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My guest today is Jim Ramos, founder of Men in the Arena.

We talk about how dads can become strong men in dangerous times, including the four phases of fatherhood, the ascent, peak, and descent of the masculine journey, what kids need from their fathers, and so much more.

This one fired me up and imparted great wisdom, and I know it’ll do the same for you.

About Jim Ramos

Jim Ramos is a bestselling author, speaker, and the founder of Men in the Arena, a non-profit Christian ministry focused on equipping men to honor God in the leadership of their family, church, and community.

He hosts the #1 ranked Spotify podcast for Christian men, the Men in the Arena Podcast, interviewing experts in Christian manhood and partnering with thought-leaders like John Eldredge, Gary Chapman, Gene Getz, Patrick Morley, and Emerson Eggerichs.

Ramos founded the 11,000-strong Men in the Arena Facebook Group and a global network of Men in the Arena virtual teams, where men support each other as they work to become their best version.

He has written numerous books, including the #1 Amazon Bestseller Strong Men Dangerous Times; The Field Guide: A Bathroom Book for Men; Tell Them: What Great Fathers Tell Their Sons and Daughters; and the five-book Strong Men Study Guide Series for small groups.

Jim lives in McMinnville, Oregon, with his wife Shanna. His goal is to live each day to its fullest with courageous abandon according to Jesus’ promise in John 10:10. He loves to hunt with his adult sons, enjoy the fitness lifestyle, take tropical vacations with Shanna, and listen to men share their stories over a dark roasted Americano.

Find Jim Online At:

Instagram: @themeninthearena

Twitter: @JimWRamos

Web: MenInTheArena.org

Curt Storring 0:00

Welcome to the Dad Work Podcast. My name is Curt Storring, your host and the founder of dad work. I'm joined today by Jim Ramos as we talk about how dads can become strong men in dangerous times. This was an excellent episode guys I loved having Jim on. He is of the vintage that would be in my father's era, just about. And so he got to deliver the wisdom that I, as a man in my mid 30s don't yet have and he has adult sons who he's raised to be successful men with families now. And it was so inspiring to get to hear what he has done along the way, what he's learned and what he's now teaching other men because he works with so many men doing this kind of thing. And I was very blessed to be able to get him on the show. We talked about everything from his five stages of masculinity from the ascent to the peak, and then the descent in order to finish strong. We talked about his four fatherhood F's, including father Fidelis father, figure, Father, friend and Father forever. You want to make sure you know what those mean, guys as you go through your own fatherhood journey, and so much more. Jim fired me up and he also had a ton of really wonderful wisdom. So I'm so grateful for Jim, I'm gonna read a little bio here. Jim Ramos is a best selling author, speaker and the founder of men in the arena, a nonprofit Christian ministry focused on equipping men to honor God and the leadership of their family, church and community. He hosts the number one ranked Spotify podcast for Christian men, the men in the arena podcast, interviewing experts in Christian manhood and partnering with thought leaders like John Eldridge, Gary Chapman gene gets Patrick Morley and Emerson Eggerichs Ramos founded the 11,000 strong men in the arena Facebook group and a global network of men in the arena virtual teams where men support each other as they work to become their best version. He has written numerous books including the number one Amazon Best Seller, strong men dangerous times, which we talked about a little bit on this show, the field guide a bathroom book for men, tell them what great fathers tell their sons and daughters. And I think guys, he left a link at the end of the show, which we'll put in the show notes to make sure you get that I think it's his free book on his website, and I highly recommend you pick that up. And the five book strong men Study Guide series for small groups. Jim lives in McMinnville, Oregon with his wife Shauna, his goal is to live each day to its fullest with courageous abandon according to Jesus's promise in John 1010. He loves to hunt with his adult sons enjoy the fitness lifestyle. Take tropical vacations with Shana and listen to men and share their stories over a dark roasted Americano. I gotta say I agree with him on that point as well. Alright guys, if you want to find Jim online, go to Instagram, the men in the arena, go to Twitter, Jim W. Ramos. Or you can find him on the web men in the arena.org where all of his resources are there for you to find out, dive into and take action. Alright guys, we're gonna jump into this one. This is excellent how dads can become strong men in dangerous times. Let's go

alright guys, welcome back to another episode of The dad work podcast. I am extremely excited to have Jim Ramos on today because, man, I follow you on Instagram, as you guys all should as well. And the reels that you're putting out, especially when all your stuff is awesome. But the reels you're putting out hits so hard, and it's just like smack upside the head like you were just saying, it's got to be the hard stuff that convicts guys and it convicts me every single time. So first of all, thank you for the work you're doing. Thank you for being an inspiration. And I'm incredibly grateful that you're here with us today. So welcome. And we're gonna get into it in a moment. How are you feeling? I'm

Jim Ramos 3:22

doing good man. And i MAN i You know, I hope that the messages are hard hitting but grace filled and not condemning because I don't want to shame men or this put guilt on them. You know, Romans eight one says, you know, there's no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. So my hope is that guys are inspired and encouraged. But I also realized that the best coaches out there sometimes push a little harder than the other guys. So my job is to coach these guys. And I'm a I'm a mid 50s. Guy. And so I want to you know, I'm, I'm ahead of the guys that we're targeting. And so I want to just say, Hey, guys, I'm ahead of you. I've been here, I've been married to the same woman for 30 years, August 1, I've got three adult children who I love and are, are just great young men. And let me just tell you what we did. And here's what the Bible says, and let's do this thing together.

