Restoring an Estranged Father Son Relationship

4 reasons for restoration

My children know little more about their grandfather than his name. That’s because my father and I have been estranged for many years. Years of anger and bitterness have allowed me to convince myself it’s best we part ways. However, parenting my own children convicts me of the need to restore our father-son relationship.

Restoring an Estranged Father Son Relationship

An addiction to alcohol has driven a wedge between the two of us that has caused us to live completely separate lives though we live only a forty-five minutes’ drive from each other. I’ve witnessed the incredible influence and hold alcohol can have on a person. I don’t understand the addiction to alcohol, but I know it is real. I’ve lived through the abuse an alcohol addiction can inflict on family and friends.

Protected somewhat by my parents’ divorce at a young age, I’m one of the lucky few capable of breaking the generational cycle alcoholism tends to exhibit. I live my life in total abstinence from alcohol; primary because it truly scares me. I could likewise become a nonfunctioning alcoholic. Additionally, I believe the Bible offers very serious warning and commands to stay away from “strong drink.”

However, a major downside to my defiance against alcohol is the divide I’ve allowed it to cause in my relationship with my father. Now, I’m certainly not saying abstinence from alcohol is a bad thing. Rather, I’m saying I never should have let this separate my father and me. Likewise, I’m not saying I condone my father’s abuse of alcohol. We can have a good relationship regardless of our differing opinions regarding alcohol.

But I mentioned that my children brought about this conviction related to my relationship with my father. What do they have to do with it?

079 – 6 Friendships To Eliminate Quickly

And how to eliminate them

Welcome to episode 79 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 identify the friendships you need to eliminate from you life.

6 Friendships To Eliminate Quickly

Friendships can be a very positive aspect of our lives. Unfortunately, they can also be negative influences on us. Today’s podcast will help you identify six different friendships that will influence you in a negative manner. It is critical that we identify these friendship and remove them from our life.

Ending a friendship may seem like a bad thing, but not these friendships. Whether we recognize it or not, these types of friendship are bad for us. In many ways, these friendships hold us back or lead us down paths we never would have otherwise taken. While it may be difficult, ending these friendships are for the best.

Lastly, we’ll discuss exactly how to eliminate these friendships. Again, it’s difficult, but it can be done in a loving and gentle way.

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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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10 Imperatives To Make Your Wife Feel Beautiful

It is your responsibility to make her feel beautiful

The advertisement industry is incredibly adept at playing upon two primal flaws in men and women. Advertisement is laced with seductive images of female models that have been professionally photographed and edited. The images play on the visual nature of men and beauty insecurities of women. While these ads may sale product, it does nothing for a woman’s image of herself. This article will focus on ways to make your wife feel beautiful.

10 Imperatives To Make Your Wife Feel Beautiful

Female beauty has very little to do with glamorous photo opportunities. An experienced user of Photoshop can make any image appealing to the eye – especially the male eye. Beauty encompasses so much more than outward appearance. This is why we use statements to describe women like “beautiful inside and out.” This is also why you occasionally see the super model that is transparent enough to admit their insecurities about their self-image.

Whether we husbands recognize it or not, fact is our wives struggle with their self-image on some level and some point in time. When that happens to our wives, it is our responsibility to make them feel beautiful. It isn’t the responsibility of her girlfriends. It isn’t the responsibility of the children. We certainly don’t want to give general society the responsibility to make her feel beautiful. We own the responsibility.

So how can we make our wife feel beautiful? Let’s consider these ten imperatives as our personal challenge and strive to make our wife feel like the beauty queen she is.

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.

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.

Happy Memorial Day

Honoring my dad and father-in-law

I was privileged to visit the GA National Cemetery this morning to honor and remember my dad and father-in-law. I got some great video and pictures as the sun rose over the cemetery. I put together a little movie trailer with the aid of iMovie. I hope you enjoy and have a very blessed Memorial Day.

Thanks to all that have served this great nation!

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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066 – 8 Ways Exercise Makes You A Better Husband & Father

Trust me, you’ll want to hang around for the last benefit.

Welcome to episode 66 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 a regular exercise routine will make you a better husband and father.

8 Ways Exercise Makes You A Better Husband & Father

Few will argue against the notion that exercise is good for you. However, few understand all the benefits of regular exercise. Even fewer relate these benefits to being a husband and father. In this podcast, I’ll share how just a few minutes each day can revolutionize your family relationships.

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