.”
  • 18:58 – You parent in relationships
  • 19:33 – How to set your own family culture – have a macro vision. “What do we want to put into the world? What do we want to be known for?”
  • 21:38 – What does it mean to “raise passionate Jesus Followers?”
  • 21:56 – “Trying to raise kids that operate in a different kingdom all together.”
  • 22:50 – Analyzing scenes from movies to point out the lies people are believing.
  • 23:41 – “So I think as far as raising passionate Jesus followers – it’s every single moment is Deuteronomy 6. When you wake up, when you lie down, when you go along the road, you’re talking about Jesus, you’re doing it yourself. You’re not asking your kids to beat something that you’re not beating yourself. And it’s raising kids that really know and love Jesus.”
  • 24:35 – Phil talks about when dads realize that it’s a partnership with their wives, realizing kids are a gift from God, and their job as a dad is important – that’s the lightbulb moment for dads at their conferences.
  • Phil quoting his son, John Mark Comer, “Pretty much every problem in the world goes back to fathers not doing what they were called to do and not walking with the Father the way supposed to.”
  • 27:00 – “Cause I think everyone has father wounds in one way or another. Right? And you’re never going to be a perfect dad, but you can be a thoughtful, intentional dad. And we’re intentional about so many things in our lives. So as a dad, you can be intentional about your exercise, your hobbies, your work, your relationship with your wife, but oftentimes it doesn’t usually trickle down to your kids, you know, by and large. And so I think if you can catch that vision to recognize like that is equally, if not more important than all those other things mentioned in the sense of work or hobbies or whatever, you will never regret it.” – Brook
  • 29:10 – Brook discussing how there is a process for you and your kids – there are phases
  • 31:03 – Spiritual parenting – the most important thing you do is to teach your kid to walk with the Lord.
  • 31:30 – The Foundation Years – the first 5 years
  • 32:04 – The Framing Years – Elementary
  • 32:18 – The Functional Systems – Teen years
  • 32:44 – The Finishing Work – 18-22yrs
  • 33:19 – The concept of the box from the book “Raising Passionate Jesus Followers” – Jesus is the foundation, then there is discipline, encouragement, the rod of correction, order. The top is affection, affirmation and fun.
  • 36:15 – The most powerful parenting position is “with-ness”
  • 37:37 – the greatest gift you can ever give your kids after leading him to Jesus is the gift of a good marriage.
  • 38:20 – Phil’s last word – “Tenderness”  – 1 Peter 3 says, “You, in turn, must treat your wives with tenderness, viewing them as feminine partners who deserve to be honored, for they are co-heirs with you of the divine grace of life, so that nothing will hinder your prayers.”
  • 39:26 – “So I just feel like the way we treat our wives, especially in front of our kids is of massive importance. You’re teaching your sons how to treat their future wives.”

Conversation Links:

Video of this Conversation:


Full Transcript:

Jeff Zaugg (02:09):

This week on dadAWESOME I have two of my new friends out in the Northwest, so I’ve got Phil Comer who is in Portland, Oregon, and his son-in-law Brook Mosser – you’re in Bend, Oregon. Welcome to dadAWESOME.

Brook Mosser (02:22):

Thank you. Thank you for having us.

Jeff Zaugg (02:23):

This is fun. And I do, I ask my listeners, so our dadAWESOME community are like, Hey, they’re recommending books and podcast and ministries all the time, but I’ve had enough people that have said, and sometimes it’s the dads and sometimes it’s their, their wives. We call them momAWESOME. They’ll reach out to me and I’ll be like, you got to hear about, because I know that my, you know, my husband would, would benefit from. So you guys have been recommended multiple times, your ministry, intentional parents, the book, “Raising Passionate Jesus Followers.” We’re going to talk at all, all of that in this conversation, but to start and kind of kick things off, Brooke, I’m going to jump to you. Would you talk for a moment about the concept of disproportionate relationships? I read this on your Instagram we’ll post that you posted about your father-in-law. Just talk about that concept and the gift of having disproportionate relationships.

Brook Mosser (03:11):

Oh yeah. Well, uh, I can’t remember where that phrase come came from. I think it was from someone probably a lot older and wiser and a lot more debt than I am. Um, but yeah, that, that phrase really stuck out. I was reading a book and I can’t remember the book, unfortunately, but, um, you realize there are these moments in life where God puts disproportionate relationships with blessing into your life. And sometimes that’s a dad, sometimes that’s a mom sometimes that’s, uh, excuse me, mentor figure. But for me, it’s really been Phil, you know, from the time I met his daughter, thank you. By the way, Phil, for again, letting me marry your daughter. I love her very much. I remember from that moment on, uh, he was always a person too, and he does this to everyone. So, and Jeff, as you get to know him or he’ll, he’ll become your father figure to whether you need another one or not. He just has this presence and ability to lovingly step into your world and give encouragement and direction and wisdom and affection in a way that you didn’t even maybe know you needed. And so I’ve always been thankful from that moment on, it was like, you know, I had, I had good parents growing up, but Phil in the second half of my life is very much been, um, such a complete version of, of a dad to me and so helpful. And I call him about everything and, uh, talk to him about everything. And I’ve been so thankful for his presence in my life. So yeah, that’s, that’s kind of where some of that concept came from thankful for it.

