077 – Marriage Or Kids First?

Overcoming the conflict parents have about top priority

Welcome to episode 77 of the REAL Men Podcast. This podcast will challenge, encourage, and equip us to be God’s man at home. In today’s episode, we will answer the question of which is more important, your spouse or your children.

Marriage of Kids First?

Married couples are often told the marriage relationship must be the top priority in their lives; aside from a relationship with Christ. There is typically no problem with this until that couple has children. Parents find themselves conflicted when it comes to making the marriage a priority over there children. Quilt trips like loving your children less, neglecting their needs, or not providing opportunities other kids have will plaque even the best of parent. The Bible does tell us to prioritize our marriage over our children. But what does that really look like. We’ll discuss exactly how that should play out in today’s podcast episode.

We’ll cover the notion that loving our spouse more means we love our children less. We’ll also explain why placing the marriage as priority over your infant child isn’t the same as neglecting their needs. Finally, providing your teenagers with everything that every other teenager has or allowing them to do what all the other kids do doesn’t have to take priority over your marriage. If the children have robbed your marriage of its priority, tune in today to find out how you can get your marriage back where it belongs.

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What I hope my kids know about American Independence Day

Happy Birthday America

I remember it as if it were this morning. I stood at the foot of my bunk in the squad bay that would be my home for the next three months. Drill Instructors swarmed throughout the squad bay until suddenly one stood nose to nose with me. Red-faced, veins bulging, screaming, and spraying he ‘politely’ posed a question.  “Recruit Tanner, why did you join the Marine Corps?” With as much courage as I could muster, I yelled back, “to serve and give back to my country, sir.”

Indepedence Day

It probably seems trite, but I meant it. I happen to believe America is the greatest nation in the history of the world. I truly wanted to give back to this nation in some humble way.

It isn’t the government, the capitalistic economy, the Founding Fathers, or even the great people that make America great. Not to get political, but this nation isn’t made great by any presidential candidate. This nation is made great through the blessings of God. I believe God is willing to bless this nation because we’ve traditionally held firm to the strong belief in the principles of the preamble to the Declaration of Independence.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

The real meaning of Independence Day tends to get lost among all the activities of the holiday.

071 – How To Be A REAL Man When Facing Tough TImes

3 ways to face difficulty

Welcome to episode 71 of the REAL Men Podcast. This podcast will challenge, encourage, and equip us to be God’s man at home. In today’s episode, we will discuss how to be a REAL man when life throws you difficult challenges.

How To Be A REAL Man When Facing Tough TImes

Maybe you’re faced with serious illness in your family, maybe it’s loss of a job, or even an unexpected death in the family; regardless of the details, being a REAL man in these situations is very difficult. Nonetheless, our responsibilities as men don’t just go away with these difficult situations. In fact, our role in leading our family becomes all the more important when life sends us into these uncertain times. In this podcast, I’ll share a personal story that has greatly impacted and encouraged me. It’s a story I will certainly draw upon when faced with difficulties of life.

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My “Step” Dad

Father's Day is still about honoring dad

This will be my third Father’s Day without my dad. To honor the memory of my dad, I’d like to share with you an excerpt from a book manuscript I wrote regarding adoption. In the manuscript, I explain the thought process I went through in our decision to adopt our son. During that thought process, I realized I am essentially adopted by my dad. Let me explain…

I hope that you recognized the quotes within the title.  We live in the age of the air quotes.  In our verbal communications, we often times resort to the use of our hands and fingers to indicate our facetiousness or basic lack of belief or agreement in the words we are saying.  I am certainly “guilty” of the use of the air quotes in my conversations, but none more than when I’m talking about my “step” father.

My "Step" Dad

You see, I actually despise having to refer to John Potts as my step father.  I do so only in situations that I have to be clear that he is not my biological father.  I might say to someone: “my dad is a mechanic”.  In that I’m referring to John.  Conversely, when explaining why our last names are different, I will refer to John as my step-father.

You might ask why I am so caught up on the use of the word step.  It is after all quiet accurate of me to use the word.  Under the English language and by definition, John is my step-father.  So why not just be clear and concise when referring to John?  The reason that I despise the use of the title step-father is because it gives the connotation that John is in some way less than a “real father” (air quotes because most folks use this phrase to refer to a biological father, I use it here to refer to a man that is truly engaged and active in his responsibilities in raising a child).  The use of the title step-father gives many the mental image of one of two things: a dictatorial outsider that swoops into a child’s life to steal away his mother and serve as marine drill instructor for the child or a spineless wimp of a man that is afraid to rock the boat within the new family he has stepped into.  These two characterizations do not describe my dad at all.

070 – Transgender Restrooms & Other Touch Topics

How to discuss these issues with your children

Welcome to episode 70 of the REAL Men Podcast. This podcast will challenge, encourage, and equip us to be God’s man at home. In today’s episode, we will discuss transgender restrooms and other touchy topics. You’ll learn how to properly discuss these issues with your children.

