Take It Back: Rediscovering Biblical Manhood - Part 1 (Transcript)

Dr. James Dobson: Well, hello everyone. I'm James Dobson and you're listening to Family Talk a listener-supported ministry. In fact, thank you so much for being part of that support for James Dobson Family Institute.

Roger Marsh: Hello everyone. Welcome to Family Talk. The listener supported broadcast division of the Dr. James Dobson family Institute. Dr. Dobson is in California right now. He and his wife, Shirley are doing fine, enjoying some sunshine, and he's working on his next book. We should see him back in the studio sometime in May.

Roger Marsh: I'm Roger Marsh. And today you're going to hear an important conversation here on Family Talk. Dr. Dobson has said for many years that the disintegration of the family has been a major factor and contributor in the disintegration of our culture. In the large part, that breakdown of the family is due to the lack of biblically masculine men.

Roger Marsh: That's why Dr. Tim Clinton and Max Davis wrote their new book. Take It Back: Reclaiming Biblical Manhood for the Sake of Marriage, Family, and Culture. Dr. Tim Clinton, of course, is the co-host of Family Talk. And the president of the American Association of Christian Counselors. He's a licensed professional counselor and a marriage and family therapist.

Roger Marsh: He has either authored or edited nearly 30 books and is also the founder of Light University. Max Davis holds degrees in journalism and biblical studies and is the author of over 35 books. His works have been featured in USA Today on the Today show, The 700 Club and more. Let's listen now to Dr. Tim Clinton's encouraging and eyeopening conversation with Max Davis on this special edition of Dr. James Dobson's Family Talk.

Dr. Tim Clinton: Max, such a delight to have you join me on this edition of Family Talk. Loving the subject today. We're going to talk all about men and a new book called Take It Back, a reclaiming, biblical masculinity, the heart and strength of being a man. Now thank you for joining us.

Max Davis: I'm glad to be here, Tim. It's an honor working with you on this book, because it's such a needed topic today.

Dr. Tim Clinton: Max, as we get started, I think that the thing that probably stunned me the most, I already believed it, but at the end of the day, it was that men really, really matter. They matter more than we know. My goodness, Max, for such a time as this we're praying earnestly, I know you join me in this prayer that God would stir the hearts of men.

Dr. Tim Clinton: It's happening all across the nation. I believe there's an uprising in the hearts of men to really chase after God's heart. To have influence in their families and their communities, their churches, and so much more. Max, it's exciting.

Max Davis: It is. I think men are getting tired of being beat down and being pushed down because they're the difference makers. We have a very real enemy that influences culture and he wants men to stay down because he knows that men are the difference makers.

Max Davis: You're talking about buffoons, I mean, all you have to do is watch TV just about every TV show, where there's a father role model, he's painted as an idiot, but we know statistically that you take fathers out of the picture and everything crumbles.

Dr. Tim Clinton: You know what, Max? I think you're right. Society says that if you're a male, basically you're bad. You need to be reprogrammed because they're mixing together toxic behavior with masculinity and saying that men are bad. That they're toxic, but that's not how God views this.

Dr. Tim Clinton: Max, I think you are right. Men are sick and tired of it. They're tired of being beat up. They're tired of being called, and you used the word buffoons. Seen as distant or lazy, cold, porn-addicts, horrible dads, and more. Max, let's be honest though, we can acknowledge this, a lot of men have given up territory.

Dr. Tim Clinton: We've made a lot of mistakes in here, but I'll tell you what I'm going back to I think there is such a stirring. People are crying out. They want to make a difference. They want to be good dads. They want to be men of strength, men of character.

Max Davis: This book is really a book of hope and it gives men permission to embrace how they've been created, because right now, look, men have been beat up. They're on the mat. The referee standing over them, counting them out and they need to know, "I can get back up. I can get in the fight."

Max Davis: That's what this book is all about. We're all at war. Make no mistake about it. It's a war. The enemy, the cancer culture wants men out. They don't want us to get back in, but society and our culture and our families, they need us more than ever right now. I mean, you have permission as a man.

Dr. Tim Clinton: Let me give some good news. According to the National Center in Fathering, 92% of Americans agree that men, dads make a unique contribution to his son or daughter's life. Actually claiming they have a profound influence on them. Max, I love this, while involved mothers can help stave off a teen sexual activity.

Dr. Tim Clinton: Listen to this. A dad has two times the influence, Meg Meeker, not long ago, referred to a statistic, I'll share it here. She said that 76% of teen girls said that their dad influenced their decision on whether or not to be sexually active, even more. Fatherless daughters, Max catch. This are 92% more likely to fail in their own marriages. Tell me, do dads matter? Do men matter? It's stunning.

