Episode 243 Transcript (Korey “XROSS” Dean)

Episode 243 (Korey “XROSS” Dean)

Podcast Intro [00:00:01] Being a great father takes a massive amount of courage. Instead of being an amazing leader and a decent dad, I want to be an amazing dad and a decent leader. The oldest dad in the world gave you this assignment, which means you must be ready for it. As a dad, I get on my knees and I fight for my kids. Let us be those dads who stop the generational pass down of trauma. I want encounters with God where He teaches me what to do with my kids. I know I’m going to be an awesome dad because I’m going to give it my all.

Jeff Zaugg [00:00:39] This is episode 243 of dadAWESOME. Guys, I’m so glad you’re joining today. I want to let you know, we just hit the road for the Zaugg family, the dadAWESOME RV tour. So we did a six month tour last year. This year it’s going to be likely nine months. My four little girls, my wife, Michelle and I, we hit the road four days ago, so we just pulled into Denver, Colorado. I wanted to let you guys know about this tour, though, because I am a thrilled to get together, meet you guys, hear your stories, learn more about your journey as dads. We met and did a dadAWESOME meet up in Lincoln, Nebraska, just two days ago. Had six guys come out and the best conversations. Guys, we waited till late at night, after our kids were all asleep, we came out and just went after this topic of Man, what is God up to in your fatherhood journey? Where have you seen him at work? We shared testimonies. We shared like, man, this is what I’m learning, this is where I’m struggling. And it’s so helpful for me to have these meetups and to just get a pulse, on man, what’s what’s your journey like and how can I bring questions to this podcast? How can I bring resources in the future from dadAWESOME? So I want to welcome you guys dadAWESOME.org/tour. If you happen to be in the front range of Colorado over the next couple of weeks, we’ll be hosting some meetups. If you’re in San Diego, California, if you’re in Phoenix, Arizona, if you’re in Dallas, Texas, if you’re in, if you’re in several areas in Florida, the area, Atlanta area, Hattiesburg, Mississippi. Guys, would love to connect with you. You got to fill out this little web inquiry form so I know where you’re at and if you’re interested in helping to host one of these dadAWESOME meetups. It’s not me exporting what I’m learning, it’s me, like, it’s a listening tour. Man, what are you learning and how can just I be informed in the direction of this ministry, be informed by your journey? So dadAWESOME.org/tour. Today’s guest, I’m so thankful Xross is joining us. It was four years ago, he was on the podcast, he’s back with us. His full name is Corey Dean, but his stage name is Xross. He’s got five kids. We talked last time about hip hop culture. This time we’re, we’re just talking about, man, look at what God has done in these past four years. He has planted seeds and God is watering them as far as his kids and even some of the pursuits. Sis N Little Bro, Celena and his son, Tytist have just signed to TRIBL to this worship movement out of Atlanta. And it’s just some incredible stuff. In fact, their new single drops tomorrow. So one day after the release of this podcast today. So you got to check that out. It’s linked in the show notes. But guys, I’m so thankful that you’re listening today. Xross has given his life to fathering not just his own five kids, but but this ministry, The Man Up Club and all of the young men. And they are one of our partners for Fathers for the Fatherless. So you’re going to take away a ton from this conversation. Here is episode 243, my conversation with Xross.

Jeff Zaugg [00:03:51] So here we are, four years later from episode 36. Wow. Time flies.

Xross [00:03:57] I can’t believe it.

Jeff Zaugg [00:03:58] I think I had two daughters last time we were in a conversation like this. Last time you’re on the podcast and today you still have five kids.

Xross [00:04:05] I do have five. No more.

Jeff Zaugg [00:04:06] But I doubled up since then. Now I have four daughters and we’re right on the eve, as we record this, of me hitting the road for nine months of travel in an RV, the dadAWESOME RV tour.

Xross [00:04:17] Amazing.

Jeff Zaugg [00:04:18] Game on. Do you want to come with, by the way?

Xross [00:04:20] Nah, I’ll sit this one out.

Jeff Zaugg [00:04:23] Well, I should introduce you. So I’m chatting with Xross and full name Mr. Corey Dean, but stage name, Xross. And you’ve welcomed me to use that name, so thank you.

Xross [00:04:32] Absolutely.

Jeff Zaugg [00:04:33] Thanks for taking the time to chat about the dad life. I really am grateful.

