161 | Dr. Efrem Smith on Cross-Cultural Relationships, Raising Champions & Modeling a “Sneak Preview” of Heaven

161 | Dr. Efrem Smith on Cross-Cultural Relationships, Raising Champions & Modeling a “Sneak Preview” of Heaven

dr. efrem smith ep161 dadAWESOME

dadAWESOME

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Dr. Efrem Smith

Efrem Smith is a pastor, consultant, speaker, and author. He is passionate about life transformation, multi-ethnic development, thriving churches, and community development. As a product of the African-American Church, he also serves as a collaborative catalyst for African-American Church Planting, Disciple Making, and Urban Empowerment Movements.

Efrem was the founding pastor of The Sanctuary Covenant Church, a multi-ethnic church in Minneapolis, MN, He served as the Superintendent of the Pacific Southwest Conference of the Evangelical Covenant Church. He also served as the President of World Impact, an urban missions organization. Currently, Efrem is the Co-lead Pastor of Bayside Church Midtown, a thriving and multi-ethnic community in Sacramento, California. He is also Co-Owner of Influential LLC, a speaking, consulting, and coaching ministry. Efrem is also a Catalyst for African-American Networks for City to City North America. Efrem has been married to his wife Donecia for 28-years and they have two daughters.

Show Notes:

  •  3:22 – Movie “Black Panther” – “he simultaneously shows such great reverence and honor for his dad, but he disagrees with his dad at the same time. And I think that shows a real tension of the way in which we honor our parents. But then there are these moments where we may have a sense of calling in our life that that is so different that we decide there’s a different way in which we’re called to serve, a different way in which we’re called to look at a career or a decision in life. And we’re trying to simultaneously go a different way from our parents, but yet love them and honor them at the same time.”
  • 4:24 – Examples of ways Efrem stepped outside of the path his parents expected
  • 6:42 – Examples of fathering characteristics that Efrem has tried to copy from his dad
  • 10:13 – “Our lives can be a sneak peek to the Kingdom of Heaven” and I rewrote it, “our lives as dads can be a sneak peek to our kids, but way beyond just our own households.”
  • 10:23 – How to be dads who lead our families into courageous conversations about justice, racism and reconciliation
  • 11:37 – A story of his dad treating others well even when he was treated poorly – “One of the things that my dad modeled in front of me was in spite of racial divisions and racial unrest, he was somebody that treated everybody respectfully and fairly… I had a chance to see my dad, even in the midst of times not being treated as well as he should have been treated in society, still treated other people – especially the people that were the skin color of others that weren’t treating him so well, he didn’t do that back.”
  • 12:26 – “I’ve tried to model racial reconciliation and unity and diversity in front of my daughters. And I know that that’s impacted their relationships.”
  • 13:56 – “Maybe that’s one sign that I’m modeling something well in front of my kids, that they see my intentionality showing reconciled, beloved community in front of them. And so that’s one way we can be a sneak preview of heaven is in our relationships… allowing our kids to see that we’re intentional about cross-cultural relationships.”
  • 14:50 – Additional practical ideas to help raise kids who can see the beauty in all people. “Even the dolls, even the toys that they had were intentional about their diversity. So they could see beauty and all kinds of people. They could see intelligence, they could see problem solving. They could not only see that they themselves could be anything, but they could see that other cultures, other people groups could be anything just by the kinds of storybooks and coloring books and toys.”
  • 15:35 – Time Machine Advice – Wishing that he would have listened more to his daughters
  • 16:44 – Spending more time praying for our kids
  • 17:35 – Efrem coaching us on the theme of raising daughters with INFLUENCE
  • 17:40 – Documentary on Venus and Serena Williams – https://www.amazon.com/Venus-Serena-Williams/dp/B00CBFB8MG
  • “As long as they could remember their dad told them they would be champions. There was this part of the documentary where when they were being asked, when did you know you were going to be great? And they were like, we always knew we were going to be great because our dad always told us we were going to be champions. Our dad always said, you’re going to win Wimbledon. You’re going to win the US Open. You’re going to win the French Open and you’re going to win it multiple times. Both of you will be champions. Both of you will be great tennis players.”
  • 18:35 – “When I would pray with my daughters at night, when I would put them in bed, I would say, ‘repeat after me, I’m a queen. I’m beautiful. I’m God’s daughter, I’m a champion.'”
  • 21:00 – The decision to be more vulnerable and show emotions in front of his daughters
  • 22:35 – “Now my dad and I talk and we can’t have a phone conversation without my dad saying, ‘I love you. I’m proud of you. I love you’….and even at 52 years old, hearing my 77 year old dad say that to me even now is so empowering [and] so transformative. And so, I think for me, one thing I would say is dads need to not be afraid, not be hesitant in a healthy way of being vulnerable in front of your kids, because what that shows is that you’re not stronger than the creator of the universe.” 
  • 23:06 – “We do a disservice to our kids if we lead them to believe that we can live well without God, that we can navigate life’s challenges in our own power, in our own strength.”
  • 23:41 – “Letter from a Birmingham Jail” [Dr Martin Luther King Jr.]
  • 24:16 – What are some ways that I’m missing it and being a “White Moderate?”
  • 26:10 – “Sometimes what it’s about is the things you should do that you aren’t doing, not the things that you’re not doing that are blatantly and evil. It’s about the things that you’re passively avoiding, the things that you refuse to step into.”
  • 27:08 – “I think we need to look beyond the sins that we didn’t commit and look at the actions that we refused to live into.”
  • 28:52 – “A meal where I would ask everybody to bring something that represented their upbringing, their culture… I would say during dinner, the same way we’re digesting one another’s foods, we have to be willing to digest one another stories, one another’s pain, one another’s dreams without our first reaction being judgment or denial… We have to digest these stories, receive them without initial denial or judgment. And I think that if we’re willing to do that, that makes us better parents to our kids. And it makes us better dads when we’re still learning and listening and receiving.”
  • 32:26 – “Don’t take the moments you have right now for granted and allow God to reinvent you as a dad at the different stages of your kids’ lives.”
  • 32:30 – CLOSING PRAYER

