Dr. Tim Clinton: Hey, welcome to Family Talk. I'm Dr. Tim Clinton, co-host of Family Talk and president of the American Association of Christian Counselors. As a licensed professional counselor and a marriage and family therapist, I'm also honored to serve alongside Dr. Dobson, and as the resident authority on mental health and relationships here at the James Dobson Family Institute. Before we get into today's broadcast, I have a very special announcement. Thanks to some gracious friends of the ministry throughout the entire month of June, we have been blessed with a matching grant. That means every financial gift given to JDFI and Family Talk in June will be doubled. Your donation of any amount will have twice the impact on strengthening marriages, families, and fighting for biblical truth.
To give today, visit drjamesdobson.org or call us toll free at (877) 732-6825. That number again, (877) 732-6825. And when you contact us, make sure to request a copy of the new Celebrating Dad CD. This special CD contains three handpicked programs featuring myself, Dr. Dobson, and our good friend, Franklin Graham. And it's yours in exchange for a donation of any amount during the month of June. Hey, to request your copy visit drjamesdobson.org or call (877) 732-6825.
Now, today on Family Talk, you're going to hear the second half of a powerful conversation I recently had with author, producer and writer, Stephen Kendrick. After serving in church ministry for 20 years, Stephen and his brothers, Alex and Shannon founded Kendrick Brothers Productions, where Stephen co-writes and produces films, books, and study resources. Their production company is widely known for the films, War Room, Courageous, Overcomer and Fireproof. Stephen is also co-founder and board member of the Fatherhood CoMission, a collaboration that championed dads in their God-given role. He and his wife, Jill, live in Albany, Georgia with their six children. If you missed part one of the interview with Stephen, which aired yesterday, you can go to drjamesdobson.org/familytalk and get caught up. Here now is the second half of our conversation, talking about the Kendrick Brothers new documentary, Show Me the Father.
Stephen, welcome back. Thank you for joining us.
Stephen Kendrick: My pleasure. It's great to talk to you, Tim.
Dr. Tim Clinton: Yesterday, we had a fantastic conversation about dads and it's my, one of my favorite topics because bottom line is dad's matter. Yet, we know too that probably the greatest social ill of our day, an overwhelming majority of Americans believe this, is the absence of dad from the home and we'll add godly dads in the home. It is a problem out there. And yet it's everything when you come back and see the significance of a father.
Stephen Kendrick: Yes. 18 million kids going to bed at night in America without the voice of their father in their home. And you have to imagine when a dad checks out, it's like a bus driver jumping off the bus. And those that are in the bus end up in a ditch oftentimes, and that's what happens in the lives of kids in every area of their lives. Dad is not being there to educate, to protect, to balance out. Thank God for all the moms that are grabbing the steering wheel, trying to save the families and hold on. But moms are never intended to be dads. God wanted two wings on the airplane to balance each other out. And that role of father is so desperately needed.
Scripture communicates that God has a very special place in his heart for the fatherless. James 1:27, "Pure religion before God is to visit the fatherless in their affliction," it says, "and widows in their affliction." What do widows and fatherless children have in common? The most important man in their life that should be providing, protecting, teaching, leading, loving, and guiding is gone. And the church can step up through the gospel and help reconnect people to God, the Father, and then secondly, help dads to step up in love.
Dr. Tim Clinton: Yesterday we talked a lot about how God's Word is not silent on the importance of a dad, and all the research backs it up. It's clear.
Stephen Kendrick: Yes.
Dr. Tim Clinton: And so moving forward, people do say this, that if we don't take back the media and the arts, we're in a mess and you guys have been pretty bold. I'll use the word courageous here for a moment. You and your brothers have decided this is an area that you wanted to step into and God has been blessing it like crazy. Talking about films like Overcomer or War Room, Courageous, Fireproof, Facing the Giants and more, and this documentary, Show Me the Father. And the mission is all about let's return the hearts of the fathers back to their kids.
Stephen Kendrick: Yes.
Dr. Tim Clinton: And the kids back to their dads.
