April 18, 2022

Failing at Fatherhood with Kent Evans


Why Manhood Journey?

If you’re like most dads, you walk around feeling like a failure as a husband and father. You don’t have to. At Manhood Journey, we believe you can turn it around and live as a more confident, godly dad who leads his family without regrets. We think you can:

  • You become a more confident dad
  • You feel like less of a failure
  • You balance your time and priorities better

How do we know this? Because we’ve seen it. It our own lives and in the lives of the dads we serve. Manhood Journey’s mission is to help dads become disciple-makers. We do this through a number of resources.



Kent Evans

Executive Director

Kent Evans is the Executive Director of Manhood Journey. Kent is married to April, his wife of 22 years and has five sons ranging from age 2 to 18. He’s founder of Manhood Journey and author of Wise Guys.

https://manhoodjourney.org/

Support the show (https://www.buymeacoffee.com/uafm)

Transcript


00:03

Josh
Good day fellows. Welcome to uncensored advice for men. A returning champion comes back on the show and we're going to talk about being a father, Mr. Kent, welcome to the show, man. 


00:14

Kent
I heard returning champion and I needed some walkup music. I need like bam, bam. Bam. 


00:21

Josh
That the, is that your fight song? Like if you were a fighter, that's what you would choose the Rocky, 


00:26

Kent
I think in the movie here comes the boom with Kevin James, where his first song was like either Neil diamond or something. It was awful. It was so bad, but it is a hilarious movie. His walkout song was like some love song. Oh no, 


00:42

Josh
He wants to hurt me or. 


00:44

Kent
Something like that. My walkup song would probably be from the band ELO from the electric light orchestra from the seventies. I don't know which song, but it would be something like living thing or evil woman or something like that. Cause I love yellow. So there you go. 


01:00

Josh
Censored. 


01:00

Kent
That's uncensored right there. 


01:03

Josh
So good. All right. You've you have a community of dudes, right? W why don't you give us a little catch-up, but if everyone wants to listen to like your past to get a real big update, they could go to your past interviews, but, give us an idea of what you're working on now. 


01:21

Kent
Yeah. I lead manhood journey, a father hood non-profit and my focus is helping dads become disciple makers. We're a biblical worldview kind of Christian fatherhood program. Everybody's welcome. That's the, kind of the, what the vibe you're going to feel. If you tune into some manhood journey stuff. What we're doing today is we're cranking out content. It's podcasts and books, web stuff, newsletters, things to help empower dads to be all that kind of God has called them to be, and I'm still being a dad, right? I've got five boys. They're ages 22. Yeah. 22 down to a seven. I have five boys and a daughter-in-law. I'm in the thick of being a dad, visiting colleges, changing diapers, doling out consequences. That's the life of Kevin's today. My wife and I've been in a two weeks from the time of this recording, Josh, my wife and I will celebrate our 27th wedding anniversary. 


02:14

Kent
I've been married to an amazing woman for 27 almost years. 


02:19

Josh
Yeah. How'd you keep her, 


02:22

Kent
How, how did, what, how. 


02:23

Josh
Did you keep her? 


02:24

Kent
That is a great question. Abject humility and begging Really good. She actually gives me every year. She gives me a one-year contract extension. I'm like one of these late stage NFL players where I'm not going to get a ten-year deal anymore. I'm going to get one-year deals and we're going to see how it goes, 


02:46

Josh
See how it goes. All right. All right. So, you run a community about how many dudes have you like reach through your podcast? Your, all the content you created, like give us an idea of the breadth of guys you've connected with. 


03:04

Kent
If you go back a few years and we look at things like Google analytics and those kinds of things at the top end of just who's bumped into our ministry. We just last year crossed over the half a million mark. Somewhere around 500, some odd thousand, we probably have 16, 17,000 guys on our email list every week. Our podcast just started a few months ago. I think we're in the neighborhood of 8, 10, 8 to 10,000 downloads after maybe 40 some odd episodes. Our newsletter goes out to 16,000, our web traffic, somewhere around a hundred, 150,000 a year. 


03:40

Josh
So quite a few dudes and. 


03:43

Kent
Mostly that's. 


03:44

Josh
Mostly dads. With this dad, before we hit record, you're like, here's what I'm hearing in the community, failing at fatherhood. What kind of unpack the questions and the feelings and the things you're hearing from half a million dudes who are dads. 


04:01

Kent
I think a lot of dads want to be effective fathers. Now, do how you define the word effective? It might be godly, or it might be disciplined or, present or engaged or intentional. There's lots of other adjectives guys might use, but I don't mean a dad who goes, what I'm trying to do, man. I was trying to be a loser. I'm trying to be an, a total failure as a dad. That's my goal. They all want to be effective fathers. The challenge is whatever bar they've set for themselves. Most dads aren't hitting and they've self kind of put this bar there. I don't know what the bar is. Sometimes is better than my dad, or I'll be different than my dad or I'm going to be perfect or I'm going to be like God himself or whatever. I'll be everything my wife ever needed, whatever the bar is. 


04:46

Kent
They sense this gap between the bar and where they actually are. Most dads I talked to, they kind of are hanging their head and kind of shoulder slumped and going, I'm just not, I'm not doing enough. I'm not, I'm not engaged enough. What I want to do, man, if you're a dad listening and that's where you are like number one, welcome to the club, right? I mean, like I'm not doing enough, 


05:08

Josh
I don't know what's going on with zoom, but I completely got con disconnected. You were saying about raising, about where this bar is and you said, join the club. You said, my son, and you were going to tell a story about how you're screwing up as a father. Let me just dive right back in and Kent. 