Curt Storring 4:08

Yeah, man, that is so good. And that's where I mean, this is a this is a new walk in faith for me. So I'm very excited to dig into this, because unlearning as much as everyone else, listening, and you know, faith or not, this is going to be an amazing conversation because the principles are simply true. And they follow across an entire subset of human beings, which is men. And I know that's different than than males, which we're gonna get into. Yes, it is. But I think the first thing we should do that I see your book behind you, strongman, dangerous times. And I know that there's five essentials that you talk about in that book, and I wonder if you can run them off for us. And then we want to get into like, how to cultivate these things, what they look like, we'll go from there. So can you just give us an idea about the book about what you talked about in the book, and we'll get it

Jim Ramos 4:53

Yeah, hey, man, you're in. You're in Vancouver. So you're gonna relate to this but the guys kind of in Central, maybe the plains of Canada down there. and understand this, but if you imagine a mountain, okay, so these five essentials are actually climbing a mountain, right. And so these we call, these are man cards. So these are the five things that really make up a man. And we're a Christian organization. But when we came up with these five things, we wanted five things that were true across the board across time in history, you know, history, across demographics, across across ethnicity, that anywhere you go, guys be like, Man, this really resonates with me. And so at the trailhead is what we call an out and we put a progressive verb on everything, because you can be this guy today, and tomorrow, you can fall off the wagon. So the trailhead of manhood is protecting integrity. That is the trailhead, and then as men enter, you know, that's, you know, it's the start, it's the beginning, it's the foundation, we can get into this more later. But then the climb the steep, sweaty, pain, endurance, grind it out, grit is required part of manhood is called fighting, apathy. And apathy really, I believe, is the greatest battle, a man will fight it because he's got to fight against all of the forces, you know, pushing him down the mountain, like we were talking earlier, you had a situation where somebody is asking what the pronoun of your baby's gonna be. I'm like, hey, you know, we have to resist that garbage. And we have to push against that not accept that. So. So that's, so we've got to fight. You know, there's a, there's a movement against men being good fathers and good dads and men, and we just got to say, we're gonna put that down, we're gonna, we're gonna shun anybody who says the nuclear family is not the number one way to go. And we're going to resist it, we're not going to sit back. So that's the climb. Just like I was working out this morning, I did a workout with my wife, we did five rounds of 50 reps, and I'm doing this push up challenge. So it was really hard and sweaty and gross, I hated it. But you know what, my body loved it. And it was great that I did it. So and then the apex of manhood, so the summit of manhood, the top of the mountain man, we is, is pursuing God passionately. And so we came upon this because I really believe that there is a God. And I believe that God made every human. And I believe that, that God who made every human loves every human, because what Creator would hate something that he crafted with his own hands, because I think there's a creator because I think he loves me. I also think that he not only did he craft me, but he crafts people for a purpose. So he loves me, he made me he has a purpose for me. And then the only way I can step into that purpose and fully embrace my best version is through radical commitment to the God who made me so my theology is really, really simple. And then if you take that back, you would it would leave, I would go break it down even further, but just we'll stop there for now. And so I just think that a guy, I think that when a guy surrenders his life to God, he enters this phase where he's a better he has potential to be the better man than he ever could have been. Otherwise, this stuff makes you more of a man that less the descent is what we call leading courageously. And so it's a lot of times when you're climbing, descending a mountain after you've summited, you tend to lean back and relax because you've already summited, but actually, the descent is where people really get hurt more people die on Mount Everest every year on the descent than the climb. Because there's, there's a lot of mistakes made there. But the bottom line is this, you can't get casual on the descent and you can't get casual leading your family. You can't rely on your wife, you can't rely on your church, you can't rely on your community, you can't rely on your government, you have to be the man to lead your family. Well. So that's the descent and then the trails end is what I call finishing strong. And one of the things I noticed Curt is that you know, I'm 57 years old man and it's amazing how many guys I've seen finished wrong. You know, and people in this world tend to think that an Indian as a finish, no, a divorce is a finish is a wrong finish a suicide is a wrong finish. Getting quit fired from your job is a wrong finish. You know, we have this weird vernacular going round nowadays that if I quit, I'm just saying I retired. I'm like, No, you got you got Ken, bro. And so call it what it is. But we want to finish strong. We want to finish every day as with an exclamation point, and not a question mark.

Curt Storring 9:28

Yeah, okay. So I almost want to there's so much there because it's like, okay, we can we can dive into all of this. And the first thing because it's so important because I've been talking to a lot of friends about this recently. Integrity. And this is like, it's so foundational. You're right. And I think there's a lot to do with self respect and doing the right hard thing rather than the easy thing or the expedient thing. But can you just go into a little bit about integrity, what that is and how we actually become integrity men.