Xross [00:04:37] It’s a pleasure to be here with you.

Jeff Zaugg [00:04:38] And last time, I’ll assume many of the dads listening didn’t hear episode 36 because that was four years ago. So I’ll let you just introduce yourself for a moment. Xross, could you just tell us how many kids, how old, kind of age of parents in like a season of dad life and a little bit about your wife, as well?

Xross [00:04:56] Yeah. So, you know, my wife is Mariah Dean. As a matter of fact, what’s so special about today, is we’re celebrating our 20th wedding anniversary.

Jeff Zaugg [00:05:05] Today is the 20th?

Xross [00:05:06] Yes.

Jeff Zaugg [00:05:07] And we’re sitting here at 5 p.m.? You should be getting home. You should be, you know.

Xross [00:05:12] Trust me. I’m on my way after this.

Jeff Zaugg [00:05:13] Yeah. We’ll kneep it brief.

Xross [00:05:15] But it’s been really good, man. And I like you said, I have five children, you know, and I love them all. Oldest son is 26. I have a daughter who’s 24, another one who’s 23, son who’s 22, and then my 17 year old, you know, and he’s the last one, Christopher, to leave the house. And so, you know, big changes are happening. And yeah, like you said, life has changed a lot in the last four years. It’s, it’s quite different now.

Jeff Zaugg [00:05:43] Because you’re sharing stories about road trips, family road trips. I know you guys just got back from a vacation as a family as well, but probably different season than is stuffing all seven of you into a vehicle. Probably less road trips today than four years ago.

Xross [00:05:54] Absolutely, yeah, definitely less road trips.

Jeff Zaugg [00:05:57] Different season. And I want to just jump right into the fact that you father more than just your your five.

Xross [00:06:03] Yes.

Jeff Zaugg [00:06:03] We’ll talk about fathering on the home front, but then there’s fathering beyond. Would you share just a little bit about your passion for fathering a young men and others beyond your own kids?

Xross [00:06:12] Yeah, I believe that, you know, we have what I refer to as a fatherless generation, and it’s very unfortunate. Even myself, I grew up without a father and I had to, you know, suffer through those ups and downs. And, you know, some of it has been indifferent, you know, and of course, I’m a father now. And so you’re never perfect at that. You know, it’s trial and error if you don’t have a father and no one there to teach you that. But there are benefits and rewards to it. And so now, you know, I mentor many young men around the Twin Cities metro area, probably about up to 70 young men now, through our organization, The Man Up Club. And so, you know, we you know, we find that, you know, fathers are essential, they’re important to the home. And it’s unfortunate because, more specifically, when it comes to inner city, which is, you know, where we have our foot, one of our footprints, you know, unfortunately, a lot of young men have tried to normalize not having a father. And I don’t think that there’s anything normal about not having a dad.

Jeff Zaugg [00:07:23] When you say normalize, it’s just, like, they speak like there’s nothing missing and they don’t know something’s missing. Is that what you referred to in your absence?

Xross [00:07:33] Absolutely. That’s exactly what I mean. As you know, it’s almost as if it’s a it’s a deficit and you don’t know that there’s a deficit because you’ve kind of gotten used to it. It’s almost like a person who’s been in prison for many years and they become institutionalized. They don’t understand the outside world. They, you know, they they they have their own set routine and how they do things and, you know, all sorts of things like that. And, you know, they don’t know anything different until you teach them.

Jeff Zaugg [00:08:01] Yeah.

Xross [00:08:01] Or until they come across something new and then, sometimes even hard to believe when you’re trying to teach new things.

Jeff Zaugg [00:08:08] The Man Up Club, I keep hearing about from different sources, friends of friends are always, I feel like stories come back around to impact lives change through your leadership. So thank you for for leading and the 70 men now are not the only men that you’ve touched. Roughly how many years ago did you start and how many young men have been through?

Xross [00:08:26] So I started The Man Up Club initially in 2012 as an after school program, and then we became a nonprofit organization in 2015. So I’ve been mentoring young men ever since then. So probably countless. Yeah, young men.

Jeff Zaugg [00:08:39] Yeah, yeah, yeah. And the ripple effect of one young man who decides to see themselves as a difference maker, a like, I am experiencing fathering, I can walk with strength. And the ripple effect forward is you’ll never know.