Jeff Zaugg (04:41):

Very, very thankful Phil, to jump to you for a moment. I watched your father’s day message from this past year, Fathering like a Father. And I just, I love when I get to research these conversations, the different points of connection, but you mentioned speaking words of blessing and blessing those speaking affirmations and truths and life and belief in our kids. Could you take a moment Phil and just speak some words of blessing over your son-in-law. I’d love for you to just speak over Brooke, for a moment for us to hear some of the things you see in him as a, as a young dad.

Phil Comer (05:14):

Oh wow. Well, you know, I’m actually jealous of Brooke because my wife says he’s the best father she knows. I go – I used to be the best father. So he is a good father. You know, Jesus was, uh, John chapter one says Jesus was full of grace and truth. He wasn’t 50% grace and 50% truth. It was 100% grace and a hundred percent truth. And Brooke models that with his kids, he’s, he’s not permissive parent, nor is he an authoritarian parent. He’s authoritative bringing the truth of Jesus and the love of Jesus to his kids. So that’s one of the things I love about it. And the other one is, is he loves my daughter. I mean, Jeff you’re getting ready to have your fourth daughter, right? Yup. And as you have a girl, you know, you can fall the love and you go, Oh my God, can I hand over to somebody someday? And you’re very careful with who that person is. And then you want to go over them. And uh, I remember the first time Brooke came to meet, he was, uh, he was 17. With an upbeat, “your daughter’s beautiful. Can I date her?” And I said, sure, – I knew Brooke. He was playing drums on our worship band. And I said, “yeah, you can date her. But if you touch her in appropriately I’ll break your hand,” you know, anyway, to watch him date her with honor, um, we, we wouldn’t let them in the house alone if we weren’t there. And they sit on the front porch kind of embarrassing when you’re, you know, 17, but he’s just honored me. He’s loved my wife. Well for how many years now, Brooke, you coming up your 14th anniversary next week?

Brook Mosser (06:52):

We, next year we’ve been married for 14 years. Yeah. Yeah. Congrats.

Phil Comer (06:59):

That’s another thing I love about us. I love that he does prayer walks. So I have a son-in-law who seeks the Lord and who works on his own stuff. We all, we’re all broken people being, you know, redeemed. We’re being redeemed by Jesus past, present and future where we’ve been forgiven all of our sins. One day, we’re going to be in the presence of Jesus and he redeems us daily. And so Brooke’s walking with the Lord. I could go on and on, but it’d take up your whole podcast. Well, you

Jeff Zaugg (07:29):

Now is 41 years, correct? As far as how long you’ve been married to Diane, Phil?

Phil Comer (07:33):

42, 42.

Jeff Zaugg (07:35):

I was off a year. So my dream is to be married 42 years. And to be sitting in your seat, and someday, someone to ask me, and I get to sit alongside of one of my daughter’s husbands. That’s a dream of mine. So what I’m seeing through my screen is one of my dreams. I pray for all four of those men, those boys who want to come in and will marry my daughters. Uh, Phil tell me around having a vision for generations. And I read about this, or I listened to a podcast interview. The idea that you set off you and your wife, Diane, having a vision beyond making it through the dad life, a vision for: “this is what I hope and pray for.” That’s a generational vision. Can you just expand what, what that means and, and your approach to thinking longer term?

Phil Comer (08:19):

Sure. Yeah. I’ll try and do it succinctly because it’s a huge concept to think about. But to the young dads that are listening in, you know, you’re just making it through the day, right? You’re changing diapers, diaper, trying to make enough money to put food on the table. And life seems crazy at times. And sometimes that’s your only focus, but what you’re actually doing as you lead your kids to Jesus, and then help them walk with him, you’re affecting generations to come. So we don’t know when the Lord is coming back. Even Jesus doesn’t know when he’s coming back. He’s only the Father knows, but, but what you’re doing now, if the Lord tarries, you’re affecting what will be your grandchildren and your great-grandchildren by what you’re doing. So, parenting is a legacy ministry. And so, uh, how do we figure that out? Well, like my wife and I were first-generation believers.

