Monday, December 15, 2014

Interview #1 with Tez Brooks

First of a 3-part interview with Tez Brooks,
Author of The Single Dad Detour: Directions for Fathering After Divorce

The Single Dad Detour: Directions for Fathering After Divorce (Kregel/February 27, 2015/ISBN: 978-0825443602 /$14.99).

Q: The Single Dad Detour shares insights and encouragement from your time as a single dad. You’ve said it was difficult to write it because of the memories that surfaced. What led you to write it anyway?
I really struggled for several years. I didn't want to go there, but the Lord started working in my heart and I remembered how there just wasn't anything out there for me when I was going through my own divorce. Especially with a Christian worldview. What was available was too preachy for me. So I wrote something that would encourage guys with a little humor and offer some practical advice.

Q: Why did you use the metaphor of cars and navigating the road in your book? I wanted it to appeal to your average Joe. And that theme actually just seemed to come naturally as I began writing. I kept comparing a divorce to a car accident. I compared the similarities between finding your way through that wreck and navigating a road trip. Those metaphors just kept coming until I realized a theme was developing. I liked it because men and cars seem to go together.  

Q: Would you be willing to share a little bit about your road to becoming a single dad? Well we entered our marriage with childhood abuse that had not been dealt with, lots of selfishness, unfaithfulness, and even some mental health issues that had not been diagnosed. And we were clueless and trying to navigate through that with little to no help.

Divorce was just not something my side of the family did. But you can’t make someone love you. And you cant make someone stay. So although I didn't want a failed marriage, I saw it coming. I was married almost 10 years when I found myself single again. It was a lonely depressing time for me but I ran to the Lord in order to survive.

The kids lived with me full-time about 3 out of the 7 years I was single. They experienced a lot of loss too. As you know, no one wins. It’s a lose/lose situation. Yet here we are on the other side by the grace of God.

Q: Many men build their lives on the idea that a wife, kids and a house equals success. When that crumbles down, where can they find their identity? That’s a great question because our identity needs to be grounded in Christ to begin with. If that’s not there when tragedy strikes, we’re in trouble. That’s where I found myself. I was a Christian but I didn't really understand my identity as a child of God. I thought the American dream was where my self worth was. When that disappeared I was suddenly a man in my 30s with no real value to anyone. At least that’s what I believed.

I had embraced the world’s view of who and what I was. In essence I allowed the world to place a price tag on my forehead and suddenly that tag was marked down 95% and I was thrown in the bargain bin. It can take a long time for the message of Christ to get from our heads to our hearts. That's what needed to happen with me. Thankfully the Holy Spirit began a work to reveal the value God placed on me. It was vital to my healing.

RESPONSE QUESTION FOR READERS: What helped you to heal after your own divorce or separation?