Xross [00:08:53] No, I don’t think so. I think the real benefit is just being able to pay it forward and seeing guys develop and then turn around and mentor other guys.

Jeff Zaugg [00:09:00] Yeah.

Xross [00:09:01] I think that’s the greatest benefit.

Jeff Zaugg [00:09:03] In this season of, maybe it’s a little bit reflective of 20 years married today, but also like going into the last school, the last year in school, high school for your youngest going to senior year. As you think about like, man, this is like this is the last at least on the home front in high school years, the moments to get to be a dad. Is there anything that you have like extra focus on, extra attention to in your father fatherhood journey?

Xross [00:09:29] Honestly, I think I’m just paying more attention to the person. You know, we obviously we we would like to believe that we always pay attention to our kids. And if you have multiple kids, then I think you can kind of understand that, you know, you can give different amounts of attention to your children. But considering that we have the last one and I know that time is winding down, and then you also can glean from the experience that you have from raising the other children and you can kind of, you know, rights some of your wrongs and kind of learn new things and get a little bit of teaching and parenting wisdom behind that. It kind of leads you to pay just a little bit more attention or lean in to that last kid just a little bit more. And so we’re a little bit more intentional about the time that we spend, some of the things that we say, how we interact, you know, with our son and his response or what have you. And even overall, how we guide him. And so that’s that’s that’s a real benefit. And, you know, we hope, you know, that whatever we’re pouring in, you know, will be a benefit to him and that he would go on to to do some great things and even learn from his older brothers and sisters.

Jeff Zaugg [00:10:41] Yeah, incredible. If I was to ask your five kids, hey, what are a couple ways that that your dad got it right? Like things that, like, you want to repeat, you want to repeat these things. So I’ll ask it, and don’t worry, we’ll get to the other side as well. But what are some of the things that you think they might say? Oh, dad got this right, I’m glad Dad did this.

Xross [00:11:01] I think one of them would be time. Being able to spend the time with them. I’ve often heard and of course, like I said, I grew up, you know, in a single parent household. But I’ve often heard many times that fathers are absent. And even when fathers are present in the home, they can still be absent, emotionally. And I believe with all my heart that if you were to ask any of my children that they would, I believe, that they would say that I was emotionally available to them, you know, whenever I was home and that I’ve always been home.

Jeff Zaugg [00:11:34] Yeah.

Xross [00:11:35] There’s never been a day in which I’ve been away from any of my children.

Jeff Zaugg [00:11:39] And I know that some of your your travel has been with your kids.

Xross [00:11:44] Absolutely.

Jeff Zaugg [00:11:45] Because of the record label. And because of, just all of the body work around hip hop music that you. Which is so fun to talk about and to share with our listeners because if they don’t know about you, they should.

Xross [00:11:56] Yeah, it’s all good.

Jeff Zaugg [00:11:57] Where did that journey start with with rap and hip hop?

Xross [00:12:01] Well, that started, that started a while back, like maybe several years. Like, I don’t even want to say, because, you know, at least 20. So my but I used to take my son with me, at the time, he was 11 years old, K.J. And he would tour the country with me and we would spend a lot of time together. And, you know, if you’re if you’re on the outside looking in, it’s almost as if you would believe that I just intentionally reared my children up in hip hop, but I did not. And it’s interesting because three out of the five are prolific artists who do hip hop for a living, you know? But it’s just something that they fell into. And God’s anointing kind of just just fell on them. And, you know, I have an opportunity to still continue to spend time with them. But even beyond the music and beyond, you know, hip hop or what have you, even with The Man Up Club, considering that I have three boys, you know, The Man Up Club spending time with young men in the community. But it’s also allowed me to spend time, you know, with young men. Well, actually, the kids that are in my home and so partnering my kids with, at home, with kids in the community and just kind of being able to teach, you know, lessons, life lessons of whether it’s social skills, life skills or academic discipline or civic responsibility, whatever it is, you know, it’s applicable to your own children as well as kids in the community.

Jeff Zaugg [00:13:21] So a passion of yours and a skill set of being a recording artist, a like, you know, running a record label has been used both a ministry discipleship mentoring side with The Man Up Club and on the home front as a connection tool with your kids. Did I get that right?

