Adam Griffin Transcript
Adam Griffin [00:00:02] Not only them to be receivers, but them to be leaders already I’m thinking about them as fathers and thinking about them as husbands and not just thinking about them as my kids with some obligation. I have to mention Jesus as we put them to bed. And I’m trying to grow men, grown men
Intro [00:00:23] Welcome to dadAWESOME. Welcome to DadAWESOME. You’ve joined a movement of intentional Christian dads who are adding life to the dad life. Thanks for taking a courageous step towards learning and growing and being mentored as you become DadAWESOME for your kids. On this podcast, my dad, Jeff Zaugg interviews intentional dads from all around the world as he explores the path of becoming DadAWESOME.
Jeff Zaugg [00:00:55] Gentlemen, welcome back to DadAWESOME. This is Episode 172. And today we’ve got Adam Griffin joining us. But I want to invite you guys into two specific things before I jump to my introduction of Pastor Adam. So the first is Mother’s Day is just three days away. This Sunday, May 9th is Mother’s Day. We are in the middle of a nine-day challenge. So if you’re joining us already, amazing. You’re getting a text message each day. So that’s great. If you’re not, though, I would love to invite you to join for the last three days of the momAWESOME challenges. This is the third year we’ve hosted this challenge. But, man, you guys, it’s simply an encouragement, a prayer, a way to pursue the heart of your wife. We know that flourishing marriages lead to us being…. That’s the set up for us being DadAWESOME for our kids is them seeing a marriage that is flourishing, a dad who is pursuing, caring for and serving and supporting and loving and speaking life over momAWESOME. So simply send a text message 651-370-8618. You’re just going to pull out your cell phone. I know you’re listening on your cell phone right now – most of you. You’re going to send this text message, though, 651-370-8618 and include the word “mom” in that text message. That’s it. Just include the word “mom” in that text. You’re going to be opted in again. We’re not going to spam you forever. It’s simply a challenge through Mother’s Day. And then there’ll be opportunities. We are migrating over to this new platform, this new cell number for texting. We we’re really excited to actually be a target specific messages for young rookie dads, specific messages for single dads, specific messages for dads who are interested in our Fathers for the Fatherless bike ride. So it’s, again, this tool is going to help us segment a little better intentional nudges from the DadAWESOME text line so that no one more time is 651-370-8618 and just text the word “mom” to join the momAWESOME challenge. The last thing I want to invite you to before introducing our guest is Fathers for the Fatherless, this one hundred mile bike ride initiative. We’re mobilizing dads to raise money by riding a hundred miles. They’re going to raise money to help the fatherless. The Minneapolis ride, May 14th is our early registration deadlines. You want to go to F4F.bike. It’s going to be linked at all the show notes to get yourself registered. You’ll save twenty five bucks if you register by May 14. That’s coming up in like what, nine days away. Something like that. So definitely what I got you guys into Fathers for the Fatherless. We’re we’re up at about one hundred dads have already joined us and we’re praying that over the course of the next six, nine months here with all of our cities for about six hundred dads and that we would raise one million, one million dollars for the fatherless this year. That’s our that’s the vision. That’s the prayer. So today that we’ve got Pastor Adam Griffin joining us. He’s down in Texas and he actually co-wrote the book Family Discipleship with Matt Chandler from the Village Church. So you guys know about Matt Chandler? Adam, he’s got three boys, his wife, Kelsey, he just goes deep in this conversation about let’s press in with an intentional plan. Let’s not be passive. Let’s not lean back. Let’s lean in when it comes to intentional discipleship of our kids. And you guys are going to this is one of those that you might want to pull the car over. You might want to be taking notes versus just listening. But our show notes my wife does all the show notes and all the transcripts. So you’ve got that available to you as well. Well, let’s jump right in today. This is episode 172 with Pastor Adam Griffin.
Jeff Zaugg [00:04:24] You wrote an article early on, I think you’re your oldest was like one years old. This is eight or nine years ago titled “Raising Kids the World Will Hate.” That was a while ago. I just read it this morning. We’re not going to talk about the article yet, but instead, that was a chapter of dad life. Now, today is a current chapter. Tell me what recently, nd we don’t have to go deep, fast, but what recently has been like a new area of, man, these are some new AHA’s around fatherhood, around just engaging your three sons. So give me some recent insights into your dad life.
