Strong Fatherhood in a Soft World – Nick Freitas

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Today’s guest is Nick Freitas.

We go deep today talking about:

  • Strong fatherhood in a soft world
  • Why we shouldn’t be surprised about the state of society, and what to do about it
  • How not to fall into the doom and gloom mindset as the world burns
  • Your privilege and responsibility as a man, husband, and father
  • A father’s role in a child’s identity
  • The secret to successful marriage
  • What it really means to lead your family

Nick Freitas is a husband, father, Green Beret combat veteran, and a pro-liberty member of the Virginia House of Delegates.

Find Nick online at:
Instagram: @nickjfreitas
Twitter: @NickForVA
YouTube: Nick Freitas
Podcast: Making the Argument with Nick Freitas 


If you are the foundation of your family, you are the firm footing. They build their lives on. You carry a glorious burden and you never dream of laying it down. You carry it with joy and gratitude. You show up, even when you don't feel like it. You lead, serve, love and protect. You are a father. This is the Dad.Work podcast where men are forged into elite husbands and fathers by learning what it takes to become harder to kill, easier to love and equipped to lead. Get ready to start building the only legacy that truly matters, your family

Curt Storring 0:59

welcome to the Dad.Work podcast. This is Curt Storring, your host and the founder of Dad.Work and today I am absolutely thrilled to be joined by Nick Freitas, Nick is a husband father, Greenbrae combat veteran, and a pro Liberty member of the Virginia House of Delegates. And you can find his content which guys, I guarantee you, you are going to want to find more of his content on Instagram. Nick J straightest, that's F r e i t a s same username on YouTube, Nick J. Freitas, or just search his name anywhere, you'll find him. He's all over the place. But guys, we go deep today talking about strong fatherhood in a software world, and why we shouldn't be surprised about the state of society, but also what to do about it. How not to fall into the doom and gloom mindset as the world basically burns around us your privilege and responsibility as a man, husband and father, a father's role in a child's identity, the secret to a successful marriage. And finally, what it really means to lead your family. This guys was an absolute treat an absolute blast. I am a huge fan of Nick, and it was such an honor to have him on the podcast, I think you're going to enjoy this one. If you're looking for just a no nonsense way to become a more masculine, confident, amazing leader in your family for your family. This show this episode is the one that you're going to want to follow. So without further ado, I'm just going to jump right in here. This time you guys know the drill, like comment, share, leave a review all the rest of that kind of stuff, download all the free stuff we've got on Dad.Work The website. Otherwise, just jump in. You're gonna love it. Here we go with Nick Freitas. All right, Dad's back for another episode. And I'm extremely excited today. Because man, I have just been going through all of your Instagram content, your youtube content, and you're like, probably my favorite guy right now in terms of putting out things. And I just gotta say, I love the fact that you still live in a country that can elect you. Because here in Canada, there'll be no way. And so I'm extremely excited to have you on thank you for coming on here.

Nick Freitas 2:55

appears pretty good, right?

Curt Storring 2:57

Well, yeah. Well, thanks for coming on, man. And I really appreciate this. And you can you just give us a quick background in terms of how long you've been married? How many kids have you got? And I'm going to jump into a couple of questions on that kind of thing.

Nick Freitas 3:07

Sure, sure. Well, I got married in 1999. To my high school sweetheart, we've been married 24 years now. I was 19. She was 20. At the time, I like to remind her that she married a teenager. Shortly after that, when of the military, you know, served there. And now we live in Virginia with our three children ages 2017 and 15. So my oldest is my daughter, my oldest daughter, my son, and then my youngest daughter.

Curt Storring 3:32

Amazing. Excellent. Okay, so the thing that I found you most recently with an honestly, I got probably a ton of followers from a comment that I made on one of your reels. And it was about predators, basically. And you know what, the comment that I made got more likes than some of my own posts. So you have a huge reach. I'm really grateful for that. Because the content you're talking about is so important for dads and not a lot of guys are willing to take the stand that you're willing to take. And I think that's tragic. Because if we're not willing as fathers to stand up for our children, especially with what we see going on right now because you know, the world's virtue signaling, and we're not allowed to say certain things about certain people. I think that's a huge detriment to us standing up for our children. So I'm curious, in terms of like strong fatherhood in a soft world. What do you consider to be fatherhood? Let's just take it like 30,000 foot, what are our roles as a father, from what you've experienced what you've seen, that we can do in such a soft world that's putting us down as making masculinity toxic, all that kind of stuff? Let's just get a real broad perspective of what you think your role is, as a father, especially in today's world?