Jim Ramos 9:58

Really integrity difference? The definition of integrity is, is wholeness or completeness. It's this. It's this unified and fractured unbroken man, right. But we live in a fractured and broken world. And so all of us bring broken pieces to the program. But it's the man who is, is growing to become his best version. And what there's two things. In Job we see God in the book of Job saying that job is blameless and upright. So blameless is to be a man that nobody can point a finger at you like my little brother when he was in high school. So I was a 225 pounder in high school, my brother graduate 125. And every so often, they'll talk about the shoulder injury he had tackling a guy my size, and he tapped the way he tackled them as the guy ran over the top of my little brother. They called my little brother, the stickman. Not not the hitman, the stickman. Anyway, this guy truck, the stickman. And as he's putting his cleat on his chest, and then on his helmet, and my brother, my brother, in desperation reaches up and the guy's shoe was untied. And he grabbed a shoestring and tackled him saving the touchdown. And so in the Bible, this word blameless, it's a Greek word. It's an Oedipal leptos. And it means to have nothing to lay hold up. So it's like I have it's been a man who has no loose shoe strings. So that's blameless and then upright. Well, I love the story of Adam Eve, right? Here's, here's Eve. She's the prototypical like woman. I mean, can you just imagine like, can you imagine what she looked like and no belly button? I mean, I mean, just Can you imagine she was just rad. Well, then here's Adam, you know, I mean, he probably looks like Dwayne Johnson. Right. My wife says, I look like Dwayne Johnson. Only she says, but you're not tall. You're not ripped. You're not black and you're not handsome. I'm like, so I'm sure that what am I a hobbit? Anyway? So so. So here's Adam. Here's a prototypical man, right? So they disobey God sinners enters the world. Now, here's the prototypical man, I realize God has made humans we're the only animal species on the planet that walks upright, with our sex organs proudly exposed. Think about this. There's no other animal. Well, you're from Canada, besides Sasquatch, that walks up, right? And so but when Adam and Eve sinned, what happens? God finds them crouched over, he's crouched over covering his package, right? Because he's ashamed. He's no longer able to walk up upright, and with full and full display. And this is the problem, man, our country has created a male that is afraid to walk upright, and embrace his masculine self. And so when a man a male transitions demand and he decides to, to step up and to lead and to be the man who God's called him to be, he begins to walk upright with integrity, right with no untied shoestring. So that's what we're talking about. It's a facade. It's a functional component of manhood, right, that he can be upright, and it's a foundational component of manhood that he is blameless.

Curt Storring 12:50

Oh, man, this is great stuff. Book, buddy. Yes, no, you're doing you're doing a job, for sure. And so man, like, when I think about integrity, I think about, you know, to just to put it into like, everyday action, am I in integrity right now? It's basically having the ability, first of all, to hear your conscience. Yeah. Which I would suggest probably has to do with not falling into desire and sin that's going to take you away from that, but also then to do what it says. And that's sometimes hard in a world where you know, you want to you don't want to be canceled. First of all, you want to not step on too many feet, because most men are passive these days. And I love what you said in the fourth point about being casual, you know, being a casual man traits casualties, as my friend says, and, and you know, you just can't be casual, but you have to step into doing the right thing. Is there anything that men who are like, Look, man, I know, I'm not living the life I need to live. But I'm kind of scared. I don't have a good father figure. I don't know what I'm doing here. Is there anything that men can do to become more in integrity? Is it small steps that are just right, or is there like a massive transformation that guys

Jim Ramos 14:01

need to know I actually think that I would say the first thing that comes to my mind is to get around men of integrity. Find some guys, there's this I don't know how you're 33. So I'm 57. So if you and I interact, there's what I call the old guy rule. So if we go out to coffee, or we go out to lunch, I pay because I'm the old guy. Right? If you take a 25 year old dude out to lunch you pay because you're the old guy. So what and the problem as you get older, the world tends to you use this phrase cancel which I every time I get cancelled I get way more followers so I love Joe Joe Rogan got canceled and he got more followers. I get canceled. I get more followers. So I'm okay with being canceled. But the moment when with the moment, guys, as a guy gets into the 60s 70s they are seen as not as valuable in America, at least probably in the West completely, probably Canada too. But that guy has so much to offer. I mean, I think Got a friend, he sold his company for $7 million. And he's passing out bulletins in a church, I'm sorry, $70 million. You know, I've got another man that brings in 30 million a year. And he's kind of doing the same thing. And so the problem is we, we tend to discount those guys. So what I would tell a young guy is find an older dude, he respects just go, Hey, man, can we go to coffee? I have some questions. And you only have to ask the guy, he'll pay for the coffee, even though you invited him to have the coffee because it's the old guy rule. So that's the first thing I would say, man. And I think, another critical critical thing, and we're identifying this now in our ministry, we've got this massive gap. And the gap is plugging guys in from this engaged follower to a committed participant. And I would just tell, I don't know what your audience is. But if my audience is a Christian audience, a lot of Christian guys, and we're telling us guys get into a community. If your audience is not not guys who are spiritual, I would say get into a mastermind group, get into some I've got a friend in Nashville has a mastermind group called iron sharpens iron, get into a group, get around, guys are going to push you and challenge you and pull, they're going to do three things they're going to call you in to places you've never, you would never normally go. They're gonna call you out of your selfishness and your sin and your stupidity. And your ignorance. Ignorance is not a bad thing, by the way. And then they're gonna call you up to levels you've never gone before, you know, John F. Kennedy one time said, he's an American president who got assassinated in 1963. He said, a rising tide cause it causes all ships to lift. And so we want to get around guys that are above us so that we can lift.

Curt Storring 16:45

Men, I can see that in my own life. I have a very, very blessed that my grandfather is so active in my life. He's always been the man in my life. And I meet him by Well, yeah, every two weeks, we have a cigar. We have a small glass of wine, we have some lunch. And then I just get to pick his brain. And man, that has changed my life in so many ways. And I'm so grateful for that. And if you don't have it in your family, find a man and that's why we do men's group. That's why we do community. That's why we do brotherhood. That's why we do masterminds man, like, I always want to be the dumbest guy in the room. I want to be the least successful guy in the room. And I want to be around guys that are like you said whole. I don't want to be in like a Business Mastermind is just like, Hey, bro, let's make some money. Yep. It's like, Hey, how are you? How are you as a dad right now? How's your marriage? And it's like, oh, do well, I've made a million bucks. But actually, you know, we haven't looked at each other in the eye for about a year. So like, bro, let's go. And so that kind of community of men. Life changing. I know so many guys. Hey,

Jim Ramos 17:44

who pays for lunch with your grandpa? It's telling you. He's not yet see relative but even if he wasn't a relative. It's the old guy rule. I'm telling you.

