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145: Empowering Your Parenting with Faith With Hillary Morgan Ferrer





Brief summary of show:

In this conversation, we talk with Hillary Morgan Ferrer, the founder of Mama Bear Apologetics. We discuss the importance of preparing for the future without succumbing to fear. Hillary emphasizes the need for preparation and empowerment, as well as finding stillness and respite in the midst of a busy world. We also explore the spiritual battle for our nation and the dangers of being lumped into Christianity without truly understanding and living out the faith. The conversation concludes with a discussion on the role of fathers and the mission of Mama Bear Apologetics.


Listen as we talk about:

00:00 - Introduction and Appreciation for Mama Bear Apologetics

00:31 - Preparing for the Future

03:01 - Preparation and Empowerment

04:22 - The Spiritual Battle for Our Nation

05:44 - Finding Respite and Stillness

08:22 - The Dangers of Busyness

09:41 - Escaping Fear and Finding Stillness

11:07 - Preparing for What's Coming

13:07 - Addressing Differences and Spiritual Battles

14:56 - The Burden of the Name of Jesus

16:33 - Living as Examples and Putting Faith First

18:14 - Being Lumped into Christianity and Evangelicalism

20:22 - The Importance of Fathers and Faith Transmission

22:16 -The Mission of Mama Bear Apologetics



Notes from Natalie:


Connect with Me


Connect with Hillary




View Transcript of the show

Natalie Tysdal

Hillary, I've been looking forward to this conversation because your podcast is one that when I listen, I want to take notes. And if I'm driving, I have to pull over because there are so many things that I learned from what you all are doing. So thank you for Mama Bear Apologetics and giving us a way to understand and words to use. And you guys, you're both wonderful. Yeah, so today I wanted to talk about preparing for the future.

Hillary Morgan Ferrer

Thank you.

Natalie Tysdal

what's coming next. You talked about this on one of your podcasts. And then kind of this underlying issue that I find working with teenagers, having teenagers of fear.

Hillary Morgan Ferrer

Yes. Yeah, so this is one of those things that like, um, I've had a prayer board in my office for a really long time where I just write down stuff. This is like kind of the direction I feel these are specific things I want to pray for. And then what are some specific things I want to be praying for over the mama bear community and over us as a ministry? What do we need to be doing? And the, the phrase that I kind of kept getting for literally the last several years is preparing moms for what's coming, but yet without inspiring fear. Because there's a way that we can kind of be the, there was a chicken little sky is falling sort of rhetoric where it's like people don't know what to do. It's like why we've just said, Oh, everything's going to get so horrible. And all it does is inspire fear. And fear is not from the Lord. And in fact, there's been several times when I have seen something coming when I'm like, okay, I'm expecting that.

And I almost feel like a little like I stand up a little bit straighter and you know, I kind of get my, you know, just almost my ideological and my spiritual just fighting gloves on and I'm kind of ready for it. I'm realized that's not it. That's not a fear response. That is the kind of response that I think that we have with the power of the Holy Spirit. So basically it's like, how do we have women be able to see some of the negative things that are coming that would normally be terrifying, but say, nope we're gonna prepare for that. I think preparation is like one of those ways that you can dispel fear. And I'll give you an example from this. The second book that we did, the sexuality book, I had sworn I was never gonna do a sexuality book. I'd even said, you know, mama bear, we're not gonna even touch that topic. We've got so many other things that we can do. And honestly, it was fear because of it was so complicated that I couldn't, I would say it was like someone putting a pile of noodles in front of me and being like, will you organize this?

Natalie Tysdal

That's a funny analogy.

Hillary Morgan Ferrer

And, yeah, and, and I also saw the vitriol. Like I remember we came out with a statement of faith that said that, that we believe the Bible to be the inspired word of God and that it was inerrant in all it said and all it commanded and it's supposed to have authority over our lives. And immediately we got a barrage from this other group that had like told all their members to start coming and giving us one star reviews saying how big and hateful we were.

against the homosexual community. And so I finally kind of answered some of them. I was like, I'm so sorry that, you know, have we done something? Can you please tell me what we've done that has communicated this? Knowing that we hadn't done anything, but you know, I'll always be willing for someone to point out something that I did that I wasn't aware of. And the only answer that they could give me was that statement of faith, saying that we believe the Bible to be the inspired in their word of God that is authoritative for our life.