Nick Freitas 4:36

Sure. I think obviously, fatherhood starts off with how you treat your wife and the mother of your children. It's one of the earliest signals that gets sent to your children and what their own expectations should be, whether it's your son, whether it's your daughter, they are both learning things about what a healthy relationship looks like, what healthy parenting looks like, what a healthy marriage looks like. So that's first and foremost. Also good marriages tend to lead to children. So once you Have I do believe that there's similar obligations, your job as a father is to, I believe, to be a spiritual head within your household, I think it's also to protect, it's to provide, it's to assist with nurturing. It's also about I think, understanding that you have different obligations to your daughters versus your sons. Now, there's, there's certain things that are universal across the board. But there are various things that you need to do and kind of understand about the distinct nature between raising a daughter and raising a son. I think one of the most important roles for a father and attributes for a father is that you are, you are the Safe Harbor on the storm. And that doesn't start by simply, you know, being there when something bad happens, that actually starts long before you ever get to that situation. It's the sort of thing where you have demonstrated both love, you've demonstrated compassion, but you've, you've demonstrated strength and an ability to bring order to chaos. And what ends up happening is, I think it's important, a lot of times we talk about men are not, you know, emotionally in tuned as they need to be okay, fine, whatever. I think there's a certain degree, I don't want to be flippant about that. It's not that we shouldn't develop those capabilities. But one of the reasons why men so focused so much on the strength on maybe more of those stoic principles and whatnot, is because we're not allowed to fail when things get bad. And that means we have to adequately prepare ourselves spiritually, emotionally, intellectually, physically, to be able to deal with a whole host of potential problems that might come our way that might adversely affect our family. And they need to feel secure and comfortable in the fact that our dad can handle it. Because if you can first demonstrate, you can first lay that groundwork that you are competent and capable of being that that safe harbor in the storm, it affects a number of other things outside of that event ever taking place. Right when when you're when your child needs to talk to you about something and this is this is where the the tenderness and compassion comes in, right, you're first establishing that you're strong, you're capable, and that you're there to protect them. And then the next thing that you're you're developing kind of in tandem, is a certain tenderness for your your children, for your spouse, that they get to see that maybe the rest of the world doesn't, right, that's not to say that you shouldn't be able to demonstrate compassion outside of your family, I think you should. But there's a certain tenderness that belongs to them. And when they can feel secure in that, and they know that when they have to come to you with either good news or with bad news, you're a safe person to come to because you're going to give sound advice, you're going to stand by the truth, but you're going to do it in love. I think that's critical. So that's a lot for fathers to have to try to accomplish and master. But I think the harder that we work toward achieving that that spiritual, emotional, physical, you know, professional competence, we end up being the sort of husbands we end up being the sort of fathers that their wives love and admire, and that their children look up to an either aspire to be like, or maybe in the case of your daughter aspire to find a husband, which shares those sorts of attributes that she grew up with that made her feel safe, loved and respected.

Curt Storring 8:11

Men. And that is such a wonderfully succinct way to put it. And at some point, I'm going like, yes, obviously. And that's not obvious anymore. And I'm curious what you think is going on? Because that's not, that's not what I learned. I didn't learn very much. I mean, a lot of us grew up without fathers who are leading us in that, and I had to learn this the hard way, that, you know, personally, almost cost me everything. But why is this so hard these days? Is it a cultural thing? Is it a lack of fathers? Is it something else? What do you see being the problem that is getting in the way of what should be so obvious for men?

Nick Freitas 8:46

I mean, I think that is a very complex question. If I wanted to try to simplify it, I would say that I think what you said before about, we have more and more people within society growing up without strong fathers in the household without any father at all period. And then we have a lot of other fathers that seem to be confused about what their proper role is within society. And I think a lot of that does have to do with culture. I think that when we abandon certain norms like so, for me, my Christian faith is very important to me. It provides a blueprint for what my responsibilities are as a husband and a father. Now, you know, that obviously, there's things that aren't specifically addressed, maybe like scripturally, or whatnot, but it can be inferred based off of what my baseline responsibilities are. But I think we have more and more men that are either growing up with without those sorts of convictions well, okay, if you're not gonna get the conviction there, where are you going to get it from? And culture on a whole western culture specifically, right, this is this is not the same problem that it is in other parts of the world. It really is the West, struggling with this idea of what does good masculinity look like? And we're struggling with this at the same time that we're becoming increasingly secular as a culture overall, at the same time that we've lost track of what actually caused it. The reason why I bring up the secular them is because what constitutes objective morality or objective truth in such an environment? And if you don't have some that you can point to? And you can say, No, that's true. No, I know objectively that is true, not because I feel like it, it's not my truth. It's not yours. No, that's true. Right? That's a compass point in order or when you give that up, when you replace it with, you replace it with preference, you replace it with popularity. And one of the roles that men are supposed to play within society, is that we are supposed to be seeking out and protecting and defending truth. Despite whether or not it becomes unpopular. One of the problems that you see with it within a society that is struggling with all this identity crisis is I think, because when you have so many fathers that are either not in the home, or they are in the home, but they don't play a leadership role with respect to their family with respect to their children, your kids are now looking again, they're looking for that harbor in the storm. life's gonna throw a lot of curveballs at you, they are sitting there looking for instruction, and they will glean what they can through observation. But if you're not providing instruction, that doesn't mean nobody is it's just it's going to be somebody that probably doesn't care about your kids as much as you do. And I think a lot of men right now are forced into this cultural situation. What's the Well, no, it's it's our time to just kind of sit back because after all, we're responsible for most of the world's problems throughout history. And you know, my gosh, we've just felt, and I just, I feel so bad about Shut up. Our men responsible for a lot of problems throughout history, yes. But men are also responsible for a lot of the solutions throughout history. And so maybe what we learned from this is not man bad, maybe what we learn is masculinity, just like femininity, has certain attributes associated with it. Now, the attributes commonly associated with things like masculinity have to do with things like competitiveness, aggression, a capacity for violence, those things have negative out workings, and they are positive outward gains. So the attributes exist, they can be used for good they can be used for evil. The question is, what are you using them for? What are you developing? And what are you using them for? And then what are you teaching other people with respect to how they should be used? And so I think some of this, I just so much of it, I just want to look at man and be like, dude, just snap out of it. Right? You don't you don't I'm sorry, look at all of human history, you don't have to put up with this narrative that you're supposed to sit over in the corner. You know, just paying penance for things that you might not have ever done. You are supposed to stand up and lead. If you don't feel competent in that will then work on improving yourself, so you can feel competent for it. It's perfectly reasonable for a man that isn't displaying the positive attributes associated with masculinity, to feel like something is wrong, because guess what it is, but what you don't get to do is then look at everything else in the world be like, well, I guess my job is to just sit here. No, it isn't. You not only have the responsibility, you actually have the privilege of assuming your proper role within your family within society. But it is gonna require you to develop those skill sets those capabilities, those capacities, and then point them towards something which is actually positive and true and noble, and then go out there and willing to fight for it. And when when societies are comprised of men that are willing to do that, they tend to flourish, along with other criteria, but when when they tend to that they flourish, and when they don't, everybody suffers as a result.

