Love Better

Parental Love: a conversation with Jonathan Banning

April 04, 2023 Season 1 Episode 13
Love Better
Parental Love: a conversation with Jonathan Banning
Show Notes Transcript

This week on the Love Better podcast we are talking parenting, discipline, learning about love as fathers, and the first world problems American parents face.  I'm talking with my friend and colleague Jonathan Banning.  Jonathan is a fellow adoptive father, an evangelist for the Temple Terrace church of Christ in Temple Terrace, FL, and a strong advocate for Christianity being more than just a way of worship on Sundays.

If you are a parent of young children, thinking about adoption, trying to find balance in your parenting style or simply love learning about how God loves us, this is the episode for you.

"Remember, you are loved, so go, love better!"

New episodes drop on Tuesdays.

Episode 13 - Parental Love: A conversation with Jonathan Banning

Scott Beyer:I’m Scott Beyer and this is the Love Better podcast where we explore the truths and lies about love and more importantly how to turn love into a skill – something we can get better at and hone.

One of my goals with this podcast is to introduce an audience I love to people I love.  I’d like you to meet Jonathan Banning.   Jonathan is a fellow adoptive father, an evangelist for the Temple Terrace church of Christ in Temple Terrace, Florida and one of the most introspective, thoughtful guys you will ever meet.


Jonathan and I took some time to talk about the things we had in common – parenting, adoption, and a belief that God should be glorified outside of the church building, not just in it.  We are both trying to navigate the waters of raising young children and we also have the shared journey of each having one biological daughter and the rest of our children coming home through adoption.  Jonathan is insightful, passionate about parenting, and I love how introspective he is when it comes to his parenting strengths and weaknesses.


Jonathan is going to be with us here at Eastland in Louisville next month, and I can’t wait for that to happen.  I love talking with Jonathan, and I’m better off for my time with him.  I think you will be, too.

Hi Jonathan. I'm thankful that you are going to be with us at Eastland next month, and I am thankful that you took time outta your day to talk to me about your family and parenting and adoption and all these things that you and I have in common, both of us having young kids.

Tell me about your kids. Tell me about your family.

Jonathan Banning: Thank you for, thank you, Scott for having me, and I'm really excited to be with you guys at Eastland so unfortunately my family won't be coming with me. We try to make that work and it just didn't. But I do have a wife, her name is Leah. She's actually a Lexington girl, so she grew up not far from you guys. I have three kids. Our oldest is Ellison, she's five. She's a sweet and thoughtful little girl.

She's a basically a little 42 year old, very organized, very observant, very clever and sharp. So she's just like her mom and she's basically the best big sister in the world. Then we have Zachary. He's four. He's only been with us for a few months. We adopted him outta foster care. But he is a very extroverted little boy. He's a super people person and he's just a joyful, ambitious little man. It was funny, when we first brought him to church, we were worried that, so many people crowding in on him would totally freak him out.

And so we sent out an email telling people, Hey, please, You can come say hi, but just don't, overwhelm us. And it was completely unnecessary. Like the kid just took, he stole the show. He was just total extrovert, wanted to say hi to everybody. And so that's Zachary. And then Everett is our youngest, he's eight months old, and we adopted him when he was three, three weeks old.

He was just a little over four pounds when we picked him up. And now he's just a big old chunker. He's got those big old thighs and he's growing really fast. But those are my kids. We got Ellison, Zachary and Everett. They're all really great.

Scott Beyer: With your family some biological, some through adoption, right?

Jonathan Banning: Yes, sir.

Scott Beyer: So what led your family to adoption?

Jonathan Banning: I guess there's really two answers to that. In one way we wanted to grow our family. And without going into detail, that was just the best way for us to do it. It made the most sense and it's just what needed to happen. But more than that the spirit led us there. The Bible's pretty clear, versus verses don't get much more clear than James 1 27.

What Pure and Undefiled religion is visit widows and orphans and their needs and their need. This is something the spirit told us to do and something he told us that we ought to get engaged in. And Lee and I, even before we met each other, we both knew that we wanted to look into adoption one day because it's something that God loves, it's something he wants us to. and a few years back it was in the middle of Covid. We just thought why not now? We've always said, someday, why wouldn't we do it right now? There's no good reason for us not to do it now. And I think we got really scared for a moment and we realized that we'd been saying someday so much, but we hadn't really made any plans and we realized that someday was gonna become no day if we didn't do something about it.

