Joshua Harris on Bringing His Trophies and His Scars into His Work

How do you move on from a mistake? How can you negotiate a big change in yourself that separates you from the community you are part of? Are you raising your children with openness or with fear?

In this podcast episode, Billy and Brandy Eldridge speak with Joshua Harris about negotiating changes in yourself while moving forward holistically.

Meet Joshua Harris

Joshua Harris brings his scars to work. A former author, his books have sold more than 2 million copies in dozens of languages — books he later discontinued when he realized the damage they were causing. He has led a staff of 50 people in a megachurch and experienced the relational pain caused by organizational dysfunction — and he has ultimately distanced himself from Christianity.

Now, Joshua is publicly deconstructing long-held religious beliefs through the power of living an authentic story. His personal mission is to support people whose voices have been stifled and to help them share their message with the world.

Visit Joshua Harris’ website and connect with him on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Youtube.

In This Podcast

Summary

  • The journey of reconciling
  • Negotiating a change in community
  • Raising your children with openness

The journey of reconciling

I will continue to encounter people who, for the first time, are finding out about the ways that my thinking has changed, or I’m interacting with people who are unpacking parts of their lives that were negatively affected by my book and purity culture. (Joshua Harris)

Making amends after creating a big impact is a journey for everyone involved, from the person who sparked the event to the people that it impacted.

While Joshua is moving on with his life and committing to good work, he is still available to people who were impacted in the past by the book.

As they are processing that grief and dealing with that pain, and maybe ticked off at me for the part that I played in that, I want to be a part of encouraging healing in them. (Joshua Harris)

Rather than feel like Joshua has to perpetually be apologetic, he is working alongside people who were affected by his old book and helping them to heal.

We can’t live in regret forever and we can’t live in the past forever, but I’m also trying to recognize that part of having published a book and let it be in existence for so long is that I have to try to be a part of the cleanup of some of that fallout. (Joshua Harris)

Negotiating a change in community

When things happen in life that disrupts your environment, finding equilibrium can take some time, especially within your community if it is close-knit or perhaps insular.

[People] change in some way and then they’re constantly aware of this pressure [or] disapproval … from that community, and that’s a unique challenge. (Joshua Harris)

Negotiate this shift by remaining your fully authentic and loving self.

Committing to who you are may exile you from the community, but committing to the community may exile you from yourself if that community is not aligned with your authenticity.

Who comprises the community that you want to be a part of? Can you create it if you are struggling to find it?

Raising your children with openness

There is no “right” or “wrong” way. No one can guarantee you a way that you should raise your children for success and openness.

People love their children so much that they sometimes fall into the trap of structured-fear-based parenting to protect them, even though this ends up harming them as they get older.

How do you let go of that fear that is controlling your parenting? This fear stops you from seeing your children – or other people – as people on their journeys who need to learn and live in life.

Useful links:

Meet Billy Eldridge

billy-eldridge

Meet Billy, the resident beta male. For Billy, this is a place to hang out with other beta males and the people who love them. We’re redefining what beta males look like in the world. I have learned to embrace my best beta self, and I can help you to do the same. As a therapist, I understand the need to belong. You belong here. Join the REVOLUTION.

 

Meet Brandy Eldridge

brandy-eldridge

Hello, Beta friends. I am an alpha personality who is embracing the beta way of life. I feel alive when connected with people, whether that is listening to their stories or learning about their passions. Forget small talk, let’s go deep together. Come to the table and let’s have some life-changing conversations.

 

Thanks for listening!

Did you enjoy this podcast? Feel free to leave a comment below or share this podcast on social media! You can also leave a review of the Beta Male Revolution Podcast on iTunes and subscribe!