05:26

Kent
Well, one of my sons recently, we found out he finally confessed that he's been cheating on his math homework and lying about it to us and his teacher. We're walking through that season and you kind of sometimes are tempted to look back and go, man. What am I doing wrong as a dad that my 10 year old kid would start cheating on math and lie about it. And, and maybe we are not engaged enough. Who knows, right? Maybe there's maybe we need to be a little more dialed in. However, our kids are gonna do questionable things. And that's our opportunity to parent them. That's our opportunity to walk through that season and say, Hey man, honesty is not optional. Like we're gonna, we're going to get to a place. I just see a lot of dads, Josh, who are, who have this belief, they wouldn't say it out loud because if you say it out loud, it sounds crazy. 


06:15

Kent
Like, I'm going to be a perfect father and I'm going to be a perfect father so that my kids are perfect kids. And nobody would say that out loud. Cause they're like, well, that sounds stupid. Yeah. If you talk to enough dads, you realize they're living under this like weighted blanket of I'm not doing enough as a father and my kids are off the rails and they don't talk to me. I just want to be a, as Jesus came, he said he came to proclaim good news. I want to proclaim some good news. Your PR you're not enough as a father. Congratulations. Welcome to the club. That may sound like bad news, but it's actually great news. When you accept God's grace who can cover all of your fatherhood failures because we all experienced them and we're all in the same boat. 


07:02

Josh
All right. That sounded way too simple. Right. All right. So you're sucking as a dad, right? Like you're this, kid's doing this and this kid's doing that. Or whatever the case may be. I just yelled at my kid on his birthday yesterday. Right. Whatever the case may be, I'm completely failing as a father and you're like, join the club. God's grace covered. Let's move forward. Right. Is it that simple? 


07:26

Kent
Well, I think what's interesting is there's these two extremes we live at and I don't think this is confined to fatherhood. One extreme we live at is everything I'm doing is great and turning out really good. All of the good things in my life are because I'm so awesome. That's one extreme we tend to live at. The other extreme we tend to live at is I'm doing nothing, right? I'm an abject failure and nothing I do ever turns out, right? Probably both of those things are untrue. Probably both those things are untrue somewhere in the middle. We can be engaged intentional on purpose kind of fathers who are leaned in doing what we can. We just can't connect every single moment of the day to like, if I do X, my children will do Y there was this perfect father in the garden of Eden. 


08:14

Kent
His kids lied and rebelled and lied straight to his face, his grandkids murdered each other. Like, so, okay. Look, even if we could become perfect dads, no guarantee it's going to rub off and we can't become perfect dads. Let's stop trying to be perfect dads and be engaged intentional. 


08:30

Josh
Yeah. So, we look at one of the bars that we've set for ourselves is what society says a dad should be. What is the world saying? A dad should be right now. And like what you're seeing. 


08:44

Kent
Yeah. I'll kind of confine it to say Western culture, because I think if you get outside of America, you have some more interesting and different. Maybe even some in some cases, better definitions. I think inside the west, I think a couple of the narratives that dads are supposed to be living within is number one, I give my kids more opportunities than I had and opportunities. They mean money, education, business. They mean, they mean the, the acquisition of stuff kind of metrics usually. Giving my kids more opportunities than I, and I think that's a really dangerous notion. It's not evil to try to help your kids, do well. However, if your whole goal is to go, well, I got to an eight. My kids need to get to a nine. You just live in this pressure cooker. That's insane. You judge your success by your children's net worth, which is absolutely stupid. 


09:41

Kent
That's one narrative. The other narrative is, which is, sounds kind of ironic. The other narrative is, Hey, as long as I like, kind of stay married to their mom and pay the bills, I'm doing great. I mean, compared to that loser down the street. We have this other narrative that is, Hey, man, I'm just here to kind of pay the bills, make sure my fantasy football team does well, not get too drunk on a weekend and make sure my kids have a roof over their head. Then the rest of it's on them. I think that's a real narrative. I mean, we don't have a motherless problem in our country, right? Nobody runs around going, Hey, the motherless epidemic. Just in the last week I saw a governor of, one of the states signed some bill into law for tons of millions of dollars to help fund a fatherhood program in his state. 


10:29

Kent
Here we go again, right where the government's going to help dads be dads. I hope it works. However, the last 15 years we've spent three or $4 billion of federal money on fatherhood programs. We're no better off over the last 20 years. So the problem must be something else. Part of the narrative is the government will come and fix your fatherhood problem. That's not going to happen. I see some really dangerous narratives that if dads buy into them, all they do is create more pressure for themselves. And they create a bar. They can't hit. 


10:59

Josh
Yeah, well, sometimes these dumb dad jokes pop into my brain. When I, when you mentioned like raising the bar, lowering the bar, sometimes us dads just want to go to the bar to get away from the kids. 


11:18

Kent
I have to figure out I need a hook line. It's like, don't worry about where the bar is. Just make sure you're seated at it, ? 


11:25

Josh
Yeah. Duel pull up your stuff anyways. We, when you went through that example of what you're hearing and at least in the Western culture about what a dad is, right, the way I measure it, and this is not healthy and I'd love your friendly rebuke, kicking him nuts for me. As I look at the loser down the road to the left and the right of me and I go, okay, that really good at making money, but he's a crappy father. He's never there with his kids. That guy is crushing it with his kids. He has a six pack and all that. He must be neglecting some, right. I'm constantly comparing these dads and I'm going, okay, what is the niche in my fatherhood that I could own? Okay, Josh, okay. He sucked that making money went bankrupt or he did this or that, but he's really good with his kids. 


