Jeff Zaugg (03:20):
Edmund Burke said the only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing. Right. You shared that with a group that you were leading and I’d love for you to talk about that quote and why it’s important to acknowledge that that’s an attack that we’re, that we’re under.
Dean Stinchfield (03:37):
Yeah, no question it Edmund Burke was – He was a thinker, right around the 1700’s, from England, but he was, he was inspirational for me cause he would look at, he looked at the evil in his time and didn’t think about, “Hey, I can’t conquer everything, but wherever it’s advancing in my own life, I can step up right there on that front.” So it’s just an encouragement for me to realize that we’re in the game. Like, you know, whether it’s a basketball player, you know, I played sports as a kid, whether it’s football, whether it’s basketball, the other team may advance, but it’s not going to happen through me. That’s right. You know, whether I’m an offensive lineman, I can’t worry about what’s happening on the right side of the defense. But my gap in front of me, I’m going to control, uh, from a basketball standpoint, I’m going to get the rebound on the right block. Okay. This is my space and God’s given us a space to, you know, we got to have ownership of that and step forward. And we have kingdom power, so we should be stepping forward and utilizing that kingdom power.
Jeff Zaugg (04:47):
Yeah. You’re, you’re actually talking about a fight versus a passive mode. Like you can be passive. There’s the people in the stands that are passive, that are watching the action happen. And then there’s the people on the, on the field, right. That are going after it.
Dean Stinchfield (05:01):
And the man in the arena. Teddy Roosevelt, the man in the arena and every dad’s a man in the arena and God has sent you into a different arena. So, you know, be that man just step up.
Jeff Zaugg (05:15):
How have you seen when you, when you saw fatherhood modeled for you, let’s talk about your dad for a moment. And I know both of our dads are in heaven now, but talking about your dad and how you saw, and it could be areas that you, you decided, Hey, I’m gonna follow that lead and be a dad like my dad. And there also can be areas that you’re like, no, I’m going to take a little different course. Just talk about your dad for a little bit.
Dean Stinchfield (05:34):
So my dad got married very young. You know, my mom and dad got married about 20. And one of the great blessings of both that both my mom and my dad gave me is that belief that the future is good and that we have a good heavenly father and they always believed in me. So one of the things that my dad consistently did is he kind of encouraged and constantly drew out the best things that he saw in me. So I always knew that, you know, my parents were always my biggest cheerleaders. So I’m up to a detriment. Sometimes I get a standing ovation cause I walked down the stairs, but my dad just constantly believed my life mattered and I could make a difference. So I wanted to make sure that I was going to be an encourager for my kids. You said something I thought that was really profound when we just, when we started, you know, that which we focused on tends to, you know, tends to multiplies the way I say it. Yeah. So when I talk to a young dad or a young married couple, find the best parts of your spouse are the best parts of your kid and focus on those because they’ll tend to expand either in your vision, but also in their life. And my dad did a really nice job of that, of finding what was good in me and then projecting that into the future. So the future isn’t dark and foreboding, it’s exciting. It’s an adventure about to unfold. And I wanted to really make sure I took my dad’s legacy. That tomorrow is a bright and beautiful day and my dad couldn’t wait for tomorrow. So I wanted to make sure that I projected that to my kids. That tomorrow is a good day and we get to live it with a Holy God. You get to go on an adventure, God plus one’s a majority. So fear tomorrow. Hm. Go after it. And my dad did a great job projecting that into my life.
Jeff Zaugg (07:35):
And I know that projecting is something like speaking life over your girls is something that is a big deal to you. I actually, my research for this conversation, I know there’s a few things that have been truths or promises that you’ve prayed over or spoken over. Um, what are a few of those things for your girls?
Dean Stinchfield (07:53):
Uh, yeah. So I always wanted them to know that no matter what happens, I’m going to be their dad, that I will always love them. That Jesus will always love them. And we’ll always be friends. So, you know, I say those one more time for us. Okay. That I will always love. I will always love you. You know, my girls will, will, will recognize this. I will always love you. I will always be your dad. Jesus will always love you. We’ll always be friends that will always be there. Yeah. So, uh, you know, my oldest daughter, um, when she got married, she gave me a tie – and I get choked up, even talking about it. But she gave me a tie that had the “always” written on the back inscribed in. So yeah,
Jeff Zaugg (08:48):
That is such for me with little girls. I’ve mentioned that
Dean Stinchfield (08:51):
I’m a dad girl. I’m a girl’s dad
Jeff Zaugg (08:55):
They soak it in, and I can see it in your eyes now. But I know that our words are, are soaked in my, our girls, the boys too, though, dad’s of boys. Like these kids are soaking in our words. And for you to use the word always in each of those statements, like that just brings such confidence and it brings such strength. And what you, what you are speaking over, you have spoken over your girls is something that we have spoken over us by our heavenly Father.