Curt Storring 17:53

Yeah, no, I love that. And you know what? That gives me great hope to one day be that Oh, yeah. Because in I think it was in John Eldridge is fathered by God. He talks about the sage. Yes, yes. And I think we have lost that role in society today. And I asked my grandfather about this. I said, Why do old men get so old so quickly? In his suggestion was that once they leave the workforce, so much of the identity is wound up and who they are as an executive, or president or whatever, they step out of that, and they forgotten that they are a human being. And so I am looking forward, you know, God willing, I'll get there one day when I'm old, that I will be able to step into a role rather than step out of a role. And that will be the role

Jim Ramos 18:32

of man, your grandpa, I'm gonna have him take me out to lunch man. He sounds like, yeah, he sounds here's I got a guy coming on my podcast pretty soon, he actually wrote a book called Sage. So I think that's important. And when I would tell you what I would our target audience is a guy from 28 to 45. He's got kids in the home. And when I tell these guys listen, your your job is not who you are. Your job is that your job is going to go away. It's not who you are. It's what you do. And so until guys can understand which comes to our third point, right? are, you know, we get to the client, that summit is really where guys go, oh, this is who I am. And they realize that and so if I'm any in listen, I would tell I would tell other guys, hey, man, your job is not worth your family. Whatever guy whatever you put to the grindstone will be remembered on your tombstone. And you want to make sure the things that you're doing now are going to benefit those who are weep at your funeral. Because I'll tell you what, your people you work for what we keep with you, your hunting buddies will weep for you, your golf buddies won't weep for you. But I'll tell you what, your wife and your kids, you better hope they weep for you. Because if they don't weep for you, I don't know what you're you screwed the pooch, bro. I mean, I mean, and I can't tell you how many guys my age are going, man. I've got a million bucks coming in every you know, six months and I've got kids that don't like me and I got a wife who divorced me. And I'm broken. I got a friend right now who's a broken man had big cuz he's a he's got a probably $50 million net worth, because he's a workaholic.

Curt Storring 20:06

Yeah, man that is so well said, I've been thinking about this a lot lately and telling guys, you know, the legacy that a lot of guys want to leave. It's like, oh man, I got a university building named after me. I got so much money. It's like, bro, the legacy, the only legacy that matters is your family. Like Get that through your head. And it's like, I love the way that you said that the people who weep at your funeral that is extremely convicting, man, I appreciate that. Okay, so we've got integrity, talking about that fighting apathy. Let's go over this real quickly, because I know I don't want to run through each one of these because then we'll be able to tie area of fatherhood. Yeah, safety. But apathy these days is so huge. And I think one of the hugest tools of the enemy these days is distraction, which creates apathy. Because you're so comfortable in where you're looking at your social media, you're watching Netflix, you're you know, doing whatever. And then you wake up one day, 20 years from now, you wind up as the guy you just said, which is, oh, no, I'm broken. Yeah, and I don't have anything. And I think the opposite of this is it's care, obviously. But it's also intention. And that ties into something that I saw you post on Instagram the other day, which is playing the movie of your life. And I wonder if that ties into what we can just talk about that real quick, because that's an awesome, awesome Pro. Yeah.

Jim Ramos 21:19

We need to especially I'm gonna talk to guys I call it a stressful but these guys are 3028 to 30 to 4550. And these guys are grinding it out there raising kids, they're all the resources are going to their kids, and they're trying to put their wife, you know, ahead of their children, you know, loving her first and they're just grinding it out, man, and they're just awesome. Dudes, they get tired. And what happens is the word apathy is not in the Bible, the word apathy, I think the first time it was used was in 15 6350, and 83. And basically, it means the inability to feel the inability to feel so or the inability to care. So when I take my knife, I can cut a callus right off my hand. And I don't feel a thing. It looks gross. You're like, oh, man, that's gross. Is that a cool knife, you know how much of that cost, whatever, but the callus that but when I don't have a callus and I cut that hand, it's gonna hurt like hell. And so we want to make sure we position every day of our life. So that we feel because if we decide instead of loving my children when I get home from work, because guys, you're not going to be remembered for your job. You're going to be remembered by what you've done from five o'clock to eight o'clock, nine o'clock at night. So when you come home from work, and if you sit on the couch for three hours, one night a week, I would say okay, that's okay, whatever. But you do that every night of the week. You're forming a callus. And so a callus on your hand is a c a l l o u s? callus? I'm sorry, it's a c a l l U S. But when your heart becomes calloused, it's c a l l o u s when you have a calloused heart, because you have failed to resist your weariness, your exhaustion after work. You failed to resist that over time as it compounds. It will compound to an apathetic life that doesn't care or feel for the things that really should matter to him.

Curt Storring 23:15

Man, you're good at it. Thank you for saying hey. Oh, yeah, this is so good. Okay, so guys, if you want to go through and, you know, figure out how to lead courageously and finish strong. Yeah, for sure. Okay, because I want to get in I want to get into to fatherhood now. And maybe, maybe we'll start with your own story. Was this something that came naturally to you? How did you step into that role?