12:16

Josh
All right. That's the niche that Josh is going to own. I can compare myself with those other screw ups. Right? Do you experience that or see that? 


12:24

Kent
I think a metaphor is really helpful. The metaphor I love to use is the metaphor of, I mean, pick your favorite sport. I think something like a football team is a great metaphor. Linemen in the NFL are like, six, five and 300 pounds. Right? That's their job is to be massive hulking men who can shove other people around. Yeah. We're a great wide receiver is, he's six, two or six, three, and he's like two 10, or 1 95. His job is to run fast and catch stuff. Imagine if we're on this team where we go, what, man, if I could just also be a quarterback and alignment and a running back and a defensive back and a free safety and a kicker, if I can do all those, that'd be great. You kind of go, whoa, time out. I think that my job as a dad now, again for the listener, who's not a kind of Bible believing Christian. 


13:23

Kent
I don't mean to offend and not, you don't have to believe like I do, but it does help to understand my framework. My framework is, I think there's a God. I think he loves me. I think Jesus died for my sins. All that to say, I'm trying to be a dad who measures up to what that God has called me to do in the lives of my children. That may look a little different than what Josh does in the lives of his children or my brother-in-law or my own dad. For me, I'm not running a race where I look around and try to better than Josh or better than Tim or better than bill. I'm running a race where I'm looking forward and just saying, Hey God, what do you have for me next? This moment where my ten-year-old is lying and cheating on math, what do you have for me? 


14:10

Kent
What am I supposed to learn? What am I supposed to do? How am I supposed to parent him so that he lives a life of honesty and integrity in that case. I'm not looking around and going, oh, well, Tommy's kid lied at eight years old. At least I got 10 years out of mine, ? Wow. What a, what a sad and destructive way to live as a dad. If all we're doing is comparing ourselves to other dads. Cause here's the deal I might have. Maybe God wants me to do X. He wants you to do Y and maybe X is half of Y. I'm going to be, he's going to be just as happy with me doing half of what Josh did. Just because that's what he called me to do. I'm five, three. I'm not going to make it to the NBA. Right. If you're six, seven, and you are two 20 and you can shoot a ball, maybe God wants you to go play in the NBA. 


14:57

Kent
I don't think God's called me to play in the NBA. I don't feel sad when I watch LeBron, James played like I've somehow missed my calling. I think a lot of dads are living in that space where they're looking at other guys as if they're hall of fame dads. They're just a loser who's doing like, we've got to stop comparing ourselves. 


15:15

Josh
Yeah, no, that's. 


15:16

Kent
A rambling answer. Like, I don't feel like that anywhere, but I hope it made sense to somebody. 


15:21

Josh
Could you say that again, dude? 


15:23

Kent
Not a chance. Not a chance. 


15:26

Josh
So, a funny, when it comes to comparing, if I told you about a kid who grew up, mother got pregnant out of wedlock, dad kind of disappeared after, teenage years or something like that, the kid grew up, became a complete rebel break in, laws and all that stuff goes to prison and actually gets murdered. But the whole world praises him. Right? Like that's the story of Jesus. So, you know, like, right. He was the perfect kid. His first miracle was like, 


16:01

Kent
I'm only trying to track with you. Like I knew that was like a Paul Harvey thing where there was like the other half of the story, but I didn't get there. That's a really clever way to frame up Jesus' life. You're exactly right. 


16:10

Josh
Right. So we look at like parenthood, right? Yeah. Right. We don't know much about Joseph, his dad, because like after a while we just stopped hearing about him one day he showed up and he's like, where's my son, Jesus. And he's like running around. We really don't hear much from him after that, he goes to a party with his mom and his mom's like, Hey, we ran out of wine. Jesus, go make some more wine, mom do it. Okay. You know, like what the heck? If we compare that kind of stuff or if we go, I want a perfect kid. Or if I want that man, dude, there's no way we could live up to that. What happens when we can't live up to something, what happens internally? What have you seen, 


16:51

Kent
Man? Ulcers, stress, anger, alcoholism, like that's part of the kind of human drama is the fact that there is something we can't live up to. We all of us welcome. Like again, men, women, children, moms, dads, there is a standard that we can't live up to. That's exactly what Jesus came to solve is he said, look, I didn't come to a ball. Chalal came to fulfill it. You're never going to be able to hit this bar. Therefore I'm going to die on your behalf. I'll hit the bar for you. You don't have to hit the bar anymore. That's the only path to contentment is the only path to contentment. For me, when we're living in this space, this gap between an expectation and a reality, we just find ourselves with all kinds of unintended consequences. I think a lot of them are health-related psychology related. 


17:45

Kent
You name it. A lot of the things that I try to control something in one area of my life, because I feel out of control in another area and I'm compensating all the time. I hope a dad out there who's listening is encouraged by the fact that, Hey man, like I'm a, this will sound weird, Josh, but I'm a professional father, right? Because like I write books, I'm on podcasts. I'm a pro dad. I still have several things about being a dad that I don't do well. That I'm still learning how to grow through as a father. In some ways we're all in that same boat together. 


18:23

Josh
D now being a professional dad. Right. You can take it. 


18:27

Kent
You're going to wear that out now. 


18:28

Josh
Yeah, totally. I'm running with this. All right. So you're up on stage. You have a ministry focused on being, being a father on purpose and you've written books on it. You have a podcast on it. Like you've, you've kind of set the bar pretty high for yourself. Do you ever go to these events with your kids? You'd be like, all right, you better be on your best freaking behavior. I've got to live up to this bar, myself, the pressure on you and the pressure on them does that exist. 