Phil Comer (09:09):

We both had good parents, but none of us were following Jesus. I didn’t know what that meant. I wasn’t saved. I was playing in a rock band for nine years when I came to Jesus during the Jesus movement of the late sixties, early seventies, it was a revival. For me it was radical. You know, I got out of the band. I didn’t know what I was going to do with my life. God called me into ministry. So I’m like all in. And then Diane had a similar experience. She’s a little younger than me. And so when John Mark came along, so all of a sudden, like we’re walking with the Lord and now we have this boy. What’s the first thing you want. You want to know that they’re going to, you’re going to be with him forever. So you want them to receive eternal life and then you want to teach them to walk with God.

Brook Mosser (09:50):

So that became our passion. And so, um, when I was going to Bible school about when John Mark was a baby, Diane picked up a book, uh, called “Marriage to a Difficult Man,” she would read it. You would read it in bed at night, which weird, but it was about Jonathan Edwards and his wife and had 11 children. And what happened out of that family for generations to come there were, there were missionaries and pastors and university presidents, and even a vice president of the United States. And so she was talking to me like, wow, if we raise our kids to walk with Jesus, and then they get married and have kids and teach them, walk with Jesus. And if you actually take a calculator and multiply that out, if you have three kids and each of your kids has three kids after a number of generations, you’re, you’re in the millions of Jesus followers. So that’s the vision. And I think sometimes we need to remember that what we’re doing with our kids is of eternal value. We’re affecting their eternity and even generations to come.

Jeff Zaugg (10:53):

Wow, I have so many follow up questions, but it’s going to connect in. I think I’m going to come back around to some of that, the ripple effect and the generational. To jump over to you, Brooke, I would love for you to talk about in the present. So that’s one thing to have the big long-term, but then there’s the present dad life. And it’s being hard. And our defaults. This actually ties to another, in my research. Another one of your Instagram posts, posts about “default settings.” And it’s funny if you forget about it, that’s fine, but there’s, there’s a, there’s a default. And then there’s an intentional reset of “this is who I want to be.” And there’s pain that in your case, I believe you’re a, you brought a little bit of pain to your kids because of your, your settings in your mind frame around shortness. And can you talk about that moment and why you want to take a different path?

Brook Mosser (11:41):

I think we all have a lot of well-meaning desires for our kids, right? And, and I have like, it’s easy to read the intention of raising passionate Jesus followers. It’s, it’s easy to follow Jeff on dad. Awesome. And like, get all this inspo and be like, I’m so amped to do this. I’m ready. And then you get home from work and everybody needs something from you at the same exact moment. Your wife would love your attention. And she’d love for you to connect in a certain way. And your son wants to tell you about the new, the latest, Nerf gun he bought. And then your, your three girls want to show you all the new dances that they have, been working on all day to show you. And they all want that at the same time. And if you’re anything like me, like I do well with like one or two of those, but like the overload of thing after thing after thing, gets overwhelming. I can’t be the kind of dad I want to be in that moment. And so sometimes, you know, just as any dad, you just, you, you can lose it or become frustrated. And you’re like, I just want to be present. But at the same time, um, if you’re not really aware of how you’re coming across, you can unintentionally hurt. And I think one of the things that, uh, to answer your question specifically, yeah. I think wounding, our kids is something that will inevitably happen. And that’s a really hard thing to live with. If you’re an idealist like myself or even a perfectionist like others, uh, that can be a really hard pill to swallow realizing. Um, it’s not like IF you hurt your kids, it’s WHEN you hurt your kids. And then really the question becomes, well, what do you do about that? Not only for yourself or for your kids. I think when it comes to your kids, one of the things I often do is apologize all day long. I mean, I cannot tell you how many times I’m apologizing to my two year old for just saying I shouldn’t have handled it that way. That was too intense. I’m so sorry. Will you forgive daddy? And she’s just looking at me with big eyes, like, okay, whatever, like you should, she’s like, “of course,” but you know, that that actually starts changing as they get older. You start, you know, asking them for lot of forgiveness. But then, uh, I also love the second thing I love with that. It’s not only apologizing a lot, but it’s praying for a healing over the emotional wounds that I’ve caused my kids. And I think that’s a really big deal is praying like, God, would you just shield them from the worst parts of me? You know, like I’m in process too, would you please shield them from my errors and lack of wisdom or immaturity? And I’m supposed to be the mature dad right now, but all I want to be is the immature kid that just responds foolishly, cause I’m just annoyed or tired or overworked. Um, and then the other thing, when it comes to yourself, I think as a dad, if you’re not aware of your shadow side, if you’re not aware of where your weaknesses impact your family, you’re gonna unintentionally be working against yourself. And, it’s really important for you to do the work for me that looks like counseling every other week. It looks like a close community, friends that know my life, intimately, confession, uh, it looks like prayer walks. It looks like reading the scriptures. It looks like all this stuff, because if I’m not that overly thoughtful about it, it’s so easy just to be, um, pulled away into my own desires or, or own depravity. And so, uh, yeah, for me, that’s where that comes from. And I think if you’re not aware of yourself and how you come across to your wife, to your kids, uh, you definitely cause more damage. And that was my experience. I was realizing I wasn’t taking certain parts of my own discipleship or apprenticeship to Jesus seriously. And, uh, Jesus wanted to do some redeeming. And so he’s been doing that and still doing that, and it’s still such an intense process. So that’s kind of the quick answer,