Adam Griffin [00:04:54] I think the phase that I’m entering into now, where I’m seeing some of the fruit of the labor we’ve put into our kids to the point now where for us family discipleship, which is really what we’re talking about, has become so normal that if I remove myself from a situation, my kids can lead themselves through it. Even last night, if I was on a call with some people in Korea and so it was at my kid’s bedtime and my wife works nights, so I had to just encourage my kids, say, you’re going to read this Bible passage, you’re going to pray for your brothers, you’re going to pick a song and sing and seeing that stage where they don’t need me in the room in order to worship God together, they don’t need me in the room in order to pray with one another. But it’s such a normal part of the rhythm. That’s a blessing I hope I get for the rest of the rest of their lives. So hopefully I get to see it into the next generation. But that’s a new phase. And talk about aha, when you’re going, hey, the Lord has done something. My oldest son Oscar, a couple months ago he came to me, he’s nine years old and he was just crying. It was at that time just weeping. And I said, Buddy, what’s going on? And he said, I just want to talk to you about what it means to be an actual Christian, actual follower of Christ. And it’s like that if you read that article from nine years ago, that’s the prayer, right? I mean, that’s the prayer in the article, that one day God would be gracious enough to save my son, that I wouldn’t be so distracted by this world, the idea of making him an admirable, worldly man that I’d miss out on his eternal soul being something that belongs to our God. So the newest aha moment, honestly, Jeff, is getting to celebrate the fruit of all the labor we’ve put in.
Jeff Zaugg [00:06:30] Well and it’s leadership. So I hear, like you’ve instilled that they can be leaders. These are three leaders who can lead each other because you said it wasn’t you guys each do you thing separate. Let’s lead each other in this in this special… It’s it almost feels like it’s a it is a wind down rhythm of seeking their Heavenly Father as they get ready for bed. Describe a little more what it looks like when you’re in the room with them, and then we’ll talk about them leading themselves.
Adam Griffin [00:06:53] Yeah for us at the age of our kids, and the rhythm that we’ve chosen in our family is bedtime is family discipleship. And so each night we’re looking at some scripture. We are praying for one another. We are singing after that. And then we have a Bible verse we’ve chosen for each son that we say is a blessing over them, which all of our sons now at this point have memorized. So sometimes we have them say it, sometimes we say it. Now, Jeff, I don’t know much about your family background or family of origin, but I’m a second son, so I have an older brother. And I feel like the tendency in a lot of dads and a lot of parents is to rely on their oldest child to lead. But as a second son, I feel especially passionate and saying I don’t want my oldest son to be the only one who’s got leadership experience in this family. So in our family, a family discipleship time, we might do something like, OK, Gus, who’s my second born, I really want you to ask your brothers for prayer request to ask me, and then I want you to lead us in prayer. Or Theodore, my youngest, who’s only five years old, we might say, hey, what do you want? What story should we be reading tonight? What are we learning from that? I’m trying to, like you said, build in not only them to be receivers, but then to be leaders and already I’m thinking about them as fathers. I’m thinking about them as husbands. I’m not just thinking about them as my kids with some obligation I have to mention Jesus as we put them to bed. But I’m trying to grow men.
Jeff Zaugg [00:08:11] Right. And is your wife, Chelsea, is she with you during that time? Or is that a time that you share with the boys?
Adam Griffin [00:08:16] Yeah, like I said, my wife works nights, nights and so tons of times. Tons of times. The three nights a week she’s out, she’s at work by that time. And so when I’m putting the kids to bed, it’s just us. And I have three boys. So it’s like a guy time. It’s pretty sweet. But when she’s there, I mean, sometimes she takes the lead. Sometimes I take the lead, sometimes we share it back and forth. We’ve done a series of things where we’ve gone a proverb for every day. We’ve done, last week we did the armor of God, different piece of armor every day. And then we might rotate how we’re doing that. But we don’t spend, we’re not super Type-A. I mean, sometimes we just walk in the room and go, OK, what do we what do we want to read tonight and what does the Lord have for us?