Podcast Transcription

[BILLY ELDRIDGE]
Hello, and welcome to Beta Male Revolution podcast, a podcast that started out by seeing the world through a different lens of masculinity, and now has become a place for people to deconstruct their life in the second half life. I’m Billy Eldridge
[BRANDY ELDRIDGE]
I’m Brandy Eldridge. As a married couple, we’ve had a ton of disagreements, tried to be honest about challenges and setbacks and hopes of becoming better versions of ourselves. So grab a cup of coffee, come hang out. Let’s chat a little bit like we’ve known each other for 20 years.
[BILLY]
That’s what I’m talking about. Let’s get jaggy with it.
[BRANDY]
No.
[BILLY]
What?
[BRANDY]
No.
[BILLY]
Hey guys, thanks for hanging out with us today. Brandy and I are here and we are super excited to have Joshua here. Hey Joshua.
[JOSHUA HARRIS]
Hey guys.
[BILLY]
We go way back with Joshua. He doesn’t with us. We’re reading his books as youth and growing up and changing as a couple and going through challenges in our faith and the way we view the world and things. We just hung on to him over the years and watched him on social media and interviews and saw that he went through a shift. So we just want to get his help today because we’re lost in all this. Where do we go from here? How do you do certain things when you make a major life shift? So Joshua, thanks for being with us.
[JOSHUA]
Oh, it’s good to be with you. I love that you guys are having these conversations. So I feel honored to be a part of it.
[JOSHUA]
I have to have Billy tell a story, which I just found out the other night, we were excited about having you on and Billy said, I got to, I remember being in my house and having well, I’ll let you tell it. Will you tell the story about the two boom boxes and Joshua Harris?
[BILLY]
Yes, absolutely. So back in the day, when I Kissed Dating Goodbye was all the rage in my youth group circle. I bought the audio book and in the section where you have the, I don’t know if it’s a chapter or the story where you go through the room.
[JOSHUA]
Oh, right.
[BILLY]
Yes. So I had a little small group, a little youth small group in my house, and I had a six desk CD changer. I was so excited about because I could make like worship night playlists and have it and program it to go from one song to the other and set mood and get the lighting down. So I got that part of your audio CD, The Room and whenever we had a new person, we really needed to get them like saved, get really set the mood so we didn’t lose them. I would play that part of the audio CD and then it would transition into worship music. I would talk about if you feel unworthy and you’re looking at sins and just like Joshua Harris, you’re okay and God loves you. Your name’s covered in the blood of Christ. Normally they just looked at me like I was super weird. So staying a virgin was not a hard problem for me because that’s the stuff I did in my youth.
[JOSHUA]
Oh man, I love it. I love, I just love remembering boom boxes. That’s, talk about taking me back. I love it.
[BILLY]
Taking it back. So yes, that was my relationship with your work at that time. But since then you’ve gone on a little bit of a shift, little bit of a shift?
[JOSHUA]
Yes, I guess you could say I’ve done some pretty significant shifting
[JOSHUA]
So why don’t you take us through, for our audience, just how you got to where you are today?
[JOSHUA]
Yes. Well the backstory for me is that I was not just raised in a Christian family, evangelical Christian home, but we were homeschooled. So I was the oldest of seven kids and our family was deep in the homeschool movement in the United States, in the eighties and nineties and onward. So I grew up inside of a bubble, very conservative and very radically minded, I guess you could say. The whole mindset of homeschooling is don’t let your kids get corrupted by the world. You can keep them safe, you can pull them out and educate them yourself. So that was the world that I grew up in. Then when I hit the teen years in that world, there was a huge discussion about dating and how relationships should be done.

Essentially the courtship movement in the homeschool community, or even in some, even more conservative circles, the betrothal movement was this similar reaction, like we don’t want our kids to make all the mistakes we made in dating. We don’t want them to have sex before marriage. So let’s pull them out of the dating game. I imbibed a lot of those things as a teenager. I basically started communicating that same message only as a single guy. So my book, I Kissed Dating Goodbye, which you referenced was really me standing up and saying, all right, if we want to be serious about God, if we want to save sex for marriage, then we should not just save sex. We should stop dating because it leads all these problems.