Transgender Restrooms & Other Touch Topics

Don’t allow the world to influence your child on this very touchy, but important, topics. Taking a stand for truth regarding these issues requires tremendous courage and wisdom that only you can give to your children.

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To My Future Son-in-law’s Dad

Please teach him to climb a tree

Sir, you don’t know me yet. But rest assured, you will know me well as our children progress in their relationship. More importantly, you will understand well my expectations of any young man that dates my daughter. Maybe you have a daughter also, maybe you don’t. But surely you can understand why I would have such high expectations of my future son-in-law.

To My Future Son-in-law's Dad

Your son has little chance of meeting my expectations without your intentional engagement and teaching in his life. Please do not abdicate your responsibilities to school teachers, youth ministers, church members, or even his mother. If you do, a moral façade will be created that robs your son of the blessing of true moral character and hides your son’s true nature from my daughter. Others can mold a nice façade around your son, but only you can build a proper foundation.

Unlike all the clichés you read about, I have no plans to clean my shotgun while your son is in my home. I don’t plan to take him snipe hunting. I will not be asking my police buddies for any background checks on your family.

However, I will communicate clearly with your son my expectations. It would be much better for him if he hears these things from you first. Let me share a few things that I hope you teach your son long before he pops the question to my daughter.

069 – The Importance Of Community

Maybe it still takes a village…

Welcome to episode 69 of the REAL Men Podcast. This podcast will challenge, encourage, and equip us to be God’s man at home. In today’s episode, we will discuss the importance of community in the life of your family.

importance of community

Community as defined as a group of people having a particular characteristic in common. It could be a community of baseball players and parents, school mates and families, or church family; all are very beneficial for your family. Today’s podcast will discuss seven of those benefits.

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Government Recognizes The Importance Of Family

The CBO addresses a staggering statistic regarding young men

Did you know that in 2014 nearly one in six men (ages 18-34) in the U.S. were either jobless or incarcerated? I recently read an article entitled CBO: Nearly 1 in 6 Young Men in U.S. Jobless or Incarcerated. The report was provided by the Congressional Budget Office, so the article was heavily focused on the economic causes and impacts from this statistic. I try to discipline my intake of political rhetoric these days, but I just couldn’t avoid such a headline. One in six men? Really?

Hard Work

While the CBO article didn’t explicitly express the importance of family, it certainly shed light on the harsh realities of the breakup of the traditional family. According to the CBO, “young men who are jobless or incarcerated today are less likely to marry, less likely to stay married, and less likely to have children who live in two-parent households than their counterparts who are employed or in school. Because the earnings of the next generation are likely to be affected by the families in which they grow up, adverse consequences for today’s families can have long-run economic impacts.”

So there you have it. Jobless and incarcerated young men can eventually result in long-run economic impacts. Well duh! I’m being a bit facetious I know. I certainly expect the CBO to highlight the economic impacts of such a staggering number. But did you notice in that statement the other negative impacts mentioned by the CBO?

068 – Are You Confusing Your Family

This happens to be my greatest fear

Welcome to episode 68 of the REAL Men Podcast. This podcast will challenge, encourage, and equip us to be God’s man at home. In today’s episode, we will discuss my greatest fear; confusing my family.

Confusing My Family

I’ll explain the meaning behind my greatest fear and how I arrived at this revelation. Additionally, I’ll share the only certain way to overcome your fears and pressing through them to be God’s man at home.

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The Importance Of Recess

It isn’t just for elementary school anymore

Think back to your elementary school days. Do you remember climbing on the jungle bars, chasing little girls with grasshoppers, or playing kickball during recess? That hour of recess seemed to pass in five minutes. And it provided a much needed break from the rigors of math, science, history, and grammar. The same is true for marriage. Many overlook the importance of recess.

The Importance Of Recess

As I consider the 22 years of our marriage, I can identify a few really rough seasons. Some seasons that lasted months. And some even that had us on the verge of divorce. Luckily, Jennifer and I have never threatened each other will leaving or divorce, but I can identify times that it crossed my mind and I know she felt the same way.

So what got us past those rough seasons of our marriage? Without exception, it was a period of recess that restored our relationship. Now by recess, I’m not talking about a period of separation from each other. I’m talking about a recess from the rest of life. We don’t recognize it in the fog of war, but it’s normal, everyday life that pushes our relationship to the brink of separation.

While I can identify periods of recess as the savior of our marriage, my mentoring experience with other men suggests the absence of an occasional recess throws a marriage into a tailspin. As I talk with men that are facing almost certain divorce, I ask questions related to how often they spend time alone, away from the kids, and other activities of life; time alone to just talk with one another. The answer is always some form of “we never do that.”

Are you in the midst of a marriage storm?