Stephen Kendrick: Well, working with the Fatherhood CoMission, we started realizing if you want to simultaneously improve education in your city, if you want to reduce drug abuse, if you want to reduce teen pregnancy and abortion, if you want to reduce gang activity, if you want to reduce recidivism in prisons in the prison population, then do this. Invest in dads. If you'll do that one thing and help dads to step up, learn their roles, encourage them, affirm them, help them to learn how to forgive their own dads as we talked about yesterday and to see God as the perfect example through Jesus that they can have for their own kids, then like my dad, you can break the chain. You can forgive your own dad and leave a new legacy of faithfulness. All these movies that we've made, our dad has had such a big impact on us. He was the chain breaker.
He forgave his alcoholic, seven foot tall dad that wasn't there for him. And he began to turn to God as father and James Dobson's series originally, Focus on the Family. The whole video series inspired our dad, taught him how to step up and be involved in our lives, to bless us, to love us, to discipline us when we need it in those things. But I think about these roles that dads are supposed to play that you see in Scripture. A dad is supposed to be a loving provider, a faithful provider. He's supposed to be a strong protector. He's supposed to be a truthful teacher for his kids. He's supposed to be a loving leader. Follow me as I follow Christ. He's supposed to be a helpful and hopeful encourager, blessing them, speaking towards the future, a willing helper with a servant's heart, with the practical daily needs, and then a compassionate friend.
You see all those roles God plays in our lives. And if dads realize it goes beyond just provision. It goes beyond just you going to work and paying the bills. Your kids need you to represent the heart of our Heavenly Father in their lives, and God has given it to us in His Word. If we'll follow that model, it will forever change us. And when men do that, when they step into this role of father, they bloom as dads. And they're like, there's something so fulfilling when like Eric Little said, "When I run, I feel God's pleasure." When a dad steps up and he becomes who God's called him to be, man, the fulfillment and joy that can come and follow.
Dr. Tim Clinton: That's what the documentary is all about. Those roles, right?
Stephen Kendrick: Yes.
Dr. Tim Clinton: And you had connected it, I think to Romans 12. Yes. Put those dots together for us.
Stephen Kendrick: So, Jesus said in John 14, "If you've seen me, you've seen the father. I've come as the perfect representation of the father." Well, so Jesus, He said, "I came not to speak my own words. I speak the words of the father. I came not to do my own will, but the will of the father. The works, the miracles that I do, the love that I have." John 15:9 comes from the father. Jesus is the perfect representation of the father. In Romans 12, it explains that the body of Christ, those seven motivational spiritual gifts that are in Romans 12 are the balance of who Jesus is. Jesus is the perfect balance of all those gifts. And each of those roles that are played out also mirror what God the Father does for us in Scripture. So we see those things that God is a loving provider.
"Give us this day, our daily bread." He's feeding. "My God shall supply all of your needs according to His riches and glory by Christ Jesus." He is a strong protector. God didn't wake up Mary to protect Jesus when Herod was trying to kill the children. He woke up Joseph, he says, "It's your job. Take your wife, take the child and protect them." And we see that God the Father in Psalm 91 is a protector of His children. He steps in. But truthful teacher, what is Ephesians 4, you quoted it yesterday. "Fathers do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training, the nurture, admonition of the Lord." Deuteronomy 6, "Train your children to love God." If you look in Proverbs, it's a father speaking to his children. "My son, listen to my teaching, listen to the teaching of your father." Let me set you up for success. Let me warn you protect you, bless you in every area of your life.
There's the willing helper role of a servant father. That kids don't just need you to pay the bills, but sometimes they need you to find the socks and kill the snake. And they need you to beat off the bullies, and they need you to step in and protect. For dads to say, "Not on my watch will pornography be in my home, not on my watch will kids come and take advantage of my daughter, not on my watch." When dads start protecting they're the captain of the department of defense in their own homes. And that's part of their role. But you see a hopeful encourager, that blessing role of a dad, speaking affirmation, identity, hope into the lives of his kids.