18:57

Kent
I have failures as a dad. That's not one of them. And I'll just be real honest. I think one thing we're missing in even Christian dialogue is if you're getting something right, share it with other people, right. Cause I'm not getting everything right. I could care less how my children appear to other people. I mean that with all of my heart, I could care less because at the end of the day, I could care less how I appear to other people. I really don't care. No, I don't want to be a jerk and go, I don't care. You know? I'm just going to love what I do. For example, what you just made me play a tape back in my head last, this past Christmas, I did a two-part series on fatherhood with the pastor at our church and his dad. I was part B of this thing we did over two weeks. 


19:46

Kent
The second week, my own son came to the event and there's a few hundred guys in the audience and my son was sitting there and I'm talking about how to ask questions as a dad, like how to be a dad who asks questions. I gotta be honest, man, the whole time I'm standing there going, this is pretty cool. Like I don't have a problem here. Now, what I wasn't talking about is how to be a perfect dad, Mike. So I can ask good questions. I'm actually a pretty good question to ask her as a dad and I'm not going to run around and pretend I can't find my own head with both hands. No, man. If you want to know how to ask good questions as a dad, I can help you. If you want to know how to be perfect as a dad keep searching, right? 


20:28

Kent
I'm not your guy. For me, I don't have pressure on my kids at the same time, there is a pressure release valve back at our home where I do try to be pretty honest about where their dad is. Like, I try to be pretty honest about, Hey man, I shouldn't have done that. I was a jerk. I'm sorry. My kids have heard me apologize hundreds of times for that reason, because I know that there might be of a higher expectation on a guy in my shoes in terms of creating content for dads, where I've got it all figured out. I don't have it all figured out, but that doesn't mean I've figured out nothing. There are some things we have figured out. 


21:04

Josh
Yeah, no, this is super cool, man. You were like pumping me up as you were talking and, and about the apologizing to your kids. Like I love you man. And I love this. I, I, I first started experiencing that. After dad died, after going bankrupt, putting my dog down, had surgery, like I went through a s**t storm. All right. I was trying to be strong, be the man. One of my buddies says, the way you grieve will train your kids on how to grieve. Right. I was like, oh man, that's why's right. Came from a pretty wise dude. Shout out to my boy heat out there. I went to my kids, starting with Lily. She was the oldest. The younger ones don't really fully understand what was going on. I said, Lily, I got to apologize, man. I'm not handling this situation. Well, and I apologize. 


22:01

Josh
A couple of weeks later, a month later out, whatever, I was walking her to school one day and she goes, dad, sometimes I act out and I don't know why I'm doing it. I'm acting, but she was able to like learn and her self-awareness. I was just like, man, that's cool. That never would have existed if I did an apologize to my kid. 


22:19

Kent
Oh man. 


22:20

Josh
You know, 


22:21

Kent
There's this cycle of like difficulty sin, challenge, mistake, awareness, confession, repentance, and restoration. Like if you kind of look through even the nation of Israel, good king, bad king and they would sin and then fall and then ask God for help. They would come back and they would say, we'll never do it again. And then they'd do it again. That whole cycle of man, I'm not doing this exactly right. Here's how it's affecting us. Would you please forgive me? I'm going to try to do it better and then let's go and then no problem. Let's do it again. That circle is a circle, a cycle that our kids need to learn how to walk through it. Even right now, I'm walking through it with my 10 year old. Right. He lied and he was dishonest and he cheated. Okay, awesome. From there we have acknowledgement and awareness. 


23:12

Kent
Now we have sadness and we have consequences. We have repentance and restoration and now we're back in that cycle again. It's so important for us to model that as a dad. 


23:24

Josh
Yeah, dude. All right. This is going to be a tough one. In your experience, like going through this cycle, I've been through it a thousand times and day, right? Like I'm like, I swear, I'll never drink again or I'll never do drugs or I'll never do this or that right next day. I'm sorry. I'll let you know. Like, so I've been through those cycles and with right. Like, cause I know that my, my hearts for God and I love him and I want to be in, in his good graces and all that stuff. But thanks to Jesus. I am. What if there is no repentance in the kids, right? Like in your experience, like they did something and they're like, yeah, I did it proud of it. You know? Like, 


24:04

Kent
Yeah. 


24:05

Josh
What can you do there? 


24:07

Kent
It's harder. It's definitely a harder situation. And it's really age dependent. Right? If your four year old's not repentant, well you got a lot of leverage. You have a lot of, you got a lot of options. If your 24 year old is not repentant, you have a lot fewer options, right. I'm walking through a season right now with a friend of mine. Who's walking through some really tough situations with his own family. He's in his mid, early twenties and he's got a sibling, who's making some really tough choices. Right. Life-wise and I was just encouraging him by text today saying, Hey man, only so much you can do. Yeah. You can pray and love and try. If you think you're praying, you're loving and you're trying is going to cause that person to make a bunch of wise choices. Let me disvalue of that craziness right now. 


24:59

Kent
It depends on the age of your children. Right? Like my oldest son, Alex is 22 and he was like that. Right. Where he would do something Josh and know full well, he was going to get in trouble for it and understand the trouble. It might be this spanking or that privilege or this, whatever. And, and he would do it anyway. He had, he had weighed the cost. Right. He had literally weighed the cost and was like, yep. I know I'm getting spanked for that. And it was totally worth it. At some level you're huh, I remember when he was eight or nine. I said, that kind of nature in you where you're just willing to pay the price. When it gets flipped into a God-ward direction is a really cool character trait. 


25:44

Josh
But for now Cody room. 