So really this response of you can just run away from your impulses, you can run away from the problems, you can keep yourself safe. I thought that that message was from God. I was passionate about it. I thought it was something the world needed and ended up writing this book that caught fire and spread all around the world really. So fast forward, I become a pastor, I joined a church movement that doesn’t require me to go to seminary. I get on the-job training, become the senior pastor of a big church when I’m 30 and really just spend the next 10 years of my life leading a church, playing the role of senior pastor, doing my best to defend and represent all the values of this church.

Along the way, the wheels started falling off the cart. That came in the form of our church going through a massive church split, all kinds of challenges and relational upheaval there. It came in the form of failure on my part ways in which I realized I made mistakes and how we had reported things and when it came to child sex abuse. So these different issues that all added up to me looking at the life I built and the things that I contributed to and saying, there are some broken things here. We said we’re a culture about grace, but really we’ve created a culture where people feel this tremendous pressure to live up to these standards and are these standards really, even in the Bible?

So I just reached a point where my wife at the time, and I went to a counselor and he just said you’re going to implode if you don’t change something. You’re in this pressure cooker. It’s not even a good fit for who you are. The culture of your church isn’t even a fit for who you are as an individual and you need to rest for your soul. That was the beginning of us deciding to step away from ministry, to move all the way across the continent to Vancouver, BC, and to go to grad school. So it was the first time I ever went to school. This is a homeschooler, never gone to college, never gone to seminary, and I’m going to school for the first time and grad school. That was a space for me to start asking the question, what do I actually want? Is this really me? What parts of all this do I want to keep? I did not expect that those questions would take me quite as far as they have, but a lot has a lot has changed.
[BRANDY]
I watched your documentary and I thought it was excellent. I think one of the things we want to put out in the world is that during the second half of life is a time to reflect, a time to make amends with the world, a time to understand our foundational upbringings and then how does that mesh in the world now? I feel like when I watched that documentary several things, one, it was you reconciling your past, but it was also this apology that you had made with the book that is just something we don’t see in the world that you said I’m pulling this book off the shelves. This is my money maker essentially and I don’t feel good about it anymore. I don’t feel like it needs to be out there.

You pull it off the shelf and you go back and you make this public amends with these people. One of my thoughts was, wow, this is very, this is something the world needs to see. But then it was also, I felt so bad for you. It was like, like how long do you apologize for something that was just something you did in your twenties? Like we all did. The mindset in our twenties is this thing that pushes us and gets us where we are today. I mean, how long? I don’t know if it’s a personality trait of yours, just this gentleness and just wanting to reconcile. My husband is like that, but also at the point of where you just say, okay, I did it. It’s done. Are you at that point? Or how long does it last, or can you just take me through that emotional journey there?
[JOSHUA]
Yes, that’s a great question. Well I think for me, the uniqueness of my experience is just how widespread the message and the impact of the book was . So there are just a lot of people out there that took this message in and were affected by it. I’ve interacted with, with many people, I’ve tried to communicate on different platforms and interviews and podcasts and those types of things, just here’s where my thinking has changed. Here’s where, I’m sorry for the way that this negatively affected people. So in many ways I am moving forward with my life. I’m running a business, I’m trying to be a good dad to my kids. I’m trying to grow in different areas of my life, but I will continue to encounter people who, for the first time are finding out about ways that my thinking has changed or I’m interacting with people who are unpacking parts of their lives that were really negatively affected by my book and by purity culture, as we’ve come to describe it now, how that’s negatively affected them.