And then a loving leader. Dads aren't just supposed to lead. "Follow me as I follow Christ," but they're to love. Turn their hearts towards their kids. To love them as Jesus loved His disciples with compassion and then a compassionate friend. Psalm 103. It says, "Just as a father has compassion on his children so the Lord has compassion on those who fear Him." Jesus says that, "First I called you servants and then I called you friends." And as kids get older, dad shifts and they begin to treat them as that compassionate, supportive friend day in and day out. It's beautiful how those roles of a dad when we go back to Scripture are mirrored by our Heavenly Father.
You see all these roles played out in the body of Christ. You see it in Jesus. You see it in God the Father in Scripture. And so God has given us a model, a template to be able to follow. And really it turns on the headlights in front of the car of our leadership role. Because so many dads are like, "I've never seen what it looks like for a dad to be a Christlike example in any way." But Scripture gives us the light so we can now lead our families with love.
Dr. Tim Clinton: You have influence whether or not you think you do.
Stephen Kendrick: Even by your silence.
Dr. Tim Clinton: What you say or what you don't say. That's right. And it's strong. It's so strong that it can carry on for generations. The sins of the father, the Scripture says are visited to the third and fourth generations.
Stephen Kendrick: Yes.
Dr. Tim Clinton: Stephen, breaking that curse was a tough journey. So, I'm going to go back to Show Me the Father for a moment. You guys decided that you had put together some pretty incredible voices to speak to this issue. You want this to be a gift to dads, to families, to children. If one dad turns his heart toward his boy and shows up at a game. If one dad just hugs on his kid and just says, "I love you." Give him a Dutch rub or something and says, "You're my boy." And says his name to him. That's what this is about.
Stephen Kendrick: Show Me the Father has five amazing true stories of dads, broken dads in broken homes, and how God in each situation stepped in and brought healing and forgiveness and redemption and restoration. And so this is not a movie that beats up on dads at all. If you're a beat up dad and discouraged, then this one will put wind in your sales big time. It can bring healing, a lot of healing because of how we point back to the star, which is God, the Father, the perfect father. The only perfect father that we have.
Dr. Tim Clinton: Guys like Tony Evans, Sherman Smith, Eddie George.
Stephen Kendrick: Men love this movie, Show Me the Father. You can go to Amazon and read the reviews right now as to what people are saying about it. Prisons are now using it. Addiction ministries are using it. Internationally, it's been spreading. And these kids that are growing up fatherless, the moms pray, "God will use somehow help my kid understand what does it mean to have a loving father" and sitting in the theater, weeping with their child, realizing that God can fill the gap that dads have left. God says, "I will be a father to the fatherless." He has an incredible compassion in His heart for kids that don't have dads. Many people don't have dads emotionally involved in their lives. He's there in the home, but he's not connected at all, doesn't really know what to do. And I tell people, "Look at his dad." Oftentimes he's just following what his dad modeled for him. The brokenness that was there. Show a little compassion on that broken man, because he's broken too. His own father was broken very likely as well, but you can break the chain.
Dr. Tim Clinton: To add a little fuel to the fire, my understanding is that you are also re-releasing that widely popular film, Courageous celebrating what? It's 10th anniversary.
Stephen Kendrick: That's correct.
Dr. Tim Clinton: Right now.
Stephen Kendrick: So Courageous came out in 2011 in theaters across the U.S., and internationally. This movie needs to be seen by a new generation. You know? So it's been 10 years. A lot of men, they were children, but now they're holding their own kids, and the movie will be viewed differently. So we recut the film, recolored it, shot a new ending showing where these officers are 10 years later. And you see how it's played out in their own lives.
Dr. Tim Clinton: No kidding.
Stephen Kendrick: And so, we've got a new version for a new generation that's just come out, and we're very excited about both Show Me the Father and Courageous Legacy. A feature film full of action with Courageous Legacy, and then a documentary full of true stories, Show Me the Father. There's a one, two punch to hopefully strengthen dads in our generation.
Dr. Tim Clinton: Stephen, how do people access these films? I mean, how do they go watch them? I mean, they're hearing about it saying, "Okay, where do we go? Where's this ... what's happening?"
Stephen Kendrick: Well, wherever you go to see movies, Amazon, iTunes, Walmart. Show Me the Father, Courageous Legacy readily available for people to watch and enjoy. And we would encourage them please share it with your church, your youth ministry, sit down with your family, watch this. We've been hearing amazing stories of people sitting down with their kids, watching it, discussing it together.