25:46

Kent
Exactly bro. Right now it just makes me want to kill you. That's all it makes me want to do. I said like, people like, Jonah sock or Martin Luther king or Billy Graham, they had those same kind of yeah. I'll go out and pay the cost. When you do that for God or for a positive outcome, man, what a great character trait, right? It's like intelligence is intelligence good or bad. Well, it depends on how you're going to use it. Right. You're going to be Marie Curie. Are you going to be like the Unabomber? I mean, they're both really intelligent people. It just depends on how you're going to use it. For us as parents, when we see an unrepentant spirit in our children, we do want to be able to try to address it. That, let me tell you a quick story. Last summer, I walked through a really challenging, probably one of my most challenging seasons with any of my children last summer. 


26:34

Kent
I did not handle it very well. There were many things I did wrong. I was angry. I was anxious. There were times when I told him he better get his act together in ways that were not very Christ-like, but there was one thing I did right in the middle of all that one thing I did, right. Was I said, look, man, part of what we're trying to get you to understand in this season is how to hear and receive a rebuke. Like you don't even necessarily have to change your behavior. Like that'd be great. That'd be great. You gotta get to a place like I so badly want you to get to a place where I can tell you this behavior is unproductive and you at least hear me. You at least receive it. You like catch the ball. You catch the ball. Now what you do with the ball we talk about later. 


27:29

Kent
Like I was really trying Josh to work on the deeper character issue. The deeper character issue is can I be the Bible says a fool rejects feedback, but a wise person grows wiser when he gets feedback. What I was telling him was, Hey man, whether you take my feedback and do anything with it or not, isn't even the point is, can you receive feedback at all? Like the reason I mentioned that in the context of repentance is if you've got a child who's just stubborn and unrepentant, that might be the issue, right? It's not that they go out and stay out late past curfew or that they don't do their homework. Those are, those are symptoms. The actual illness is you just don't care. Like you don't have any authority in your life that you care to be under. That's really the issue we're dealing with here. 


28:20

Kent
Isn't it. And, and if you can get to that heart level with your kids, you tend to crack them open you did with your daughter, when you modeled a certain behavior, you found a new way into her heart. Yeah. We got to get to the real issues. 


28:33

Josh
Yeah. So this happened last summer. When did you complete the anger? Anger free dad. Wasn't around the same time. 


28:41

Kent
Shut up. Josh Got really good question. Answer that. It's funny. We did launch the anger free dad last spring, April may. I walked through a really bumpy summer man. And it was yeah, super unpleasant. Now the fruit of that on the other side has been great. Like, plenty of grace to go around. Plenty of forgiveness, plenty of apologies. Now we're in a place where I was just with this same child of mine. I'm just kind of veiling it. Cause he doesn't want everybody to know exactly the whole deal. I was just with him again recently and we're in a much better place relationally than were last summer. At one point, Josh, he told me, he goes, dad, I know you're trying to help. Most of what you're doing is actually making it worse. 


29:29

Josh
Ooh. That's tough. 


29:30

Kent
That's it's it's it's like the scalpel in the hands of a surgeon. It a good tool or bad tool? Again? Depends on who's holding tool. In that case, I was like, I had simultaneously the feeling of ouch really? I also had the immediate feeling of awesome. Thank you. Like at the exact same moment, I was like, I'm so glad my son is comfortable enough in his relationship with me that he could tell me something that difficult to hear. Now I got to go, all right, how do I stop doing that? How do I not be part of the problem? Wow. 


30:11

Josh
How weird is it when the kid rebukes you? 


30:15

Kent
Oh, I've had, as my, as my older teen boys have gotten into their, 16, 17, 18, we've always tried to at least allow them. I give them some ground rules, it's like, Hey, don't yell at me at a party. You know, don't be sarcastic or hateful. If you see dad acting in a way that's unbiblical or unfair, unkind blank check, man, you got, you have every reason to kind of pull me aside and go dad, man, that was not cool. Now again, it's better if it's done in private, it's better. If it's done in a spirit of love, but as a dad, man, that's where I want to get with all my boys, right. To the place where we're just, co-laborers in Christ, they're on the same team I'm on, they, they report directly to God. If I'm not the CEO of this organization, they report directly to God. 


31:07

Kent
Now I learned from that, in fact, it's interesting. I was in Chicago yesterday, visiting a college with my high school aged son and we're in the hotel and he goes, Hey dad, why don't we take a minute and pray for wisdom as we start these college visits. 


31:25

Josh
Wow, 


31:27

Kent
Exactly. Right. If at one point you're like, maybe I should have thought of that. On the other hand, you're like, bro, if I don't make this trip home, if I die of a heart attack on the way home, this kid's going to be okay. Like he's at a place where I can almost release him into the world because like he's thinking about his knee-jerk reaction is to pray before big decisions. Wow. Awesome. Let's go. 


31:58

Josh
That's pretty cool. I was. Yeah. Which of your kids is your favorite? Not just don't answer. Don't answer that everyone. 


32:09

Kent
Is currently listening to this podcast. 


32:10

Josh
That's right. Shout out to the kid anyways, 


32:15

Kent
Shall not be named. 


32:17

Josh
Who shall not be named. I recently got a book from you. Bring your hammer. Tell us about this book. 