As they’re processing that grief, and as they’re dealing with that pain, maybe even ticked off at me for the part that I played in that, I want to be a part of encouraging healing in them. So I don’t want to say, well, look, I already dealt with that two years ago, I already, I go listen to this podcast and that type of thing. I want to be just a fellow traveler and encouragement to them to process that. So a lot of times people will see that and they’ll see me interacting with people or whatever and they’re like, can we stop talking about this? It’s like, let’s move on from this topic. I just think part of being compassionate towards others is recognizing we’re all at different places. For some people they’re just processing these things. So I would say to others, I would say to myself, we can’t live and regret forever. We can’t just live in the past forever. But I’m also trying to recognize that part of having published a book and let it be in existence for so long is that I have to try to be a part of the the cleanup of some of that fallout. Even though that’s hard, sometimes I also feel like it’s just part of my story. I and I need to embrace that.
[BILLY]
Wow. Well, I appreciate you being willing to do that. I’m part of a 12 step program and recovery from alcoholism and addiction. Part of that is a men’s process and I’m so glad I didn’t have a New York Times bestseller about my twenties and thirties. Otherwise my men’s list, would’ve been a lot longer. I can’t imagine what it’s like going through that on a public scale. I’ve always seen in like the evangelical movement, if you’re on the outside and you want to move in like a pop star or something starts getting close to it, you can still be out there, but they’re also happy to have you.
[JOSHUA]
Like Justin Bieber.
[BILLY]
Yes. But if you’re on the inside and you start to move out, they lose their ever loving minds.
[JOSHUA]
Like Beth Moore and Jen Hatmaker.
[JOSHUA]
I love these examples that you pipe in. It’s so great. It’s classic.
[BILLY]
Well, I remember early days, like Amy Grant, when she put out like a secular type of song, they were like, Amy, Grant’s horrible. I’m like, it’s Amy Grant. It’s like Elshadai. I mean, we can’t get rid of her. I mean, come o, but —
[JOSHUA]
She was like one of the, she failed, right? Her marriage failed. So many people wrote her off. It’s really sad.
[JOSHUA]
Right, because of her baby baby song that was in their minds.
[BILLY]
And her failed relationship. So many of us go through that and there’s so much shame around it. I appreciate the words you’re saying in the world, but what was that like? I mean, so we talk about making that shift and it’s not always easy and people don’t have to go through it on such a public level.. Are there any words of wisdom if you’re going through this, like, we’re trying to figure out as we go through this, what do you do with your kids? It’s really hard to leave people that you built community with your whole life, but you start getting ghosted and you don’t get invited to everything. So on some small level, I mean, I saw where you get like Instagram post about being like an apostate and things from evangelical leaders. I don’t have to experience that at that level, but I mean, how do you handle it?
[JOSHUA]
Oh boy, it’s really a painful thing and I think as you raise the issue of kids I don’t really talk about my kids publicly in interviews and that type of thing, just to keep them from that pressure. But I would say that that can be one of the things that I can second guess and doubt, just ways that my choices would affect them or disrupt their experience of community and those types of things. I have to keep coming back to one of the best gifts that I can give to my kids and not just my kids, but just to the world, to other human beings; is trying to be the most loving, authentic version of myself that I can be and that ultimately trying to stifle that, hide that, play a part that I don’t really, you know, it isn’t really who I am. It’s not really what I want.

All those different kinds of things is not ultimately a service to them or to anybody else. Because that’s what I want them to be able to do themselves. So if I’m modeling for them this idea of, well, let’s just go along to get along. Let’s just keep doing something to be accepted. Let’s just stay safe, even though this isn’t what we believe. Let’s just grovel for the acceptance of some group or some tribe. I don’t ultimately think that’s an example that I want to set for them, but it’s a real challenge. It’s led to a lot of different conversations that we’ve had. I guess I would also say that every person’s story is different.

Our family ended up transplanting to a completely different city, even a different country in Canada and that allowed us to just have this space to sort of figure out ways that we wanted to change as individuals and our family ended up changing my wife and I ended up splitting up and so on. But we weren’t running into all the people from our church every time we went to the grocery store. I talk to people that do have that experience where it’s like they change in some way and then they’re constantly aware of this pressure, this disapproval, this approbation from that community.