And so we just decided right then and there, it's time to start. And so we got rolling on the process and two years later we got two kids out of it, which is one more than we were expecting.

Scott Beyer: I think that's, Such a big point with adoption that the, where the rubber meets the road is unfortunately, it's things like paperwork, right? You gotta at some point engage an agency or a lawyer and a social worker and you gotta get that paperwork done. And it's easy to put that off because there's not actually a child that you have in mind.

Typically it's, and a generic child is easier to put off for tomorrow.

Jonathan Banning: Yep,

Scott Beyer: But the reality is that you have two very real children, right? And they were meant to be your kids. But that doesn't happen until you do what you guys did where you said okay, tomorrow is always gonna be tomorrow. Yeah.

Jonathan Banning: right. And one of the things that, we needed to realize was first of all, I gotta give credit to my wife. She took care of all the paperwork, man. She's, she is a boss at that. And she just took care of that and took that bull by the horns. And she really did all that labor for us.

But the other thing is, I, there are so many people who are involved in this, and if you talk to any person who's adopted. It's without exception. They're always willing to help. Every adoptive parent is willing to do whatever they need to do to help somebody else adopt the child. And I think people who haven't adopted should realize that if you're thinking about that, if it's daunting, you just need to grab somebody who's done it and say, what do I do?

And they will be there for you. That's been my experience.

Scott Beyer: Yeah, that's absolutely ours too. And that's true. You feel like you're doing it alone. That's maybe one of the great fears, but as soon as you get into it, you're not doing it alone at all. There, there's a huge support network there. to help you. And yeah. Some of the people that helped us find our first adoption lawyer, they were an older couple, that their kids were all grown and I just, and said, who'd you use for a lawyer?

Cuz I didn't have any of that. And he pointed me to this lawyer who I later out found out was like the best adoption lawyer in the state. I didn't know that. But it again, it's like you connect with other people and they are ready to help. 

Jonathan Banning: And maybe this is by the side, but everybody who's involved in this has been really remarkable to me. We've done private adoption in adoption through the state foster care. Everybody on both sides has just overwhelmed me, Christian and non-Christian. The guardian ad litems and the foster care parents and the people who give you the classes before you can adopt from foster care, they all do so much for these kids.

And it was really encouraging to see that there are so many people who have this kind of heart and are willing to work in this way, who do such a good job for them. And they're, they're all rooting for you when you're trying to make this happen and adopt these kids.

Scott Beyer: I wanna talk about fatherhood as well as adoption specifically, as you have gone through the adoption process though, how has it, or has it changed your views on.

Jonathan Banning: I don't know if it's really changed my views on love. Can I say it's reinforced? Can I say it's reinforced? My views on love overwhelmingly reinforced my views on love. It's something that I've always known just because everybody tells you it's true that you choose who you love, and love is a choice.

Love is an action. And the feelings grow as a result of what you're doing. I've always known that. I've always believed that but when you get involved in adoption, like you, you begin to realize just how true that is. More and more. Like I think some people, I've definitely heard some people say, I don't know if I could get involved in adoption.

I don't know if I could love somebody else's kid. Just from experience, you have to know from my heart to yours. You can you have no idea how you can and you choose who you love. I think about Matthew five where it talks about how God sends the reign on the righteous and the unrighteous. God loves everybody and part of the reason I think God loves us so much is because he's done so much for all of us.

Even the people who spit in his face and reject him. He loves them because he chooses to love them and he invested so much in them. And the same is true with us when it comes to our love, that we choose who we love. And the more you invest in somebody, the more you love and those feelings grow and it just becomes bigger and more beautiful as you go through it.

Scott Beyer: I definitely think that sometimes we put too much stake in spontaneous love when, like you said I think the action leads to the feeling so much of the time. Motion leads to emotion and I think that's true in everything. Because even your children who come home biologically, you're gonna have, some days you aren't feeling the love

But you you go through the motions and it works.

Jonathan Banning: Yeah, that's exactly right.

Scott Beyer: What's the best part about being a father?

