Do your kids know how to suffer well? In this episode of the Dad Tired podcast, join host Jerrad Lopes as her shares what it looks like for a dad to learn good theology of suffering, and in turn, teach that to his children.
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Teaching Our Kids To Suffer Well
Jerrad: I know many of you guys were listening today often will jump into the dad tired podcast as a way you just try to go your own journey as a father You're trying to step up and to lead better to Be a better husband a better father And a better disciple which that alone Man is just amazing I want to commend you on that there are a lot of guys who don't care I just overheard somebody talking to somebody else I was kind of like in a passing conversation i overheard somebody talking about how the father of her Particular child just didn't care at all To be involved in her child's life [2:24] and so she is a single mom and so the fact that you are engaged man you are there And you're showing up for your kids and now you're listening to a Podcast like this and you're doing your best to be the father that God has called you to be It's just says about you man God is like proud of you for that So just hear that the fact that you're stepping into this God does not take that lightly he will honor you and your efforts and I and I really believe that you'll get to see the fruit of the seeds that you're planting now that being said I wanted to remind you of something really important before you are a father and before you are a husband you are first a son like you have been adopted into the family of God and God calls you son and he considers you before anything his son and that is your primary identity so I know you're coming here to get information and to try to grow in your role as a father [3:17] and as a husband before all of that man I just felt pressed to remind you you are a son God should have left you in your Rebellion the fact is you turned your back on God you have done things outside of the way that he designed things to be you have chosen your own path you have at different times in your life said I think I'm a better God than God has you probably have never said those words out loud but the way that all of us lives we indicate through the way that we live our life that we think we're better gods and God is and God based on that should have any could have left and said you know what I'm out like you're not obedient you're not doing things the way I designed you're choosing to do your own path you think you're better at this whole life thing than me the one who created life itself and so I'm out [4:02] but instead of that instead of God doing that God Instead chose to adopt you into his family so that he can call you son And like a good father he is discipling your heart as his son in the same way that you are looking for every possible opportunity to point your kids to Jesus you're looking for every opportunity to have a teachable moment with them in the same way God is using every opportunity to shape your heart to train you up in righteousness to make your heart more like His, again, he doesn't just save you I having [4:40] say a prayer and then you kind of wait until you die trying your best to avoid all the major says don't get drunk don't sleep around don't say bad words don't do all this stuff and then if you just live your life right you're holy enough and you follow all the rules and I'll let you into heaven that is not the relationship that we see that is not the god of the scripture the god of the Bible is one who is drawing your heart to His as His son you are His son and he's drawing his son's heart back to his think about the prodigal son right he runs after us he is in your Rebellion he is drawn your heart back to his and all throughout your life he is using every opportunity to disciple you to shape your heart to become more like His before you are a father before you are a husband before you are or whatever the title is on your business card before all of that you are a son [5:38] you are a son of The Most High God and He loves you deeply And in this very moment he is trying his very best to use this as an opportunity to draw your heart near to his to shape your heart to become more like his [5:54] and so just rest in that man I know you're wearing a lot of hats today I know you are trying your best to figure out what it looks like to provide for your family today to raise kids who are great kids and who love the Lord and you are productive and care for the people around them I know you're trying your best to be a husband who loves your wife well in the midst of all the brokenness and the friction you guys have and all the problems that you're going through in the midst of all that you're trying to be the best husband that you can be you're showing up to work and you're working hard but before all of that man you can actually set all of that aside and just rest right now and know [6:34] that while you are working really really hard to grow in all of these areas God just sees you as his little boy you are his son, this week I had a moment where I felt that God was discipling my heart where He was taking all of the brokenness and all the things of my heart and he was shaping them to become more like him he was using moments to make my heart more like his if you have listened to the DadTired podcast for a long time or maybe you've read one of the DadTired books you have heard me talk about how my dad was not part of my life, Really at the age of 3 [7:13] We had very little interaction in my childhood I would say I was raised by my mom as a single mom and my dad and I would talk a few times a year and there was not really animosity he wasn't trying to be a jerk or anything when he showed up he was a wonderful dad and when we talked he was wonderful when I got to spend time with him I love spending time with him but we just didn't spend a lot of time together And we didn't talk that much so he wasn't a shaping influencer in my childhood and I've talked about this on the podcast but there was a moment kind of in the middle of my hurting and depression and just angst that I was experiencing several years ago where I was going through counseling and a lot of the stuff that I was dealing with and trying to process [7:56] In my childhood and my dad's absence I was just dealing with