That’s a unique challenge. I think in many ways, I’ve been able to go through a lot of changes and even be public about it because I didn’t have that intense pressure. I didn’t have the intense pressure of, we are going to lose your job if you do that. You’re going to lose your whole community. Your next door neighbors are going to stop talking to you. We lost a lot of those things through the move and different choices we made. That was traumatic in and of itself, but it’s almost like those decisions gave us the space to say, wow we want to change in ways here that are even more drastic. That’s not always the case for different people.
[BRANDY]
On your Instagram, which I’ve become a huge fan of, just because it’s very honest, one of the quotes you put on there by Dr. Estes, it says to be ourselves causes us to be exiled by many others and yet to comply with what others want causes us to be exiled from ourselves. So reading this quote, Billy and I talked about it the other day and, oh, it just hit home. It was so relevant, I guess, to what we’re going through and then hearing someone else who has gone through a similar journey except yours was very public. But you keep going back to this thing of authenticity, which I think is an overused term, and it sometimes loses its relevance, but also when you speak to it, you really speak to the heart of it, of if it’s not making me kind, I don’t want it.

If it’s not bringing me closer to the things that are good for me, I don’t want it. I’m not, I hear in you and I don’t want to put words in your mouth, but it’s like you were saying, we had to figure this out for ourselves and what it was, and get away from the things that were drawing us or sucking us into this other place that we just didn’t want to be anymore. I know you don’t want to talk about your kids obviously, and I respect that in general though, just in general parenting, that is so difficult to not want to put them in that community, for me, that we grew up in because it’s the way I understand community. So that’s, I think where we’ve struggled in the past is like you said, of not wanting to pass that on to our children. I guess that’s where man, I’m just lost. I don’t know how to do that. How do we not? It’s having conversations like this that make me think, am I doing a disservice to my children or am I giving them something that I always wanted? I don’t know if there’s a question in there.
[JOSHUA]
No, that’s a long statement. Well maybe, maybe just to understand better part of what you’re feeling, are you wanting to give them the same experience of community and the church that you had? Is that your desire? Is that what you mean?
[JOSHUA]
Yes, I think so, but then no, absolutely not. I guess for us, we’re in the south and the Bible Belt, and the first question people ask you here is, well, what church do you go to? When we say we’re not in a church right now, but trying to provide a community of like-minded people to raise our children in. So Joshua Harris says moved to Canada and —
[BILLY]
She’s always trying to get me to move. Now she’s got another back. Just leave it all behind and start over, start fresh.
[JOSHUA]
Yes, no, I totally relate to what you’re describing and even the timing for me of some of these different changes than just got even more complicated by COVID it makes it even harder. That’s probably the thing that I miss most about Christian faith is this sort of built-in community that’s there. Although I would say, and again, this is different for every person, sometimes it can be a little bit of a crutch in the sense that it’s not necessarily, the depth of those relationships isn’t maybe as great as we want to believe it is. It’s just a structure. It’s like, it’s just, you show up every Sunday, pastors are trying to get you to serve and volunteer. It’s just sort of a way to give you this custom-ready, packaged community in a box experience.