Max Davis: I think there was statistics. We put it in our book where if a man comes to the Lord and goes to church, it's 90% that the rest of the family follows. Just amazing. You take him out of the picture and that number drops way down.

Dr. Tim Clinton: Max, that was actually a piece in Baptist Press that you and I had come across. Let me give you the full statistic here for a second, because I love it. If a child comes to Christ, there's about a 3.5% chance that the family will follow. If a mother is the first person to become a Christian in the home, there's a 17% chance that everyone will follow.

Dr. Tim Clinton: Listen to this one. If a dad, if a father is the first one to come to Christ, there's a 93% chance that everyone in the family will follow. The article went on to say this, "You want your church to grow? Bring in the men. Do men matter, Max? Do dads matter? 1000%.

Max Davis: I think about Jesus and Paul said, "Husbands love your wives as Christ loved the church and gave himself for it." He became a servant. Could you imagine if men would treat their wives like that? What an impact it would have on the family.

Dr. Tim Clinton: Dr. Dobson wrote that book, Bringing Up Boys. At the end of the day, it really was about how are boys in American culture in trouble. The mindset here is that dads teach and give this wonderful gift of empathy. In other words, kids learn primarily through a father, how to see through another person's eye. Think about what dads do often. They do action love is what I call it.

Dr. Tim Clinton: They like to get down and wrestle. They get down and do Dutch rubs and they teach us how to manage our control our emotion. Dr. Dobson referred to it as how to manage testosterone. It's so true. Boys are crazy. We go through all kinds of wild stuff. The gift of a father in his son's life, and by the way, his daughter's life. It's so significant, Max.

Max Davis: I played college football, but from the moment I was born, my dad put a football in my hand. For 17 years, that was our goal to play football for me to get a scholarship. Did you know my dad was at every football game I ever played? He was there and he was at almost every practice. Before the games we would warm up and we'd be nervous and butterflies in our stomach.

Max Davis: My dad had this whistle, it's a very unique whistle and I would hear my dad whistle and I knew that he was there and it wasn't just a whistle that I'm there to whistle that, "You're loved. Your father's here. It's going to be okay." Those butterflies would leave and I would play. It would just be amazing.

Max Davis: A peace would come over me because I knew my dad was in the stands. Now in high school, when there's 5,000 people in the stands, I could see him. When I got to college and there was 60,000 people in the stands, guess What? I still heard that whistle because he had a unique whistle and I would be there warming up butterflies.

Max Davis: I would hear that whistle and I knew my dad was at the game. He was here and everything would be okay. That's the way his whole life was with me. I never doubted that he loved me and he would be there and he loved my mom. That was just such an influence on my life to this day.

Dr. Tim Clinton: Max, I want to refer to another piece of work by a guy named Frank Pawlik. Pawlik said this, "That divorce is devastating to all kids, but especially boys.", what he found was about 80% of these boys are spending time primarily with women. Now, this is not a slam against women. He was just saying, in this particular case, these boys need male influence.

Dr. Tim Clinton: He said, "Unfortunately, in some of these cases, he spending time with women who might hate the men in his life. Scream something like, "You're just like your father, or you're going to be just like your dad." Max, you know what that does the significance of the importance of male influence.

Dr. Tim Clinton: Max, we need to be there. Max, I want to go to Ephesians 6:4. I want to turn to the Bible just for a moment. One of Dr. Dobson's favorite passages, one of my favorite. It comes out of Paul's instruction where he says, "Fathers, don't provoke your kids to wrath, but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord."

Dr. Tim Clinton: I think it's there for one reason. It's because of dad, he can provoke his kids. He can hurt his kids by what he says or doesn't say to them. By whether or not he shows up or doesn't show up. Max, Colossians 3:21 says it this way. "Be careful dad, or they will lose heart." Max, what does that look like in the life of a child?

Max Davis: Well, I tell you what it looks like. It looks like God, but a young child looks at his mom and dad, particularly his dad as the leader and as the God figure in his life. If he's looking at his dad and his dad is not giving him what he needs, or if it's anger and bitterness and you don't matter as a son or as a daughter, then that's the way he's going to look at God.

Max Davis: He's going to grow up with a warped vision of who God is by the way his dad acts. I think that's one reason Paul brought that out is he knew how important men and particularly fathers were in our culture. Whatever the father does, the kids are going to follow likely. I mean, that can be broken, but the pattern is there.

Dr. Tim Clinton: Research on whether men or dads matter National Center for Fathering and others. Here's what they found. When a dad's not present, there's an increase in academic and social difficulties. There's an increase in teenage pregnancy. An increase in drug and alcohol use and increasing crime and increase in suicide, runaways, incarceration, mental health problems, poverty and more.