Xross [00:13:38] Yeah, absolutely. I think it’s a dual approach. I mean, for for me, it’s it’s definitely discipleship. So you hit the nail on the head with that because that’s a daily journey. Discipleship is all about the long term walk. You know, and so we’ve definitely, our cover in that, I don’t think that that’s something that ever ends. I don’t think you ever had a point where you’re just discipled. You know, I think it’s a progression.

Jeff Zaugg [00:14:01] Yes.

Xross [00:14:02] And it’s a continuum. And it’s just like mentoring. Mentoring, it continues to go, as well. And so, you know, with the with the music side of things, it’s a way for us to connect. It’s a way for us to stay connected to culture and be able to do evangelism and infuse the gospel into a culture that’s pretty much, almost Godless.

Jeff Zaugg [00:14:24] Yeah, the the comment earlier about like it could be perceived that because your kids are very into and very good at music, that you kind of guided them towards your passion. I feel like closeness is one of the biggest things I pray for with my girls, that I’m close to them and it takes a shared passion to get really close, I think.

Xross [00:14:43] Yes.

Jeff Zaugg [00:14:44] So so I would applaud the like your kids have found a deep love and gifting in and it just to brag for a moment because you won’t say it, but I will. Like the fact that I mean, Tribl and the Maverick City and like that they’re doing, they’re performing with and a part of the same movement.

Xross [00:14:59] Yes.

Jeff Zaugg [00:15:00] That’s phenomenal. And we’re going to link all of their, all their websites and how to, how to listen and support what they’re up to. So…

Xross [00:15:07] Yeah, and that’s beyond me. I mean, that’s when you know you’re walking in the favor of God.

Jeff Zaugg [00:15:11] Yeah.

Xross [00:15:12] I mean, you know, we, like the Bible says one can plant, one can water, but it’s really God that gives the increase. And I, simply just planted by me doing hip hop music and having my son, K-Jay, do it. But, you know, Celena and Tytist, who are the artists that’s known as Sis and Little Bro, they’re the ones who have recently signed to TRIBL, you know, and TRIBL is doing the watering and God is really the one who’s given, you know, the increase for that.

Jeff Zaugg [00:15:38] And it sounds like, though, that that maybe it was not just following your lead, but following an older siblings lead was absolute part of the passion and part of the development.

Xross [00:15:46] Yeah, absolutely. I mean, because they sat under his dilutives, I mean, they they watched him for for many years. And, you know, as I groomed him as a professional artist, they saw that whole process, you know, and so they they kind of got a a leg up, you know, our head start on the whole thing. But they’ve taken it to a whole new level now. And I just kind of sit back and take care of the business aspect of things and administratively and just kind of let them creatively do their thing.

Jeff Zaugg [00:16:10] The passions that I think are incubated because you see it in an older sibling, right?

Xross [00:16:14] Yeah.

Jeff Zaugg [00:16:15] It’s amazing. And it starts somewhere, which is you pouring in. Investing, discipling, giving opportunities. What would your wife say? So we asked about your your kids and what they would say, areas you got it right. If I was to ask Mariah, what are some of the ways that like, you know, man, your husband, like he’s still working on that area, he still has room for growth or ways that you missed it as a as a dad. What are maybe something that she would say, oh, this is one of those areas that was a struggle?

Xross [00:16:45] My wife would probably say, let me give that some thought. She would probably say that I, I have more of a business, ironclad, more absolute, approach to when I deal with the kids. I think that’s probably, but she would probably put it in better words.

Jeff Zaugg [00:17:09] Sure, sure.

Xross [00:17:09] So just maybe being more lenient a little bit more, you know, a little bit more open to to different things. Because for me, you know, I’m of like the old generation, man. I like the values and the principles and the morals of the older generation. And I understand that things change, you know, but they try to get me to bend, I don’t bend as much as they would like for me to. I think that may be a potential weakness for me.

Jeff Zaugg [00:17:34] Sure. Sure. But also, yeah, most weaknesses tie with strengths. But yeah, thanks for sharing that. And I do think my questions, asking both sides of that, all of us dads should be looking for who could we ask about a little bit of a litmus test so we’re not just trying to figure it out on our own. Right? So I use your kids and your wife as an example. I know that you had a couple of mentors who poured in, because your dad wasn’t on the home front, pouring into you. One was a coach, I believe, that kind of encouraged you that you could go to college and he could help get you a scholarship. Can you, would you share that story?