So I knew that anything within the realm of sexuality was gonna come against me so hard if we spoke out. And yet at the same time, the Lord called us to write that book. And so I went from fear to empowerment through writing that book. And the reason why is because I started to understand what was going on. I started to prepare for the questions. I started to prepare for...

Like in my mind, knowledge to me is power. Understanding how something works is power. Everything else, if it's just blindsiding me and I don't know what to do, that's what causes fear. And so that's kind of what we try to pass on with Mama Bear apologetics is how can we prepare people for this to where they feel empowered to address it when it comes without fear, but at the same time, without hiding our heads in the sand and just saying like, everything's gonna be as everything's always been, because I have a feeling that...

That's not going to be the case. I've been kind of dreading 2024 since 2020. I'm saying I'm not sure if our country can handle another election. Just all the stuff that goes on. And I don't want to even want to, I don't want to reduce this even to politics. I want to say that there is a spiritual battle for our nation that is going on around these just to divide people. And I'm not even saying one side's right and one side's wrong. I'm just saying that there's a spiritual battle to divide us.

Hillary Morgan Ferrer

cause hatred, to cause enmity. And none of it is directed at the source of evil. It's all directed at each other and these perceived differences. And we saw this happen during COVID as well, where I was listening to a podcast recently by a friend of mine said it to me. I don't normally listen to him, but John Eldridge, I think he does the Wild at Heart podcast and...

Natalie Tysdal

Yeah.

Hillary Morgan Ferrer

So a friend of mine sent this to me, I think it's the most recent one, like from January 17th. And he was just really talking about a lot of the spiritual stuff going on. I thought, I felt that. I felt all the stuff that he's talking about. And so just preparing us for that spiritual aspect as well. How do we prepare moms for just this? It's a spiritual onslaught that manifests itself in the physical realm. But how do we do that without causing fear?

Natalie Tysdal

Yeah. You know, working at a high school now, and I told you my background, most of my listeners know, being in the media world for so long, I felt that. I felt the spiritual warfare, and I didn't at the time identify it as that, but I most definitely felt the fear. You know, the fear, the waking up in the middle of the night. I used to put my family into the situations that I reported on. I used to have a continual nightmare of my child getting run over because I did a story on and these were just talk about fear and and you know during the Sandy Hook shootings I mean some of those things I had terrible nightmares of my children being the ones being stuffed into cabinets like that that fear is boy you talk about spiritual warfare and like putting the fear of things that most likely aren't gonna happen and yet these things are happening in our world but

I like to say that we become what we fill our minds with. And I certainly became more of that because my mind for five hours a day on live TV, I was filling my mind with negativity instead of the positive things and the Bible.

Hillary Morgan Ferrer

Yeah.

Hillary Morgan Ferrer

The rest of us could just turn it off. You had to actually be the one talking and speaking and studying and doing all that. And that can be really, that can be difficult, especially, you know, I know from our perspective as sometimes some of the darker things that we're getting into that I will feel it physically. It will literally just level me out to where I can barely stay awake and I can't do stuff. It's like certain topics will do this to me or I'll get sick.

Hillary Morgan Ferrer

Um, and so it's like, but it's all for the purpose of helping other people, but like, we can't get away from it because that's what we're studying to help them, you know, equip the moms for you couldn't get away with it or from it because that was your job. And so what do you do when you can't get away from all this stuff? We have to find a way to have a respite to still our mind. And this is, I'm going to talk about a bunch about this John Eldridge podcast, just because I just watched it the other day. It is, it's on the top of my mind. One of the things that I was like, that is amazing. I need to find something twice a day at their headquarters. They have like this monk type music that goes off that everybody, no matter what they're doing, they stop, they kneel and they just give whatever they're working to the Lord. All the fear, all the anxiety, all the deadlines, all the everything, they stop. I know, and he does it on the podcast. I was like, I'm totally gonna be downloading. So I'm like.

Hillary Morgan Ferrer

You got a Gregorian chance that I can put on a timer for my phone that'll go off twice a day. I was like, what a great idea. It's like, are we building in these little pieces of respite to rid ourselves of all the ick that we're taking in?

Natalie Tysdal

Yeah, yeah. Well, and that goes to something else that I know you all talk about, and I love the quote, you'll have to give it to me, on how busy -ness is not of God.

Hillary Morgan Ferrer

Yes, yes, this is something I can't remember who first said it to me, but it's like I've repeated it ever since. If the devil can't make you bad, he'll make you busy. And I have seen that. So I'm gonna get a little personal here that when I was in college, especially, I really struggled with depression. And it was because of some circumstances that I'd been put in. We'll just say some unhealthy circumstances that I had been put in that I had to get myself out of in terms of.