Jim Ramos 23:43

There was no vagina that let's start. I'm just kidding. The bird the pollen came into was delivered by the store type of thing. No, I was I did not plan. I mean, I fell in love. You know, my two things. My two requirements for the woman I married were, she's got to be pretty. And she's got to love the Lord. And so I met that woman, and she's got to be outdoorsy, so three things. And so I married that woman. And we have three sons from three different forms of birth control. So none of them were planned, but we kind of went two years apart. It was just kind of, I don't know, God did it maybe. But I remember man. The day my oldest son James was born, the day the second he was born. It was like something went click in me and I just knew that this is I was a father. And I just have never gotten emotional. I've just never looked back from that, right. I've always been a father. And so it's something that guys don't prepare for women prepare for it. They've been thinking about this stuff all their lives. I'm gonna get married. I'm gonna marry me AMITA frog I'm gonna kiss him to become a prince. We'll get married live happily ever after. But we don't guys we don't think about that stuff. But so we have to position ourselves as a man and not a male. We have to step into the role as a man and a man says I'm going to excel appt responsibility, and I'm gonna I'm gonna be the man. I'm gonna there's like four phases of fatherhood in my opinion. And I'm gonna walk through those phases with my kids. And so that's what I did, man. So no, I didn't. And I had no idea what I was doing right. So I'm raising the first one, my wife and I, and then a second and he's an extrovert. We call him we used to call him why everything was why why, why, why, why, why? Then my second one comes along, and he's an introvert and everything was Hmm. So I've got wine I've got hmm, everything he'd say, hmm. He pretend like he did Harris. My third one comes along and he couldn't hear. He had errant hearing problems. He was icicle and what some like I got three kids 100 Why, you know what I mean? They're all just so different. But you learn how to love each of those kids, according to who they are. And as adults, it's funny. I interact with all three of them so different because of who they are. And so as far as a father grows, Curt, I feel like I've gone through three of what I think are four phases of fatherhood. The first one is I call it father. This isn't in any book or anything. It's something I've been pondering. So just lately so the first phase I call it father Fidelis. That's the Latin for faithful so you know, when your kids are little bit, you're just faithful man, you're just showing up. You're showing up to change diapers, you're showing up to work, you're showing up to love those babies want Mom, you're showing up to to spend time with your kids. It's just a man who's it's faithful or father Fidelis is a man, he's boring. He's so he's so he's so dependable. He's boring. His kids just expected to be at the games, they just expect them to be in their life. It's boring. It's you know, it's not exciting. Like the dad was never around, right? He finally showed up, it's boring, he's boring. The second phase is what I call father figure. You that's when your kids are entering their teen years, it's like you are a model for these kids. Because now they're saying, hey, well, you've been telling this stuff to us all our life, you know, our first 12 years. But now we're going to figure this out on our own. And if you didn't put out a good model, we're going to find a model, it's going to work for us. And this is where you have girls with daddy issues, right? And they go sleeping around trying to get get comfort and all the wrong places. So I want to be a father figure for my kids. I coached them in sports, I want to set a godly example in marriage. godly example. Just an example an all ask fitness. You know, it's funny, all my kids deeply love their wives, all my kids our own homes, they all my kids are into fitness and into health. You know, all my kids are into God. And so it's these are things that are so important, right that, that our kids are watching us going is this real for dad. And the third phase is what I call father friend. So my kids are 2426 and 28. This summer, I went backpacking with my youngest, we had an amazing, amazing fishing trip in the wilderness of Oregon. My other two boys, I've been doing a lot of elk hunting with them. And it's just so fun, because now I'm their friend. And yeah, I'm gonna coach him, I'm gonna give them advice. You know, I'm gonna, I'm gonna still kind of do the dad thing. But I, they, when my kids left the house, now they have the they now choose the relationship, right? And this is where they got workaholic, it goes wrong. My kids have to be in my home. But when they leave my home, they determine the temperature of the relationship. So my kids have determined I liked dad, and I want to be with dad, because he's He's my father. But he's transitioned into a friend, if that makes sense. And the last phase, I just call it Father forever. These are all F F words. Father forever. So this is that phase, that sage phase. This is the phase that your grandfather's in. This is the guy who's got the Wisdom, who's bearing the fruit in his family, with his children and grandchildren of a life. Well, if so now I've got my first granddaughter, right. And so I'm beginning to move into a sage. I've kind of a spread sage role, right? And so if we've done this, right, like your grandpa did, he can enjoy that sage role, and not have children and grandchildren room back in the house. Because they're all losers like him, you know what I'm saying? And so that's this, this Father forever, it's when we enjoy this the beautiful fruit of legacy.

Curt Storring 29:14

Man, that beautiful. That is such a good breakdown. And it's funny that one of the notes I had here is like, how does it change over time? Oh, yeah, just write that entire question, man. And the thing maybe because most of the guys listening have kids probably under 13 In this show, similar sort of audience 28 to 45 businessman guys with jobs, that sort of thing. And they've got younger kids. Can you talk a little bit more I know like being super dependable and being boring, ideal. Amazing. But what are some of the other things that our kids need from us growing up and is it simply as it is, I think just being the man that some people say you know, be the man you want your sons to become and your daughters to marry is that most of it is showing up and show weighing them how? What else comes up when I went? Yeah, because