32:25

Kent
Yeah. About five or six years ago, I was reading through the book of Nehemiah and the old Testament. A lot of people know him as the guy who went and rebuilt the wall of Jerusalem. What's very interesting about that story is that's only the first half of the book, the second half of the book, he governed this city that he basically rebuilt. And so Nehemiah was a stud. He was a really cool guy. We don't know, we don't have any evidence to suggest he was a husband or a dad. As I read through the book, I kept seeing all these like lessons from his life, right? When he was confronted with trouble, his knee jerk reaction was to confess and pray and ask God for wisdom. When, when he went to build, he was focused and undeterred. When he needed help, he asked for help, like from the king, when he was going to go do hard things, he knew he would encounter opposition when, et cetera, et cetera. 


33:18

Kent
I thought, man, those all look kinda like characteristics dads ought to have. Whether you're running a city or running a family. So these lessons all came to me. I wrote down about 30 something of them. I sat on them for a year or two and wrote a few chapters in what might become a book one day. I just couldn't finish the book. I was like stuck with ministry work and raising money and other things we've got to do in the nonprofit. I reached out to a friend of mine in Houston, really talented writer named Eric Ballard. I said, Eric, let's team up and write this book together. I've already written the first few chapters. I know the outline. I know the lessons. Can you help me? He goes, sure. He wrote about 20 of the chapters. I wrote about eight or nine. What it is it's a walk through the book of Nehemiah with lessons pulled out for fathers. 


34:07

Kent
So it's the subtitle. The book is 28 tools that dads can grab from the book of Nehemiah. The reason we call it bring your hammers because Nehemiah's famous. Achievement was rebuilding the wall of Jerusalem and that would have been with, stone kind of hammers and things to cut rock and to cut wood and make the gates. We wanted to take Nehemiah and create some life lessons for dads. And they're really short chapters. Dad, if you're out there listening, we wrote it with the idea of man five or 10 minutes, you can read a whole chapter. 28 days in a row for 10 minutes and you're done if you want to do it that way, and it should just be handy, easy to access kind of ideas that we can harvest from a guy like Nehemiah and put into play as dads. 


34:51

Josh
Yeah. Now you have a, an important mission, right? You're writing books wrote a course called anger, free dad, which I went through and I referred it to a few guys that went through it and I thought it was super helpful. I still think of it to this day. It's been a year, still get angry. 


35:12

Kent
What's your money back. You want your money back? My freaking money back, anger, free dad. 


35:18

Josh
I'm not mad right now. I'm super. No, no, but what I learned in this thing is that it's a consistent process. For me, what I had to learn is what's the fire that starts to fuse. Right? As I become aware of it, then I could either get away or, I can learn how not to maybe blow up as much, ? Like, cause I've had some blowout stuff with wife and kids and such like that where I'm like blacked out. I'm like, like seeing red, like that kind of stuff. Right. And I don't want that man. Like, I, I wanna, I want to be a loving dad. Like I'm I know I'm going to screw up. This is the first time I've ever said this. Like, because I don't think I've ever processes. My kids are going to screw up big time. 


36:06

Kent
Oh. 


36:06

Josh
Sure. So we got two screwed up parties trying to walk through life together. I thought that I thought your course was really helpful on how not to kill your kids. That could have been. 


36:19

Kent
Titled. 


36:21

Josh
That could have been the subtitle or the What's next on father on purpose. Like I'm man, how do you guys are winning? How do you know that? 


36:32

Kent
Great question. One thing I love one thing. That's difficult. Let me put it this way. One thing that's difficult about, I think both men's ministry or men's even the work you do on your podcast. Men don't tend to share, well, anything really? For starters, let's just start there. They almost never share what their actual life problems are and they, and if you get a guy to share his life problem, you get 10 of those guys to share their life problems. Only one of them will share when there's any victory. Like, so it's, I remember hearing a guy one time, who's a really well-known author and pastor speaker I'll veil his name. I can just kind of share this without worrying about it. He goes, if I give a talk in a room full of women at the end of the talk, 30 of them want to come up and talk to me and tell me what the talk meant to them. 


37:27

Kent
He goes, if I give a talk to the same size room full of men, it's like cockroaches. When the lights come on, as soon as I'm done, they just go poof out for the exit. And I don't talk to anybody. He just, the reason he told me that story is he goes, if you're going to be in the fatherhood space, you're going to be in the men's and fatherhood space. Just get used to hearing very little feedback because you're just not going to get a lot. What's really cool is today, this very day, I got an email from a guy in lives in near Jacksonville, Florida. It was this long two paragraph email thanking us for the work that we're doing. It managed journey and saying, man, we did this lesson with my kid. A few weeks later he remembered it. It was one of those encouraging emails. 


38:12

Kent
And I don't get thousands of those. Right. I get the occasional email. For me, that's one of the ways we know that we're winning is when dads are giving us feedback saying, man, this helped this course. You guys did this Bible study this podcast. It, it really helped. So that's one way. Then, we do care about growth as a ministry. I do kind of look at metrics and numbers and things where I try to gauge are we reaching more guys? That kind of thing, but deep down, man, it all comes back to do. I feel like God has asked me to do this thing. Write this book or create this course or do this podcast. If I feel like he has, and then I go do it, then kind of the results don't totally matter. Right? I was with a guy who has written 20 plus books. 


39:02

Kent
Again, his name, everyone would know his name and I'll veil it just so I can speak freely. He goes, look, man, one way, you're going to screw up your ministry. Well, I was all ears, right? He goes, one way, you're going to screw up your ministry is by caring a lot about the results of what you put out. I was like, that sounded counterintuitive, right? It was like, isn't that what you should actually care about? He goes, look, he hands me a book. He handed me a book of his, that he wrote and I'm looking at it. He goes, you see that book right there? I said, yeah, he goes, worst seller of all 20 something books I've published. Worst seller. He goes, but I'm telling you right now, the message in that book is probably the most important message of my entire 40 five-year ministry career. 