Jeff Zaugg [00:08:55] Yep – flow with it. Now, some of the dads listening don’t have a Bible verse that they have picked out as a blessing to read over their kids. Can you give an example of it? Could be all three or just one of those verses just to help out the dads? And then how did you how did you come to that verse? I believe in my research. You actually came up with the verse before they were born. Is that is that correct?
Adam Griffin [00:09:11] Yeah, that was one of our conversations that we had on, like a date night while we were pregnant to go. Once we found out the gender of our child and we had named this child, we’re praying for them by name. We would also choose a verse for them, so for Oscar, we chose to “Be on the alert, stand firm in the faith, act like a man and be strong and let everything you do be done in love.” For Gus it’s “Be strong, show yourself a man, keep the charge of the Lord, your God, walk in his ways and statutes.” And for Theodore, it’s “He’s told you, O man, what’s good and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, love, kindness and walk humbly with your God.” And the reason we chose those verses, one not only because of the I mean, this is a dad podcast because of the manly nature of those verses. Like, this is what a man is that we see in the Bible. In fact, the one we chose for Gus is King David, some of his last words to his son Solomon, as he’s blessing him into manhood and into kingship in the monarchy. These are verses that we chose because we felt like they carried that kind of gravitas of something weighty that we want our kids to have missionally their whole life. And we lean into them all the time, not just as memorized, kind of rote recited verses, but for Oscar to hear “let everything you do be done in love” is something we talk about all the time in discipline, in sports, in academics. Is everything you’re doing being done in love, in the way that you’re operating with your brothers and the way you’re operating with your parents? It’s not to shame them with the script. I’m not trying to twist my kids by abusing the scripture to get my own way. I’m trying to use the scripture the way it’s intended to by calling us to something greater than love is going to be greater than selfishness, buddy. We may have those talks all the time.
Jeff Zaugg [00:10:51] The verse is all three. Those verses are multilayered and they’re both a blessing, like you said, and a challenge of let’s step into, let’s step into being these young men that live these out. And I imagine there’s even carryover. They know they know their brothers’ verses as well. And they know these are family attributes. Let’s swing back to where I started, which was raising kids the world will hate. You know, we do. We want their coaches, their teachers, our neighbors. I want my siblings, my parents. I want them to think, oh, these are amazing young women. My my little girls like to like them. But there’s a charge all throughout Scripture that says that’s not the expectation when you just go into that tension of both sides of it. But it’s the expectation for my boys.
Adam Griffin [00:11:36] Well, that was that article, like you said almost a decade ago. I wrote that for the village church, which is where I was working at the time. And those concepts from that article actually in the book that we’re talking about, fill in some of the most important aspects of the book as well, which I believe is that there’s a countercultural nature to the way Christians are called to parent, to lead, to live, and that’s that we are not of the world, even though we’re in the world, it’s that we will be hated because Jesus is hated. And so if we don’t parent kids in a way that prepares them to be despised by those who believe something different, then we’re sending them out into the world like sheep among wolves. I want to parent my kids in a way that prepares them to be weird or not ordinary. And I want them to be so comfortable with that. I want them to stand by what they believe, regardless of what the world would say about it or how small the minority of people is who believe that. Right. So some of the examples you might use, some of the easy stories to go to are like Daniel in the Lion’s Den. Daniel refuses to stop praying even though it becomes illegal or in the same book. Shadrack Me Szechenyi Bendigo refused to bow their knee, even though they’re the only three guys who do it. But we also we’ll talk about stories. This is Jesus’ story over and over again. So in Luke 19, when he sees Zaccheaus up a tree and nobody likes Zaccheaus and the crowd tells him, do not go to his house. Jesus still goes to his house. And so you’ve read the book. You know that in my family I’m big on, like, creating phrases that are memorable. So in our family, we’ll say, do Griffins follow the crowd? And my sons will say that to me only if the crowd is following Jesus. And so that’s the way we talk about those stories. It is Jesus following the crowd’s advice. There’s no he’s going to do something else. Do Griffin’s follow the crowd? Only if it’s follow Jesus. And so that’s all part of that “raising kids the world will hate” concept about being prepared to be called any number of names, or to be rejected by a culture that’s increasingly secular, unfortunately, and that a lot of the things that we believe as Christians are offensive to the modern sensibilities of America.