I don’t want to undermine that. That’s beautiful. There’s so many beautiful things about that. I think churches, when they are on the healthier end of the spectrum really provide something wonderful for the world. I guess the point that I’m trying to make is I have to be more intentional. I have to actually sit down and do a little work. It’s not just being handed to me. I have to ask the question of what people do I want to build community with? Where do I go out and look for that? What does it look like for me to be purposeful? What are the, where’s laziness hindering me? How can I be creative here?
[JOSHUA]
I actually think those kinds of questions and that effort is an incredible thing to model for your kids, teach for your kids and show them because they are going to have to do that themselves one day. They might decide that they want to be in a a conservative Christian Church and that’s where they find it. But if they don’t, I hope that they would have the skills and the experience to say you can go anywhere in the world and you can do the hard work of building relationships and building community, but that has to start with you sometimes.
[BRANDY]
That’s so good.
[BILLY]
We often joke that, like, how are our kids going to rebel now that we don’t have these rigid rules and belief systems? I’m like, they’re probably going to become conservative, evangelical Christians and that’s going to be their resistance. They’re going to take our box, take it apart and put together a new one. It’s the freedom.
[JOSHUA]
I mean, there is some predictability to that pattern happening in the generations, for sure. They’ll be on a podcast in 15 years, like, yes, mom and dad went off the rails and we were part of this ultra-conservative church.
[BRANDY]
We have so many people praying for us. So hopefully that’ll bring us back around
[BILLY]
I’m saying it’s the pendulum between true love waits and true love mates. Where do you fall? Where are your kids?
[BRANDY]
Oh my gosh. Yes. You’ve been sitting on that one for long.
[BILLY]
That one for a minute. Thank you very much.
[JOSHUA]
That’s like a dad joke classic right there.
[BILLY]
That is, but well bringing that up, do you get tired of talking about sex?
[JOSHUA]
No. That’s one topic I can talk about forever.
[BILLY]
I mean, even though your book wasn’t directly, well, your first book, True Love Waits was about sex. So I’m sure that comes up a lot. I do want to direct people to Nadia Boltz Weber’s interview with you on the confessional. It goes deeper on that topic and healthy and unhealthy sexuality. If you’re looking for some freedom and some understanding, go listen to that. I wet tears as I listen to you guys talking and it was so freeing for me because it was just so much shame and wrapped up, but I know that’s like the topic you probably get, well, what about sex?
[JOSHUA]
Well, it’s a big one. I mean, in the world that we came from it was sort of like the issue that defined whether or not you were in a healthy relationship with God. So the boys go off and do their accountability, and it’s all about, did you look at porn? Did you masturbate? So it emphasized in such a way that I think people can obsess over it in a very unhealthy way, because it was everything. It was, are you doing well? So I think there are many people from that background that are working through the consequences of that thinking, ways in which they had an unhealthy view of sex, ways in which shame shaped their view of themselves. Sexuality is so close to the core of who we are as humans, how we show up in the world, how we connect with other people.

That erotic energy is more than just about naked bodies. I mean, it’s like this driving life force that keeps pushing us to duplicate ourselves literally. So it’s at the heart of so many things and I think it’s a big part of the reason that religion is so obsessed with it because it’s this area that is not quite in control and it’s an easy area to manipulate people around. It’s a topic that everyone’s slightly afraid of because it can get out of hand and cultures and societies are always trying to strike this balance of keep having sex and mating and making offspring, but don’t let this get out of control, because this can be disruptive to our structures and our neat little lives. So it’s a big one.
[BRANDY]
Again, back to my children, I struggle with that because we were raised so conservative that I don’t want to go the other way and just be like, it’s free hippie love. But then at the same time, I don’t want them to have any shame and misunderstandings, which I’m still coming to terms with understanding. I’m still, I’m so grateful to be married to Billy who is so open minded and has these conversations. We can have these conversations with our children and we are at their young ages, even at five, we’re defining different things along the way. It’s very different than how we were raised, where you just didn’t talk about it at all, ever, except for don’t do it.

It’s just different and trying to navigate the world with our children, I just have to keep saying, it’s going to be okay. Like it’s just going to be okay. I can’t mess it up if I’m just trying to have conversations. Even when my kids get oed out by it, like no mom stop, we understand. But it’s just so contra-addictive to the nature of how we are raised. Even being out of it. I still feel that pull of this is something like you said I can control or at least I think I can. That’s not how I want to approach it, but I feel that I need to box it up.
[JOSHUA]
Well, that interesting thing, even as you’re talking, which I so relate to is the mindset. This goes beyond just the issue of sex, but it’s the mindset that says there is a way to do things that will give a particular outcome, especially when it comes to parenting. But that mindset of will just follow these principles, teach this curriculum, do this with your kids and they’ll turn out well. If you don’t, oh my gosh, you really failed as a parent. I think that mindset in and of itself is what leads to so many unhealthy outcomes. In other words, it’s this control based, fear based approach to life and I think some of the worst ways that it comes out are in parenting because we love our kids so much, but it’s not only that we love our kids. We also love our own reputations.