Jeff Zaugg (15:12):

Helpful. I think when it comes to awareness of our shadow side, when it comes to, man, praying for healing of their little hearts, when it comes to not causing that harm and choosing a different, um, you know, a different way to approach, uh, those moments of being stretched. There, that’s one thing to just go after each moment individually. And I feel like it’s another thing to have a holistic. I have a plan. This, this approach is a part of a broader plan of intentional parenting. And you, I mean, you guys, you know, running, leading an organization called “Intentional Parents” is I I’d love for you to both speak on this a little bit. The importance of seeing the big picture versus just all these little positive one-off moments as a dad and maybe Phil, we could start with you. Why, why is a more macro approach to a plan – Why is that important?

Phil Comer (16:02):

Okay. Before I answer that question, can I speak into what you guys were just talking about? I wrote talks about this, what he’s really talking about is you see your own sinfulness and we all have we all sin, right? But we also have besetting sins. Hebrews says the sin, which so easily entangles you. So that could be pride. It could be arrogance. It could be, lack of forgiveness, for a lot of guys it’s lust, whatever. And, and so I think what he’s saying is the shadow side. If you’re not attentive to it, yes, it’s going to harm your kids more than it would if you’re really walking with the Lord. So when I was your guys’ age, when older man of God was preaching one day in church, and he was talking about this, that we see these tendencies, these almost like rhythms, like I get grumpy at night or whatever. He, and he used this phrase “Pre-pray to prevent disaster.” I think that’s the prayer walks that Brooke does to say OK, when you’re on your way home, and you’re going to be with your kids, you pray and you realize I’m not going, I’m going home to pour out to my kids. So anyway, I just wanted to, to share that because Jesus said apart from the me nothing. And so that doesn’t mean, you know, does that mean I can’t drive? I can’t drive through the McDonald’s drive through without Jesus. Well, I don’t think that’s what he was talking about. Anything lasting, anything of eternal value, anything of substance we can’t do without him. So but, as far as the big picture, I, gosh, we could talk about this for hours, but we parent out of relationship, our relationship with God and our relationship with our kids and life is, it’s a rhythm and God designed it that way. And I think there’s going to be ups and downs for your family, for your marriage, for you personally. And, uh, and so not, not focusing on, you know, my one fail or my one success, but just looking at it over time, like asking yourself, am I a passionate Jesus follower? I mean, if, when I’m gone one day and my kids look through all this stuff I left behind, is there evidence that I really loved the Lord with all my heart and I really walk with him. And then, and then they’ll see that in you and it’ll become a part of how you raise them. So it’s not like something you do on Sunday and Wednesday night, it’s just part of life. And so I think that’s the overarching picture, which then trickles down to the little decisions you make when they’re three and when they’re 13, you know, the yeses and the nos, like what kind of music do you want playing in the house? Or are we going to watch that movie or not? You know? And, and, and, and not just films and music, but the kinds of things we can do and what kind of things we do as a family to serve the Lord. It’s all comes together.

Jeff Zaugg (18:45):

Yeah. Brooke, anything to add on that? Kind of in the big picture?

Brook Mosser (18:49):