Jeff Zaugg [00:13:40] That’s really helpful and really challenging because last year’s theme for my daughter was kindness. And it’s just such and it’s easy to default towards the the themes and the characteristics of Christ that you that are really accepted. And then to put less focus on these are areas that that we are invited into being change makers and difference like outliers. So, yeah, and I could spend a lot more time on that topic. I want to charge forward and go a little different direction. So leadership at home. Your book we’ve mentioned a couple of times titled Family Discipleship, this idea of being dads who take the lead, even though we have so many, so many areas, I realized I don’t think I would have started this ministry DadAWESOME in today’s chapter of dad life, because I’ve realized starting it when my oldest was four was, I felt like things are going pretty well and now I’m realizing all the time, oh my goodness. So, so many areas that I need to turn dials, work on, learn, grow into. But taking leadership, even though we’re imperfect leaders. When you talk about that concept of leading on the home front?
Adam Griffin [00:14:43] Yeah, I really believe that leading in in the Kingdom of God is synonymous in many ways or related inextricably to serving. And so for a dad who can feel like leading is so hard to wrap his mind around, because leading sometimes in our culture seems like knowing what to do and getting whatever you want. And that’s not the call of the godly father is to say, hey, you just need to tell everybody what to do and you need to be right about it every time, but rather to be a servant. I was even thinking this morning about Luke 12:37. In Luke 12:37, it talks about the second coming of Christ and in the second coming of Christ. It’s not just sitting on a throne. It’s not just about angels worshiping. It talks about how you will dress himself as a slave and serve the people at the banquet. And it’s like that’s mind blowing. You’re telling me that there’s a party in his honor, in his second coming, and what he does is dress himself to serve and serve those people. And in Mark Chapter 10, he says that’s what a Christian does. That is different what the world does when it comes to leadership. He says that Gentiles in other words, the Romans, they look at leadership, is getting what you want, oppressing those who get in your way. But the Christian world is going to go, how can I serve? Because even the son of man came not to be served, but to serve and give his life as a ransom for many. So then what does it look like as a dad? I mean, it’s easy to translate as a dad. If you want to lead your kids, well you’re going to serve, you’re going to meet their needs. You’re not going to create a household where your kids exist in order to meet your needs, either emotionally or physically or financially. Certainly not. But how does it how does your family look? If you’re when you think about leading your wife or you think about leading your kids, you’re thinking about how can I lay down the gifts God has given me of strength or wisdom or insight or of time in order to meet the needs of those people that the Lord has me living with right now. And so leadership, to me, it has to be servant hearted and it has to be service oriented because that’s the way we see Jesus lead and that’s what he’s called us to do. Likewise, it’s better to wait on the table than to sit at the table, is what he says.
Jeff Zaugg [00:16:51] Now giving a framework like your book, Family Discipleship. Like, it’s so easy to think, man, I’ve got a lot going on right now. I’ve got I’ve got the sports and career and job and house projects. And I loved how you you came strong with boldness in the first or second chapter, the foundation chapter. You’re like, hey, if if you don’t have time for this, you have time for nothing else, because it’s the one call we’ve been given. Expound on that concept, the level of importance of us being disciple makers.