Dean Stinchfield (09:25):
Yes. Amen. Jesus lives to intercede. The Holy Spirit’s praying for us. Christ is praying for us. He knows who we are and our best selves and believes in us, it matters so much. And our words are so powerful. I never wanted to be that critic or negative voice in my daughter’s heads because the world’s a tough world, especially for young daughters going through schools, they’re going to hear enough negative comments. I didn’t want my voice to be that voice of criticism in their head. And it’s odd, you know, within interpersonal relationships and especially with fathers to kids, you have this almost word bank account, this emotional bank account inside their, their souls. And every affirmation is a deposit, but every criticism is, is, is a withdrawal. And they’re not, one-to-one a negative withdrawal is like 20x. You’ve got to have 20 affirmations for one withdrawal. So you better make sure you’re not going, you’re not running a deficit because that’s going to be a negative thought track. In my daughter’s mind, I never wanted to be the voice of the critic in my kids’ minds.
Jeff Zaugg (10:43):
I mean, that’s profound. And I’m thinking about my two year old who climbed up this bookshelf, got a bookshelf bolted to the wall. And I look over and she’s monkey climbing to the top shelf of it. And I went strong out of safety, strong, like get down. And she trembled because I went strong with my voice. And it wasn’t afraid until you came. Exactly. Well, she’s super courageous actually. And I affirmed that, but like, what I saw though, is it took so long to help bring her down from what she heard – My voice was amplified. Not only because it was loud, but because of who I am in her life. That it came so thick that she needed, again, like that bank account that you’re talking about it actually though it turned into a heart connection moment. It, in the moment it could have been so many rounds of withdraw. Like she, all of a sudden doesn’t feel safe with dad. And like, so to me it’s so important that we are, we have, and to even the land on those kind of four, like always statements for us to use repetition. Um, would you talk a little bit about why, why did you, like, why is repetition even important when it comes to speaking life?
Dean Stinchfield (11:46):
Oh, because it’s, it becomes like planks that they can build their life on. You’re like putting down deep foundations of “These things are true.” Uh, you know, Socrates talked about, uh, from, when you, when you’re educating people and educating young kids, you need to begin to tell stories that begin to pull forth the, and create in them and imaginations of what is true. What is good? And what is that when they go farther in education, they’re like training their instinct, like, okay, yeah, this is right. This feels good. So when I was with my kids, I wanted to make sure that we had that deep foundation of when a relationship is right. This is what it feels like, this is good. So then as they go further in their life, they’ll, they’ll, it’s, it’s almost like tuning a piano to a, a pure note. Okay. If we can get, and that’s really connecting with God because I’m not a pure note, but if we can connect them with God and focus on what is true, what is good and what is beautiful, then they’re going to be looking for that in future relationships, whether it’s with other men or in the workplace. And all of a sudden, they get into an environment where they hit that sour note. It’s like right away. They’re like, Ooh, there’s something wrong here. I don’t know why yet, but I know it’s not right. They know it and feel it. And it’s just, so it’s so important how we model that, how we model that relationship with my wife, uh, you know, as a father, to my daughters, but also a man to woman. What’s, what’s true. What is good? What’s beautiful. Yup. And stay focused on that. So then they know it when they go forward,
Jeff Zaugg (13:30):
We’re going to go more in that direction. We’re going to talk about the beatitudes in a second here, but let’s go about… Let’s go towards the not so awesome dad moments. Well, Let’s just go with a couple, but the times that you would be willing to share a story that you missed it, but you learned from it. And actually we can, it can actually be a good dad moment and not so awesome moments, but it’s a fail, a failed moment of miss that maybe brought pain to your girls because we can all then learn with you.
Dean Stinchfield (13:58):
Yeah. You know, the first thing that comes to mind is, you know, like anything else, there’s seasons where you’re in good places in your relationships and maybe not so good at places in your relationship. So I, I, you know, when I think about maybe the places where I fell down, um, maybe it’s when my relationship with my wife and our marriage wasn’t in the best spots. Because I mean, I have an awesome wife. This is throwing no shade on my wife. It’s more, when my failure as a husband, I felt, I always felt really good about my relationship with my girls and being a dad. So there were times in seasons in our marriage maybe was a little bit weaker that I would then lean into my relationship with my kids. And I wasn’t modeling sacrificial leadership of a husband there. That was my weakness. Instead of fixing my marriage, the best thing I can do for my girls is to love my wife and respect my wife and honor her, no matter what our relationship is doing, I’m called to sacrifice and love my wife, period. Yep. Not if I’m being respected, not if that relation is good. I’m to love my wife as Christ loved the church. And during those seasons, I would spend more time with – I would put more my intentional focus on my daughters. That wasn’t, that wasn’t modeling for them what a good man should be. I was modeling a weak man. And during those moments, I thought I was being a good dad, but I think, I don’t think I was because it wasn’t respecting and honor my wife the way I should.