Yeah. Well, I think it, it all, it all depends, you know, family, culture’s a really big deal. And I think with Phil too, so just agree with every word that he said, you parent in relationships. I think it’s really easy to get caught in the micro moments, but to remember that you have a macro, you know, situation where, when you’re looking at the big picture, um, it does seem to have this ability where there’s just so much more of God’s grace to even out those little mistakes, you know, like, uh, but, but I think that it depends on your family culture. You know, some families have a really strong culture, I’d say Phil and Diane have done a great job of, of having family culture and passed it down to their kids. But maybe they would say that their families didn’t have as strong of a culture. I know my family had a kind of a new, my, my mom and dad, they started kind of a new culture. And so, um, for us Elizabeth and I, we’re really starting to set our own culture. And I think if you have, if you’re restarting some of your culture, taking some of the good things for both of your you and your spouse’s situation, I think having a macro vision of that’s really important. And I think that you should sit down and go, Hey, what do we want? What good do we want to put in the world? Like God’s given us this energy that our body is like these little power packs, what good, and what things that we wanted to do as a family and as individuals and what, what do we want to put into the world? And what do we want to be known for? You know, one of the things we do with our kids often is, and my kids are so sick of me saying this, but I’m often like, Hey guys, Mosers are flexible. And we understanding and we’re gracious. And so that means if like you come up to a situation that you don’t understand, you’re going to be gracious about it. And you’re also going to be flexible. Like we need to be flexible because we can’t control the world. So what, what is, what are the modes there’s more flexible, right? Then they get really annoyed by that. But what I’m trying to attempt there is to remind them that there is a culture that our family lives into. Right? And I think if you can sit down with your spouse and kind of go let’s dream, what kind of people do we want to be? And Jesus, what kind of people do you want us to be? – A spirit filled curiosity. I think you begin to create this family culture. That really just is not only incredible for you and your spouse, but also for your kids. You’re giving your kids this place to be launched from. There’s foundation. There’s, uh, there’s depths, there’s memories, there’s certain foods and certain, uh, things that you guys get to do go. So I think it’s just important. Sit down and write down your vision for your family, pray it in and asked the Spirit to guide you. And, uh, it’s a really fun process. I love, I love doing that stuff

Jeff Zaugg (21:16):

Well, and we’re going to make sure it’s linked your resources, all your resources, your podcast, the book, “Raising Passionate Jesus Followers.” Let’s define that for a moment though. Like when I’m sure people ask this, they’re like, okay, what do you mean by a passionate Jesus follower? Everyone’s got a Brooke – let’s start with you. Define that a little bit. What you mean by “this is what we’re trying to raise?”

Brook Mosser (21:38):

Yeah. Well, I think what it implies is we’re not trying to raise perfect kids, right. Phil and Diane were the ones that kind of, uh, coined that phrase for their family. But what I can tell you how we approach it in our family, I’ll just take our, our one, you know, individual family with that. I think what it means is we’re trying to raise kids that operate in a different kingdom altogether. Um, so what that looks like is, you know, we have the election that’s been going on and, you know, you have to explain to your kids who are old enough now. Like why are people that are in the highest authority in our world acting the way they’re acting on either side? You know, why are people acting in this way? You know, and, and why are people so upset that they’re acting that way? And you know, really what we sit them down and do in that situation is just say “kids, This is an understanding of the world’s kingdom. These are the world’s safety structures. This is what people, you know, some, for some people, this is all that they have. But you know, we live a part of a different kingdom and our trust structures are in something completely different. And so we pay attention to this and we see this and we don’t need to worry about this, but we need to pray for this. I was watching a movie last night with my son and he’s so annoyed at the process, but you know, you, you often pause. Phil, I know you did this with the kids, because Elizabeth tells me all the time, but you know, you pause spots or skip spots and be like, that’s a bad attitude. And I started taking that and I took it one step further to say, “what’s the lie in this scene that the person’s believing in the scene?” This little scene was basically, this guy had lost all of his retirement because he gave it to a guy and this guy stole it from him and he’s 67. He has no money. And he decides, you know, it’s going to be a better situation for me to walk in front of a train than to keep living. So I asked my son like, what was the lie that that guy was believing in that space. And he was able to point out like, Oh, that that money is everything. And if I don’t have money, I don’t have anything. And then I have nothing to live for. Right. And so then we ask, well, what’s the truth of that? Well, that’s not true. He can, he has life, life in Jesus. He has friendships. He has relationships. He has so much more than just money. Um, and so I think as far as raising passionate Jesus followers – it’s every single moment is Deuteronomy six. When you wake up, when you lie down, when you go along the road, you’re talking about Jesus, you’re doing it yourself. You’re not asking your kids to beat something that you’re not beating yourself. And it’s raising kids that really know and love Jesus.

Jeff Zaugg (23:59):

Yeah. Phil, when you started these parenting conferences back eight years ago, and the demand, the church was just saying, man, we need this. Uh, where, what have been some of the, the aha moments for dads specifically as you’ve coached and trained? Like what, what are some of the topics that you’ve seen dads light up and say that that’s a difference maker, that bit of information or content or paradigm shift?