Adam Griffin [00:17:21] That’s good. Yeah. When we talk about family discipleship, we define it as critically important, but mostly ordinary. And we can unpack all of that if you want. But really, when we talk about it being critically important, it’s because God has got deserves it. He’s called us to it. And so there’s nothing else in my life that I could look at and say, well, yeah, but and say, see, I don’t have time to disciple my kids because I’ve got to feed them. I’ve got to house them, I’ve got to clothe them, I’ve got to get them in sports. I’ve got to get them in academics or my kid is disabled or my kid is too old or my kid is too young. There’s no excuse for us because every kid, while they are different, every kid you have been called to lead towards following Christ. In Matthew 28, Jesus say go and make disciples of all nations and all nations we believe includes your kids. This is the call in the Christian life. We would never send our kids. And I say this in the book, we would never send our kids out of the world unclothed, unfed and housed, uneducated. But we would gladly go. I just don’t have time for the spiritual life, something eternal. We’d rather they gain the whole world and forfeit their soul? No, this is the call on the Christian life is there’s nothing more important. And at the same time, this is not a call to guilt and shame over what we’ve missed. It’s not a call to guilt and shame over flaws. In fact, your kids are going to be as flawed, if not more flawed than you. So what they need from you, dads, is a demonstration of what it looks like to be an imperfect person who follows a perfect God. They don’t need you to be their savior. They have that in Jesus Christ. But what they what you can serve is an example of like, well, here’s how dad makes mistakes and repents. Here’s how dad tries and fails. Here’s how dad tries and succeeds. And so it’s critically important. But also, like you said, we’re so busy and the framework we try to create is not to say here’s what you need to add on to your life, but rather here’s what you need to weave into what you are already doing. You’re already getting together for dinner. You’re already driving to school or driving to sports. You’re already going to church together. How do you take advantage of the times God has given you together for me putting my kids to bed? And make those family crossover moments something that you honor the Lord with or something you instruct with. I promise every dad out there is disciplining his kids, but some of us are just trying to use it threats or we’re just trying to use logic. We’re trying to rationalize. I’m saying use the gospel, talk about why godly men like Griffin men don’t do that. Griffin men are going to be like this because this is what the Lord has called us to. So that’s we’re trying to weave it into everyday things we’re doing, making it mostly ordinary.
Jeff Zaugg [00:19:52] And I do appreciate one that you’re you’re saying you’re not bringing down the level of importance you’re saying, but you’re saying they’re very ordinary, 168 hours in the week and there’s a lot of ordinary hours that can be leveraged. And you give you have a framework instead of a trail map of like this is the directions, to be like the Griffins or your coauthor, the Chandlers, like this is the pathway. I really do appreciate you’re putting the ownership on us as dads. And this is this has been my, I think, false start at times with creating our family plan as I’m patching together other people’s plans. And it’s our life and it’s the family God has given us that these are my four daughters. I’m just starting to say four daughters, even though my fourth hasn’t been born at the time, because it’s likely when this airs, she’ll be in my arms. The framework, modeling, time, moments, milestones. Did I get the four of them right? That’s it. Would you expound on those four areas?
Adam Griffin [00:20:45] Yeah, I’ll do it real quickly, model. Well, like you said, we believe these four items, these four pieces of the framework they apply to anybody no matter what their family looks like. And so that’s why we find them really helpful. Modeling is your genuine walk with God yourself, repenting where you fall short. That’s such an important part of parenting is that you don’t try to fake something for your kids, that you have a genuine walk with God yourself. Then second time is what you’re going to have like appointed. This is the time when our family is going to talk about God. So for us, I described bedtime. It might be on Sunday mornings. We are going to church together. Hey, this Saturday we’re going to go serve together. Hey, we’re going to go on this mission trip together. It’s time that you said this is for God and our family has set it aside for that purpose. Then moments are kind of the more sporadic just opportunities that you didn’t maybe know we’re coming, but doesn’t mean you’re less prepared. But I brought up discipline a second ago. I don’t know, next time it’s going to get in trouble at school. But I know when he does, I’m going to leverage that family discipleship moment to point him back to the gospel. Or it might be yesterday. One of my sons had a really hard day at school. And so when he got home, he’s weepy, he’s having a hard time. He wants to be left alone. I didn’t wake up the morning and say, hey, today when he gets home, I’m going to talk to him about this. Why Griffin men do this. Why Christian men are like this, but I had the opportunity last night and so we certainly did. And then milestones are kind of a bigger, grander version of time and moments. It’s the highlights and lowlights of a kids’ life to point to the faithfulness of God. It might be when the kid graduates from high school or gets his first job or might be one of your daughter’s first breakups. It might be honestly one of the hardest times you’ll have as a dad, or it might be the loss of a loved one. And it’s in those significant times where it’s going to be memorable that we have the opportunity to point to God’s