39:44

Kent
He goes, you can't get hung up on input output. I did X God will do. Y he goes, leave the results to God, just leave them to God, be faithful. Do your thing. Pray be led. Like, bro, don't get hung up on metrics and input output that's for business guys. Those, those work in business, those don't work in ministry. Really good advice. 


40:10

Josh
That's good advice. You know, this is our impact show. This show, is I believe that when I stepped off the ledge, when I was thinking to kill myself, I felt like, I'd say like, who are you? I was like, I don't know who the hell I am. Got it tattooed on my arm. Right. When I stepped off, I just always felt like, God say, you're going to share your journey. And, and I thought it was like, here's how I made a billion bucks in that biggest penis and have a six pack. Now I grew up mountain six, four, like all that stuff. I shared the journey, a lot about failures and a lot about the struggles that I have. This is in this show, the guys who reach out to me are in their last breath and they're bleeding out like, Hey Josh, my wife just left with the kids. 


40:56

Josh
I don't know what I'm going to do. This has happened. And I'm thinking about killing myself. I'm drinking too much, eating too much, doing whatever, like I'm about to lose it all. Yeah. No. I laugh because it's just like us freaking guys. We will wait until we have. Now it's a blood left or of bandwidth before we ask for help. Or before we talk about what we're going through, how are you doing? I'm great, man. How are you doing Bob? I'm good. But let's go play some golf. Okay. Like fricking idiots, come on guys. You know, How do you see that? 


41:28

Kent
Oh man. You know, what's interesting. There's an old adage in the business world. What's best time to look for a job while you already have one. Yeah. Right. That's of tongue in cheek, kind of business advice, right. What's the best time to develop a friend before you need one. Right? My boys will get as they've walked through their teen years, a lot of the topics that come up have to do with friends, we don't do a ton of dating. To speak, we're a little cautious, but like girls and friends will come up right. Where we have those conversations and what I keep leaning into my boys and saying, look, man, go be the kind of friend you want. Just go be the kind of friend you want. If you want people to listen to you, be a good listener. If you want people to not judge, you don't judge them. 


42:18

Kent
If you want people to be there for you, when you're down, be there for them. When they're down like that, you just do whatever you want. And then it's a golden rule. It's like as old as the Hills, nothing new, but for dads listening or for men listening, if you're listening to this show right now, you probably fall into one of three buckets, right? You're either just coming out of a storm, you're right in the middle of a storm or you're in between. You're going to head into a storm like you're at one of those three kind of stages where, cause it's like life, man. Rick Warren said he stopped looking at life as a series of Hills and valleys where you're on the mountain and then you're in the valley and you're on the mountain. You're in the valley. Instead he looks at it like two rails. 


42:54

Kent
There's positive things happening and negative things happening. You're ratting on both rails, like a train at the same time. And you're not gonna experience that. You, you and I have talked even before we got on the show today about you've had some seriously challenging things. Family-wise and over the last couple of years, but at the same time, you also felt like you got dropped into some cool ministry opportunities and your nuclear family, your wife and your kids are pretty solid. Like you just kind of go, both those things are true. Both those things are true. Right. Am I dealing with a child in my home? Who's currently testing the boundaries of being completely dishonest. Absolutely. Am also dealing with a child who is really kind of kicking butt and taking names in college and doing a great job. Yes. I have both those things happening. 


43:38

Kent
As a dad, I've got to be in those spaces at the same time. Dads who are on their final breath, man, I, I, I just wanna encourage you. Galatians six nine says, do not get weary in well-doing for in due time we will reap a harvest. If we do not give up, if we do not give up. For men or dads who are really struggling, you don't even have to succeed. You don't have to win. You don't have to seize the day. You don't have to be victorious. You just need to not give up. You just need to hang in there and not give up. If you're on the other side where you're actually in some green pasture right now, the sunshine, and then you got a little money and your wife's not ready to kill you. If you ask where you are, then let's go. 


44:24

Kent
We'll be looking for those guys who are in the ditch and let's go be to them. What we want them to be to us in a year or two or five when we found ourselves in the ditch. 


44:33

Josh
Yeah. Great point. When, when you feel yourself that you like, you're looking around, you're like, holy crap. I'm not getting shot at, like the house isn't on fire. It's kind of okay. Like the natural tendencies for us to go, all right, it's chilled time, crack a beer and chill out, ? Then, turn off your brain for a few months. In those kinds of scenarios where, Hey man, if you have any bit of energy, any bit of that might be a good time to look around and go what guys could use, my help that man, that's a team player. That's a friend that you want be the friend you wish you had. Yeah. Is that what you said? 


45:15

Kent
Yeah. Something like that. I think of, I think of the old Testament story where Joseph went to the Pharaoh and said, Hey man, here's what your dream means. You're going to have seven years of fruitfulness and you're going to have seven years of famine in. Pharaoh's like, so what should we do? He's like, store it up, store up what you need so that we can get through the famine. I think that's a real metaphor for life. You're going to have moments where there's things that are going pretty well. You're gonna have moments where things are going really rough and they're going to, there may be a little AB and flow to your life that may switch on a daily basis or annual basis. During the times of plenty, that's the time to store up. That's the time to store up. And I don't necessarily mean money. 


45:55

Kent
I mean like store up, God's word in your heart store up friendships. Be like a hungry hippo. That game I used to play when I was a kid pulling in friends. When, when you have a little capacity, you got a little mental space. You can give to those friends. Cause guess what? One day you're not going to have capacity. You're going to be overrun by life. That's when you're going to need those friends. Invest in them when you don't need them. When you do need them, you can cash in. 