Conversation Links:

Video of this Conversation:

Full Transcript:

Jeff Zaugg (02:38):

Just to have a little fun to start this conversation about the dad life. I would jump to the topic of superhero movies. And I was curious, if there’s any parallels that you could draw from a superhero or a great superhero movie and a great dad. Can you think of any just parallels that you could pull out from superheroes to dad life?

Jeff Zaugg (02:58):

Oh man. The first movie that comes to my mind is black Panther and, the scene where, um, black Panthers, uh, dad has already passed, but, but, um, but you know, T’Challa has this conversation with his dad and, and what’s powerful to me about that scene at, um, in the black Panther movie is he simultaneously show such great reverence and honor for his dad, but he disagrees with his dad at the same time. And I think that shows a real tension of, you know, the way in which we honor our parents. But then there are these moments where we may have a sense of calling in our life that that is so different that we decide there’s a, there’s a different way in which we’re called to serve a different way in which we’re called to look at a career or a decision in life. And we’re trying to simultaneously, um, go a different way from our parents, but yet love them and honor them at the same time.

Jeff Zaugg (04:08):

I’d love to hear an example of this for, for you and your wife and, you know, maybe a difference that you guys have taken from your parents. So if we kind of reflect on your dad for a moment, are there, what are some examples of ways that you’ve decided to honor your dad, but yet choose a different course? Any examples you could share?

Jeff Zaugg (04:24):

Well, I mean… Being a pastor. I don’t come from a line of pastors. I mean, my mom and dad are Christians. They, they, they believe in God. They, they love the Lord. They’re, they’re definitely people of faith, but, um, you know, I mean, first of all, I went to college and told my parents that I wanted to be a theater major. So, so that, that was definitely a different path. And then from that to, uh, sensing a call to ministry, uh, but over time, um, that, that strengthened my relationship with my parents, I think for my mom and dad, I think me going into ministry at first, um, it, wasn’t that they thought being a pastor was bad. I think the only examples they had seen of, of pastors were small churches, either in the South or smaller predominantly African-American churches, uh, in, in Minneapolis area at the time where every pastor I knew growing up, they knew growing up in the African-American church was Bible vocational.