Xross [00:18:07] Yeah, absolutely. It was actually his name was Mr. Kellis, and he was just a guy in the community, you know, who kind of paid attention to kids who were in the community. And for me, you know, I was a great football player, living in a very small town in Missouri. And he had come to me one day and just said, hey, man, you’re you’re a tremendous football player. Have you ever thought about going to college? And I said no. And he gave, he made a deal with me on the spot. Long story short, he was just basically like, you know, if you come to my house every day after school and study, he’s like, I’ll get you a scholarship to any college in the country that you want to go to. I had assumed that that was an athletic scholarship, considering, you know, me being a blue chip athlete, but, you know, it was more academic. And so I took him up for his challenge, went to his house every day after school and studied and grades went from D’s and F’s to A’s and B’s. Changed my behaviors from hanging out in the streets, man, and really just kind of focusing in on what was more important, which was future. And he taught me how to think in five year increments. And I ended up, you know, having a lot of those scholarships. I end up going to St John’s University here in Minnesota, up in Collegeville. And that’s how I end up coming in, landed in Minnesota and, you know, just, you know, going on to do other things, man. But he was a very instrumental person in my life at that time. And then there was another gentleman named Frank McKinney, who was from the University of Louisville, who was the dean of students. And he kind of poured into me, you know, later on in my life and helped set me up, you know, for adulthood and more career oriented and things like that, man. So the both of these guys have had tremendous impacts on my life. I’m still friends with both of them today and I call, I keep in touch, you know, I have relationships with their children, man. And, you know, we’re family.

Jeff Zaugg [00:20:05] Yeah. And I want to have, it’s easy right now with my four little girls and the season that we’re into. I think when it comes to fatherhood, I’m thinking about the four little girls and mine versus mentoring, discipling others beyond my four. I want to continue to hear stories and be inspired to say I could actually help speak life and promise and opportunity and we can open our home to those who maybe don’t have a dad.

Xross [00:20:29] Sure.

Jeff Zaugg [00:20:30] How would you encourage me? And you know, all the dads listening to think beyond our own kids to being a father figure for others.

Xross [00:20:38] I think we have to think in terms of capacity. Of course, God, you know, blesses us with our children and what have you. But, you know, we have to look at our situation, circumstances, look at our capacity, look at our resources. And a lot of times, you know, we may have more than enough. And so if we have more than enough and we have a surplus, I think it is important, you know, that we help other kids. Because, I mean, first of all, it’s biblical, you know, and so I don’t know. The Bible talks about how we should help orphans. And there certainly are a lot of them out there. You never know how you might impact a young man or a young girl just by giving them your time. And just from my standpoint of being the executive director of The Man Up Club and talking with young men every day, it’s a huge problem. And they are really hurting when it comes to absent parents. And they have a lot of questions and a lot of concerns. And at the end of the day, if we’ve been blessed to have a good life or to be stable and have a stable mind, I think it is extremely valuable for us to be able to to pour into them. Why would we, if you really think about it, why would we stand beside someone who needs the knowledge or the leadership or the advice or the guidance to stand right behind, right beside them and hold that information and not give it to them? It costs us nothing because whatever we have is a gift from God anyway. So I think they can benefit from it, as a matter of fact, I know that they can, and at the end of the day, they don’t care about who they get the information from. They just want the information that will give them life to make good decisions so that they can have a good life for themselves. And then I think the greatest reward is just to be able to see a kid go on and develop in the joy and the satisfaction and the gratefulness from that. Doesn’t necessarily have to come from your particular kid. There’s no assignment on that blessing that says that has to come from your own particular kid.

Jeff Zaugg [00:22:50] Yeah. That’s, when you frame it that way, it’s like, of course, like we all can play a role. And that’s what makes, you know, we pray for the upstream and downstream. Upstream being when a generation of intentional dads, there just loving on their kids. Then we know about these 18 million fatherless kids just in our own country. And God, would they grow up and experience the love and care, discipleship, mentoring so that they can and their kids can experience fathering versus it being repeated. And I just believe with what you’re sharing is a big part of that is just a it’s not a direct it it’s that you have to do this, this, this like a formula. But it’s just I think I have been given and I give it away.

Xross [00:23:31] Absolutely.

Jeff Zaugg [00:23:32] So simple.

Xross [00:23:33] And yeah, that’s exactly what it’s about is about the treasures, you know, that you have. You have to pay it forward and and passing it along.