Jonathan Banning: I think at least right now that there are three people in the world who think I'm the coolest person in the world, no matter how dorky or dumb I am. I think it's really awesome that they think I'm so cool when I'm really not. But that's only gonna last until the teen years come, and then that's gonna go the way of all the earth.

They're gonna think I'm the biggest dork in the world. They're gonna see me for what I really am. I don't know. That's a, it's a tough question to answer. One of the things that I think I would say is that it's amazing to me that I get to be the person that pretty much more than anybody else they look to for approval and encouragement.

And so it's neat to be in that position where your kids literally and figuratively look up to you so much. And my natural bend is to be an encourager. That's what I like to do. That's easy for me to do, and that's what they're looking for me to do. My daughter wants me to say, you can do it.

You can learn how to ride a bike without training wheels. And my son wants me to look at him and say, you're so strong way to go. And so I think that's really cool that more than anybody else, they're looking to me for that approval. And it's just so great to be the person who can give it to.

Scott Beyer: . So in that same vein, what has parenthood in general taught you about love? 

Jonathan Banning: I think one of the really important things that I've learned is that enabling and coddling is not really love at all. And that's something I guess there, there's a million things that I could say parent has taught me about love.

But that would probably be the biggest lesson, I would say, the biggest lesson that I personally needed to learn. I very much lean toward coddling. Let me do this for you. Let me take care of this for you. Let me do all these things for you so you never have to do anything for yourself or suffer through anything at all.

And that comes from a good heart at good intentions, good motivations, but it's not really love. Love is teaching your children how to walk for themselves. It's teaching them how to make their own way in the world. It's teaching them how to fall down and get back up not by coddling them and preventing anything bad from ever happening to them.

And what I realize about that is my coddling is really about me. Because what I wanna do is I wanna take care of this for you because it's harder to teach you how to do it for yourself than it is for me to just do it for you. It's harder for me to comfort you and encourage you to get up after you've fallen down than it is for me to just never let you ride your bike without training wheels , so that you never fall down.

I never have to deal with you crying or being hurt. This reminds me of the story between David and Solomon in First, first Chronicles 22. I'm only struck by that story because David is the first one who wants to build the temple. He's the one who has it in his heart and God says, Nope, you can't build it, and that's not for you to do.

And he says, it's gonna be for your son. And so David's in this situation where there's this temple that he wants to build, that God's not gonna let him build, but his son is supposed to build it. And so the coddling parent in me says, I know he's supposed to build it, but I'm just gonna go ahead and build it for him.

But Solomon needs to do that. And so what David does as a dad is he gathers all of the materials and he gathers these counselors for Solomon. He tells Solomon what the mission is. He tells 'em to lean on God. And then he says, at the end of the day, this is your mission, not mine. And that's what I, as a parent, that's what love really is.

It's not building the temple for them because you can't do that, but it's teaching them how to build the temple themselves.

Scott Beyer: Yeah. So if you had to summarize, cuz I, man, I just love everything you're saying, . If you had to summarize like what's the mission, that's their mission, that you can support 'em, you can help give 'em the supplies and the counselors, but it's their mission, not yours. How would you summarize that?

Jonathan Banning: Glorify God. That's really what it's all about. And of course they're the submissions below that. I want you to, I want you to be saved one day and I want you to become more like Christ, and I want you to be somebody who spreads the gospel. That's something that we really need to teach our kids.

I think that your job is not just to show up in a church building. Your job is to go spread the good news once you become a Christian. But really at the end of the day, for them to realize that they're life. Is not about themselves, that they don't belong to themselves. That just like me, they belong to God and it's their duty to, to use their bodies to the glory of God.

Scott Beyer: Yeah. I don't know about you, but I worry sometimes that if I'm not careful, my kids end up thinking that being a Christian means showing up at the church building, knowing the memory versus Worshiping and that's the totality of it. And all of those are good things, right? But that's, in some ways, that's the stuff God gives us to prepare us to then go be Christians.

You hear the word, so you can then do the word and preparing them for that mission to be people who are lights, not in the church building, but lights in their daily life. That's the hard part. And for them to make it their own. 