Jeff Zaugg (15:48):
That’s – I mean, to me, this is, this is so helpful because escapism there’s the classic escapism to TV or sports or, or drinking or other things. But then there’s actually positive escapism that is still a short-term play versus a long-term play. The short term, the positive, you focused more energy on the dad life, which is amazing. But the better thing for your girls was to actually focus more energy on fixing, repairing, bringing unity to your marriage.
Dean Stinchfield (16:14):
And being an authentic man of character with my wife, that would be being a better dad. It’s counterintuitive. I was focusing on my daughter, but that was, that was the wrong decision. Yeah.
Jeff Zaugg (16:28):
What were some of the, if there was a, a gauge that like a red light started to blink, like what to you, is it a friend that called you out on it? was it the Holy spirit? Like what caused you to realize that change needed to be made?
Dean Stinchfield (16:39):
Actually I have an amazing friend, Frank Gabriel, one of my best friends, probably my best friend that, um, he knows me so well, he knows and loves my kids and loves my wife. And he constantly encouraged me to be a better man. And he says, Dean, you’re so positive. You’re so good at building people up. You’ve taken that focus off your wife. You’ve got to bring it back. So he had the strength, we had the strength of relationship, and I know he wanted the best in me. It doesn’t mean I wanted to hear it, but he called me to be a better man as a husband. And I trusted that voice. And he, he got through the selfishness and he got through my defenses to, to block him off because I can isolate myself when I need to be from a defense mechanism, for sure. He got through the defenses cause he took the time. And then he called the better man out. And so I would say, yeah, it was a friendship. Absolutely. And also God’s word God’s word as I would go through that, you know, it’s interesting. As a baby Christian, I go to God’s word and I was reading through it and I’d be like, Oh, this would be a real good, this is a good one for my dad. This is a really good one for my mom. My wife should really read this chapter and, you know, Ephesians or whatever. And as I got further in my walk with God, it was like you – stopping speck management on everybody else. You got some serious log work to do my friend. You’re a lumberjack and you’re not, you got to turn that focus to you. So, and as I, you know, is it just my further walk with God? It’s, I’m focused on all the stuff that I have to deal with and realize that my wife is shackled to this sinful man. And my daughter’s had this sinful dad. I’ve got a full-time deal deal dealing on being a lumberjack. I don’t have time for spec management.
Jeff Zaugg (18:48):
Okay I love that phrase, allergy of spec management lumber, Jack explained to the step for their, for the, all the dads listening, what you mean by that.
Dean Stinchfield (18:57):
You know, when Jesus says, you know, take the, you know, don’t focus on the speck in the eye of the other person – work on the log in your own eye. So a spec management is someone who is just always looking for the small failures or what’s wrong with the other person, um, when you’ve got a full-time job because of your own sin nature. If you focus on yourself, you can see the other person more clearly. Yep. So the Holy Spirit’s job is spec management. Now, clearly we need to call each other out if there’s gross sins. Yeah. But that’s not a spec. A spec is looking for a small, a small flaw. We’re we’re Minnesota. Okay. We’re the sun, the days are getting longer here. And you know, we have these cool, beautiful lakes. You know, we’ve got beautiful sunsets in the summer. Speck management as someone who’s out there and maybe the Eagles are flying, the sun is setting and water’s cool and the days are long and there might be a couple of mosquitoes out. Are you going to focus on mosquitoes? Are you going to focus on the Eagles in the sky and the beauty of the sunset? Wow. Speck managements, are, they’re in the mosquito crowd.
Jeff Zaugg (20:04):
Yeah. I mean, yesterday, a friend texted me and in his, in the text exchange about what was going on in his marriage, I found myself getting angry because I was seeing a, kind of a victim narrative coming from this friend. And actually though going like I wanted to call them out. It wasn’t the right time through the text to call him out for speck management, to be the lumberjack, which I actually loved the visual around that.
Dean Stinchfield (20:26):
And guys just want to be a lumberjack, right?
Jeff Zaugg (20:28):
Let’s be resilient. Let’s be strong. Let’s not be afraid to get our hands dirty. Let’s – even the tools that a lumberjack…. I actually realized that’s part of my anger to his text messages ties with some stuff in my own life. I was, I had to like be introspective versus just like, why is this, why am I so stirred up? Because I know that I’m doing some of the same stuff. Like the anger. I think we all, we always have to look at connection points from anger stirred up to what’s actually – let’s go right back to speck management in own life and get time with – You talked about God’s word. I found this in all of my research from your mentees that you’ve mentored to your organization, to just even the ministry endeavors you’re a part of – God’s word is laced into everything you’re doing. Talk about why, why is that so huge?