Hillary Morgan Ferrer

what I thought what my career was going to be and the people that were in that major will say or the people that were overseeing it. And I just had to get out of that. But what I did to really make myself just not think about the depression is I just stayed busy constantly because the second that I would stop that depression would descend upon me. So it's like I it was like almost an escape. And so we're not always just trying to escape depression or escape anxiety. I think sometimes we are escaping kind of what the Lord's saying. Like you were saying how during COVID, you all of a sudden realized the Lord wanted you to change careers. And we were talking about how, you know, in parts of the world that had been just complete smog for so long, during that period in COVID, when everything shut down, all of the sky was clear. And so maybe it was that stillness that allowed us to finally hear from the Lord. Like you said, like that stillness is what allowed us to say, oh,

Yeah, this isn't normal. No, I shouldn't be doing this. Or it's like in my case, I needed, I had stuff that I needed to deal with and just putting more activities on top of it. I mean, it would push it away for a little bit, but it didn't solve the problem.

Natalie Tysdal

Yeah, yeah. And so often we think we're going to hear God's voice in a big, loud way. And when you talk about that stillness, you know, in first Kings, it is the story is Elijah, where it is going to hear through the earthquake, the fire, the wind. And then it's like, no, when you finally can be quiet, you will hear that in the stillness, that still small voice and learning to hear that.

Hillary Morgan Ferrer

Yeah. Yep. Yep. And sometimes he does speak loudly and we love it when he does, but a lot of times he doesn't. And so he is waiting for us. It's like trying to talk to someone who's just so busy and you're like, I'm just gonna wait till you sit down for a second. Yeah.

Natalie Tysdal

And you can be calm. Yeah. So when we talk about that fear and preparing for what's coming, what I think a lot of people listening, they think, well, what is coming? You know, we know what's happening. Of course, in Israel, we know what the Bible says. We know prophecy, you know, all these. And then we think, well, is that tomorrow or is that in a hundred years still? We don't really know. But is that what what you're talking about when you prepare for what's coming?

Hillary Morgan Ferrer

Not as much. I think if we were to have a very just outward focus, a very earthly focus, we're going to be looking at what is going on. So we're going to say the symptoms versus the root. And so a lot of times the symptoms are going to be people are going to put all their fear on this one candidate getting elected or all their fear on this other candidate get elected and looking at policies and what's going on and what's this going to do to our country. And I would say that that is really a secondary issue that distracts us from the fact that we have just this spirit of division that's coming in and understanding where is the battle actually coming from is the thing that we need to be able to stop and look at. I had an experience like this a couple of weeks ago. There was someone who I'm, you know, not super close with, but we're good enough acquaintances that we talk regularly whose theology has started changing on something. And I was getting more and more frustrated thinking this person's going totally progressive and all this stuff to the point of was I was like, I don't even want to, I don't want to deal with it anymore. And the Lord had to make me stop and remind me this is another like she, she has proof faithful that she loves the Lord. This is another child of God. She may be off on this. And I just really had to pray about that. And that stillness, I realized that I was taking maybe that spiritual battle that maybe she's falling for some, some bad spiritual stuff right now, but my anger was against her and not against the ideology And that allowed me to step back and then start treating her again with, yeah, let's talk about this more. Yeah, let's discuss this. And it just reminded me, man, how the enemy loves to divide us.

Natalie Tysdal

Yes. How important do you think it is, you just brought up a topic, that when that happens or when you see a friend or even a family member who you're going through something like that with to confront it or just pray about it.

Hillary Morgan Ferrer

That's a good question. I think it really depends on the relationship you have and their ability to how receptive they are to it. I think we need to address it head on and just have discussions about it as much as we can and be pointing back to scripture. But there are times when this is really a spiritual battle or it's...

Yeah, it really depends on the situation. I think in this situation, it's something that she's been studying for 10 years. I don't see her coming back around. And so there is a lot of prayer that needs to be happening. And I'm also just paying attention to seeing what other parts of her theology change. But then she sent me a text at one point that reminded me there's a lot of stuff we're on the same side on. She needed some resources for this or for that.

Hillary Morgan Ferrer

I was talking about my friend. I really want to address the being, I think I'm going too much into specifics and I think we need to be prepared for what's coming. I think I need to go more into that. Yeah, and I think one of the things that I think being prepared for is the fact that we're seeing evangelical Christians being all lumped together when Barnett is showing that like only like four to 8 % of them actually have a Christian worldview.