Jonathan Banning: Which is tough. That stuff you're looking at, it means that you're not just taking your kids to church. It means that you make sure that you have a vibrant prayer life. You make sure that you treat your spouse right. You make sure that you don't compromise on what you watch on TV or what you listen to.

It means all of those things your kids are going to see if Christianity is more than what happens on Sunday morning, if it's what happens on Monday afternoon too, they'll see that. It just, I have to make the hard decision to make it more about Sunday morning for myself.

Scott Beyer: Both you and I are preachers and that's our occupation in life there. One of the things that I wish people really deep down understood is there is not a sermon in my tool belt that is good enough. Overcome a bad example in the home the rest of the week I don't have that sermon that will undo at home hypocrisy.

Jonathan Banning: Yep. Yeah, and that's the scary thing. And I think, man, I worry about that so much cuz we're not perfect, man. We make so many mistakes all the time. I'll speak for myself. I don't know, maybe you're perfect, but

Scott Beyer: definitely. I don't have a sermon in my tool belt to help me with my own hypocrisy if I'm not careful. Like I, I've gotta be the guy that I keep telling people from the pulpit.

Jonathan Banning: Yeah. And so it re it really worries me. I don't want my, I don't want my kids to grow up in the house thinking that dad's the guy who puts on the good face at church. . One of the things that I, we started telling Ellison early on when she would make a mistake, it obviously, we tell her It's okay, we forgive you, that's in the past.

But we made sure to tell her that mom and dad make mistakes too. And I don't know. We were talking one time about salvation and I, she's five, she, she's not a sinner yet, but we're talking about those things. And so we talked about how everybody, sins him was separated from God and she said, you dad, did you sin?

Were you separated from God? I said absolutely. And the only reason I'm gonna be saved is because of Jesus Christ. I made God unhappy. I made God sad with the things that I did. And I think impressing that upon our kids helps them be prevented from thinking that Dad's some kind of fake person who just gets up and preaches on Sunday, but doesn't really live it out, but, Having those kinds of conversations really are important.

I don't know, maybe I lost you when I was talking about that, but hopefully I got the point across.

Scott Beyer: I'm just thinking about how important that is that one, your kids hear you when you apologize that you do actually apologize if you blow it. And then it isn't just about teaching them that they're sinners. It's about teaching them that their parents are sinners too, that everybody needs Jesus.

It's an extension of the fear that sometimes people have when they come into a church building and it's oh, everybody else looks so put together and neat if, and so I am, I don't fit in here. When the reality is everybody, I'm trying to get to heaven and figuring it out day by day. Our kids can have that same thing because we've had hopefully the benefit of time, we've had some more time to figure out and become wiser and clear out some of the detri from our life. But but we're still completely in need of salvation and grace and they've gotta know that

so that as they grow they see that pathway of faith.

Jonathan Banning: yeah. Absolutely. Absolutely.

Scott Beyer: So for somebody who Molly coddles his kids or wants to, how do you express love to your kids in the moments of discipline?

How do you deal with that aspect since that it sounds like for you is one of the harder elements?

Jonathan Banning: One of the things I'm doing now, Because I realized some of those snakes I was making I never punish right away. I always try to take a moment to make sure that before any discipline is administered, before any consequences are handed down that I take some time to think through what I'm doing.

I don't know. I just find that they tell you when you're training a dog, I don't know if you've ever trained a dog, Scott, but you have to punish them right away in the moment. Otherwise they have no idea what's happening, right? So you have to catch 'em in the act and make sure you do what you need to do right then.

Otherwise they're not gonna understand. They're not gonna connect it. But kids aren't dogs, and if I wait five minutes to decide what I'm gonna say to my daughter, the point is gonna get across. And so I always take a moment to think through what I'm gonna do, what I'm gonna say. And what punishment or discipline is gonna happen because that helps me get my mind it helps me get my emotions out of the way. It helps me make a good decision and try to find the right balance between being too rough and being too coddling. And found that helps a lot. Just taking some time just like I try to tell her to do. I need to do the same thing myself.

Scott Beyer: Your goal, you said, is for them to understand the need to glorify God. But how do you convey to them who God is?

Like what, what character traits of God are you particularly concerned That they make sure and understand as they move towards adulthood?