Jeff Zaugg (05:37):

And sometimes they were working full-time jobs and trying to pastor a church and, and whatever they would receive from that church is what they received. I didn’t grow up having a vision of the way in which I’d be pastoring today. The idea of pastoring, a church, uh, of thousands of people multi-racial in the heart of a city. I mean, that, that, wasn’t what I originally thought being a pastor could be and so I think for my parents, um, you know, they, they worked very hard so that I could be, you know, one of the first in our family to go to college. And so, um, so that, that’s the first example I think of, you know, I wanted to honor and, and, you know, respect my parents and at the same time, felt a different path for my life, a different call on my life than maybe what they were thinking I would, I would become.

Jeff Zaugg (06:42):

How about the flip side, something that you’ve tried to copy in your dad life that you saw and admired about your dad? Any examples on that side?

Jeff Zaugg (06:50):

Oh, my, you know, I would say my, my dad’s courage and, and my dad’s, uh, work ethic. I mean, you know, I don’t think my dad woke up to an alarm clock, you know, he just, the sun got him up. I don’t know, just his morning was his alarm clock. And so he had such a phenomenal work ethic, but then I think of his, um, his willingness, um, with especially at a time, I mean, my dad grew up in, in Louisiana during Jim Crow segregation. So, I mean, my dad knew what it was like to be denied access to certain places, to have to stay on a certain side of the railroad tracks. I mean, my dad understood white only signs and colored only entrances to places. Um, but yet when my dad, um, made it to Minneapolis, Minnesota, uh, he had a job, um, uh, working at the Minneapolis athletic club.

Jeff Zaugg (07:59):

And, um, and so, and at the time, except for, you know, pro athletes, you know, it was a white men’s club. Uh, and so my dad worked there and there was a guy who was the owner of a company that builds elevator frames, puts the finish on elevator doors. And, and the guy, um, saw my dad and he basically said to my dad, is this what you want to do the rest of your life? And my dad said no. And so the guy said, well, what else are you doing? And so my said, well, I’m going to a college and getting a trade. You know, he was working to get certified as a metal finisher. And the guy said, well, as soon as you’re done with that program, he gave my dad his card and he said, you call me.

Jeff Zaugg (08:49):

And so my dad got in touch with them and ended up being the first African-American to work at this company, H and B. And, um, and so when I, when I think of, of my dad, you know, some people would say, Oh, he just, he just, that’s just the American way. He got a job, no, to be the first African-American working in a accompany at that time. And some of the ways he was treated on that job because of being African-American and what he went through and what he endured, but yet he worked at that company for close to 50 years. And that made way for me to accomplish what I’ve accomplished in my life. And that work ethic, that courage, uh, really sticks out to me when I think of my own dad.

Jeff Zaugg (09:44):

I I’ve gathered in just even the research for this conversation, this theme of courage being just this ongoing passion of yours to inspire courage in people that are listening to you speak, or a leader under your leadership. And I, I read this quote and I’ve heard you speak generally around this quote, many times that our lives can be a sneak peek to the kingdom of heaven that we, that we get that chance. And I rewrote it, our lives as dads can be a sneak peek to our kids, but way beyond just our own households. And when I think of your dad being the first, I pray that I will be the first one. I think of my legacy, you know, my dad, my grandpa, my great grandparents. I don’t know if any of them, as men, as white men, um, lead with courage in the area of reconciliation and justice and talking to their kids or their kids’ kids about racism. And I pray that this podcast that our listeners, many of the dads listening or watching right now would be courageous to be the first in their line, the potentially in their line, again, of parents, grandparents, that would say, I want to lead on this front and lead my kids by listening and learning. And I’m just so grateful for your willingness to welcome people like me into conversations and say, how would I help you? And I’d love Efrem, if you would help coach me for a moment on what would you tell me as a dad that wants to be the first and wants to lead on this front with my little girls? Um, how would you coach me whether it’s something to read or something to pray about or something to know step into this place so that I could actually have that courage and follow through versus just an intention?