faithfulness, no matter what the circumstances, and to create something bigger. Matt talked about in our book about the rite of passage for his kids when they turn thirteen. And it’s awesome, man. I love what they do in the household of writing letters to their kid and giving them gifts to usher them into manhood and womanhood. And I’ve been preparing for those things since before my kids were born. I talk about that in the book to, the journal Bibles for my children that I’ve been preparing for those moments. But it might also be giving your kids something that you inherited from your grandparents an heirloom, might be creating a memorial. We do this because this is what we see in scripture. We see rituals like communion, like baptism being something that God gives us to say, remember what he has done, remember what’s happened. We see him set up altars, set up walls, set up stacks of stones, set up a big Ebenezer Stone to say this is so you don’t forget what God has been in your life, because otherwise their tendency is to forget. To do this in remembrance of me is the idea behind milestones. So in the book we tried to write a book that wasn’t like, hey, if you like this, you should buy the study, guide, the DVD and get them whatever it’s like. It’s short, it’s approachable, it’s not guilt laden and it’s all in there. So the hope is that if a dad picks up the book, which, by the way, I don’t make any money off the book, I’m not trying to be like side hustle guy here. I really believe in the concept of family discipleship that we help you walk through. What is modeling look like in your house? When are you going to do family discipleship time? What language can you use in your household around moments? And then what’s your plan for milestones? What do you want to build towards or when you want to be doing? And so hopefully by the time that that’s done, looking through the book, he understands his plan, which does, like you said, need to be adjusted for every kid, need to be adjusted for every age and stage. But that’s the hope is to practice. Help men understand what am I doing
Jeff Zaugg [00:24:26] and I do believe even in the first and I did the audible version of it, which I actually am not going to recommend, I think some people learn that way. But I was like, I need the approach that it is a framework. I just needed a print version. So look out the Zaugg family’s gonna have to double double order. The summary, the you mentioning Milestone’s. This goes a different direction than what you meant in the book. But I think there are milestones as parents of valley moments that we go through something that could have even been the chapter before you had kids, a valley moment that affects how we walk through this fatherhood journey and just maybe change you and Chelsea in a way that’s like, hey, I learned something from that hard moment that that is directly helping me be a more intentional dad. Can you think of a story like that? Just a hard, hard moment and how it’s maybe a transferable principle to all of us dads listening?
Adam Griffin [00:25:16] Well, I think without giving any disrespect to my wife’s family or my family, I think all of us are shaped by our family of origin in ways that we see our own pathologies, our own problems shaped by who we were in our childhood, both by the effectiveness or ineffectiveness of our parents. And that’s not to slight my parents. They are wonderful godly people. But I can see moments in my childhood where what I experienced as a student or as a classmate, what I experienced as someone’s friend or what I experienced in seeing other people’s families or my own has shaped what I want to be, but also what I don’t want to be in the way that I parent my kids. And I think back to before I had kids a valley moment. Some of my valley moments obviously are my highlights of my spiritual life, like most people. But I think of an early argument my wife and I had dating where I told her that all I’d ever wanted to be was a father, that it was my lifelong dream. And while I always thought that was an admirable thing to think, what she heard me say is I’m more interested in having kids than I am and being a husband. And that led to a really interesting conversation about am I am I wanting so badly to be a dad that I’m skipping over the role in my life, either as a minister of the Gospel or as a husband? And what does it mean to treasure my wife and cherish her or to love God more than anything else, instead of just having this ambition, this dream of how great would it be if God let me have kids one day? And so that valley moment of seeing my my now wife’s hurt feelings feeling like what I was saying is I care more about what you can provide me than I do about you has shaped a lot of the way now that I think about leading my own home.
Jeff Zaugg [00:27:00] Yeah, I, I want to make sure we don’t miss what you shared just before that story about you and your wife. The the idea that from our parents, what could feel like baggage we all have hurts. There’s all kinds of imperfections with our journeys from our parents growing up. And many of us would say, hey, there’s a dad wound somewhere, even if it’s accidental, but that it actually can be an asset. It doesn’t have to be baggage that pulls us backwards. It can be.. It can propel us in the we take an opposite action or we take a different course. But it’s because we had that experience that gave us the maybe the strength or the the know the insight to go a different direction. So I think that’s really that’s really helpful. Let me jump to Charles Spurgeon. So I believe this is about one hundred and fifty years ago that he wrote some of some of these quotes and you took some time and pulled out. I’ve got a whole list of quotes I got two that I want you to riff on for us. So Charles Spurgeon, he said this as we sow we reap. Let us expect, let us expect our children to know the Lord. Let us from the beginning, mingle the name of Jesus with their ABCs. Just riff on that quote and why it’s meaningful and helpful for you.