Jonathan Banning: I really want them to understand that serving God is a serious thing. Like this is an Ecclesiastes five. Watch your steps as you go to the house of God that this is, he's not someone to be trifled with. And I worry about that because that's what our culture does.

They trifle with God. They don't, they walk all goofy up to the house of God, and they're not, they, there's no reverence. And that in so many different ways. At the same time, I do worry. Sometimes we don't talk about grace enough and mercy enough. And I just think I don't talk about grace enough or mercy enough.

We talk a lot about the rules of God, but we don't talk about his grace enough. I don't know. I'm a to, I'm torn. I want them, I want my kids to see the mercy of God and the grace of God, the forgiveness of God, but I also want them to know that he's serious, which I guess those seem like they're counterintuitive, but they're not.

They go together. They fit together, they dovetail.

Scott Beyer: That's the description of God that Moses is given, right? When Moses wanted to see God's face and he says, you can't see my face, you'll die, but you can see my back. And he, it goes past and there's this declaration made about him.

And it talks about both the God who shows mercy to thousands and also the God who visits the iniquity on generation after generation. Both of those are part of his character and they're not opposites. They're complimentary. You can't have a God of grace if there aren't rules to show forgiveness for when they're broken.

And the fear of God is the beginning of wisdom, but then you also have perfect love casts out fear. It's like these things are not opposites as much as a part of two parts of God that you have to understand to really understand who he is and I think that's the hard part of parenting, isn't it?

Is it's like you're trying to show them both of those at the same time.

Jonathan Banning: Yeah. So we have this debate going on between Lee and I think we're figuring out the balance, but it's all about what kind of attitude we have going forward. Right after something bad happens, because I wanna do the whole, oh, it's okay, let's move on. Everything's fine immediately right away.

Which in my mind, that's exactly what God does. You pray, you ask for forgiveness, you confess your sins. Jesus is faithful and righteous to wash away your sins, just like First John one says. But then there's the other side of that where if your kid knows, as soon as I say, I'm sorry, everything goes back to being awesome, then that's really easy to manipulate.

And so it's hard to find that balance between helping them understand, yes, God is right there and faithful to forgive you, but also you're not gonna be able to manipulate him like you might be able to mani manipulate me. So that's tough. That's

Scott Beyer: Wait. You're telling me that kids attempt to manipulate parents sometimes? I was unaware of this

Jonathan Banning: Dude,

Scott Beyer: and it starts so early, right?

Jonathan Banning: it's way more than I thought. Way more than I thought. They're very sharp.

Scott Beyer: Yeah. And you're right, it is, again, it's both of these things. He is a god of forgiveness, but he's also, do not be deceived. God is not mocked. What a man sews who also reap.

And there is something that you're teaching them both of those things, you're teaching them, yes, there's a pathway of forgiveness, but it doesn't remove consequences. Something Jenna and I end up having a lot of conversations with our kids about, and especially at the younger ages. I think as they get older, they hopefully start getting it if you've tried to instill it in them.

But we'd love you and you're not a bad person, but you did do a bad thing and bad things have consequences, and I'm not gonna remove that consequence because then you would be confused and not realize it's a bad thing.

Jonathan Banning: That's exactly right.

Scott Beyer: But that's really hard to hold both of those together, right?

Jonathan Banning: Yeah. Yeah. I'm sure it's hard for God too, man. He's, God, maybe not . Maybe you

Scott Beyer: makes it look easy, let me put it that way.

I, it's hard work, but he makes it look easy. 

Jonathan Banning: You go.

Scott Beyer: How do you understand your father's love? Your heavenly Father's love better as a father yourself? I know for me, fatherhood, it took verses I'd already read, and I now saw them differently, not because they were different, but I was different.

Has that been the case for you?

Jonathan Banning: Yeah, I think so. One of the things that's helped me understand is just the breadth and depth of God's love. It's helped me see how many different ways God shows me love when I realize. I'm forgiving you for this again. And then I turn around and think, oh man, if I had to do for these kids what God has had to do for me, and so it helps me see just how deep his love is and how broad it is how many different ways he has to show his love for me. In terms of being a father with adoptive and biological children. It lets me see God's love in a unique way too. I thought about this the other day. It hadn't occurred to me before, but I have one biological daughter and I have two adopted sons, which makes me a little bit like God, cuz God has one biological son and multitudes of adopted children.