We want everybody in the church to know that we’re great parents. If our kids mess up, if our daughter shows up and her skirt is too short, or if our kids act out or what that’s going to make us look bad and or we don’t, we’re so fearful that we don’t want our kids to be hurt the way we were hurt. We almost end up trying to control and dictate things in their life. That is just, it creates a whole different set of problems. I’m not saying we should say, well, we don’t care or just wash our hands of it but I think we have to start by saying, how do I let go of that fear? If that fear is controlling me, no matter what I do, it’s going to be tainted. It’s going to be unhealthy.

Because I’m going to stop seeing my children or even other human beings as human beings who are in process, I’m going to stop remembering that they’re going to learn through mistakes and failure. I’m going to start trying to keep them from those things, which is actually going to keep them from the very process of life that we’re all called into. So I just want to encourage you. I’m really preaching to myself here too, caring for them, loving them, letting go of fear, letting go of control is one of the greatest gifts we can give; guiding them through conversation, teaching them how to process things and just tools to be able to think about their sexuality, giving them categories that we were never given of the importance of consent and the importance of mutual pleasure and the importance of safety and those types of things can help them make good decisions.

But they’re humans. They’re going to make mistakes. They’re going to learn things on their own. Especially when it comes to kids, they don’t always want to learn things from us. It’s almost like they have to go and chart their own course sometimes. I just see so much bad fruit coming from the mindset that says, if I do things exactly like this, then I will get this exact outcome. That’s just not the way the world works.
[BRANDY]
Right. Rob Bell tells a story on one of his podcasts early on about a preacher that he went out and surfed with. He said, I don’t know if it was a preacher and I’m probably just messing this whole thing out, but the point of it was that he’s out there on a surfboard and he’s complimenting his friend about his parenting skills. One of the things his friend says is I just didn’t give advice. I just listened and I let them discover things. I just ask the questions, which I’ve noticed during this interview, you’ve got great questions. So when I’m like telling you my sob stories, I don’t know what I’m doing, you just keep continuing to ask these questions; what is it that’s going on? What is it that you feel? You’re asking these questions that I think that’s such a great strategy with people. Period.

It’s listening more and asking the right questions and with our parents and with our friends and with our communities. I’m thinking about all of our listeners, we have a lot Joshua and we have a lot of closeted listeners that don’t admit to listen to us, but then we’ll see them and they’ll come up to us and they’re like, yes, I’ve been listening to your podcast. We were lucky enough to have like Nadia Boltz Weber on there, which I still don’t understand why she said yes, but completely grateful. They’ll say we listened to that episode and what she said about the Bible being figurative in places, have you really talked about that? They don’t want to tell everybody that they’re listening. I think your podcast, when it hits our audience is going to be that, like, you’re asking these really hard questions, but they’re important questions of just listening and letting them chart their own course and how are we doing that?
[BILLY]
Well, speaking of those questions, it’s almost as if for a living, you help people get in touch with their own story.
[BRANDY]
Oh, nice segue. Nice segue. What is Joshua Harris doing today? What is he doing now?
[JOSHUA]
Well, that makes up for the dad joke, man. I’ll tell you that.
[BILLY]
Yes, I appreciate it.
[BRANDY]
You see why I keep this guy around?
[JOSHUA]
Part of the work that I do is what I call message clarity coaching, which is working with people who have an idea a message that they want to get into the world, whether that is starting a podcast, or it’s writing a book or launching a business and they have their own journey that they’re processing and they’re trying to figure out how that story and that message can connect with other people. How do they articulate that clearly in a compelling way? So this coaching that I do with people it’s been so gratifying for me because it really taps into a lot of the things that I thought I’d had to let go of when I stopped being a pastor, but it allows me to journey alongside other people, to help them look back on the good and the bad experiences of their life and look for ways that those experiences have shaped their passions and the things that they care about and who they want to communicate with and who they want to help in the rest of their life.