Curt Storring 13:26

Yeah, man, I really like what you say about that. And there's so many points that all wrapped together, I think a lot of this wraps together with what you said about faith and having something that is true. Because you get this idea about the fear of man rather than the fear of God. And that's what leads man I think, to go, Well, I just want to sit back, I don't want to get in trouble. I don't want to be canceled. I want to be, you know, whatever the buzzword of the day isn't guys are just so weak. And that's so frustrating to me. But I think it also goes into like, why the West seemingly is under attack. Because at least for me, and I'm wondering if you thought about this, and this is the bastion of truth, and these days, the bastion of God in many respects, that built up this North American, this western culture. And it seems to me no surprise, that this is the thing under attack. You don't see this happening in cultures that you know, might have different religious beliefs and all that kind of stuff because it doesn't seem like that's where truth actually is. And I wonder if you see the cultural war on the West as being perhaps an attack on truth itself when it comes to Christianity, other things like that, is that something that's come across your radar?

Nick Freitas 14:33

I think it's interesting in the in the West, there's typically only one religious belief you are not only permitted to but encouraged to insult demean maligned slander, and that is Christianity. You really don't see that as much with with other religious faiths within the United States. The other thing that I think is going on here and this is the part where again, sometimes when I talk about this people will will try to turn it into something almost conspiracy Tutorial, which I think is kind of absurd. But when you look at when you look at another Western theory, right Marxism, Marxism had this this vision for society, which was based off of certain criteria that is very appealing to Western to Western society in general. One of them is this notion of egalitarianism, right? It's this idea that we're, we're all equal, and we all have a certain amount of equal value and whatnot. Marx looked at that as primarily, like an economic framework. And he certainly tried to remove God from it. He was very, very hostile toward religion in general, but Christianity specifically. And so it was this idea of, well, how do we create this egalitarian society? So you in part, it was because he was identifying certain problems within societies that currently existed, which is perfectly fair, right, perfectly fair to have have an honest critique about something. But the overall solution he came up with is that people are generally defined by their economic class. And the only way they're going to be able to throw off their changes for the workers of the world to unite and for us to embrace a system where we adopt this axiom of from each according to their ability to each according to their needs. And, and all that sounded very, very nice until they started attempting to implement it. And then what they found was this, okay, this, this seems to run completely contrary to human nature in general. And not just the bad parts of human nature, but just human nature. We like the idea of being able to understand you know, what we own and to be able to work for something and be able to keep it and to be able to, you know, we feel, we may like society in general, but we feel stronger about our own families than we do about necessarily the family next door, even if we still care about him. And Marx really look at this as a problem. And he talks about developing the new socialist man, right. And again, I'm not trying to get overly political, I'm just trying to draw a philosophical line between one theory and one worldview of how things should exist versus a different one. And what you saw over time is you saw versions of this with critical theory in the Frankfurt School and Herbert Marcuse. And you saw post modernism and with, you know, Foucault, and John Paul Sartre with a consistent socialism and Derrida with deconstructionism. And there's a common theme that kind of ran through all of this. And it was this idea of assigning purpose and assigning, assigning ultimate purpose, meaning and truth to an individual's identity. And then ultimately, how they responded with the collective, I notice is a really wonky she kind of explanation. But if you look at the logical outworking of that theory, a lot of the traditional aspects of what we've kind of believed in the West that like, loosely, there is a God, there is such a thing as an objective moral order. There is such a thing as a kind of an ordered universe, which allows us to utilize things like logic, deduction, induction, the scientific method, this allows us to be able to, you know, engage in freedom of inquiry, where we're allowed to challenge things, we're allowed to question things. And we have a certain expectation that we're going to be able to come back with a reasonable response in order to arrive at conclusions that we can all use to improve our lives. One of the things that was established kind of early on, and a thinker named Graham shave, who was imprisoned by Mussolini. And he started to say that, well, look, the economic theory of Marxism isn't working. And what we really need is to replace kind of the norms that we see within society, which, of course, are rooted in these, you know, hierarchies and oppressor versus oppressed. And we have to replace that with something else. So we got to replace that worldview with something else, we don't just do that by making a political theory, you don't just do that by making it an economic theory, you do that by creating a completely different worldview. And over the last several decades, we're now seeing things that used to just be kind of in the sociology or poli sci departments, or English departments, in some cases within the university system, moving into popular culture in a way that we've never recognized before. And and so all of that to say, here's what I think it comes down to, we are now entering into a world that in many respects, is post Christian, which is to say that the Christianity no longer plays the same dominant role within culture that it used to, as far as mitigating the way that we think about ourselves the way we think about other people's the way we think about our responsibility to our families, to society in general to God, that's been replaced with a whole new structure a whole new way to think about society, politics, economics family, and it is, by definition, hostile to the way that Western civilization has largely been built. Because you're not going to replace the current system unless you have an alternative system that you can push people to. And that alternative system sees a much different role. For men. It sees a much different role it is tends to be more hostile toward the traditional nuclear family. It tends to be hostile toward the idea of meritocracy. It tends to be hostile to the idea of individual liberties and freedoms and placing those with collective liberties, which I don't really think exists, but be that as it made, and and ultimately it's replaced God or this sense of objective moral values with kind of this this theory of identity combined with politics. So So what is true what is good? What is noble? Well, it's it's those things which over turn the oppressor in favor of the oppressed, and using political processes in order to arrive at that, as is the preferred mechanism for achieving it. So the reason why I go through the trouble of explaining all that, or at least giving you my explanation of all that, is because I don't I think if we don't properly understand that this didn't start yesterday, this is this is not just because if you haven't been paying attention, this looks like this looks nuts. You know, five years ago, nobody was taking their kids to drag shows that that was not a thing. I didn't care where you were on the political spectrum, that just wasn't a thing. Five years ago, we were not arguing about books containing openly pornographic images, being in our kids, you know, schools, that was not a thing. And now it is. And, you know, toxic masculinity wasn't a thing to to define masculinity, you know, as broadly as it currently does. And now it is. And again, I would, I would just make the larger, larger argument that this is this is all philosophically connected, because certain people believe that the traditional way that the West would was kind of developed with certain Judeo Christian values, certain with, you know, kind of presuppositions about logic and science and the role of men and women within society. They see that as bad, and it has to be replaced. And we're starting to see in a far more practical and everyday sense, what it's going to be replaced with. And so men are going to have to look at this and decide, well, is that what you want? Do you agree with this? I personally don't. And so I see my job is not only to protect, and and provide for my family, and to raise my children in the way that I think is appropriate. But also take that additional step to make the argument for why No, you know, for all the flaws that we see with with respect to US history, or the history of the West, in general, there are certain precepts, notions and ideas which are true and noble, and I believe beautiful, and worth fighting for. And one of the things that I think has been ripped away from men is this idea that everything that we thought was worth fighting for, at one point, we're now being told is bad and evil, and we need to learn from it. And if you want to create a generation of men that just feel absolutely lost robbed them of their history and purpose at the same time. So that's where I think it's incumbent upon all of us to stand up for those things to fully acknowledge where things have gone wrong, and where we have done things, you know, inappropriately or where men can improve. But by no means to give up the fundamental premise upon which I think our society has been built.