Jeff Zaugg (11:23):

We’re, we’re in a reality where we’re in an ever increasing diverse nation, but yet we’re in a deeply divided nation. And so one of the things that my dad modeled in front of me was in spite of, uh, racial divisions and racial unrest, um, he was, he was somebody that treated everybody respectfully and fairly, um, you know, uh, black people came into my house, but white people that were friends of my dad’s, uh, came into my house. So I, I had a chance to see my dad, even in the midst of times, not being treated as well as he should have been treated in society, still treated other people. Well, uh, you know, especially the people that were the skin color of others that weren’t treating him so well, he, he didn’t, he didn’t do that back.

Jeff Zaugg (12:24):

And so I think in my own life, you know, I’ve tried to model, you know, racial reconciliation and unity and diversity in front of my daughters. And I know that that’s impacted, um, their relationships. I mean, my, my oldest daughter’s engaged to be married. Uh, her fiance happens to be white. Um, and, uh, he, he’s a police officer. And, um, and so my, my daughters, you know, in turn, they’ve always had such a multi-ethnic diversity of friends and community. And so it’s like when, when, uh, other girls would come by our house that were friends of our daughters when they were in high school. I mean, it was like the United nations. I mean, it was like, this is my friend is she’s Filipino, she’s Persian, she’s, uh, Afghan, she’s biracial, she’s a Mexican. It was like, and so that makes you feel like, okay, um, maybe that’s one sign that I’m modeling something well in front of my kids, that they see my intentionality showing reconciled, beloved community in front of them. And so that’s one way we can be a sneak preview of heaven is in our relationships that we, uh, and, and allowing our kids to see that, um, we’re intentional about cross-cultural relationships.

Jeff Zaugg (13:57):

Beyond relationships, when you think of these are ways that you and your wife, and if you can go, my oldest is only seven, so she’s pretty young, still, I’ve got three daughters, uh, at that age for your daughters. And even to coach, coach me as we’re in a different place. How would you coach me beyond relationships and showing intentionality of, Hey, I’m not just hanging out with people that look like me or have a similar life experience as me. Uh, what other ways would you coach me?

Jeff Zaugg (14:23):

Well, I think in the kind of diversity of things that we gave our daughters, I mean, the kind of, when, you know, being intentional, when you think about the kind of story books that you buy, your kids, the kind of toys that you buy, your kids that, um, you know, I’m sure, you know, growing up, you know, our, our daughters had Dora the Explorer, they had Milan, they had. So even the dolls, even the toys that they had, um, were intentional about their diversity. So they could see beauty and all kinds of people. They could see intelligence, they could see problem solving. They could, they could not only see that they themselves could be anything, but they could see that other cultures, other people groups could be anything just by the kinds of storybooks and coloring books and, um, and toys that, that we were intentional about giving them, uh, when they were younger.

Jeff Zaugg (15:26):

What would you say if you went back, to give yourself advice maybe a decade ago as now your daughter is engaged, is going to get married in, like, when you think about man right now in this moment, this is what I would have wanted to tell myself back, you know, years ago, like I said, like a decade ago, what kind of, kind of that time machine advice to yourself would you have given yourself as a, as a younger dad?

Jeff Zaugg (15:48):

That’s, that’s a great question. I would say, I, I know that, um, I communicated a lot with my, with my daughters and, and, you know, but I, I wish I would’ve listened even more. Like, like I wished that I would’ve paid attention and not just listened to their words, but, you know, pay more attention to their facial expressions and their, their body language and, and to, to get a sense of, cause now it’s like, even, even with them, both being in their twenties, I see things and go, Oh, so that’s, that’s what they mean by that. Oh, that okay. Um, but I just, even though I did, I still think, Oh, I could have paid more attention. I could have listened more. I could have. Um, and definitely, I know this sounds cliche, but I, I could have prayed more for, for my kids. I mean, by God’s grace, they’re doing well. I mean that, you know, I did I pray? Yes. Do I pray now? Yes. But I still feel like man, there could have just been even more of my lifting up, um, the lives of my daughters up to God in, in, in more consistent ways. Although that’s the first, those are the first things that come to my mind.