Phil Comer (24:26):

Oh, man. I mean, so many things. I mean, I think, uh, mothers, women tend to be more relational than fathers, you know, father, you know, warrior go conquer the world. So I think having a father who knows Jesus, understand that raising kids is not his wife’s job, but that he needs to be actively involved and Proverbs 6 talks about my son “Hear the commandment of your father and the teaching of your mother.” That it’s a partnership. And so for a man to know that it’s a manly thing to love my wife and to love my kids and to leave my family in partnership with my wife. That’s a big one. Then to realize that I think when you realize these kids are actually a gift from God, they belong to God. I mean, so Psalm 24 says “The earth is the Lord’s and everything in it.” That includes us. And that’s all over the Bible, by the way. And so when you realize my three kids or, my two kids or, my new baby is actually belongs to God, like I do and the whole world is his. And they’ve been given to me for a time to raise them, to be what God wants them to be. Whoa, that becomes a stewardship. So I think when we see men getting that and they realize, wow, this is more important – my job is important, so that I can provide and do this. And these kids are going to most likely outlive me. Occasionally the kid dies before the parents, not usually. And so I think that that when a father gets that they realize the importance of it and the honor of it and the influence that they have, you know, most of the studies now are all pointing back to. My son, John Mark said the other day, “pretty much every problem in the world goes back to fathers not doing what they were called to do and not walking with the Father the way supposed to.” Because mom and dads have more influence over their kids than anybody ever will because you’re with them all the time. And you parent out of that relationship with the father is so important because you mentioned, you know, I did that father’s day message – that father like the father, we represent God, the father to our kids, and so we need to do, we’re not going to do it perfectly, but when we, when we do it fairly consistently, it’s a beautiful thing. Yes. Yeah.

Jeff Zaugg (26:47):

What would you add to that, Brooke? Anything?

Brook Mosser (26:48):

Oh man. I, I mean, honestly, I so agree with where Phil’s at and I don’t think, I mean, when, when you can realize that the lasting impact that you have as a dad, um, it’s amazing. Cause I think everyone has father wounds in one way or another. Right? And you’re never going to be a perfect dad, but you can be a thoughtful intentional dad. And we’re intentional about so many things in our lives. So as a dad, you can be intentional about your exercise, your hobbies, your work, maybe, you know, your relationship with your wife, but oftentimes it doesn’t usually trickle down to your kids, um, you know, by and large. And so I think if you can catch that vision to recognize like that is equally, if not more important than all those other things mentioned in the sense of work or hobbies or whatever, uh, you will never regret it. You know, I think someone said when it came to making really important decisions, you’re never going to regret slowing down. Like you’re not going to look back and go, gosh, I wish I to just rush that process in decision-making, and really just gone through it really quick. So I think there’s that space too, when we can catch that vision as men, it is a gift to our families, our wives, you know, if your marriage is struggling, start catching that vision, watch what you being an understanding husband, a loving husband, when you start taking your schedule and prioritizing it to your wife and to your children. And that doesn’t mean you like sacrifice yourself on the alter, but at the same time, a man supposed to lay down his life for his wife, you’re supposed to treat her as more important than your own body. I need to think about her and her well-being even more than I think my own. Same with your kids. And so that’s all I’d say is that, man, it feels so right with that. And it’s such a gift. You don’t realize the gift you’re getting as a dad when you prioritize that.

Jeff Zaugg (28:26):

Yeah. Well, for the sake of time, we’re going to do two just quick fly overs, two concepts from the book. The first one is the framing. The way you kind of organize around forming a plan, laying a foundation, doing the framing, installing functional systems, completing the finished work. Just, I think it engages, that resonates with, I think a lot of dads understanding of process because it’s so often it’s not quantifiable the dad life, but like, Oh, there is a process we’re moving to the next phase, Oh, there’s a process. So without unpacking all of them, maybe Brooke, I’ll have you go first, just talk about the approach in that there are phases and different pieces to the puzzle.

Brook Mosser (29:05):

Oh, well, I mean, Phil’s going to speak to this better cause they wrote that content and did such a great job, but, but my, I can just tell you my, adaptation of their great work. Um, I can say that, uh, my adaptation of that is recognizing there is a process, not only in you, but in your kids. And I think the way that Phil and Diane broke that down has been really helpful for so many people because, you know, when you have a kid they’re just, you’re you have one job, like, keep them alive. There’s no parenting or discipline. And you’re like, and at that moment, you’re so thankful because you have no idea what you’re doing. You just have no idea what you’re doing, none of us do. And so I think it’s great that they did a really gracious thing for all of us to help us understand, like this is a phase. And just like, when you had to keep your baby alive, there’s going to be a stage when you need to start learning and teaching them how to have character development. And they need to have a moment where they start learning what it looks like to, obey your authority without arguing all the time and submission and prayer. And so I think they just did a great job of helping us digest and ingest that to realize this doesn’t have to be, you know, the whole of their life is not in one moment you have to do all of it. You do it in bite size steps day by day. And that’s been a real gift, but I’m sure Phil has a lot more to add than that.