Jim Ramos 30:03

you know what? That's a great question because you can show up and not be physically or mentally or emotionally present. I'm not saying being in the same room, for example, when you you just because you're going to your kids games, and you're there, you're physically present and they see you. And that's a beautiful thing. Honestly, it is. I'm not discounting that. But I'm talking about being more than physically present. I'm saying you need to be in gauged in their lives. And so I think that God boys and girls have different needs. I raised three sons, but I'm telling you from from loving one woman and having a granddaughter and working with for 25 years of ministry with countless young ladies who's got a lot of issues because a dad hears that your boy hears that the boys need to know, a father. In fact, this I don't want to pitch this, but I'm going to I have on my website, men arena.org, I have a free book, it's free. It cost you an email. So I guess it isn't free. It's called tell them what great fathers tell their sons and daughters. And I wrote this book when I was your age, as a reminder of what to tell my kids. So that's a really a really a wonderful, it's like 208 pages, and it's free. So it's a great resource. But when women young women need to know that they are enough. So what I tell the women in my life, I tell my my daughters in law, I tell my wife, I tell my granddaughter, I tell my niece, I just called my nice two days ago, I said hey, this is Jim Ramos. And I'm calling the most beautiful, intelligent woman on the planet. And my favorite niece, if this is you call me back. Of course, I called my sister in law. About an hour later, just to check in. I like to check in. I said, this is your brother in law. Jim, I just called to tell you, I'm thinking about you. And I love you have a great day. She called me back weeping. She's weeping because her own brothers don't do that. And so women need to know they're beautiful. They're enough. They're special. My granddaughter, I don't even call her by her name. I just call her the princess. And she'll say to me, Papa, don't you want to be with your princess. And so and she'll often put herself in a situation where she forces me to rescue her. And so if a father a father needs to be the guy that is rescuing his girls, he's telling them they're beautiful. He's tell them they're enough. He's telling they're special. He's telling them they're worthy. They absolutely have to hear that. And a father needs to tell his son something different. They are different, right? A son needs to know he's got what it takes. Might we're in the middle of elk season. My son James is struggling, right? He's hunting alone. I've went with him. Seven, eight days, eight, seven or eight days, but he hunted alone last week, and he tapped out early and went home. I go dude, I go. Don't be a pansy. You're better than that. When you get out there, you just make your mind up because you're gonna get it done. You've got this. So with my kids, I tell them, you my boys, you've got what it takes. There's, you've got it. You've got this. And so they need to know that because that's the question you quote a John Eldridge. You know, John Eldridge says in Wild at Heart that the underlying question every man's mind is, do I have what it takes? And it's the dad to say you do. And so I think you get a father who's affirming that the worthiness and the beauty and the you the unique, the uniqueness and how special his women his girls are, and he's affirming his sons that they've got what it takes, if that that guy is gonna produce superhuman children. I guarantee it.

Curt Storring 33:40

Oh, that's so yeah, I guarantee merging, man. I appreciate that. Yeah, that's so good. And, and I guess, like, I talked to a lot of dads, and the worldly view that the common cultural view is like, Oh, no teenagers. And it's like, well, that from what I'm hearing from good mature men who I respect is actually this the best time that yeah, and did you experience that, like when you raise them up in the way they should go? Presumably, they're not just going to switch when they become teenagers? And yes, there's things they're going to do, they're going to push, they're going to like, find their own independence and see where the boundaries are. But they should actually be a little bit closer to being that adult who can do things and see things and you can do things with them. That sounds exciting. Yeah. Was that your you're

Jim Ramos 34:21

quoted proverbs 22 Six, Train up a child the way he should go when he's older, not depart from it. And that literal, the literal Hebrew translation is Train up a child according to his bent according to his makeup, according to how he's different than the others. And so I'm gonna give you guys an illustration. So I'm a visual guy, my whole office is full of visual things, right? So I'm gonna imagine so imagine you go to a tire store, all right. Or let's say you go to your you go to a fitness center. You know, those workout rubber bands they have. Okay, you get one of those workout bands. Here's here's here's how a father should parent in the teen years. I'm telling you, this is the way to do it. And I learned this from my dad. You put that rubber band around you, and you put it around your kids. So let's say you're my son, Curt. So I put the rubber band around you and I put it around me, right? That teenager is going to go out and seek his own independence. And so I just let my kids do it. I let that rubber band Stretch, stretch, stretch, stretch, stretch. And at some point, though I go, you know, if that's far enough, and I come in, I bring it, I bring it back, I reengage. So you're in this constant rubber band tension with your teenagers, letting them explore but not too far, you don't want to hover over them. You don't want to helicopter Dad, you don't want to give him the participation trophy, you don't want to be a bulldozer dad, but you want to give them enough, enough room to go out there and explore. But they realize that you're always close enough where they can come you don't you don't allow a separation, that's going to be too drastic. And so what has happened is, when my kids were teenagers, we did that. And now as adults, they want to be around because they're used to the independence, but they're used to dad being close, even in the midst of them being independent. And I think if a guy can use that rubber band illustration, it is a game changer through the teen years.

Curt Storring 36:10

That's excellent man. And you know, I love the inspirational big picture stuff. And I'm like, Well, I got you here. Let's talk about this. So what what has worked for you because this is this is something that I'm exploring, as, you know, things are changing in my life in terms of beliefs, and faith and stuff like that. And I'm trying to figure out, what is the best way to instill this discipline that's talked about so much, because I love being rebuked? Maybe not when it happens. But afterwards, it's a gift. And it talks about that a lot in the Bible, obviously. But I'm looking at what does that actually mean? Because there's a lot of parenting stuff out there that I had been following before. They was very, maybe not permissive. But you know, a lot of it's very feeling based, very emotional. And that works to make them emotional feeling based, but it doesn't always work to correct the behavior and instill discipline. So I wonder what you have done? Let's just say the average 10 year olds are disobeyed or does something wrong? Like what's a good thing? Because I think there's a couple angles to it. But I'm curious to hear what you say,