Curt Storring 22:58

And yeah, thank you for that. And I think that is so good to hear that it's not just, oh, I stopped paying attention for a couple of years. And you know, something that was a totally normal thing to do and 99. Now, I'm a racist, homophobic, whatever. And then I don't know what to do with my identity at this point. I'm curious from all of that I can only imagine guys are like, Oh, well, now what then? Like, this is just going on for decades. How do you not be a Doomer? Yeah, how do you do something about it? Like, I've got some ideas that I'm trying to do. But I mean, you're in the forefront of this. What are you telling men to do about this so that they don't just like pack it in even more?

Nick Freitas 23:34

Sure. We have this conversation a lot on our on our podcast. And one of the things I really focus on men, whenever they start to go down this path of like, kind of the doom and gloom thing is, by all means, be frustrated, be angry, be upset about what's going on. But tough. Seriously, I don't know. I have gotten in trouble with this with men before we'd like well, it's easy. And you know, for you to just go on and flippantly say this, like, No, it isn't easy. I don't like this situation. I don't like where we found ourselves. But what are we going to do about it? I mean, if you just want to sit and complain about it, then you're essentially becoming the sort of man that they want you to become the isolated Insell that sits on the room complaining on Twitter, that girls are mean to them. Like, I'm sorry, there's only one way out of this. When you look at that cycle of strong men make good times good times make weak men weak main, make hard times hard times make strong men. Guys, I got news for you, we're going into that Hard Times piece. Right? Do you want to be weak right now? Or do you want to be strong? I described it this way once. If you are familiar with scripture, and you know the story kind of, of, of David and Solomon, there's this really interesting point where David is talking to God and He wants to build the temple. He has these plans to build a temple and he's talking to the Prophet and saying, Yeah, this is one of the do. Prophet says God is with you. Go Go forth, and do it. And the God speaks to the prophet comes back to David and says, no, no, you're not going to be A temple, your son is I think all of us want to live in that era of Solomon, there's peace, there's prosperity, things are going incredibly well that you don't have a lot of conflict or violence. It's almost like everybody had a clear sense, you know, at least starting out a clear kind of sense of identity. There were good times, right, at least initially. But those good times don't happen if David hadn't fought all the wars first. And so I think, in many respects, we've seen what good times look like and we want to desperately hold on to them. And I think it's about time we understand that more is going to be required of us. And rather than, than looking on that with some sort of, kind of hopeless nostalgia, we need to start preparing ourselves that no, we get to be the strong man and the weak times that will build the good ones, but only if we're willing to, right, this idea that it's a foregone conclusion that bad times will create strong men. No, no, that's what you hope will happen. That's what the men of those times chose to be. And so now we got a question to ask ourselves, are we going to be those men? And I hope the answer is yes. But here's what I'll tell you. I don't care what anybody else's answer is, already know what mine is. That's my choice. Nobody gets to take it from me, it's my choice, it's my responsibility, I choose to assume my responsibility within the times that I'm born. And then at times that I live. And more and more, I think that's what men need to understand. You can look at a number of things outside of your control, and you can be frustrated by it. Or you can focus on the things that you do control, and you can do something about it. And I would suggest that's where you need to spend the vast majority of your time.