Dr. Tim Clinton: Max, when dad is present and engaged with his son and her daughter, the positive side, higher academic performance and cognitive development, less anxiety, more empathetic, stronger in their male and female identity. Think about that. Less given to peer pressure and so much more. Do dads matter? Yes, Max.

Max Davis: The culture wants to strip that away and feminize the man and tell us that we don't have. That's why there's such a frustration in men today and almost embarrassment. If I stand up and be who I am, then I'm going to be canceled. That's the fear today.

Dr. Tim Clinton: How many times have we heard this line? You really have profound influence on your kids. If you spit, he spits you cuss, he cusses. You fight, he fights. You hate, he hates. You love, he loves. You pray, he prays.

Max Davis: I think about Ziklag and David how these men that were David's mighty warriors. I mean, these guys were men's men. These were the equivalent of today's Navy Seals or NFL players. These were mighty warriors and their home was Ziklag, but they left Ziklag for several days.

Max Davis: When they came back, they found that their whole city had been decimated that the Amalekites had come in and raided the city. Worse than that, took captive their women and children. The men, these mighty men were so devastated that they wept. The Bible says they wept until they could weep no more.

Max Davis: Here's the deal. They were the walls. The men were the walls. When they left their assignment, when they left, they left the city unprotected and they knew that. They were devastated and that's where men are today. A lot of men have left their assignment and the enemy has come in and devastated our society.

Dr. Tim Clinton: Max, a lot of men listening say, "You know what? I I'm sure that I make all that much difference. I'm just an ordinary man."

Max Davis: Well, Nehemiah was an ordinary man. That's what a lot of people don't realize. Nehemiah was a cup bearer. He had a secular job. He was very good at his job. He was very faithful at his job. He actually gained the ear of the King because he was so faithful, but he was an ordinary man.

Max Davis: When he saw that his people, that his culture had been devastated because the wall had broken down, something rose up in him and he decided to do something about it. God honored that and used him to turn the culture around and to build that wall. It's the same way today.

Max Davis: God will take an ordinary man and do extraordinary things with them. If he cries out to God and gives himself to God and let God give him, I call it a God vision, a God dream that he puts into his heart. Ordinary men, God uses ordinary men. That's primarily the men that God uses is ordinary men.

Dr. Tim Clinton: Max, Henry David Thoreau, once wrote these words, "The massive men lived, but quiet lives of desperation."

Max Davis: I believe that.

Dr. Tim Clinton: One of the things that really came alive for us was just how desperate men are. That they're wondering about their life does their life matter? Will it matter?

Max Davis: That's what a man wants to know. "Do I matter? Can I make a difference? I want to be significant." That's what a man wants. A man wants significance and it doesn't have to be big. It doesn't have to be grand. We all have a circle of influence that God gives us. It may be your family, but that's how God won the world.

Max Davis: One man at a time, one family at a time. Jesus didn't go out and just sometimes he preached to the masses, but when he wanted to change the world, he went to individual men and those individual men took it one person at a time. Jesus said, "Go out and make disciples." Well, how do you make a disciple? One person at a time.

Max Davis: You do matter as a man, even though it may seem insignificant, you may not be a Billy Graham, so what? God wants to use you right where you're at. He'll take that and he'll multiply it. Just like he did the loaves and fishes.

Dr. Tim Clinton: Max, if someone's listening right now and they are wrestling deep inside, and I know we've been touching on this, but they think they've blown it that it's too late for them, it's too far gone. They've they've made the mistakes. They weren't there for their son or their daughter.

Dr. Tim Clinton: They weren't there for their marriage. They walked away from the Lord, but they want to come back. They just want to know that they can be forgiven. What do you say to them?

Max Davis: Well, the lie of the enemy, number one is that you can't come back and that is absolute false. You read the Bible. The Bible is full of redemption. It's all about redeeming what the enemy has done and what we have done. You think about the prodigal son. The prodigal son, I think that's the only time in the Bible where God ran toward him and embraced him.

Max Davis: Not only does God wants you to come back, he's waiting for you to come back. I think about, get back to Ziklag again, when those men wept until they couldn't weep anymore, because they had dropped the ball, make no mistake about it.

Max Davis: The minute Ziklag had dropped the ball, when they left, they left the city unguarded. Guess what? There comes a time when the weeping is over and what happened, David inquired of the Lord. It says he, he encouraged himself in the Lord.

Dr. Tim Clinton: He did.

Max Davis: He asked God, he said, "God, what do we do here?" What did God say? He said, "Take it back and go recover all." They set on a quest and they ran those guys down and they attacked them and they recovered everything. Their wives, their children, their sons, their daughters.

Max Davis: All the gold and everything that the enemy had stolen, these men recovered and brought it back. God is all about redemption and I don't care how much you've lost. He can rebuild you and make you not just the same, but better than ever before. That's what God does.