Jeff Zaugg (30:20):

Yeah. And Phil, before you do the other concept just has a fly over to help introduce to the dads listening is the box, this idea of Jesus, order, discipline. And then I think the last part is affirmation. Like, could you talk about the box at a high level, but also anything to add to the previous, just the concept of breaking into steps.

Phil Comer (30:39):

Parenting is not an exact science. So yeah, the, the, the, the steps that we put in are just a guide, but we asked the Lord to give us something that dads especially could get their hands around. And so basically formulating the plan is, you know what we’ve been talking about – What, what are you really trying to do? I mean, I had one guy in one of our conferences say, you’re not talking about education. I go, well, education’s important, but what if your son gets a PhD and ends up in hell? It’s like away from the Lord. And so, so we’re talking about, about spirit, what some people call spiritual parenting. In other words, the most important thing you’ll ever do is, is teach your kid to walk with the Lord. And so, uh, and so formulating the plan like, is that really what we want? And what’s our plan. And then the first five years are critical. I mean, child, psychologists will tell you this as well, but a lot of parents they’re too loose. And the first five years, and all of a sudden, they’ve got an eight year old, who’s defying them and they don’t know what to do. So those first five years, they’re exhausting, they’re backbreaking, but they’re critical if you do a good job in the first five years, you’re gonna have so much fun later on. So that’s why we call them them foundation because building a house, if you don’t get the foundation, right, the whole house is gonna crumble, right? So those first five years, just the day in and teaching them to have a heart of obedience, to be able to accept… [missing audio], dealing with temper tantrum. You think – when you’re dealing with temper tantrum, you’re setting them up for success in marriage, and in a job.

Phil Comer (32:04):

And then the framing years, when they’re in grade school, then you can talk to them. And they’ve, they’ve already learned how to say obey their mom and dad when they don’t want to. Now you can be in to work on character and wisdom and loving others and that sort of thing. And then their teenage years, we call that the functional systems. In other words, you don’t want them to you don’t, you know, if you think of your, your life being a home where Jesus lives, a house, which the Bible says, that’s exactly what happens. He comes to live inside by his Spirit. You don’t want it to just look right in the outside. You want to talk to them properly on the inside. So you want your teenager to actually be walking with God and reading the scriptures and having their own, even though they’re still a teenager, their own faith, they’re functioning as a passionate Jesus follower. And then the finished work, I mean, 18 to 22. I mean, you’re just like guiding, refining, helping them make their decisions, praying, blessing over them, not hammering when you spend a bunch of money on tuition and they were going to major in this, and then they hated it. You know, It’s going to take awhile, you know? So that’s, that’s kind of the overview there of that whole whole system.

Jeff Zaugg (33:05):

Let’s talk about the Box.

Phil Comer (33:10):

Yeah. Well, you should have my wife on, and let’s face it guys for Brooke and I, it’s our wives you should have, not us. My wife wrote the book. She came up with the box too. And it’s a concept that was kind of shared with her by an older woman who was mentoring her because the New Testament says all the women are to teach younger women to love their husbands, love their children. And so we had, we’ve had women pour into my wife and older men into me. And so the box is basically, if you look at a box, the foundation is Jesus. He is the solid rock. If he’s the foundation of your life, the foundation of your marriage and the foundation of your home, then your kids are just going to pick up on that. And if you do that for 20 years, they’re going to grow up in this secure, loving environment.

Phil Comer (33:52):

Mom and dad are never going to leave each other. When they get in an argument, they work it out and they tell us, and there there’s joy in this house and there’s laughter and there’s love. And why would you turn away from that? And so he’s the foundation. And then discipline there’s times when you need to give a loving correction or even a loving rebuke, and there’s encouragement. And then there’s the rod of correction, which is controversial, but it’s in the Bible. And then there’s order. Uh, the Bible says that there’s a time for everything. And so that has to do with bedtimes and healthy eating and rhythms and that sort of thing. And sometimes homes are just out of order because the parent’s lives are out of order. They’re going too fast and they’re out too many nights and they don’t know what’s wrong with their kid. He has a bad attitude. Well, you’ve been getting them to bed too late. And then the top is affection, affirmation and fun. Your kids need to know so glad that they’re in your home. You can’t believe you get to be their dad or their mom. And, and, uh, you know, you’re speaking, you’re letting them know that I love you so much. Sweetheart, I’m so glad you’re my daughter, whatever it might be when you do all four of those things at once, a kid will thrive. And so the box is when a kid’s acting up or getting in trouble, whatever we tighten the box with a little more discipline or a little more order, or you bring Jesus back in you not as a weapon, but say, Hey, remember, I want to honor the Lord. And then when things are going well, the box gets larger and larger. And one day there’s no more box or they put their own box around themselves, but you’ve always got the foundation of Jesus. There you have a a thumbnail sketch.