Curt Storring 26:39

Man, okay, just rewind that a little bit. Guys, listen to that, again, because this is absolutely exactly where we need to go with this because especially as a father, if you're looking at the world around you, and you're not going, what I can't believe I'm seeing what I'm actually seeing here. That should be all the motivation you need. And I love the fact that you brought the multigenerational David to Solomon. And onward into this, I was just having discussion. Two days ago, with our group, I was journaling on this in the morning, because I noticed something about myself, and that I was still operating with ego where I wanted to build the temple. And I've got three sons. And I noticed in that moment that I thought that if I could build the temple, my legacy would be secure, not realizing, consciously, like I know this stuff, but not realizing consciously that I would have the legacy that I wished if I set my children up to have a greater Kingdom than me. And that was very challenging to my ego, because it becomes multigenerational becomes about starting the thing that I don't get to see end. And I think with materialism, and everything coming for short term wins for dings on Instagram, for you know, the UberEATS that can show up in 10 minutes, men have become so casual, and so addicted to this immediacy of gratification. And that's not what, that's not what life is about. That's not what manhood is about us know what any of these things are, what as a leader, I mean, I was just really struck the other day about exactly what you're saying is, if my son, especially my oldest for me, if he's not ready to take the crown for me, without regicide, I will have failed. And men that just cut to my core. Are these things that you're also thinking about with raising your son? I think you've got two daughters and a son. You said, Yeah, I'm curious how that wraps up. Because as I'm thinking about my oldest, he's the one that I've had to work the most on my relationship because I was rubbish. I was a terrible dad and husband for so many years. And he suffered because of that. And it's, it's different, I think, for my other sons, because they're gonna be kings in their own right of their own realms. But now I'm struggling with, okay, I want my oldest to take my kingdom. But I also want as a father, it's not like an actual kingdom. So yeah, I'd have my middle son and my youngest son do that. What are you thinking about in terms of that multigenerational roll for you setting this up for your kids, so that they can come in and like do more and build on your foundation? And maybe there's nothing else that needs to be said, it's just get to work, guys. But is there any loss or thoughts you have on this?

Nick Freitas 29:10

There's a couple things. One of the things they never tell you, when you become a father of a son is that what you're doing is training your replacement, your training and replacement for kind of the family in general for society in general. That's what you're doing. And I will say this, I had a great grandfather, my mom and dad split up when I was three years old, but my dad really, really fought to be a good part of my life. And my mother really encouraged it. So I as divorces go, it was about the best you could ask for from a child's perspective. And I remember we've actually got a video going out on this this weekend. But one of the stories I talked about that, as I remember sending in my grandfather's Dan, when I was young and him telling the story about when he was 16. He threatened my great grandfather, his father, that if he didn't sign them down, or if he didn't take them down to the recruiting office and sign them up. For the Navy, he would run away become a ward of the state. And then the government would allow him to join then because it was right after Pearl Harbor, and he was gonna go at 16 year olds, he was gonna go off and fight. I remember hearing about that very, very, very young. And then another incident that struck me was I remember going to my father's retirement from the LAPD was a homicide detective. And it was the first time anyone could remember a family of victims showing up in order to present him with something as as a signifying their gratitude. These were these were formative formative points of my life from being, you know, pretty young to being a little bit older and whatnot. And, and I also remember the first time I got to sit down with my grandfather and my father, after I had returned from my first combat tour in Iraq as a Greenbrae. And it was as if I was I was now sitting among them, not under them. And they were happy that I was in that place. I had my own my own challenges, my own triumphs, my own defeats. And I was able to sit there with two other men that I admired and share my stories and add them to the collection of our family stories. And I remember thinking about that as one day, I want to be sitting there as a grandfather, with my son, and my grandson, listening to them, share those same stories, watching my son, raise his son, watching my grandson achieve the right to be able to sit amongst us with his own stories. And when you start to look at it from that perspective, as as a legacy, not just your own individual accomplishments, it adds an entirely new perspective. And I would argue motivation to constantly improve and to work past some of the frustrations in order to achieve something that's it's pretty incredible. And I would also say this, there's a lot of men out there that never had that initial experience, they didn't have the grandfather, they don't have the Father. For them. They're not continuing a legacy, they're starting it. And I have to say there is something truly noble, about the man who overcomes the problems associated with not having the father in their own lives. But doing everything within their power to ensure that they will not not be with their children experience. Those men get to build a legacy from scratch. And that is, that is an honor, as much as they shouldn't have to, and shouldn't have had to do it. But this is their chance to choose that they're going to do it. And, again, I think when we think about it in that legacy perspective, I think it speaks to something in all of us that encourages us to do to be better to be honorable, to be noble, to be the sort of man that our sons want to be. Yeah.

Curt Storring 32:50

Yeah, man. And I just want to like for the guys listening, the culture is so strong right now, you don't need to fight against the instincts that tell you what Nick just said was right. And like you, I think, in a man's heart who's gone, either sat with his grandfather and his father or who hasn't, there's something in there that you can probably tell us, right, and I want to tell you, man listening, that you don't have to crush that as being toxically masculine to show up in today's world, you instead ought be pointing towards what is right, rather than what is expedient. But I think a couple of things that you just mentioned there, there's this idea of fault, versus responsibility if you're the man, because so many of the guys listening to the show, I know, are the type of man who are starting fresh. They're the ones who are building the first domino against whom everyone else is gonna lean. That might not be your fault, like Nick just said, but it is absolutely your responsibility to be that man for the other people, because you will otherwise pass the same pain that you have down to your children. And for me, that's unacceptable. That's why I'm doing this for my family. If you have not had that touch with a father, though, I recommend going back a couple episodes of listening to the ED McGlasson blessing of a father, God, the Father can give that to you, just so you guys know, man. Okay, thank you for that. I appreciate that. One thing I want to touch on as well, though, is this identity piece, because we've touched on identity a number of times, it's a huge political topic, so to speak. Now, I think it has to do at the sort of first glance with how a father shows up for his children. Because a child who knows a father's love, is my least much more unlikely to question who they are. Is that how you see it as well? Do we have responsibility as fathers to stop our kids for having an identity crisis?