Dr. Tim Clinton: I wanted to just ask you briefly too, about today's generations. You had mentioned them just a little bit ago, and I was thinking about how many of them have grown up without a dad. And ofttimes they're in homes with moms, women who are angry at the men in their life.
Stephen Kendrick: Yes.
Dr. Tim Clinton: And it's hard for them to make sense of what a good father is. And then to see that animosity pour out. It's just so complicated. And I want moms to turn it up here for a moment because this is really critical. I mean, what do moms do in that kind of situation? Because he needs godly male influence in his life.
Stephen Kendrick: Absolutely. Well, I would say to every mom that's out there, praise God that you're there, that the Lord has sent you to intercede on behalf of your kids.
Dr. Tim Clinton: That's a word.
Stephen Kendrick: And I would say, remember Timothy in the Scripture. Timothy, it wasn't his dad that was the spiritual leader leading his family. If you read Paul, Paul was telling Timothy, "It was your mom. She was praying. She was interceding." And what does God do? He promises he'll be a father to the fatherless. So you can stand on that promise moms and you can start praying God. I'm asking you to send father figures in the lives of my children, godly men, coaches, pastors, teachers, other people. Pray for his dad if he's in the picture, that God will turn his heart back to his children. But also pray for those father figures, because that's what happened in Timothy's situation. God sent Paul into Timothy's life and he calls Timothy my son. He wasn't his biological son, but he was a father figure for Timothy.
God used Timothy's mom to intercede, introduce him and then sends Paul at just the right time. We've seen it happen again and again and again. That dads in the church need to look around and see fatherless children in their church and in their community and say, "God, use me, use me to be a coach. Use me to be an employer, but also a father figure."
Dr. Tim Clinton: And thank God too, for mentoring ministries that are out there now springing up all over the country, especially in churches. To say, hey, we're going to step into the lives of these kids. That's James 1 work.
Stephen Kendrick: That's right.
Dr. Tim Clinton: That to visit the widows and the orphans in their infliction. You're not going to get out of here without sharing something special with us. And that is you spent all this time, you shared your personal story. You guys have done all this research. You put together this work, these films and more. What has God really impressed upon your heart when you sift your way through it? And you start thinking about the goal if you will, out of all this. What is it that really matters?
Stephen Kendrick: I would say Jesus shines when you study fatherhood. If you come back to who did God send to represent Him? It was Jesus. How do we get a relationship with the father? It is through Jesus. He said, "No one comes to the father but through me." And when I think about of him through him and for him are all things. Christ is preeminent. And when you want to deal with any issue, if you will move Jesus into the driver's seat of your heart, your marriage, your home, he takes over, and he pulls that family out of the ditch. He begins to bring the healing that it is needed. And I would tell people, it goes back to that simple John 3:16 message, that if you will call upon Jesus, not only does it bring salvation, but He brings an eternal relationship with the father that brings the provision, the protection, the wisdom, the counsel of God for your everyday experience.
Dr. Tim Clinton: Yeah. That really makes that prophetic kind of voice message out of the book of Malachi come to real light. That God one day would turn the hearts to the father toward the children and the children back to their fathers. I'd be remiss too if I didn't ask this and that is, what am I going to say to that boy or that girl or my grandson or my granddaughter whose daddy's gone? And he's just running rogue. He's rebellious. They lie awake at night nervous, anxious, cry enough for the love of their dad. What do I say to them?
Stephen Kendrick: I would tell them that you have a real father, an eternal father in Heaven who has not changed. He has not abandoned you. And He cares about you. And it says in 2 Corinthians 1 that God is a father of Mercy's. He's the God of all compassion for those that are hurting. He comforts us in the midst. He's right there with us as we're suffering. And so, and I would also put that kid on the offense.
I'd say, "Let's start praying for your dad and let's start praying for your future children one day, because you can become an amazing father." I've told people some of the best dads I've ever met in my life had horrible dads themselves. And they begin to pass on to their kids what they longed for but never received from their earthly fathers, because they know what it feels like to not have that. There is a bright, hopeful future when God gets involved in your equation.