Jim Ramos 37:11

well, first of all, we're you're you're raising your kids, my kids were raised in a generation where your that my kid here the age of my sons. So you know, the the technology, they were getting cell phones, most of them were flip phones, they are using t nine to text. They weren't smartphones, I think and I remember that, I think in 2008, or not, what was it? Eight or nine was the first smartphone I can't remember. So this so your kids are raised in a generation of smartphones, right? So you they have a $1,200 phone in their hand, you're paying, you know, X amount of dollars a month for this phone. So I want to stop there. And I want to say this to parents. Rule number one and being a parent is you are the parent. That's the number one rule you are their parent, the four phases of fatherhood, you're not their friend until they're in their 20s and move out of house when they're in your home. You are the parent. So that's the first thing. The second thing is that I would say to parents is they wall in your home must obey your household values. So in our family, we said hey, guys, you're gonna go to church twice a week. Your dad works at a church and I don't care where you go to church, I don't care what youth group you're in. But you're gonna pick and you're gonna go right. And so we had certain things that we my kids had cars given to them by their grandparents. So I said, Okay, great. How are you going to pay for your insurance and your gas? Well, what I go get a damn job. So they did they got jobs. My youngest son was a four, three sport athlete, all four years of call high school, had a job got a 3.9 grade point average. So I was the meanest dad on the planet. But I raised and I've raised three exceptional kids all three with college degrees. Because I, I've refused as a parent, to allow them to become soft, because I'm spoiling them rotten. I think a mistake. A lot of parents tell their kids as well. Your job is to go to school. That's your job. I go, Oh, hell, no, it's not a job. Your job is to get a job, go to school to get grades. But if you have a car and you think you want to buy, get a job, get a real job and get grades and play sports. So and then I would say, the third thing I'm not getting into, like spank your kid yell at your kid, because these things are way produced are predominant things over the actual discipline itself. The third thing is this. This permissive thing with parents that you know if you're going to be permissive and laid back, all that tells me is that you hate your child. The Bible says that the father who does not discipline his kids hates them. So I love my children and I love my children. And because I love my children, I discipline them just like a good that's what a good father does, man That's what God and heaven does, man. He disciplines me, he tests me. He tries to make me my best version. And it's not easy. There's a lot of resistance. It's like I was working out this morning the gym, that sucked. But man, I'm stronger because I do the PEC dance right now, if you want to be to look at that, look at that, look at that anyway, but I'm just saying, but I do things I don't want to do. And then the fourth thing is this man, and this is going to really hurt the my generation, the baby, the boot busters are Gen we're called Gen Xers. We really did the millennial parents of disservice. And we also have raised Gen Z, Generation Z or so we have we raised millennials and zeros. And here's where we failed, massively failed as parents, you need to let your kids experience danger. Put allow them to be in situations that will challenge them. Right. Not only encourage you don't, don't, don't hover over them, don't garden, protect them, because at some point they're going to get out there in the world is going to frickin destroy them, because they're so soft. So you as a parent need to win that rubber band, right? You're gonna let your kid get into a dangerous situation, he may get hurt, he may get wounded, but you're gonna allow him to step out and then you're you're there for him. But we have to allow our kids to get cut from their basketball teams. I mean, that didn't hurt Michael Jordan very much he got cut from his high school basketball team. You know, we've got to allow our kids to have dating disasters. We've got to don't get me wrong. We want to be well, why isn't all this but we have to allow our children to experience the repercussions of their stupid choices. And we need to allow that. And I'm not saying let them run free, obviously. But I'm saying we need to stop hovering over our kids because we're making them weak.

Curt Storring 41:54

Man, that is so good. I have been thinking about this a lot. Because one of the things that hurts most as a dad is seeing your kid. Yeah, I know. And so it becomes one of those natural things where it's like, Oh, I gotta protect them. But you know what, when I think back in my life, every single thing that's good about it came because I failed. Or there was a hard thing. Yeah. So why would I take that opportunity for my kids? And I think,

Jim Ramos 42:16

well, I was gonna say I've got a friend of mine, right? Oh, dear friend, his kid is a great athlete. His kids are starting varsity quarterback as a sophomore. Now realizing COVID. He missed two years of middle school because of COVID. And then he broke his elbow last year had surgery. So he's only got half a season. And he's had he's struggling a little bit. And his dad said, yeah, we're just really trying to protect him right now. I'm like, Oh, don't do that. Let the crowds crusade he's a quarterback. The quarterback is the hero or the zero. You're either in the penthouse or the outhouse. And if he doesn't learn to deal with adversity, he's never going to be a great quarterback. So you have to let him experience that danger, without protecting him from all of the things around him because it's common baby. So I mean, I'm hearing this from my buddy gone. That's the wrong approach. He's he your son is stepping out to be the hero. Stop protecting the heroes, the guy who's who's going against all gods to to defeat this mortal enemy. Right?

Curt Storring 43:16

Totally. Yeah, one of the things I heard, I think it was, might have been in Dylann roofs on my podcast, he suggested that parents ought, if the kids are going to do something that breaks their arm, let them do it if their kids are going to do something that kills them, okay, you know, lead director, whatever sort of thing you know, but like, that's the those are the two differences. Rather than, might they get a small scratch Oh, no, don't do this. And he called it lawnmower parenting because people are writing their kids. Who do that's, that is,

Jim Ramos 43:43

I call that bulldozer. They're both they're knocking down all the obstacles, right? So there's their kids clean path, like so. If you do that for your kid, then what's going to happen when there is an obstacle? Like if you're always it's just, but we'll see. But the problem is my generation bro, my generation. We were all about fun. I mean, you think about the as you think a pink you think of, you know, mark the mullet party in the business in the front part in the back. You think of painting, you know, neon colors. It's all fun, fun, fun, fun. So my generation has been all about having fun, right? That's what the 80s are known for. But the problem is, life is not fun. Life is it's hard. It can be brutal. Man, I got a a guy I'm doing a Bible study with right now he's dying of cancer. So we're doing a Bible study on heaven. He's a 65 year old guy, right? Life is brutal, man. So we've got to be careful. My generation has to be careful because not everybody wins. Not everybody makes a team not everybody can be have an A in the class. And so man that's life that's life. And so I think as got As parents, we got to be really used wisdom. They're