Nick Freitas 34:31

No, that's true. I mean, that's where I'll put it like, I don't just agree with that. I believe that is absolutely true. Here's what here's what I'll say like, because I get my identity through Christ. Right. And again, I don't I don't know the composition or the theological composition of your audience. But I'll say this, I say this all the time, because we've had a lot of people listen that are that are not not Christians are not religious in general. And I always tell them, like, I'm going to tell you what I believe to be true because that's what I owe you. Because I get my identity in Christ. My identity is unassailable. It does didn't move the culture doesn't move with the times like, I can't imagine it as much as I am frustrated by some of the popular conceptions within culture that I think are just absurd. Really what it is, in some cases, it's heartbreaking because I can't imagine what it is to go through life having no real idea of who you are, and constantly trying to find it in things that are either superficial or fleeting. It's this quest for pleasure or for status, or for power or foot. I don't worry about any of that. I don't worry about any of that. I know who I am. I know who I am. And now it's just a question of trying to develop the capabilities and the traits that I know are necessary in order for me to do a good job, right. And by that, I mean, treating my wife the way that she deserves to be treated leading. And this is an important distinction right here. My job is not just to be there and be supportive and be loving, it's to lead bingo to lead my family. And my wife, who is an incredibly strong woman wants that. It's not as if I went out, I looked for like a who's the most subservient women out here that I can, you know, potentially trick into marrying me? So I can No, no, that's not what this is. She has incredibly high expectations for me my responsibilities and my ability to achieve them. But she also respects my role. I respect hers, that that first relationship that you have sets the tone, both for your marriage, but also for your children. That it's the whole idea of developing those capabilities to be able to protect to provide them when you start to have children to be able to, to be able to nurture and to teach and to demonstrate. Right. And then the final the final test here is when I when I when I stand before my crater one day, I would just I want to hear good and well done good and faithful servant. I had this interesting, I'm in the state legislature here in Virginia. And I got asked to run for higher office at one point. And I remember I was talking to a pretty powerful United States Senator, here. And I remember he asked me, he goes, Nick, what do you want your legacy to be? In politics? What do you want? Do you want to walk away? And have it said that you died? Are you accomplished here? Remember saying, Senator, I mean with respect. I said, I really hope that when I leave here, I've done my job to make government so insignificant in the day to day lives of a free people that there'll be no need to remember me whatsoever. I want to be remembered by my wife, I want to be remembered my my children, my close friends, but most of all, I want to, I want to live my life in such a way to where I can safely say I was more worried about what God would say when I arrived, and what man would say when I was gone. And when I have stuck to that, I have never been disappointed in my decisions. And when I have allowed myself to stray from it, I have universally been frustrated with my decisions. So the thing that I would tell men in general is no matter where your starting point is when when you do have that identity when you have that assurance with respect to truth, with respect to right and wrong, and you're confident where it's at, not because it's necessarily popular, but because you genuinely believe it's true. That is empowering. And it is a rock upon which everything else can be built. And then you don't you're not responsible for changing all of the world's problems overnight, you are responsible for dealing with the issues first inside of you. And thank God, Christianity provides a mechanism for that. And then it's about dealing with it. It's about dealing with the problems you've been given. And looking at those as like, Okay, this is this is my mission right now, when people asked me now with respect to politics, or, you know, when I was in the military, when what's next? It's like, look, my job is to be obedient to my purpose in that moment. Yes, I've got to build for other things. Yes, I've got to anticipate certain things. But my job is to be obedient in that moment to what my purpose is, and what my duties and responsibilities are. And it has become very easy. I think, for people that even understand that to look at it as a burden. Gosh, it's a privilege, it's a privilege to be able to do those things. And I just, I don't know how else to word it. Like I once all of a sudden you get the moral clarity on that. All the other struggles is as difficult as they might be as painful as they can be at times. When you know who you are, you can face them. And when you know who you aren't, you know who God is you can face them. And but right now I do see I see a society that is struggling with that because they're trying to find identity and everything else and it isn't working for them. And it isn't going to but I will tell you this, the more men that stand up because they know who God is. And they know who are the who they are. And they know what their responsibilities are, the more chaotic the world gets, the more people are going to look to the safe harbors in the storm. And when you represent that the influence that you're going to have the preparation you're doing now is going to lead to the influence that you will have maybe within your family, maybe within your community, maybe within your state, maybe within your country, who knows, be obedient to Your purpose in the moment that it's given to you. And that's how you're going to get the sort of fundamental change the I think a lot of us want to see but the bad news is is probably not going to happen overnight. The good news says there is something you can do about it. And it starts by making a choice to do something about it instead of feeling as if you were just being battered around by the waves. So, make the choice. Yep.

Curt Storring 40:11

Bingo. Thank you. Now, I want to touch on family leadership in a second. But you said something there about making, basically being disciplined enough to make the right choice and the identity rather than stray from that? Do you have discipline, spiritual disciplines, whatever that looks like, daily or weekly, or whatever that looks like in order to stay on the straight and narrow? What can you tell us about sort of habits or disciplines that you keep like that?