this it was on the forefront of my mind and my dad happened to visit one day he came up to Oregon one day he was in California and it came up to Oregon and this is on the forefront of my mind so he he just came to visit to check in to say hey how's the family we haven't talked in a while but on the top of my brain the forefront of my brain with all the pain that I was going through I was in the middle of trying to process my childhood and so unfortunately for him he kind of got blindsided but I I just brought up I said Dad I just need to ask you I'm not mad at you I'm not angry at you I've forgiven you but I just need to know why you left [8:34] and my dad and I just really believe that the Holy Spirit orchestrated all of this moment but he just owned it he didn't make excuses and that was a really healing experience I did a whole episode on that I'll link it in the show notes so that you can go back and listen I talk about that whole experience deeply maybe you relate to that if you and your dad didn't grow up close I shared that whole experience much more deeply and what that did for my journey and for us but since then he and I have become closer and so I was talking to him on the phone the other day and he said something that was really profound and I [9:06] believe God was using as a moment to disciple my heart to help make me more like his my dad said as we were talking on the phone my dad said Jerrad one of the biggest regrets of my life is that I was not around for your childhood it's the thing that I regret every day and I it is hard for me to live with, I'm paraphrasing his words but, he was saying it's the hardest thing for me to live with to know that I did not stick around to see you grow up as a child but he said that being said there's two reasons why I wouldn't change what happened [9:43] the first reason is he said I think if I would have stuck around I think you would have become like me I'm going to try and not get choked up here as I talked about this he said that I think if I would have stuck around you would have become like me and I'm so glad you didn't become like me because I went off the path and I veered far and I wouldn't have wanted you to veer far and I wouldn't have wanted you to become like me and so I'm thankful even though I regret not being around I'm thankful actually that your mom was there to help keep you on the right path because I wouldn't have wanted you to become like me [10:17] that's the first the second reason is look at the way God has used our story to touch other men's lives he said Jerrad I'm okay with you using me as an example what not to do as a father you didn't have your dad around and now you write books and you speak and you talk about it tens of thousands of men have been changed their families are changing they're becoming better men, fathers, husbands, disciples because of our story and he said I regret every day that I wasn't there but I see how God is using it and man my eyes is my dad the saying this this just happened this week totally unexpected and my kids are running around cereal is being spilled literally my daughter is in the room as he's talking [11:06] she's yelling and shes spilling stuff I mean it's chaos And in the middle of all the chaos God is healing my heart he's taking brokenness from years decades and he's mended together and there was a deep sense of healing with what was happening on that phone call in the middle of chaos God was discipling my heart but here's was actually the most profound thing that moment those words for my dad were powerful and healing but here's actually what was even more powerful [11:37] and healing we hung up the phone and I just kind of sat here again you can imagine as a young dad I know you've experienced this in your home you've experienced this in your home there's just kind of noise all the time in chaos all the time so that's happening as I'm sitting here and yet in the middle of all the noise and the chaos there's kind of a silence in a stillness in my spirit and I'm sitting here in my office and the noise is around but yet there's a quietness in my heart and I feel like the Lord just started to shape and to disciple and to heal my heart and I really believe that He spoke to me [12:11] with clarity now listen if you brand new Christian or maybe you are new to Christianity that sounds super weird dude like like I don't take that lightly I know when I say things like the spirit of God spoke to my heart you're like what the, dude like what are you talking about [12:25] that sounds weird so like just to give you context and some of you Christians need to hear this because you've been in the Christian world a long time you forgot how weird this kind of stuff sounds but we believe what I believe is that God and this is unlike any other god or religion in all the world most gods in every other religion in the world say hey you gotta get your stuff together pray on time eat the right food dress the right way say the right things make sure your obedient if you want any chance of being close to God you need to do all these things perfectly the God of the Bible has always had a reputation from the very first pages of scripture to the very last stages of scripture he always draws near to broken people [13:07] instead of people having to run up to him if you imagine god on top of mountain and you trying to ascend to the top of the mountain to be near god the God of the Bible actually makes his way down the mountain so he can be near to broken and messy people and then God says I'm gonna put my spirit I'm going to live inside of you [13:26] which again most gods even the God of the Bible you know you had to have like the temple all set up right and it had to look the right way and the churches had to be alright And everything had to be just pristine but instead God says when Jesus died on the cross no more like you won't have to get your act together and present yourself as clean because you're not even clean even when you think you're clean instead of having these fancy churches or temples like or in the Old Testament they had these things called The Ark or the Covenant like all these where it was perfectly set up for God to dwell in and instead of God [14:01] dwelling in all of these perfect places God said I want to dwell in you which is crazy you might think or you’ve heard people say you can't