Adam Griffin [00:28:08] Well, I love it. I use that. I think we use that at the beginning of the Moments chapter, which was thinking about you’re going to teach your kids how to read. It’s kind of the picture he’s saying. And you reap what you sow if you want your kids to read. But you go, man, I sure hope they find a book one day. And I go people nowadays, they’ll call it like organic. I just want them to learn organically or I just want them to choose what they believe. But you would never treat literacy like that. It’s what you sow, what you reap. And so if you reap education academically into a child, you’ll you’ll reap academic achievement or success, literacy or mathematics or whatever. And what Spurgeon is saying is, in fact, in that sermon, I want to say it’s his attitude is almost like he’s reaching out and shaking parents on the shoulders and saying, I just want you to care as much about teaching your kids about Jesus and realizing it is a delight as much as you care about them doing well in school. Did they get their homework done OK? Did they did they pass their class where they did they behave themselves? Do they learn to read the book or finish the book? Those are great things and those are important. But asking the kids, you know, the difference between right and wrong in that situation and how are you going to make that choice? You know, the difference between what will be what we believe and what the world will teach you in this. Can you differentiate those things then? I talk to my kids all the. My oldest child is incredibly brilliant academically, he’s off the charts, Jeff, I don’t know where it came from. It has to be my wife. It’s not from me, but I tell them all the time, if you are the smartest kid in your class, but you don’t know how to choose right from wrong, it will not matter. And you can be the smartest kid in your class. But if you don’t know, if you don’t know how to navigate life, if you don’t know how to be kind, if you don’t know how to be humble, you can be the smartest kid. It doesn’t matter unless you know how to work hard. The kid who works hard is going to do better than the kid is naturally gifted and lazy. And so we talk about work ethic, we talk about morality, and we connect those with what we believe spiritually. It’s not just some kind of legalistic idea of who we are following Christ. And so Spurgeon, when he’s talking about mixing it with the ABCs, is again that same concept that we use in the Book of understanding there are many things you think are important. We’re just wondering if family discipleship is one.
Jeff Zaugg [00:30:20] Yet I’ve been asked more recently, who are some of the authors from over a century ago that you would say have helped shape your dad life? And I’ve realized that a lot of the autobiographies, a lot of the learning has been more recent. So that’s where I jumped in. I was like, I love that you’re extracting some some dad life principles from from the life of Charles Spurgeon. This is a longer quote, but it’s worth it. Let’s go for it says he said, “Aspire, dear brethren, to shine widely as a candle set upon a candle stick gives light to all that are in the house. First see to it that you are truly saved yourselves. Then cry out, cry to the Lord for your own kith and kin and labor for them until they are brought to the redeemers feet and then let your light shine throughout the neighborhoods where you dwell. It is. It is a poor lamp which cannot be seen outside its own glass. Yeah, expound on that one.
Adam Griffin [00:31:17] So good to your point a second ago to there are so many people that are admirable heroes. They have fame, they have admiration in history, but they weren’t great parents. And Spurgeon is one of those guys we point to. And when you read his wife’s description of what it look like for him to lead their family spiritually, it moves you to tears to imagine this guy not only led thousands to Christ as a pastor, but when he got home, he considered it even more important to lean into his twin sons and to his wife and to be a man of prayer. And what he’s pointing out there, and he’s he’s a big Puritan guy. He loves these analogies. He loves these metaphors. And is this idea of if my light doesn’t go outside the glass of the lantern, what good is it is a very scriptural riff. And so for us, his dad’s one of the things that I love that he said that’s so good for us is first, make sure you’re saved yourself is the way he says it. Well, we would say is, hey, don’t don’t fake spirituality for your children. What we want you to have is your own genuine walk with God. Well, we want you to have is understanding like you are first and foremost a child of God yourself. And we’re seeking your child becoming your brother. Not that he will always are your child becoming your sister. Not that they will always have to look to you as a mentor, but rather you are both going to be in the family of God as children. And so humbly understanding your role is not to say, hey, kids, listen to what I say, not what I do, but rather first and foremost saying I want to follow Christ with my whole life and not just organically, but in every way intentionally cultivating that with your kids, understanding that the Lord that saves. But what a privilege it is that he calls us into the process.