But think about that. What God did is he took his only begotten son and he allowed him go to the cross to die so that he could adopt all of these multitudes. and then I think about what that would look like in my life in order to do what God did. I have to be willing to look at my biological daughter and say, I'm gonna let you die so that I can adopt these two boys.

And that's just crazy to think about. It's insane when you think about it in those terms, and it makes me feel uncomfortable even saying it out loud. But that's exactly what he did, and it just, it blows my mind to think about his love in that.

Scott Beyer: Yeah, it and this is something you and I have in common. I have a biological daughter, and then all the rest of my kids have come home through adoption. And it does impact your view of things because you get this unique vantage point and I had never thought of it the way you just said it, but there is, that's just crazy.

It's, it is really hard to even say out loud, but that is exactly what God did.

Jonathan Banning: Yeah.

Scott Beyer: Another aspect of having both biological and adoptive is, I don't know what your experience has been but for me, I learned. That there are no asterisks next to my kids. It's not oh, I have these kids and there's degrees of which ones are my children?

They're all my kids and all equally my kids. And then when I read that I'm an adopted son, that God loves me the same way he loves Jesus. That blows my mind. That feels almost blasphemous to say out loud,

Jonathan Banning: it does.

Scott Beyer: but it's what the text says.

Jonathan Banning: Yep. Wow. It's amazing to think about it that way. I hadn't thought about it in that way, but that's absolutely true.

Scott Beyer: We also live in a world that is not conducive to godliness or our kids growing up in it.

How do you navigate that as a dad? W what fears do you have of what your kids will face, in the years ahead? The world that you and I are in is different than the one that our parents grew up in, and it's certainly different than the one their parents grew up in. And it'll be the same for our kids, what fears do you have for them? Do you have for yourself? Yeah. How do you tackle those?

Jonathan Banning: The first fear that always comes to mind is just the reality of Romans three. All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. And that terrifies me cuz all of my children are pure and holding in the eyes of God now. But there is nothing I can do about the fact that one day they're gonna choose to follow.

that's just gonna happen if they live long enough to be accountable for their own souls and make their own choices. And that really scares me. Know, knowing that there's nothing I can do about that, and that he's gonna use them and abuse them, and they're gonna suffer pain as a result of him.

They're gonna be enslaved to him. They're gonna be destined for death and destruction. Looking at these beautiful kids and just looking at their innocence and realizing it's gonna be taken from them, it terrifies me. Knowing what that's gonna look like for them just really scares me. I also really am scared because I realize I'm raising my children in Babylon.

And I think that's something in America that we don't get. I remember growing up we would always have these visiting preachers come, there's like a mission trip to Africa or something, and they'd come back and they'd say, aren't you so grateful? You don't have to sleep in a mud hut, and I think that's true, but also it made us think in some ways, wow, everything is perfect in America and we're so lucky we get to be raised here. We're living in Babylon, we're living in Rome. Like when you read about Rome in the book of Revelation, that's who we are. A nation that is rich and powerful and materialistic and sensual and greedy.

And not say anything about politics, but that's just who we are. That's what our society is. And I need to recognize that I'm raising my kids here. That it, my kid if we lived in, I don't know, Chile or something, my kid would have to sleep in a mud hut maybe, or that our pest control in our house might not be as good, but it might be better for them because they wouldn't have to struggle with so many of the temptations that you face when you grow up in Babylon.

Anyway, so I really worry about those things. The way I tackle those things is probably it's not complex, it's not complicated. Obviously with prayer, faith in God knowing that even living in Babylon, people can do the right thing.

And God will give them opportunity to find him if they seek him. And maybe more specifically, I try to keep faith in what the spirit says about discipline. Hebrews 12, verse 11, we've quoted this a million times to each other, me and Leah, but discipline may not seem joyful at the time, but afterwards it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness.

And so if my house can become this haven where we learn about God and we learn about discipline, Then it will yield its fruit. Things bear the fruit they're supposed to bear. And discipline does yield the fruit of righteousness when we are, when we train our kids by it. And so I take a lot of solace in that as well.