Jeff Zaugg (17:12):

And around the theme, I know a passion of you and your wife and even the name of your, your kind of coaching consulting company has influenced this idea that we all have influence. And we are leaders. We all have spheres that we’re bringing our influence to talk about that theme. And specifically around your daughters, raising daughters who are influential, who are influencers, uh, can you coach us on that theme a little?

Jeff Zaugg (17:35):

Yeah. You know, I remember, um, when my daughters were, were very young, I watched this, um, this documentary on, um, Venus and Serena Williams, the famous sister tennis players. And, um, they, they talked about how, as long as they could remember, uh, their dad, uh, told them they would be champions. So, so, you know, they, there was this part of the documentary or story where, um, when they were being asked, when did you know you were going to be great? And they were like, we always knew we were going to be great because our dad always told us we were going to be champions. Our dad always said, you’re going to win Wimbledon. You’re going to win the us open. You’re going to win the French open and you’re going to win it multiple times. You got both of you will be champions. Both of you will be great tennis players.

Jeff Zaugg (18:30):

And so I heard that. And so that, that started when I would pray with my daughters at night when I would put them in bed, I would say, repeat after me, I’m a queen. I’m beautiful. I’m God’s daughter, I’m a champion. Wow. And so, and, and I would, I would say that and say that and say that in then, you know, they got a little older, not that well, man, they’re, you know, an eighth grader doesn’t want you to do that now, or a 10th grader. Doesn’t want you to do that now. A few years ago when my oldest daughter graduated from college, she actually brought that up. She, you know, she, I heard her telling somebody, well, you know, my, my dad always told me that I was God’s daughter and that I was beautiful and I was smart and I was a champion. And, um, then a couple of years ago I had my 50th birthday and my daughters both made this video for me, that brought me to tears where they brought that up again. And so it made me understand the significance of a father speaking into their daughter’s lives and, and not to take anything away from their mother. But I, I learned that, um, there there’s something special, something important about, um, girls hearing their dad, uh, say who they are, what they can be. Yep.

Jeff Zaugg (20:03):

Words of life. That’s our prayer, this whole ministry dadAWESOME is like, can we add life to the dad life versus survived the dad life? And when you think of that kind of broad, I know it’s a vague statement adding LIFE to the dad life, but what are some of the ways that you’d say, Hey, this, this makes a difference to add, to add the kind of life that our heavenly father wants us to live as fathers, um, any themes or areas that you’re like, Yep. This would be a way to add life.

Jeff Zaugg (20:30):

Yeah. Well, you know, we were talking earlier about, um, ways in which you, you honor and love your parents, but you do things a little differently. And so my dad, um, it wasn’t until I was in my adult years that I saw my dad cry or I sense that my dad was vulnerable or scared or nervous about something. I mean, I always saw him as just this very strong man that I, I would always go, man. My dad’s not scared of anything. So then that made me feel weird. Like I could never admit I was scared. Like I never saw my dad cry, you know, when I was a kid. So that made me feel like it’s something wrong. I don’t think I can cry in front of people. And so I was a little more vulnerable in front of my, my daughters.

Jeff Zaugg (21:26):

Then my dad was in front of me and my siblings, but, but later in life, my dad became more vulnerable in front of me. Uh, you know, so my, my dad and I have have, um, I’ve had moments where we were both in tears together. Um, you know, and so, uh, you know, I knew my dad loved me when I was a kid. He didn’t, he didn’t say that to me all the time, but I knew he did now, but now my dad and I talk and we can’t have a phone conversation without my dad saying, I love you. I’m proud of you. I love you. And, and that, and even at 52 years old here in my 77 year old dads say that to me even now is so empowering is so transformative. And so, um, I think for me, uh, you know, one thing I would say is, is dads need to, um, not be afraid, not be hesitant in a healthy way of being vulnerable in front of your kids, because what that shows is that you’re, you’re not stronger than the creator of the universe.

