Engage! Engage!

Author of 5 books, podcaster, parent trainer, husband and father.

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A couple of months ago I wrote a post entitled Fighting For The Heart, in lieu of a powerful one-day conference I attended in my hometown of Indianapolis. You can read the entire post here. As parents and spouses, there is a fight that all of us are called into and it is, in fact, the greatest fight of our lives!

A while back I was watching a movie that depicted a battle sequence. I really cannot remember if it were a scene where a war plane was about to attack or soldiers were marching toward a battle. But I remember at one particular moment in the film, someone screamed the line “Engage, engage,” meaning get into the fight.

I’m not sure if this is actual military lingo or not, and I’m fairly certain that, being a Hollywood film, the sequence was sensationalized quite a bit. However, those words have stayed with me ever since I heard them a couple of years ago. The imagery of engaging in a worthy battle and soldiers choosing to run toward the fight instead of from it is powerful.

Do you realize that, as moms and dads, and husbands and wives, we are in a great fight? In fact, it’s the greatest fight we will ever be in. It’s the fight for our families, our children, our spouses, our future!

It’s a fight that I have been well aware of for the past 15 years, but so easily finding myself disengaging from time and time again. I admit that openly.

I write this post because, I had a defining moment recently. About a month ago I realized that nearly every day, during a work-week, I would come home from being engaged in some great battles, or immersed in life-changing conversations with people I barely knew (this happens often as a pastor), and almost immediately disengage from the fight for my family.

Instead I would fight against, or with, or worse- remove myself from the battle altogether. My iPhone would stay on, emails would continue to get checked and responded to, texts would continue to be sent, my children’s voices would be permitted to become white noise, the help my wife needed would get ignored, and frankly, I would just disengage. There were times I’d even find myself leaving the room to do…nothing.

I chalked it up to being tired, worn out, drained from a long day, “fried intellectually” and more. I was complacent until I came to my senses. It hit my like a brick wall. I’m not sure when exactly, but I remember coming back to that scene in the movie, and the words, “Engage, engage!”

Get into the fight! Engage in the battle! Fight for something worthy! The war for your family’s heart is a battle far greater than anything in this world. The moment I stepped into my front door at the end of the day, was the moment I was needed the most.

I began to ask myself some revealing questions:

  • Am I using all of my energy on events or people outside of my family so much so that I have nothing left to give when I get home?
  • Would I walk away from a co-worker or a congregant in need the same way I drift out of the room at home when my wife and children have gone an entire day without seeing me?
  • If at an important meeting during the work day would I continue to text or answer emails or log onto Facebook or Twitter instead of engaging with the people around the table the same way I do with the people in my family when I arrive home? 

The answers I came up with haunted me. I realized I was disengaging to a degree that was dangerous. I needed to change. I needed to set up healthier boundaries.

We all need defining moments like this, don’t we? We all need moments where we come to our senses and make a necessary change before it’s too late. I am sure many of you would agree. My question is, as a pastor and a fellow spouse and parent- What change do you need to make? Are you finding yourself disengaging from the greatest battle? Are you placing all of your time, energy, and effort into other people to a degree that you have nothing left to give to your family? 

Maybe you need to ask yourself the same questions that I asked myself a few weeks ago? Frankly, this is work in progress for me. I haven’t arrived and I am sure that you haven’t either. But, let me echo these words- “Engage, engage!” Get into the fight none-the-less. You will be glad you did!

What has been the biggest hinderance to engaging in the fight for your family?

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Mike and Kristin Berry are the Co-Founders of The Honestly Adoption Company and have been parents for nearly two decades. They are the authors of six books, and the host of The Honestly Adoption Podcast.

Sarah Gray

Sarah Gray is the executive assistant to Mike and Kristin Berry. And she is the best in the land. In addition to providing a warm and friendly response to the many emails our company receives on a weekly basis, she also manages Mike and Kristin’s speaking and meeting schedules, and makes sure that team events go off without a hitch.

Nicole Goerges

Nicole Goerges is a Content Contributor & Special Consultant for The Honestly Adoption Company. She works with Mike and Kristin as a recurring co-host for the Honestly Adoption Podcast, and co-host of Kitchen Table Talks, exclusive video content for Oasis Community, along with Kristin. She is a fellow adoptive mom, and former foster parent.

Matt McCarrick

Matt McCarrick is the Content Production Specialist for The Honestly Adoption Company. If you’ve loved listening to our podcast, or enjoyed any of the videos trainings we’ve published, you have Matt to thank. He oversees all of our content production, from video edits, to making sure the tags are correct on YouTube, to uploading new videos to Oasis, to hitting publish on a podcast episode, he’s a content wonder!

Karen Anderson

Karen Anderson is the Community Engagement Specialist for The Honestly Adoption Company. She spends the bulk of her time interacting with, and helping, people through our various social media channels, as well as providing support for Oasis Community members through chat support or Zoom calls. In the same spirit as Beaver, Karen is also passionate about connecting with parents and making them feel loved and supported. Karen is also an FASD trainer and travels often, equipping and encouraging parents.

Beaver Trumble

Beaver Trumble is the Customer Care Specialist for The Honestly Adoption Company. Chances are, if you have been in need of technical support, or forgotten your password to one of our courses, you have interacted with Beaver. He is an absolute pro at customer care. In fact, he single-handedly revolutionized our customer care department last year. Beaver is passionate about connecting with parents and making them feel loved and encouraged.

Kristin Berry

Kristin Berry is the co-founder of, and Chief Content Specialist for, The Honestly Adoption Company. She spends most of her time researching and connecting with guests for our podcast, as well as direction, designing and publishing a lot of the content for our social media channels, blog and podcast. She loves to connect with fellow parents around the world, and share the message of hope with them.

Mike Berry

Mike Berry is the co-founder of, and Chief Marketing Specialist for, The Honestly Adoption Company. He spends the bulk of his time and energy designing and building many of the resources you see within our company, as well as social media and email campaigns. His goal is to use media as a means to encourage and equip parents around the world. He is also the co-host of The Honestly Adoption Podcast.