Dr. Tim Clinton: The scripture says, "Don't be afraid." It's easy to be afraid when the bills are going unpaid. It seems like the world around you is crumbling. Things are not the way they're supposed to be. In sports, we know this too, Max that there's something about fear, fear and sports don't go together. It makes you play small.

Dr. Tim Clinton: I think a lot of men that lost their way. They've lost their fight. Maybe fear is starting to take over. Fear of the future. Fear of never reaching any dreams, fear of everything in the world around me. Here it is, "Don't be afraid." Number two, "Remember the Lord, your God, who was awesome and mighty."

Dr. Tim Clinton: A lot of people, a lot of men struggle with whether or not God loves them, but God loves them and he's there for them. He's awesome and mighty and it's just one of those things how big is your God? Do you know that he's there for you and that he loves you, Max.

Dr. Tim Clinton: Then it says fight. It's time to get that, that stuff back inside of you, that fights for your brothers, your sons, your daughters, your wives, your homes, and so much more. Sometimes Max, you do have to stand up. Sometimes a boy needs to know that dad's going to show up and say, "Listen, this is not okay. You're not going to treat my son like that, coach.

Dr. Tim Clinton: This is wrong. We're off our authority and structure, but what you're doing here is wrong. I stand with my son." What that does is it gives heart and strength to him. Max, what does that, what does that piece mean to you when you think about Nehemiah in his admonition to men?

Max Davis: He went to God and he sought the Lord and he said, "What can I do?" God put that vision in him. It was a God vision. He took practical steps to see it come to fruition. That part of taking it back. Part of getting back in the fight is running to God and saying, "God, I need you, what do you want me to do and let him empower us. Let him give us a dream. Let him give us direction."

Dr. Tim Clinton: In their book, The Healing Path, Dan Allender and Tremper Longman years ago wrote about the word discontent. They believe that discontent in the heart of a person, Max wasn't bad necessarily. That it actually could be the mother of invention. That discontent could be the seeds to a different future.

Dr. Tim Clinton: If there are men, if there are women listening who are wrestling and inside they know, at least, "It's not the way it's supposed to be." There's something about that frame of reference that says, "We've got to do something." Max, I'm thinking this way, that heaven and earth literally are standing on tiptoes, awaiting men to step into this moment.

Dr. Tim Clinton: To step back into their families, to step back into the marriages, to step back into their relationship with Christ, to steps back into their communities and be a difference-maker. One who will say, "Not in this house, you're not going to get in here anymore. Wow. What we're going to do is we're going to fight. We're going to stand strong. We're going to shore up the planks here and let's do what's necessary."

Dr. Tim Clinton: Max, we need a new breed of men and I'm not talking about an age. I'm talking about a remnant. A remnant who have not yet bowed the knee, who will stand strong and mighty in this moment.

Max Davis: Here's the warning. If a man tries to do it in his own strength and his own power, that's where it becomes toxic. That's where the behavior becomes toxic. We're talking about biblical masculinity, we're empowered by the spirit of God, by the spirit of God, the spirit of love.

Max Davis: If we don't inquire the Lord and get his vision and his direction, if we don't have the spirit of God in us moving us, we're just going to become a fleshly man. That's trying to do it in his own power and his own strength. Sometimes, our weakness is our best drink. If we come to the Lord, because Paul said, "When I am weak, that's when I'm strong." We have to get our strength from the Lord. And that's how we change this society.

Roger Marsh: Wow. What a great first half of this conversation featuring Max Davis and our own Dr. Tim Clinton. Talking about their new book on biblical manhood, it's called Take It Back. The book is out today, Tuesday, April 6th. Make sure you find it wherever books are sold.

Roger Marsh: Now being a father or a father figure, that's a huge responsibility. Many children shaped their view of God after their view of their earthly fathers. Now, men and dads shouldn't be worshiped, of course, but we are called to model our lives and character after Jesus.

Roger Marsh: This means being strong. It means being a servant. It means putting our families ahead of ourselves. We hope that today's Family Talk broadcast was an encouragement to you. If you have any questions or if you missed any part of today's program, please drop us a line.

Roger Marsh: We are available for you 24 hours a day, seven days a week to answer any question you might have about Family Talk and the ministry of the Dr. James Dobson Family Institute. Our number is 877-732-6825. That's 877-732-6825.

Roger Marsh: Thanks so much for joining us today and be sure to tune in again tomorrow for day two of our important broadcast called Take It Back. I'm Roger Marsh, have a blessed day and join us again next time for another edition of Dr. James Dobson's Family Talk.

Announcer: This has been a presentation of the Dr. James Dobson Family Institute.
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