Jeff Zaugg (22:36):

Sometimes we make the mistake in front of our kids that we’re more powerful than we really are, that we’re stronger than we really are, that we, that we, we can do it in our own might. And we do a disservice to our kids if we lead them to believe that we can live well without God, that, that we can, um, navigate life’s challenges in our own power, in our own strength. And so one of the ways that they will know that we can’t fully navigate life in our own power and our own strength is if we allow them within reason to see us in our weak moments, to see us vulnerable, to see us dependent on God. And, um, so that, that’s something that I, I tried and healthy ways to model in front of my daughters that I don’t know everything. I’m, I’m not as strong as you think I might be. I actually need God.

Jeff Zaugg (23:41):

Just two or three weeks ago. I re-read “Letters from a Birmingham Jail” by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. And as I was rereading the part about his concern over the white moderate, and the concern, not over the radical groups that were bringing direct persecution shouldn’t, but the white moderates, I’m sure you’re familiar. It’s my third time, I think re reading, reading those letters, but it was explosively different this time around. And I guess this is part of what I already asked you around being a sneak peek to the kingdom of heaven, but a broader question of what, what do you think most dads like me might be missing when it comes to leading our families around topics of justice and racism? What do you, what do you think? We’re just, maybe we’re, we’re just missing it.

Jeff Zaugg (24:29):

Well, I think what’s, what’s delicate and what causes so much tension around the race issue is for the most part, we want to look at the race issue based on what we’re not doing. So if somebody brings up the issue of race or brings up the issue of racism, um, we might get offended because we’re like, I’m not a racist. I didn’t discriminate against anybody. I didn’t treat anybody unfairly because of the color of their skin. I treat everybody with respect. So, so people start going down this list of what they haven’t done. I didn’t, I didn’t say an offensive word. I didn’t tell a racist joke. I didn’t, I didn’t, I didn’t, I didn’t, I didn’t. And so if you bring up this race issue with me, I’m going to get offended because I think you’re accusing me of something that I didn’t do.

Jeff Zaugg (25:21):

And so I think a healthier way to navigate this issue and what Dr. King was getting at in letters from a Birmingham jail, is it is everybody thought, Oh, who you’re talking about here are the people that are very publicly treating black people unfairly. You’re talking about the people that are beating black people that are, um, spitting on them that are putting bombs in their church, uh, that are, that are, are lynching them. That’s who you’re talking about. That’s not me. You’re talking about the people in white supremacy groups. That’s not me. I don’t do that. I don’t. And again, it’s in that category of what I don’t do, what I don’t do. Um, sometimes what it’s about is the things you should do that you aren’t doing, not the things that you’re not doing that are blatantly and evil. It’s about the things that you’re passively avoiding, the things that you refuse to step into.

Jeff Zaugg (26:34):

It’s not that you didn’t tell a racist joke it’s that when somebody else told one, you didn’t say anything. It’s not that you treated someone unfairly it’s you saw someone treated unfairly at your job and you didn’t speak up about it because you just thought I’m just going to keep my head down. I’m just going to stay in my cubicle, stay in my office, do my job description. That has nothing to do with me. Cause that’s not the kind of person I am. And so I think we need to look beyond, um, the sins that we didn’t commit and look at the actions that we refused to live into.

Jeff Zaugg (27:22):

And for me, I feel like maybe a lot of my friends are listeners to dadAWESOME. Or like this. They there’s like, um, sadly there’s a, a horrible, horrible, like, Oh, there’s a murder or a, there’s a there’s national attention because of this or that, or there’s. And it’s like, Oh, it is a surge of intentionality of reading, of talking to my kids of praying for, and then we drift back into busy dad life because I, because I can, because of the color of my skin not stay engaged and be a man of action and be courageous. Like we talked about earlier, how would you coach me to, to continue to say, no, I’m going to, I’m picking a new trajectory for my priorities, my life, my, um, versus versus just like in and out of of this is a, this is a heart heart thing, a conviction.