Jeff Zaugg [00:32:57] You know, that’s part of the reason I said not to do Audible and to do a paper copy of your book is because each chapter has four, three to five quotes that bring it much more than just your experience sets and the Chandler’s experience of different age kids, different families. And just appreciate the way you kind of rift there. But also the weaving. These are these are real. These are people who have lived and have have different experiences, different time in history, but yet these principles grounded on scripture. So I think it’s just a practice that we could we could have done a whole episode just on you riffing on quotes from a century ago. But I want to give you a moment, Adam, to just kind of land the plane with any anything, maybe more on the practical side, the challenge side that you’d want to share with all of us dads listening. And again, I just grateful for your time here, but do you have any any last words for all of us?
Adam Griffin [00:33:48] Sure. I think the challenge…. Challenge often sounds like an imposition. Or challenge sounds like it’s going to be hard to get over. And it might be challenging, but I think the real challenge is to understand you are the one called to do this and you have a God who has empowered you for it and to self-doubt or self-hate or self-depreciate is really to say, my God is not capable of doing this through me, you know? So if I truly trust in Jesus Christ as my savior and understand that he’s equiped with the Holy Spirit, in order to do this work, then who am I to say there’s no way God could do that here and there’s no way God can do this in this family? It does not have to be complicated. It doesn’t have to be intimidating. This can be very simple and very, very easy in the sense of wrapping your head around it, but at the same time, leading your kids when they are going to be resistant, when they are going to be defiant, when they are going to be disinterested. That’s not always going to be easy, but it doesn’t mean we give up. And so my parting encouragement is just to be what the Bible says, diligent. We’re going to be diligent in impressing these things in our children. That’s Deuteronomy 6 and we’re going to be diligent in the care of our own souls. That’s Deuteronomy 4. So I want both of those for us.
Jeff Zaugg [00:35:06] Would you pray those two themes short prayer over?
Adam Griffin [00:35:09] I love that. Thanks to Heavenly Father, you’ve called us to be men and as men, to be leaders and as leaders, to be many of us fathers, husbands. And so, Lord, I pray that you would help us be diligent in the care of our own soul, to not give up easily, to work hard at pursuing and knowing you, and then to be diligent in pressing these things and our children that we would talk about them when they wake up or when they lie down, when they walk along the way that we would put them around us. Your words that remind us of what you’ve called us to and in that diligence Lord we would not be so impressed with ourselves, but rather more in love and grateful for you. Pray that families are blessed for generations, in jeff’s house, my house and all those dads who would hear this, that we would get the privilege of seeing our grandkids come to know you more. That would be the dream that we would see a family tree full of faithfulness. I pray this in Jesus name Amen.
Jeff Zaugg [00:36:04] Thank you so much for joining us for Episode 172 with Pastor Adam Griffin. All the conversation notes, all the links and action steps and the transcripts are going to be at DadAWESOME.org/172. I invited you guys earlier to this. We’ve got three days until Mother’s Day. We believe that a flourishing marriage, a mom who feels loved and served and prayed for and cared for is the setup for being DadAWESOME. And to join the last three days of the mom awesome challenge, send a text message to the number 651-370-8618 and just include the word mom. Just include the word mom to that text. The number one more time is six five one three seven zero eighty six eighteen. Guys, thank you for joining us this week. Make sure you check out the show notes. It’s all these action steps. Get the book Family Discipleship. Pick up this book. Don’t do audible. I recommend Audible all the time, but I wish I would not have done audible. I wish I would have done the real book because there are so many quotes, so many like the framework of creating a discipleship plan. You need to pick up this book, Family Discipleship by Matt Chandler and Adam Griffin. Hey, let’s go after it this week. We are praying for you. So thankful. Let’s have fun celebrating Mother’s Day. Let’s add some life to the dad life this week.