46:22

Josh
Super cool man. So I've got a few ideas. We're running out of time, few ideas as we're wrapping up one work guys, go to connect with you and maybe help support what you're doing. Or maybe ask for help in what you're doing. Yeah. 


46:40

Kent
Yeah. That's a great way to put it. Cause we do have guys coming from both directions, guys, looking to help and guys needing help. You can just head to manhood journey.org gets manhood, journey.org, manhood journey.org. We've got tons and tons of free stuff. Right? We've got newsletters. We've got podcasts. We have eBooks. You can download. We got tons of free resources. Come stick your ladle in the river drink and see if we can somehow help you. Along that way, we're always looking for clever guys who want to either launch programs or donate or somehow create content, get involved. There's lots of ways you can do that too. We'll be open to either of those scenarios. Just go find us@manhoodjourney.org. 


47:23

Josh
All right, now I'm going to leave like this next part up to you. I'm going to give you two options. 


47:28

Kent
Oh my. 


47:29

Josh
And you get to choose the path. 


47:31

Speaker 4
Path. 


47:32

Josh
Numb PAth. I'm a professional speaker, by the way. That's scary path. Number one, I asked you what questions should I have asked you? We kind of wrap it up and that's completely cool. Path. Number two, I got a, a game that I want to play. 


47:50

Kent
Ooh, game, 


47:51

Josh
Game. I love your style. All right. So the game is this. I've got, I've got money. You've got some money. Probably. You may have a dollar in your, in your couch and we're going to do this. 


48:04

Kent
I actually have cash in my wallet, which I have. I never carry $25. That's all about. 


48:08

Josh
Cool. All right. This is participation for the audience too. All right. We're going to say some dad jokes. Okay. You get a minute while I'm explaining this. Look up a few dad jokes. Okay. Make. 


48:22

Kent
It. 


48:23

Josh
Yeah, you. 


48:24

Kent
Got it. Okay. Sorry. Sorry. Sorry. 


48:25

Josh
Guys in the audience, we're going to do a little thing. If you laugh guys listening in. If you laugh, you have to go to manhood journey.org, donate a dollar. If you laugh, at least a dollar. All right. If you continue listening, this just came top of my head. The crazy crap that pops up in my brain. If you laugh, you have to give at least a dollar to manhood journey. All right. Kent, if you laugh, you have to give a dollar. If I laugh, I have to give a dollar. 


48:55

Kent
All right. Interesting. 


48:56

Josh
I'm going to read the first one. Guys, this is a game of honesty. If you laugh and we'll do about three each, does that sound? 


49:03

Kent
I'm going to mute my mic. I'm going to mute my mic. I'm going to cheat. No, you can't. I can see you. I'm just kidding. Okay. 


49:09

Josh
So guys, straight face. If you laugh at any of these jokes, you have to go to manhood journey. I just came up with this crap. This. 


49:15

Kent
Is. 


49:16

Josh
Beautiful. And give a dollar, at. 


49:17

Kent
Least the fundraising strategy. 


49:19

Josh
Yeah. All right. So first one, you guys ready? If you laugh, you have to give at least a dollar. Did you hear about the claustrophobic astronaut? He just wanted more space. 


49:35

Kent
Yeah. Sorry. Not even attempted to laugh on that one. 


49:38

Josh
Right? It's your turn. Better up. 


49:42

Kent
What was the largest island in the world before they discovered Australia? Australia. 


49:54

Josh
Why did you laugh? 


49:56

Kent
What did you laugh? No. Okay. 


50:02

Josh
What did the sink tell the toilet? You look a little flushed. 


50:13

Kent
Air used to be free at the gas station. Now it costs 2 51 and a why by inflation. 


50:24

Josh
You almost got me. 


50:25

Kent
Ooh, nice. And that was a time. That was a time when it's kind of market sensitive. 


50:30

Josh
That's good. All right. I owe you a dollar. All right. Last one for me. I'm so good at sleeping that I could do it with my eyes closed. That's all I got. 


50:45

Kent
What's the best thing about Switzerland. I'm not sure. I know, but the flag is a big plus. 


50:52

Josh
Nice. Dudes beyond just, I owe a dollar. As always guys, thanks for listening in my encouragement too, is that you reach out to our guests and say, thanks for being on the show. If you are a dad and you're struggling, are you trying to find some resources? Don't wait before you're bleeding out, head on over to manhood journey.org. There's a course about anger and there's tons of free resources I went through the program and I thought it was really great. Connect with our guests, say thank you. Find a way to either support or ask for help. If you laughed, freaking go give some money and Kent a really great chat with you. Ma'am any final thoughts before we say goodbye? 


51:34

Kent
The only final thought is Josh. You've been a friend for several years now, and I really appreciate your honesty, your transparency, and your encouragement and your business advice. You've given us some great ideas that managed journey. You're one of the reasons we did anger free dad to begin with. Guys, if you're listening out there, Josh is the real deal, good friend of mine, and I'm really grateful to you for the podcast and for the chance to be on it today. Thanks a lot, brother. 


51:56

Josh
You're welcome. All right, guys, love you. If you're struggling with anything you need some help or you want some advice head on over to uncensored advice for men.com. There's a little microphone. You can either ask your question there. Oh, life's calling the second time guys. I gotta go love you. I'll talk to you all on the next episode. 

Kent Evans Profile Photo

Kent Evans

Executive Director

Kent Evans is the Executive Director of Manhood Journey. Kent is married to April, his wife of 22 years and has five sons ranging from age 2 to 18. He’s founder of Manhood Journey and author of Wise Guys.