cuss in church you can't do this in church you are the quote-unquote church and that has deeper meanings but essentially God lives in you if you are a believer in Jesus God lives in you his Spirit lives in you he's always been near broken and messy people and this is unlike any other God and any other religion so I believe that when you make the choice to believe in Jesus he draws your heart near to him you confess with your mouth that you have sinned against God [14:38] that you suck at being God do you want to serve him as your God instead of you as your god I believe that his Spirit lives inside of you it said that's what I mean when I say that the spirit is in me and spoke to me it's not this audible voice it's not this weird supernatural experience it's literally while my kids are screaming their cereal spilled it's like it's chaos but in the mixture that there's thoughts beyond myself that are happening I know that was a longer kind of explanation but I felt like it was necessary. So I'm sitting here in the stillness of the moment felt like God spoke to me this I felt like God was telling me that Jerrad you have your whole life [15:17] believed that I was reacting to your brokenness and to the brokenness in your family and so there was times in my life where I've never consciously thought this I've never consciously had this thought but I have subconsciously believed that based on my dad's decision to not be around my family and not be around in my life that God is kind of scrambling to take all that mess to take the brokenness of sin and dysfunction in a Family [15:48] He's scrambling he's like ah man how are we going to make this look good In the midst of this is like crazy and you've made a lot of bad decisions and your dad's made decisions the family is dysfunctional okay how can we take all this brokenness and we'll try to figure something out with it that's kind of subconsciously how I've viewed my life and yet in the moment I got the sense that God was speaking to me and saying Jerrad I'm not scrambling [16:10] to try to make something beautiful out of the mess I've actually had a plan in the middle of the mess before you even born and that shop to me was incredibly healing to my soul I literally started to weep my wife came and then she was like are you okay and I was like I think I just experienced deep healing from God that God wasn't trying to figure out what to do with my life and my family sin [16:40] but God had actually planned from the beginning before I was even born to use all of it for his glory and in that moment I went from feeling kind of like a victim like ah man poor me look at this childhood I've gone through look at this rough thing that I've gone through I went from feeling that subconsciously to feeling honored that God would choose to use me for his glory that I would be okay with saying I'm okay not having a father around I'm okay with experiencing suffering and brokenness I'm okay with having memories of playing basketball in the driveway as a kid wishing my dad were there there's so many times I have vivid memories I have vivid memories of I wish my dad were here I wish I had a dad here right now [17:30] they're not moment man I felt like what an honor to be able to suffer like that in all those years knowing that because of that story more guys to this day are falling in love with Jesus they're becoming husbands, fathers, and disciples that God did not waste those years that he wasn't choosing to scramble to figure out what he was going to do but even before I was born he knew that was going to be my story and as much as I prayed God rescue me from this instead of that he knew something bigger was coming out of it and I would gladly now having this perspective change I would gladly do it all over again if I knew that God would get all the glory that his name would be made great I tell you that story man because that's my story of suffering but if you are a human with oxygen [18:23] in your lungs with blood pulsing through your veins you are experiencing suffering on some level I'm not naive to think that right now you're going through some stuff or you will go through some stuff some of you are suffering in what feels like a small way maybe financially you're having hard time or your marriage is just feels rocky some of you have experienced deep grief loss of a child, deep sickness, terrible diagnosis from a doctor for either you or somebody that you love, tragedy and pain, loss, divorce, family brokenness, betrayal, you're experiencing deep hurt you've experienced deeper or maybe you will experience deep hurt and maybe you're like me and feel like man God's just scrambling to figure out what he's going to do with this mess [19:21] and I want to remind you what God reminded me this week that he's not trying to figure out what to do you didn't catch him off guard your sin other people sin the pain that you're experiencing either self inflicted or from somebody else is not catching God off guard before you were even born he had planned on using it for his glory God does not desire brokenness he does not desire sin to be destructive but before the creation of the world he knew it was going to happen and he had a plan to to take those ashes and turn them into gardens to take an ugly broken things and make them beautiful God is not [20:05] Trying to figure out what to do God has already figured out what to do and in the middle of your pain and suffering God has a plan for his glory and for your good and here's why this is so important many of us believe subconsciously that we kind of deserve good things to come to us if we live our life right get her act together if we obey all the rules God should treat us right [20:31] man we have to remember that verse remember that verse in John where Jesus promises that there will be trouble that there will be sorrow that there will be pain John 16 I have told you these things so that in me you may have peace in this world you will have trouble some of the verses translate suffering pain it will come Jesus promised it but then listen to what he says but take heart I have overcome the world bro you will experience pain you will experience brokenness [21:06] and suffering Jesus literally promised it but then he said take heart I've overcome in me you can have peace some of you are experiencing some really deep pain right now man