Nick Freitas 40:33

Yeah, apart. Part of that is prayer life. I think it's really important, I think, constantly delving in and actually, you know, reading scripture reading from people, if there's this, there's a verse in scripture that talks about iron sharpens iron with respect to surrounding yourself with other people that are moving toward the same objective. And allowing yourself to do that not necessarily in a competitive fashion, but but within a cooperative fashion. And it's interesting, because there's, there's people within the secular environment picking up on these themes. Jordan Peterson is one of them that talks a lot about it. And it's a lot of things that I really agree with, although I feel like it's kind of untethered from the origin of it. But it is this idea of surrounding yourself with with like minded people that are moving towards similar goals where you guys actually relish in each other's success, and you help each other through the struggles, but they've got to be they've got to have a similar worldview and a similar ultimate goal, otherwise, it becomes easy to be distracted. So that's, that's one of them. It's the prayer it's the Scripture, these individual components. It's the it's the regularly talking about things and ideas and concepts and where we're going with my wife. But my wife is my closest confidant, there's, it's just burnin. So that's the that's the facade the individual component, then there's the the immediate component with your wife with your kids one. And then there's the again, finding that other people, there's other men within your life with similar objectives. Where you can you can confront from the struggle is you can also get accountability. Because that accountability piece is really important. Do we lose connection? Nope. Okay, says that accountability part is also really important. Because you're, you're, you know, again, praise God, if you can always get it, right. And if you figure out how to do that, let me know. But but having people that, again, care about you, and want the best for you to be able to step in at those appropriate moments and be like, Hey, man, I think you're wrong here. And this is why that's, that's critical. So that's what I would do, I said, come up with individual goals, come up those immediate family goals that are all part of that spiritual development and discipline. And then also come up with again, that that small group, that small group of men that can can help you can hold them accountable when necessary, they can hold you accountable. And and there's no feeling of, there's no bad feelings or sense of competition with them. Because you know that you're all trying to get to the same place, and you're helping each other get there.

Curt Storring 42:51

Amazing. Okay, thank you for that. And that touches actually really nicely in the family leadership, because I think this is what I've been working on, without even knowing it. Since becoming a father and realizing how bad I was at it, is that I needed to be the one where the buck stops, and then lead. And that's what I'm trying to work with all the guys who follow us and work with us is how do you actually become that family leader. But I think it's got to start with leading yourself. And the things that you just said, these personal disciplines. That's where it's got to start and having the intention and having the direction. I'm curious how you see family leadership, because this is like, I don't know, if it's just me, I might in the wrong circles. But there's not a lot of talk about the leadership. And maybe it's the culture, maybe we're just not allowed to talk about this anymore. But when I say family leadership, and you were, you know, telling a young man, because that's how I think most guys even my age and older feel sometimes without that leadership, what do you tell them? What does it mean to lead your family? And how are you doing it?

Nick Freitas 43:44

So let me tell you a quick story. I was on a plane once I think it was about like, 3334 I can't remember. Must have been 34. And I was on this plane and I was flying and my light was working just fine. But this this young woman sitting next to me, she had all these papers on it. She was trying to read them and her light wasn't working. And so I said, Hey, would you like to switch seats? So as I'm just reading a book, you look like you got some important to do. So she switches seats with me. She goes, actually I do. Thank you very much. I'm on my way to a job interview. And you know, this is kind of a big deal for us. I just got married, and I stopped. I said, Hey, I just want to tell you some. I know culture, sometimes kind of trashes on marriage, whenever you watch sitcoms and things like that, but marriage is awesome. Marriage is incredible. So I just want to encourage you, congratulations. That's wonderful. And, you know, I just hope you guys, you know, have the same great experience I've had, and she goes, How long have you been married? And I said, 15 years, and she looks at me and she goes, she goes, you don't look that much older than me. I said, Well, I'm not playing this game. So you want to tell me your age. That's fine. She goes, I'm 29 is okay. I'm 35 Whatever. It was the time pretty close. And she goes, I said, I've been married since I was 19. And she goes, Oh my gosh, she goes, How do you make it work? And I looked at her I said do you really want to know? Keep them out. I just met this person, right? She's like, I think so I said, No. I said, I asked this because we have been successfully married, I said, You need to understand when I say we've been married 15 years, that's 15 years of 11 different times we've moved. That's two combat tours. That's the first 10 years that I was married, I spent half of them away from home, that's losing a child. That's all the things. So I want you to understand that it hasn't just been this this easy road, I want you to know that when I share with you what made it work through all of this. That's why and she goes, Okay, so she's listening. And I said, we have a biblical worldview of marriage. And she said, What does that mean? And, you know, something struck me in that moment that there was something in the culture that had changed, because I feel like if I had said that five years earlier, people would have said, Oh, and maybe they would have liked it. Maybe they not they would not have liked it, but they would have known what it meant. And she didn't even know and I said, Well, I said one of the things that means is that I have to be the leader of my household. And she stops me and she goes, Why does there have to be a leader? And I said, That's a great question. I said, when you got married? Did you say from debt to death do us part? She said, Yeah. Did you mean it? She said, well, well, yeah. I said, Okay. So what happens when you disagree? With I mean, did you take a vote? Oh, look, it's one to one again, like, what do you do when you have an impasse? That you can't get me on? What would you do in that moment? And she's like, I don't know. I said, we know in my household. I said, Now, I want you to understand something in 15 years of marriage with everything I just described to you. There's only been three times maybe that my wife and I have come to a decision where we couldn't agree we couldn't agree on the path forward. And I had to make the decision. And she had to submit to that decision. And she did so not not be grudgingly. She did so. And I will tell you this, she did it. Because the biblical version of the husband or the father leading the family is not the caricature that you see within popular culture. Yes, she has an obligation that when we cannot arrive at the same conclusion about something she has to follow me, but I have to be worthy of that. It's, it's not tyrannical. It's not my word goes, the moment I say something which violates scripture, she can always point to it and say, No, this is the standard by which your leadership has real authority. But in that situation, where we can't point to something we don't know. And it's uncertain, I have the obligation to make make the decision. And what that means is, is that the moment I married her, her needs, well being all of that her physical safety now supersedes my own up to and including my life for hers. That's what it means. And she knows that I know, that's what it means. So this is not just something about this is not some sort of privileged position in the sense that now I whatever I say goes, and you just have to submit to it, there's still a standard by which my judgment can be judged. But she also knows that I make those decisions when they have to meet him with her best interests in mind with the best interests of my family in mind, even if it means my detriment. And over time, because we have developed confidence in this not because I've always made the right decisions. But because we have matured, and we've grown together, and she now feels competent, when I make that decision, it really is because I believe it's what's best for her and our kids. She doesn't submit begrudgingly. And now we know apart we have a process, there's no such thing, there is no such thing in our marriage of a problem, that we don't have a process for arriving at a solution that we are both going to then embark on together. I said and again, in the last 15 years, with everything I just described, there's only been three, maybe maybe three cases where that's happened. Every other case, we have sat down we have prayed about together, we thought about it together, we discuss it together. And we usually come up with with either she was right or I was right. Or there was some sort of compromise that we both agreed to. But we never have to worry about what's going to happen if for some reason we don't agree, I will bear the burden of that responsibility. And I think that's what it means to biblically lead within your home is to Yes. Now here's the other thing I will tell you. And this was something that it did. It took a long time for me to truly embrace. There's a spiritual component to that leadership. And I've seen men and I have certainly been at times on my thing where I'm like, You know what, I don't feel I'm at a point right now where I am worthy of the leadership responsibilities that I've been given. That does not absolve you of your responsibility to lead. You can feel unworthy all day long. And if you do feel unworthy, then great, go do the things that will make you feel worthy, but it doesn't absolve you of responsibility. You don't get to abdicate the throne. It's yours. You've got to go you've got to live up to those responsibilities. So instead of looking for an exit strategy, start looking for the things that you have to do in order to develop to make yourself the sort of leader that when you do have that disagreement with your wife, she can look at it and say, I trust you. And follow, do this sort of thing when when your son is looking up to you, and you have to, you have to discipline, they ultimately know that you're doing it because you love them. And because you want what's best for them. Be the sort of father when your daughter has to come with you with something that struggle that she doesn't automatically defer to mom, she also knows that you're also someone that you can talk to, because you will be a source of truth for her when all of her friends and all of our culture is telling you to believe something else. She knows she can go to you because you will speak truth into real life, because you love her. And so that's the mission. And I will tell you, again, we sometimes talk about in this language that seems burdensome or or focused on the responsibility component. And that's certainly important. But I cannot tell you what an incredible privilege it is what an honor it is to have your your wife look at you and say, Honey, I don't know about this. But I do know this much I trust and I love you and I will follow. I know what it is. I mean, to go through that and have your son, say, I understand that I'll do better to have to have your daughter want to sit down and have the conversation with you about the boy or about the thing that happened? Gosh, man I can't there is there was no board title, there is no paycheck that you're ever going to receive that is going to supplant the feeling of what that is like when it happens. So don't just look at it as a burden. Relish it for the absolute privilege that it is

