PWTG Episode 010: Interview with Bob Goff

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Bob Goff is the New York Times Best-Selling Author of Love Does, as well as an attorney who founded Restore International, a nonprofit human rights organization operating in Uganda, India and Somalia. Bob is a sought after speaker for leadership, church and university events, inspiring current and future influencers to get to the ”do” part of life. Choosing to live audaciously, Bob connects to audiences in a powerfully inspirational, yet down to earth manner.

Favorite Verse or Quote

He tells a story of traveling to Africa and being among people who kept saying, “You’re welcome”. Which is what many parents in America do when our kids forget to say thank-you. So Bob found himself quickly responding, “Oh, thank-you, thank-you.” Only to find out, what they meant was, you are welcome here! Which is completely different.

The Goffs have stressed the importance of making sure people knew they were welcomed, not just invited, but welcomed.

Parenting Failure

On his back porch, there is a swing. His daughter jumped off the swing and landed hard. She kept saying her leg hurt. Bob said, “Of course it hurts, you just jumped off the swing.” As it turns out she broke her leg on the landing. His advice to his daughter was to “lean into it”, which became the line in the Goff home that meant you’ve giving advice instead of grace and love.

In truly Bob Goff form, he never wants to block his kid’s view of Jesus. When we think of this advice, we come back to the whole premise of these podcasts and our family ministry; the idea of truth and grace. In fact, we’ve come to realize it really should be grace and truth. We want to parent with grace first armed with truth, otherwise like Bob says, we’ll block our kid’s view of Jesus.

Parenting Ah-ha Moment

Not so much an Ah-ha moment as an important principle to remember as a parent; he wants to hold up a mirror to his kids and say here is what I see you becoming, what Jesus sees.

We often remind parents of Proverbs 22:6 Train up a child in the way he should go, and when they are old they will not depart from it. We often jump to the idea of a promise that if we train them young, then when they are old they will come back to their faith. There certainly is an element to that, although it isn’t a promise and there is way more to it. The bigger principle being taught it a little of what the Goffs emphasize. It’s this idea of training our kids in the way they should go. We often say when you are on your knees praying, asking the Lord to give you a vision for your child. Then with eyes open we can hold up a mirror and speak to those gifts and talents our kids have. We can say, when I look at you here is what I see.

Proudest Parenting Moment

They have 2 out of college and one in college. They are proud of the way their kids are genuinely excited for each other – whether it be a graduation, a marriage or a new job. Wow! What a great quality to have in your children.

One thing they would do differently

“I’d have more kids.” ~ Bob Goff

He also says he would write down everything he can remember. Right now he writes down hundreds of thousands of thoughts. He started it 15 years ago. He would have started it sooner.

It’s so important to consider writing down or somehow recording things for your grandchildren to one day read, to learn about what you believed to be important.

Top 3 Priorities for parenting 

He’s spent his whole life doing things that work. Instead he’d do things that last. If you take a trip, then do something, bury something, erect a memorial, but make it last.

Create traditions. He tells the story about leaving his boys when they’d go off to college or a trip. He’d shake their hand and every time he’d leave a $20 bill in their hand.

Be picky about who you hand the microphone to.