and if you're not careful what you will try to do is escape the pain you will beg God to take it away and actually I don't even think but that's wrong Jesus himself in the garden of Gethsemane said begged the father [21:32] on the night that he was going to be arrested and eventually crucified Jesus was begging the father Lord if there's another way can we find another way will you take this from me please but if not God your will be done and I think it's okay for you to pray as a son talking to a father God would you take this away this is hard this is painful I don't want this anymore I think that's an okay prayer man also pray in the midst of your suffering even if you don't your will be done God whatever you would want for your glory and for my good thought you were will be done here's what this means for us is dad's trying to raise kids well it means that our kids will suffer and we can't always rescue them or should we always rescue them but instead point their little hearts towards Jesus in the midst of their suffering because if we don't they will turn into kids who are mad at God because they're experiencing some kind of pain and suffering in their life the next time your child experiences loss or hurt for heartbreak horse failure instead of rescuing them from that instead asked questions like what is God trying to teach you what do you think God might be teaching you about himself in the middle of this pain is there something good either for you or for others that might [22:53] come of this What we're doing when we ask questions like that is we're letting our kids know that suffering Is part of the human experience as long as there is sin around the God is not bailed on you God has not left you God is not scrambling to figure out what to do when your friend but God actually has a purpose for your pain as Christians and is Christian dads and his dads who want to lead our family well we must have a good Theology of suffering the best news of all is this [23:21] that God doesn't leave in our suffering forever let's go deep enter the Theology of this goes back to Genesis in the Garden of Eden when man and woman turn their hearts against God and instead of God letting them stay there forever in there suffering he actually has to leave where he knows they will die but in death there is actually going to be healing instead of living forever In perpetual hurt and sin and brokenness God says I'm going to bring an end to this [23:48] hurt and sin and Brokenness and I'm going to make all things new and God has that same promise for us he says this life is short man but there will be an end he has overcome we take heart because even if I suffer until death I know that I get to go to be with Jesus that he's making all things new again [24:08] we won't forever always suffer story of Eternity is not forever suffering it's actually forever glory and good answer my prayer for you today does he listen to this podcast I pray man that this is a moment when you experience God's discipling of your heart is drawing you as a son to him I first want you to walk away with this that God has a purpose for your suffering that he is not scrambling In the midst of it trying to figure out what he's going to do he's not caught off guard before the creation of the world he knew you would be going through this moment he knew all the pain and junk that you would experience he has plans for his glory first and number two for you are good what do you see it whether you get to see it one day or not [24:59] God will use all things for his glory and for your good and so don't try to escape it don't just pray God please get me out of this don't turn bitter towards God God would you rescue me from this how come you gave me this how come you did this to me God we take peace in Christ like Jesus said I take heart I have peace because even when I don't understand I trust that God is good that he is for His glory he for his good and he will make those two things come to fruition [25:28] even in the midst of my suffering so I'm not praying that God takes me out of this or I'm going to be really mad I’m not questioning God's goodness I know I expect there fully to be pain and suffering and so when it comes when I'm in the middle of it I actually have peace because Jesus told me to expect this but that He would overcome it so even in the middle of your pain and your suffering I pray that you have peace the world can't offer anything like that [25:55] the world may I offer you peace and all kinds of really shallow things but Jesus has a deep peace for your soul and so even as you suffer today brother know that God is using all of it he's planned all of it for his glory and for your good the second thing is that we would raise kids who suffer well that when life strikes them with some kind of pain and tragedy and and it will [26:21] for sure happen that they're not scrambling that they're not feeling a sense of God why did you do this to me that they're not questioning the goodness of God but they start to ask themselves questions like in the middle of my pain what is God trying to teach me about myself what's God trying to teach me about himself is there something good that's coming from this either for me or for other people if my end goal is just straight to comfort and happiness then I will use God as a way to try to accomplish my goals of just having a great life [26:57] and that is not the plan God has for you if my purpose as a follower of Jesus is to bring God glory to see myself as a servant of Christ that my life is not my own but it it's owned by him and whatever the King wills for me to do I will do and I will be with joy if that is my purpose and I can actually suffer and call it an honor to suffer on behalf of God's glory but even in the midst of my pain knowing that somehow God will use this for his glory and for my good to draw other people near to him then I will suffer well and we will teach our kids [27:36] how to suffer well would we be servants of Jesus who suffer well who have peace in the midst of tragedy because we take heart knowing that the Jesus has overcome the world I pray that Jesus discipled your heart today to use draw you closer to him as his son and as a result you rest in your sonship did you take confidence as a father [28:01] raising sons and daughters of the Most High I love you I'll see you next week