Jeff Zaugg (28:14):

Yeah. I think it’s, um, it’s, it’s listening, it’s learning from, uh, those that are different than us. It’s, it’s being willing to hear stories. You know, I, as you know, I used to pastor in, in Minneapolis and, um, I was fortunate to pastor, uh, sanctuary covenant church, uh, in North Minneapolis, uh, for a number of years. And when we were first starting, um, uh, every once in a while we would have a, a meal where I would ask everybody to bring something, uh, that represented their upbringing, their culture. So we had the enchiladas next to the fried rice next to the collard greens next to the hot dish casserole. And, um, and I w I would say to everybody, just, just try a little bit of everything. I mean, I know some stuff maybe it’s too spicy, or maybe you’re allergic to that. So, you know, don’t take that if you’re allergic to it.

Jeff Zaugg (29:10):

But outside of that, you know, just try to take a little bit of everything and just taste it, especially the dishes you’ve never tried before. And I would say during dinner, the same way we’re digesting one another’s foods, we have to be willing to digest one, another stories, one another’s pain, one another’s dreams without our first reaction being judgment or denial to, to receive the story of that African-American brother who talks about being pulled over by the police for no reason, but also received the story of that white brother who, uh, talked about being on a playground and being the only white kid on the playground and being beat up because he was white or that sister who was, uh, an indigenous person of this country, uh, native American, and, um, treated funny or laughed at because of her name or the person who’s a first generation immigrant and their broken English caused them to be ridiculed. We have to digest these stories, receive them without initial, um, denial or judgment. And, and I think that if we’re willing to do that, that that makes us better parents to our kids. And it makes us better dads when we’re still learning and listening and receiving.

Jeff Zaugg (30:37):

As we wind down our time today, was there any other topics around the dad life that you wanted to share with our, with our community?

Jeff Zaugg (30:48):

It is a joy being a dad, I would say to the dads who have kids that are still yet young, your kids are under 10 years old or younger than 15. I didn’t believe this. When somebody told me you’re going to blink your eye and, and those, those kids are going to be adults and they’re going to be gone. So you better take advantage of all these moments that you can right now. I didn’t believe that. And, and it, it literally does feel like I blinked my eyes and my daughters are 24 and 21. I mean, and, and I’m, and I’m re um, I’m re imagining rediscovering what it means to be a dad in their life now, because I can’t, I can’t father them the way I did when I was tucking them in bed and saying, you’re beautiful. You’re a queen. You’re a champion.

Jeff Zaugg (31:43):

You’re God’s daughter. I can’t, I can’t father them the way I did when they’re in high school and saying, now, what time are you going to be back home and, and text me when you get there. And, and let me know when you’re on your way back, you know? And so, I mean, my oldest daughter lives in another state now. And so it’s like, you’re wrestling, I’ve met. How do I, how do I father a 24 year old woman who’s engaged to be married. Who’s in graduate school, working on a master’s degree, living in another state. You know what I mean? So I would say, don’t take the moments you have right now for granted and allow God to reinvent you as a dad at the different stages of your kids’ lives.

Jeff Zaugg (32:27):

Would you say a short prayer for all the dads listening?

Jeff Zaugg (32:31):

Sure. God, first of all, we’re so grateful that we have a heavenly father who is the creator of the universe. So we thank you, God, that we can call you God, we can call you Jehovah Jehovah Yahweh, but in the most intimate level of relationship with you through your son, Jesus Christ, we can call you Papa. We can call you daddy. We can call you father. And God allow us equip us to live our lives. As dads out of the overflow of intimacy with you, our heavenly father identity in Christ, your only begotten son and through the indwelling of the Holy spirit, out of the overflow of that connection with you, God let us father, well, God, matter of fact, I ask that you would be a dad through us, raise our kids through us, father them through us, love them through us. So that truly being a dad would not be by our power or by our strength, our might, but by your spirit, let it be done in Jesus name. Amen.

 

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