Jeff Zaugg [00:23:42] Yeah.

Xross [00:23:42] You know, another piece about that is, you know, kids who, you know, first of all, it’s important to and it’s a blessing to be able to have or encounter kids who want to receive information, who want to receive guidance, who are hungry for that and who are open for that. And even kids who operate in humility enough to listen to an older person, that’s that’s not really unnecessarily a common thing. And so when you find young people who are open to that, man, we got to race to that. We got to run to it.

Jeff Zaugg [00:24:14] That’s amazing. Speaking of hunger and excitement for like learning, I don’t think when I was in high school or even in college, I was thinking about like, I want to learn about being intentional, Dad. I want to want to learn how to do my best in this area. But let’s say some of, because you serve young men up to 24 years old, is that about when they graduate from your program?

Xross [00:24:36] 13 to 24.

Jeff Zaugg [00:24:37] Yeah. So those let’s say more of the older end of that, the the older half, like if they gathered you in the same room and you had a handful of these mentees, and they’re like, Now we want to talk fatherhood. Give us a couple minutes of like wisdom advice. What would you tell those young men who are hungry to learn and make the right deposits early as far as being young dads? What are some of the things, top of mind?

Xross [00:24:59] It’s interesting you mention that because we do have Man up Club in this room. As a matter of fact, we have it tonight, probably an hour from now, those same young men will be in this room, and those young men are from 18 to 24 years old.

Jeff Zaugg [00:25:12] Yeah.

Xross [00:25:12] Some of them are young fathers. The deposit is simple deposits like say what you mean and mean what you say is a scriptural. Let your yays be yays and your nays be nays. And to make sure that you’re you’re taking care of the people who are around you, being responsible, a responsible adult, being a responsible father. Doing what you say you’re going to do, if you’re going to be somewhere on time, to be there. I think that all of these type of attributes are good. That develops a great a great dad. And being able to just navigate life and make good, solid decisions. Not necessarily all your decisions would be right, but that your decisions would be well thought out, that you’d be methodical, that you’d be strategic, and that you wouldn’t just make a lot of decisions haphazardly or on a whim or have knee jerk reactions. And to think before you speak, to process and to count the cost of whatever it is that you’re going to do, once again, that’s biblical. To count the cost, to lay the foundation before you build anything, whether that’s, you know, something that’s practical or tangible or whether that’s person to person relationships. And I think these are the things that, you know, are valuable for young men to become great dads. And then the last thing that I would say is just to pay attention to history, because 80% of the young men in our program are fatherless. And so we have to pay attention to the history as to where we come from in our own situation and our own circumstances. And to know how we felt growing up without a father and why would we perpetuate that same type of behavior on the our own children whom we love. And so for us, it’s about breaking cycles.

Jeff Zaugg [00:27:08] And one of those cycles that brings about fatherlessness is marriages that don’t last. And I wanted to once again celebrate 20 years.

Xross [00:27:16] Thank you so much.

Jeff Zaugg [00:27:17] . It’s a big deal.

Xross [00:27:19] It is.

Jeff Zaugg [00:27:19] Marriage is hard.

Xross [00:27:20] It is.

Jeff Zaugg [00:27:20] And it’s amazing.

Xross [00:27:22] It is amazing.

Jeff Zaugg [00:27:22] Faithfulness is a huge deal.

Xross [00:27:24] Absolutely.

Jeff Zaugg [00:27:25] Our kids see and can step into following that lead. Any marriage wisdom or advice, not that you’ve got this nailed, but 20 years, come on. Any any thoughts for, for the men who are married?

Xross [00:27:36] Yeah, I would say that it’s important for you and your spouse to be friends before you become husband and wife. For me and my, my wife is my friend and I’m her friend. And then I’ll take it even a step further, and this may hit some people in a different kind of way, but if they could kind of use a little bit of wisdom, I view my view my wife as my sister. And she views me as her brother. And when you think about it, think in terms of brother and sister relationship. What you you’re not do for your little sister. You know, what would a little sister not do for a big brother? You know, it’s that kind of love, that. And that’s almost an unconditional love from my perspective. If I love my wife as if she’s my little sister, which means that I’m her protector, that I look after her, I take care of her. And if I look at her through that lens of being my friend, then I wouldn’t want to disappoint her. Right. And if I do disappoint her, I wouldn’t want to be repetitive in that behavior. There should be some type of conviction, that we should have to try to always be better. And the last thing I would say is that I think it’s important for us to, and I’m learning this as we go, is to be able to make excuses for each other. I think that’s a very powerful thing because we can get caught up in intent. And I think that misconstruing intent is what can truly destroy a marriage.