So, yes, I’ve really enjoyed this work and helping women and men get what I think are really needed world changing messages out there. The funny thing is, like you say, it’s like, they’re people that come to me for this coaching and they might not even be ready to publicly admit that they’re coached by me because Josh Harris has some baggage and that kind of thing but that —
[BILLY]
Beautiful baggage.
[JOSHUA]
Part of the reason that they want to be coached by me is they know it’s going to be a safe space to really ask questions, to talk about ways that they’re deconstructing old beliefs, ways in which they’re changing. They know it’s going to be a judgment-free zone with other people who are on that same journey. So yes, the message, clarity coaching has been a real real exciting thing for me to participate in.
[BILLY]
That’s awesome. Well, where do folks find you if they, I mean, do they just look you up and sign up for a one on one? Is there an application process? How do they—
[JOSHUA]
Yes, so the coaching course is eight weeks long and it is a group format because so much of the learning and the transformation takes place as you’re hearing other people who are in the same process who are refining their message, who are getting the courage to take that step and actually speak up and own their voice. So you can just go to my website, which is joshharris.com and there’s a simple application on there. Yes, we’d love to have more people dive in.
[BRANDY]
Well, as we wrap up, I just want you to be able to send a message out there to the world. What is it that’s in your heart today that you feel is important for people to hear? What is the good little nugget that you could leave our audience with?
[JOSHUA]
Well, I just love the conversation that the two of you are facilitating around the second half of life. I think it’s so important and I think there’s so many of us that feel like, oh, wow, I messed up, I failed, I’m rethinking things and there can be a lot of shame around that. What I’m discovering is whether you grew up religious or not, it’s a natural part of the human experience to hit the middle of your life and realize that there are parts to your way of thinking. There are aspects of your identity that were handed to you that no longer work. It doesn’t mean that they’re all wrong. Doesn’t mean that you have to throw them out in anger, but there’s just learning that’s taking place and a deepening that’s taken place and a growth in wisdom that requires evolution and transformation.

That’s what you guys are talking about, which is why I’m just so thrilled to be here. That’s just normal. If you don’t go through that there’s a good chance that you’re not facing up to to your own story in some ways, a good chance you’re not being honest with yourself. So I guess my message to people would just be don’t be hard on yourself. Don’t think that you’ve failed if you’re having to rethink things. Don’t think you’ve failed if you’re having to shift in different ways. Don’t be scared of that process of transformation. It’s a part of being a human who’s growing. Part of growing is in some cases, admitting you’re wrong. Part of growing is looking at some parts of the way you were raised and saying I no longer want to be controlled by that. I no longer want to adhere to that. So I just encourage you, show yourself a lot of grace. This is a good part of the journey.
[BILLY]
Thanks so much for hanging out with us today, sharing your time, sharing a message of grace and love. We needed it. We’re taking it all in and we deeply appreciate you, Josh.
[JOSHUA]
Appreciate both of you. Thank you so much.
[BRANDY]
Thank you.
[BILLY]
Beta Male Revolution is part of the Practice of the Practice podcast network, a family of podcasts seeking to change the world. To hear other podcasts like the Bomb Mom podcast, Imperfect Thriving or Empowered and Unapologetic, go to practiceofthepractice.com/network.

This podcast is designed to provide accurate and authoritative information in regards to the subject matter covered. This is given with the understanding that neither the host, Practice of the Practice, or the guests are providing legal, mental health, or other professional information. If you need a professional, you should find one.

Beta Male Revolution is part of the Practice of the Practice Podcast Network, a network of podcasts seeking to help you thrive, imperfectly. To hear other podcasts like the Bomb Mom Podcast, Imperfect Thriving, or Empowered and Unapologetic, go to practiceofthepractice.com/network.

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