Curt Storring 44:50

totally Yemen. So let's talk last thing about, like the guy who's listening to this, and he's like, dude, I'm ready to go, what sorts of steps Would you suggest for a man who's entering this from not living a life in integrity? Maybe he's apathetic. Maybe he's not leading courageously. What are some of the things I know we talked about this in terms of integrity getting around other men and not being? You know, with a callous heart? Is there something else that you encourage guys who are kind of new to this based on like, you know, I want to be like this, but I don't know if I can work out all the time. I don't know if I can do this, like Jim's pretty hardcore guy. What do I do to become the man? Well,

Jim Ramos 45:27

I would just say this man, bro, you're already doing it. You're listening to this podcast. So you could have been listening to country music on the way to work. You could have been, you know, listen to the YouTube but you're listening to this podcast. So I would say that these guys that are listening to podcasts are already stud level to me, right? They're like, they're like the studs in the in the corral. Right. So now we got to get them out of the crowd, get them running. And so I would say take the next step, guys. So for us, what we tell guys, is we say okay, we're gonna give you a ton of content. We've got you know, 46,000 followers on tik tik, we got 24,000 on Instagram, we've got number one podcast on Spotify for Krishna. And we got tons of free content for you. But at some point, and this is where I would say, at some point, and I'm not pitching my own thing, this guy has to say, I'm going to stop doing the free stuff, and I'm going to make an investment. I'm going to go to the gym and get a membership, I'm going to go buy a book, I'm going to get I'm going to pay money to get into a mastermind group, I'm going to pay money to get in this group, you know, whatever program, they're going to make an actual investment of time and resources to grow. That's what I've been doing all my life. I've I read 60 books last year, I'm on path 350. This year, I read three this week alone, right. And so I'm passionate about that, investing in personal growth. So I would say that that would be the next step begin to have it cost you a little bit and find things that you resonate with. And if they're listening to your podcast that resonate with you, Curt, so I don't know, if you have a next step for them. You know, there should be a next step. Maybe you're coaching these guys, maybe there's a small group for them. For us, we tell the guys go to men arena.org, click join the program button and get involved one of our many virtual teams that happen all around the world. That's what we tell guys. So that's really the next step for these guys. And then after that, they'll they'll want to take another step. I would say the key key thing here, including I'm sorry, is this. I'm 56 years old, and I'm still not in my sweet spot. So I would tell these guys, you never stop growing. You never stop growing. If you have a pulse you have God has a purpose. So don't ever stop growing. Don't ever stop trying to have that six pack. Don't ever stop trying to have that that master you know, master that craft of yours. Don't ever stop doing that.

Curt Storring 47:43

Yeah, action is the absolute and I think that's like, that's such a perfect way to end it. Because you get all this content, you're listening to podcast, and then what if your life doesn't change today or tomorrow? What are you doing? And I think for me that a lot of this stuff is driven by understanding just how important this role is. And as a father, literally nobody else can take your role as a husband, literally nobody else can take your role. You are the only person and nobody's coming to say that it's true. And if you're not the one stepping out, if you're not the one stepping up to lead your family, nobody else's and your family will suffer. Can you How could you take that on? Now that you know if you've never thought about that, first of all, you heads in the sand. But second of all, now that you know you have to take action. And I agree wholeheartedly, I just I just became a member of a coaching program that was definitely not cheap. But man, I have been on fire since I joined that thing because I've got skin in the game. And now it's just not it's not absolutely. So man. Jim, thank you so much. This has been absolutely fire. I'm gonna go away from here and just crush the rest of my day now. But where I think you've mentioned a couple times, but where can guys find you? And what's the best way to do?

Jim Ramos 48:47

Yeah, if they just go to men and honestly, men in arena.org will give you access to all of our resources. If they want to follow us on social media. It's basically the men in the arena. Don't look for Jim Ramos. I don't care about Jim Ramos, Jim Ramos doesn't need to be remembered. What needs to be remembered is the God who made you and that you live for that guy. So go to our organization, we're going to point you in that direction. And we'll point you away from Ramos. So men in the arena or the men in the arena we'll get you to where you need to be

Curt Storring 49:15

beautiful Jim, thank you so much for all this man. I'm feeling blessed with all the wisdom you share so far

Jim Ramos 49:19

anytime brother thank you so much for having me on the show

Curt Storring 49:28

thank you for listening to the dad work podcast that's it for this episode. But if you would like to stay in touch between weekly episodes, why don't you go over to Instagram and follow me there because I dropped a number of things throughout the week that are related to what we talked about on this podcast but usually go a little bit deeper. provide some tips you can find me on Instagram at dadwork.curt that's DADWORK.CURT and please if you have been getting something out of this podcast if it has touched you if it has improved your marriage, your parenting your Life, would you please leave a quick review on Apple or Spotify, leave a rating. If you have a few extra seconds, leave a quick review. That's the best way that we can get this work in the hands of more fathers. And I truly believe that we change the world, one father at a time, because each father that parents better that loves better raises children who do the same. And in just a couple of generations, I feel like we could be living in a world much better than the one we live in today. Your review will help along that path. And I thank you so much for being here to listen until next week. We'll see you then.

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