Jeff Zaugg [00:29:15] So good because it’s so easy to assume the worst versus, no, I make excuses…

Xross [00:29:19] And it’s tough man.

Jeff Zaugg [00:29:20] It’s my best friend.

Xross [00:29:21] It’s tough. Yeah, it’s tough. It’s not easy. Yeah.

Jeff Zaugg [00:29:25] Well, I wanted to end by thanking you for your leadership, your work with The Man Up Club. Our team prayerfully decides, this year there was five organizations in the state of Minnesota that we said these, these guys are doing amazing work. We believe in it. So we’re raising money to help fuel the work. And so you were one of our partners this year.

Xross [00:29:43] Oh, that’s so wonderful.

Jeff Zaugg [00:29:44] And like I mentioned earlier, it’s a little bit too we could actually like hand over the check because the fundraising is still coming in, but we’re thrilled. I don’t bring it up for you to say thank you, but I bring it up to say thank you for the work you do because we’re thrilled to fuel part of it in a small way. So…

Xross [00:29:58] Well, absolutely. But I have to say thank you, because the work that we do is a tough work. But we couldn’t do it without supporters like you who have a passion and see the vision for what we’re trying to accomplish, you know, with this next generation. So from the bottom of our heart and on behalf of The Man Up Club, we certainly say thank you. And, you know, we’ll continue to to do our best to serve you well.

Jeff Zaugg [00:30:21] Yeah we celebrate and celebrate being a part of. Would you say a short prayer for all the dads listening?

Xross [00:30:25] Absolutely. So, Father, we just want to say thank you, first and foremost for your grace. And thank you for your mercy. Lord, you had the perfect dad in God and God, you had the perfect son in Jesus. And so for us, Lord, we just want to be able to model that behavior. God, we make a lot of mistakes, but you’re consistently forgiving us and resetting us and putting us on the path that we need to be on. At the same time, Lord, you’re allowing us to be the head of household and sometimes even the head of cities and states and even countries. And, Lord, it’s not that we’re necessarily deserving of it, but it’s just your unmerited favor. And so we thank you for it, for putting trust in us. And God, that we would just continue to keep you at the forefront of everything that we do for you are the head of us. And so, God, we want to always remember that, that we don’t want to get high minded and arrogant and have so much pride, God, that we forget that we’re your servant. And I pray God that she would just touch every father out there who’s making the right decision and who’s trying to do the right thing and who has the heart to chase you. And I pray, Lord, that you would allow them to become best friends with their wives and become friends to their kids, and also just confidants to their kids to be able to have the kind of relationship where they can communicate and even talk about the deep things that kids typically would not share, but that they would have a loving and open heart and an understanding mind. It’s a tough job, Lord, but you’ve anointed us to do it, and you’ve called us to that place for a particular reason. So we just ask, Lord that you would allow us to continue to see with your eyes so that your will and your vision can be done, and not our will. We bless you, and we thank you for the position that you’ve put us in. And Lord, we pray that you would just continue to anoint all the fathers around the world so that we can serve you well. And at the end of the day, Lord, that you would say, well done, thy good and faithful servant. In Jesus name, we pray. Amen.

Jeff Zaugg [00:33:01] Thank you so much for joining us for episode 243 with XROSS. The show notes are going to be at dadAWESOME.org/243. I want to remind you guys dadAWESOME.org/tour, if you are interested in joining one of our dadAWESOME meetups or helping me host and pick like a date, a time, a host location, whether it’s your campfire pit or it’s on a beach somewhere or at a brewery or coffee shop or, or whatever. Man, I’m looking for a tree house, actually, looking for a large treehouse at some point to host one of these meet ups. Let me know by filling out this web inquiry form, dadAWESOME.org/tour. Thanks so much for listening today. Thanks for deciding, man, I want to be dadAWESOME for my kids. It matters. Sometimes they don’t say thank you. But let me say this, thank you. Thank you for being intentional. Thank you for leaning in and saying, man, I want to learn in this area. I want to bring more of God’s love to my kids. It’s a huge deal. Have a great week, guys.