Scott Beyer: It's gonna bear fruit in the long run, right? You're planting a tree at first you get nothing, but eventually there's a crop. And I think the Babylon an analogy is fair. It, we are one of the most affluent and successful empires in the history of the world.

We have a lot of prosperity that other places don't. And that can be a bad thing. It can definitely be a difficult thing. But to your point, Daniel Shad, Misha and a Bendigo, they were some pretty great guys and they were right in the heart of that. So it can be done, but it has to happen with intentionality, right?

Jonathan Banning: Yeah, I agree with that.

Scott Beyer: yeah, it's not gonna happen without us. Meaning it and may, maybe that's part of the biggest thing with parenting is there is no autopiloting. No cruise control with this. It has to be, it has to be your job. You have to think of it that way to do it. 

Jonathan Banning: Yeah. And I think that's the danger when it comes to realizing where we live, is we look at our nation, we say this is a, here I'm doing air quotes. People won't see it, but I'm doing them. This is a Christian nation, right? And so we tell ourselves, all right, we'll go to church on Sunday. We'll send our kids to a public school.

They used to do prayers in the classroom, but they'll at least, salute the flag in the morning. And we do all these things and we just say we'll let 'em watch whatever's on tv. We'll let 'em listen to whatever music they listen to, and we'll be fine. And we don't realize that what we're doing is we're turning over the raising of our kids thoughtlessly to Babylon, not to a Christian nation, to Babylon.

And we have to recognize that and take control of that and realize our society is not going to raise our kids because our society is not godly.

Scott Beyer: , my wife likes to use the analogy with the internet, which is an amazing tool. A lot of great things. The very fact that we're doing a podcast is thanks to the internet, right? So it's not all bad, but it's in the same way that I wouldn't go to New York City and then just drop my five year old off and just say, Hey, go wander around.

Find what you like if you don't have boundaries, and some training with your kids, with technology in the internet. That's what you're doing. You're dropping 'em off in the center of a city that has not just some cool things. It also has some really dark alleys too. And that's just one aspect of prosperity.

We, we've got it in every area. Our kids are richer than any other that has ever lived on the planet regardless of income. The access to luxury is so dominant. How many kids get to eat out regularly? How many, the fact that you can just hop on your phone and food will be there in, in 10 minutes.

That's unheard of even 25 years ago. And those are good, but they're also. There's temptations with that, that we can meet the needs of the outer man so well that the inner man dies.

Jonathan Banning: absolutely

Scott Beyer: I like to ask this of every one of the adoptive parents that I have on the show, because as that's near and dear to my family's heart. What do you wish other people knew about adoption?

Jonathan Banning: I wish people knew that while it is difficult in some ways that it's totally worth it. I wish people knew that there really is no difference between a child you create and a child you bring into your home. There that just absolutely no difference at all. None. I can't say that clearly enough.

I wish people knew that there are so many people who are willing to help you do this right. I wish you knew how encouraging it is to other people when they see you doing this. And that it has just, it has this effect where it just starts branching out, and other people start thinking about it and other people start doing it.

I wish you knew the kids. I wish you actually got to physically meet those kids and see them face to face. Especially the kids in foster care. Not the babies that are perfect, but the kids who have problems. The kids who can't walk yet, the kids who have diseases, the kids who have developmental delays I wish that people knew that they need home to homes too, and that they.

Are just wonderful and precious, despite the difficulties that they may pose in some ways. I just I wish people knew that. And I hope that people can see that, that they're all precious. And I wish people knew that all adoption starts in a dark place. That there's no adoption story that starts with a healthy 27 year old and 28 year old, have a baby, are perfectly healthy, and that's not how it works. It's people who are destroyed and people who are in trouble. It's people who their lives are a mess. By choosing adoption, what you're doing is you're bringing this incredible ray of light into the life of a child whose life began in such darkness. And it really is so important for us to be there for them and to save them from that and to do what we can to rescue them.

There's so many children out there who need that ray of light and who's the people that were given by God to take care of them, have just have failed in that regard. S some in more ways than others, but you can be that person for them. That when the person God gave them ultimately wasn't, was not able to provide what they needed.

Scott Beyer: Thank you brother. Love you, love your family, love your heart, and I love that you're gonna be here in April. Thanks for taking the time to talk with me.

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