Brook Mosser (35:28):

Great job, Phil.

Jeff Zaugg (35:30):

Yeah. Well, I knew it was worth at least a fly over. So thank you for that. And we are, I mean, we’re going to be in, I believe there’s a new video series coming out at some point, so we’re going to make sure push to your direction. Yeah. Amazing. Amazing. Um, I wanted to give Brooke just last words. Any, anything else when you thought of speaking into us dads, the dadAWESOME community, anything else you wanted to share today?

Brook Mosser (35:54):

I’ll just share something that I learned this week. That’s really powerful and I’ll pass it along, not as a, as a person who’s mastered this, but a person on the journey with you as the dads. Um, I’m learning about the power of “with-ness.” It’s really easy to tell our kids, Hey, go, go clean up your room or go do this or go be this way or go do that. But the most powerful parenting position is witness. And if I could tell my son, son, let’s, you know, let’s go on a walk and pray. Well, that’s one thing. That’s not going to be motivating to him. But if I say son, let’s, let’s go outside and go on a prayer walk. And uh, I want to walk you through some stuff. Let’s do this. There won’t be arguments at all. You know? And not only that, I’m having time with my son and I’m teaching them a new thing, and I’m just learning the power of this, this week.

Brook Mosser (36:41):

And, and there’s been all these little moments that I’ve had this week specifically, instead of telling my kids to go do something. I said, why don’t I just go do this with you? And the outcome, the perspective has been just so helpful. I mean, it’s just been, it’s changed the tone of our home really. Um, and it takes more time, I’ve been learning. I have less time for myself. I have less time to do the stuff I want to do. And that’s actually really good for me. I’m learning that that’s actually really okay. It’s worth it. And the power of with-ness has been something I’ve been learning and, and thanking the Spirit for revealing to me.

Jeff Zaugg (37:12):

I love it. I love it, Phil. I’m going to have you pray just to pray over everyone that listening. Was there anything else Phil, that you wanted to share before you pray a prayer of blessing over all of us?

Phil Comer (37:21):

Well, I’m so I’m so glad you said that because I just prayed. Lord, if you want me to say this, have Jeff asked. Yes, I do. You know, uh, when I was praying about this podcast not having met you yet, you know, there was a word that I wanted to share to the husbands have to do with marriage, because the greatest gift you can ever give your kids after leading him to Jesus is the gift of a good marriage. So Brooke talked about “with-ness” I want, I want to leave him the dads with the word “tenderness.” Okay. The Bible says in Ephesians 5, we’re to nourish and cherish our wives. So what God’s been doing in my life, so I’ve been married 42 years and I still can be too harsh too kind of high, D, to kind of, you know, authoritative with my own wife. And, and in 1 Peter 3, it says that as husbands we’re to live with our wives in an understanding way, I think, well, I’m understanding, well, actually I did a study on that. Let me read you another translation. “You, in turn, must treat your wives with tenderness, viewing them as feminine partners who deserve to be honored, for they are co-heirs with you of the divine grace of life, so that nothing will hinder your prayers.” And that word, tenderness, t means that you actually find out what they delight in, what they desire, and what they prefer. Oh, wow. That was so. You cannot separate raising godly kids from treating your wife the way God asks us to, it says to lay our lives down for them. And it doesn’t come naturally. That’s why we’re commanded to do it. And we can only do it with God’s help. So I would just say, you know, for myself, you know, that I’m praying to be more tender with my wife. To be tender doesn’t mean you’re not manly. Jesus was gentle, and he was the ultimate man, but he was gentle and humble in heart. So I just feel like the way we treat our wives, especially in front of our kids is of massive importance. You’re teaching your sons how to treat their future wives. And Jeff, you’ve got four girls. You’re going to want a guy who learned how to treat your daughters. One day. They’re going to treat him with tenderness because they were taught by their father, how to do that with women. So there you go. I wanted to share that. So thank you.

Jeff Zaugg (39:49):

Thank you. Let’s pray, would you pray for us?

Phil Comer (39:52):

Father. Thank you for Jeff. Thank you for Brooke. Thank you for all the dads that are listening and especially those with young kids. I pray Lord that you would give them grace that you would give them wisdom that you would give them even a renewed desire right now, to really open their Bibles in the morning and say, Lord, I need you to speak to me more than I love you. And I, and I love my kids and, and show me what needs to change so that I can be the father that you want me to be. So they can father like the Father. So for all of us, myself included help us to treat our wives in an understanding way with tenderness because this honors you and then our prayers will be answered instead of hindered. So Lord, Thank you for this podcast to give continued wisdom and blessing to Jeff. Just thank you for our new friend that we’ve met this day, in Jesus name. Amen.



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