Dr. Tim Clinton: And Stephen, we also got to pray that the church would awaken in this hour for such a time as this, and take on a rightful role and responsibility of being that very agent of bringing healing to the fatherless generation.
Stephen Kendrick: Absolutely.
Dr. Tim Clinton: Let's close this way. We've spent a lot of time talking about dads. You have a brand new movie, by the way. I had to get this in, releasing in September new film called Lifemark.
Stephen Kendrick: Yes.
Dr. Tim Clinton: Something really amazing. It's got a lot of fire in it.
Stephen Kendrick: Well, Kirk Cameron came to us with this amazing story, true story. When we looked at a documentary that had been produced years ago, award winning documentary, we prayed about it and we felt like we got to make this into a feature film. So we shot this movie, pro-life, pro adoption, true story, very inspirational. It's family friendly, takes you on twists and turns. Teenagers get things out of this movie. Kids enjoy the movie. There's humor throughout the movie, but it is an emotional roller coaster. And we come back to this story of the beauty of adoption. And so, September 9th in over 1,000 theaters across the U.S. We encourage people, take your family, your friends, your church, to go see Lifemark.
Stephen Kendrick: For such a time as this, with all that's going on in the Supreme Court, all that's going on with Roe v. Wade, the church has a great opportunity to shine, to step up and communicate truth in love, to communicate the priceless value of the unborn and also show compassion for these young pregnant girls that are in a crisis, looking for a Planned Parenthood to be their savior when God can step in and be an amazing savior that brings no regrets later on, but also this message of adoption. The church has an opportunity to shine to the world, the gospel through this message of adoption.
Dr. Tim Clinton: So that movie again is Lifemark, releasing in ...
Stephen Kendrick: September 9th, across the U.S. in over 1,000 theaters.
Dr. Tim Clinton: Wow. What a delightful couple of days together. I believe with all my heart, Dr. Dobson said it many times over, "So goes the family, so goes the church."
Stephen Kendrick: Yes.
Dr. Tim Clinton: And the community. And we've got to pray that pastors would be courageous and strong and committed to these biblical principles for such a time as this. Amen?
Stephen Kendrick: Amen. Preach the truth, brother. Stand up in your pulpit and say I have the answer. I have hope for your generation. If pastors will lead with courage and strength, the Lord, the holy spirit will back them up and will change a new generation for Christ.
Dr. Tim Clinton: What a fun conversation. Our guest again has been Stephen Kendrick. The documentary out right now, Show Me the Father, brand new movie coming up September 9th, Lifemark, so much more. What an honor. Thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule to show up here and be a part of Family Talk. Thank you for joining.
Stephen Kendrick: Thank you, Tim. What an honor. Thank you.
Dr. Tim Clinton: And best to your brothers, Alex and Shannon as well. Give them our regards.
Roger Marsh: Well, that's it for today. We thank you for listening, but before we leave, I'd like to remind you that if you missed any part of today's program, go to our broadcast page at drjamesdobson.org and listen to the entire episode streaming an on demand. Anytime that's drjamesdobson.org/familytalk.
Announcer: This has been a presentation of the Dr. James Dobson Family Institute.
Dr. Tim Clinton: Dr. Tim Clinton here once again to remind you that Father's Day is this coming weekend. At the James Dobson Family Institute, we love dads and we recognize the crucial role that fathers play in the life of their sons and daughters. To celebrate and honor fathers everywhere, we've created a valuable, easy to use resource just for dads. It's the Strong Dads email series. To sign up, just visit drjamedobson.org. That's drjamesdobson.org. This 10 day email series which contains by the way relevant resources from Dr. Dobson will help empower you to step into your role and calling as a father. Sign up for our Strong Dads email series today by visiting drjamesdobson.org.
Hey, don't forget, this month is a perfect time to give to the James Dobson Family Institute. Because of the generosity of a number of friends, we've been given a matching grant of $300,000 for the month of June. To give and to have your impact doubled visit drjamesdobson.org or call us toll free (877)732-6825. And remember this matching grant is only available until we hit our goal. Thank you.