Curt Storring 51:41

beautiful. I'm so glad that you've got all the content you do because this I would love to have you for like hours and hours. So thank you for all of that. And you know what, I just had my first daughter four months ago, I've been loving the quick hits on that. So I'm going to I'm going to link some of these things because the guy's got to see them.

Nick Freitas 51:56

So you got three boys and a little girl three boys and a girl. Yeah. Oh, dude prepared to be wrapped around her little finger man I'd

Curt Storring 52:05

Yeah, I'm looking forward to it so much. There. I already told them the first thing where they came in to see the baby. I'm like, You're gonna protect me now. And they're like, man, it's like a united front. Beautiful thing to do to get all three boys involved like that. And man, I just I still like break up and cry when I look at her sometimes. So praise God for answer to prayer there. Anyway, Nick, thank you so much for this. I very, very much appreciate it. Where can guys go and get more because I know they're gonna want it. YouTube podcasts, whatever you guys got, where would you like to send them?

Nick Freitas 52:33

Sure. So Nick J. Freitas on Instagram was one of our one of our more popular channels, and then also our YouTube page. So you can go to you can just pretty much put Nick Freitas in the search engine on YouTube. We have a podcast that we do there, we do some other projects called the wind minutes and things like that. But one of the one of the things that we've started to do, and we're about to release, I think it's our I think it's our third video. And we've got some more of the makings, but it has to do with things like hey, three things I learned raising daughters, I got one that we did on on why it's your responsibility to protect your children, I got another one that we're going to do on things I learned raising a son, I think we're looking at another one that we're probably gonna do here pretty quickly, that's going to focused on things I learned being a husband. Because we we, we do seem to, we do seem to get a very good response when we when we put out this content, and I think it's necessary. It's another reason why I'm very appreciative for what you're doing. Because as you kind of mentioned before, you you didn't have you to have some of the people that were speaking some of this into your life. And I was fortunate to have a lot of that. And the fact that you've not only taken it upon yourself to be the husband to be the father, your wife and kids deserve. But you're you're also letting other men out there know that there's people that we're all struggling with these various things, we all feel these kinds of convictions, we all feel this kind of uneasiness. And there are answers. There are answers and it is our time to step up and lead. And some of us didn't have that modeled for us. But as you said before, we might not have had a model for us in our individual life but that doesn't mean it's never been modelled in a way that we can follow it and embrace it. And that's what again, I think that's what that's what Christ gives us. So thank you very much for what you're doing.

Curt Storring 54:23

Thank you very much for that and hey, if you run for president I'll move to the states and be able to vote for you because I will I will help out. Alright man Well thank you very much for this and make sure to find out all those links on the show notes Dad.Work slash podcast catch you next time guys. 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 draw up 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 dad work dot Kurt that da D, W O RK dot c u r t. 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 or 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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