Dean Stinchfield (21:18):
Well, because it’s revealed truth that comes from outside of me. Um, you know, pre-modern philosophy, uh, people wanted to understand what was the good, the true and the beautiful, and then, it was their call to conform their life to that. But modern man, it’s what our desires are. And then we, we want reality to conform to our desires. So the one thing we have in God’s word is we have divine revelation. That’s outside of my circumstances, that’s outside of my desires and my thoughts and my times of my life. So it’s this, it’s this Ray of light that, that just comes in and brings clarity to everything else. You know, I think CS Lewis talked about the God-like patchwork. He said, the revealed word is like, we’re walking in this dense wooded forest. And every once in a while, the sunlight breaks through the canopy.
Dean Stinchfield (22:23):
And I think that God’s word is like that when I’m talking with whether it’s my daughters or some might, uh, the different guys that I’m working with, all clear thinking begins with who God is, uh, what he says about himself, his attributes, His word. Then it goes into our mind, which, which affects the desires of our heart and then moves into our circumstances. The problem is, is we, we go from our circumstances to, what do we feel about that? And then what do I think about how I feel about that? And then maybe I’ll search God’s word to find something that conforms to that. So then I throw that up on God. But if we’re in harmony, you know, you’re, you know, for your bike ride, right. If, if we’re, if we’re pedaling and, and, and we’re in good rhythms with God, it’s when we’re starting all clear thinking, begins with him and then his attributes in his word. And then I bring it down and change my circumstance that will affect my, my environment. Yeah. Oh, does that make sense?
Jeff Zaugg (23:27):
That reordering is, it makes a ton of sense. I’m actually visualizing the walks through the woods and those sun beams and slow. Brilliant. Yeah. I’m in the book of numbers right now, as I read through the Bible and I’m seeing all kinds of sun beams and, but you have to be in the woods and you have to put yourself in that place, which is God’s word. And he probably, he will reveal himself like in unexpected ways. And, uh, it’s it’s game changer. We’ve talked about a few anchor points, friendships being an anchor point. We talked about God’s word. Local church. I know this is a passion of yours it’s a passion of mine Talk about that. Why are you passionate about the local church?
Dean Stinchfield (24:01):
Because the local church is the body coming together. You have an opportunity to experience the Holy Spirit. And the local church allows us to utilize our gifts, to serve other people. We can worship. We can interact with other people. I get to see Jesus through you. And that’s a different, experience. It’s like, like re light refracting through a beautiful diamond and all the different facets. So I can experience the light of Jesus refracting through you and the Holy Spirit transmits that. You know, AW Tozer talks about in The Pursuit of God, that we should have an authentic relationship based on an experience, not hearsay, with God the Father, God the son and God the Holy spirit. And the local church gives us a chance to do that. Yeah, my wife and I were on a trip down in South America, down in Patagonia was awesome.
Dean Stinchfield (24:53):
Amazing hiking down in Patagonia. Uh, but when we were down there, I don’t know if I met, I was with, besides my wife, maybe one or two other real believers in 20 days, I was like a fish on a Minnesota dock. I was gasping for air. So we need that local church. You have an opportunity for the confluence, with the Holy Spirit, through other believers. It’s so important. And you know, speaking of kids – You know, I always wanted to be involved in the youth ministry. Yeah. So, uh, so when my kids were young all the way back to pre-K, I didn’t want to outsource their Christian education just to whoever wanted to volunteer. I was going to do it. So, and I also saw an important part of being a dad was not only just with my kids, but those that are around my kids, my kids’ friends and their influences. I wanted to make sure that I was aware of as part of being a protector, I needed to be aware of the voices that they were hearing, the relationships that they had, with their, their peers. And the way to do that is for me to be on mission and be a Sunday school teacher. So I was one of the few guys down there, kind of a big guy. So I’ll be down there and I’d have kids crawling all over me, you know, in like second grade and first grade and third grade and sixth grade, you know, because I was just interacting with them and we’re physical people. So we’re interacting with the young boys and the girls. And I just loved being, my kids’ main Sunday school teacher. So I went from pre-K all the way through high school. And you know what? I still know many of those kids that they went to Sunday school with.
Jeff Zaugg (26:43):
Well, you’re fighting against, an “outsource” mentality to local church, to that is a place where I’m on mission. That kind of takes us all the way back around to where we started our conversation about, are we going to be passive dads? Are we going to be passive, or are we going to be on-mission?
Dean Stinchfield (26:55):
We can’t be passive about being our kids’ spiritual leaders. We have to take that seriously. And we have to step into that breach and it’s just so important and you can interact with all of their kids and by the way, it’s
Jeff Zaugg (27:10):
Yeah. And you’re going to have fun. You’re going to drive home smiling.
Dean Stinchfield (27:12):
It’s such a good time.