There is one thing that happens soon after getting married and having children: you quickly learn that you have no idea what you’re doing!
If this is how you feel, Jerrad Lopes of the Dad Tired Podcast provides a lot of encouragement in this book based off of his own experience stumbling through marriage and fatherhood. From the title of the book, it may seem like it is only for dads, but Lopes gives a lot of wisdom for husbands in general and what it means to follow Jesus in marriage. In fact, this seems to be one of the main points in the book: a gospel-centered marriage is crucial whether you have children or not, but especially if you do.
This is why Lopes spends a lot of this book speaking into marriage and the priority of being a gospel-focused husband FOR the sake of your children. Your marriage can point your kids to the gospel. Lopes says, “the greatest gift you can give your children is Jesus. And the best way to point them toward Jesus is by loving your wife like Jesus loves the church” (p. 35).
The book is split into three sections that hit on big principles and truths that lay a foundation for stumbling our way to spiritual leadership. The first section describes God’s desire to work in and through messy people and marriages, and the importance of understanding the goal of parenting. The second section focuses on becoming, through Jesus, husbands and fathers that desire to point our kids to Jesus in all of life, despite our failures, mistakes, and setbacks. Many times we can let our past paralyze us from moving forward in godliness. But Lopes speaks into this reality, saying, “Rest assured, you are thinking about your past a lot more than Jesus is” (p. 97). The third section gets a bit more practical while staying big picture, and talks about how the gospel can shine through us husbands and fathers to those around us.
One of the major strengths of this book was Lopes’ focus on the big picture principles that we desperately need to understand and have as a foundation for our lives. The importance of living all of life with a gospel focus and not compartmentalizing our faith is seen all throughout the book. Expounding on this, he says: “Spiritual leaders don’t just do family devotionals. They see all of life as a family devotional and use every opportunity to point their kids toward Jesus” (p. 143).
While this is so crucial, by looking at the title and subtitle of the book, I was thinking it would be a bit more practical on how to be a spiritual leader for your family. The big picture principles were great and much needed, but the practical day-to-day realities were not touched on as much as I expected.
With that being said, I think this is still a crucial book to be read by all Christian husbands and fathers. It sure revitalized and encouraged me to take all of life and every moment possible to lean into Jesus for the sake of my children. So, if you are a husband and/or a dad struggling to get by and wondering what you are doing and why you are doing it and if you can keep it up, I strongly recommend giving this book a good, refreshing read.
**Thanks to Harvest House Publishing for providing this great book in exchange for an honest review.**
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