Natalie Tysdal

Okay. Yeah.

Hillary Morgan Ferrer

And so what we're going to be seeing is every single possible name being put onto Christianity. And I have an analogy actually I can use. I have this super big epiphany watching Lord of the Rings this weekend that I could talk about of like, what does it look like to be a Christian in this time and kind of.

Hillary Morgan Ferrer

that that ring of power, I was like, you know, I think that ring of power is the name of Jesus in the sense that it's not the person of Jesus, it's the name of Jesus, everybody wants to have Jesus's stamp of approval on whatever it is that they're doing. The progressive Christianity, they want to say, well, Jesus, you know, would agree with us, you know, be affirming and the, you know, with all the sexualities and with all the politics and with all the things and everybody.

the hyper fundamentalists, the ones that basically want women to be subservient. It's like everybody is all fighting over the name of Jesus. If you look at even all the world religions, every single world religion has a place for Jesus. And I think that certain people on one side of political aisle see...

the other side using the name of Jesus to justify all their agendas. And we see the other side of the political aisle using Jesus to justify all their agendas. So it's like this ring that we're all battling over. And the Christian has this burden of actually carrying the name of Jesus, knowing that everybody's fighting over that. And we can also be tempted to use that name of Jesus for our own power, which is not a legitimate use because this ring of power is not Jesus himself. It's just that perceived moral authority that comes with it. And so like of our job is to bear that fight over that name knowing that we can't get away from the name of Jesus and part of our job is to basically take it and try to destroy it because that I don't know because our call is to have a relationship with Jesus not just to to bear his name.

Natalie Tysdal

That's so true. And I feel like this is on a tangent a little bit, but when you say that, you know, so many people use that name or even their jewelry or cross or things, and then you think just because you have that symbol, are you living that life? And are you putting that first? I like to say, are you putting the faith lens on in all of your decisions before anything that you do and before the words that you speak?

Hillary Morgan Ferrer

And Barna would say, no, like literally, I can't remember, it was either four, six or eight. I can't remember what percentage of people who claim to be evangelical Christians are actually have an evangelical like worldview. So what we're seeing happen is that this kind of massive machine of evangelicalism is kind of showing itself for the hypocrisy, shall we say that it is but everybody's getting lumped into that. And so what do we do as Christians when we're getting lumped into things that we don't agree with and yet we're being faulted for everything there? So that's one of the things that we are going to be having to deal with. That's one of the things our kids are going to be having to deal with and our kids are going to be told that the only way to get out from underneath that burden and shame,

Hillary Morgan Ferrer

is to basically dump the label of Christian, dump the label of evangelical, or even dump the beliefs of evangelicalism, because it's really not the beliefs, that's the thing, is a lot of the people who are falling into this category are ones that don't really believe that, you know, we've got that, you know, four to four to eight percent of people who actually truly believe those beliefs. And so, yeah, being being prepared to be hated for the actions of others, really.

Natalie Tysdal

I guess I think of it this way and then let's wrap up with this. Maybe you said being prepared to be hated and I look at it as being prepared to be an example. You know, to sure, of course, there are people out there that are louder and criticize so much greater or in multitude, but how can we live by example and live with love.

Hillary Morgan Ferrer

And I think honestly, it's like kind of has the same solution that we just aren't living for other people's opinions at all.

Hillary Morgan Ferrer

Yeah, because if you do this whole Christianity thing right, you're going to have a lot of people in Christianity who think that you're sellout, and then you're going to have a lot of people of the world who think that you're an intolerant bigot. So you need to be okay with both sides hating you, really, knowing that, you know what, I'm going to be following, because Christ had this radical love, but he also had, he also called us to radical obedience. Because of the radical love, some groups are going to say you are, you know,

Hillary Morgan Ferrer

fraternizing with people that you shouldn't and you're misrepresenting the name of God, if we're doing our love correctly, we're not compromising any of our obedience or any of our doctrine. So all they're going to see is us being kind and loving and accepting and all those things and then we're going to be hated for that. But we also have that have that radical obedience and that radical commitment to Christ's truth and then of course that's when the world hates us and so

I think I've learned that I just don't listen to either group. And so whenever someone tries to put me into a group, I'm like, I don't fit there, but I don't fit there. So like, I'm just like, whatever, I don't fit in anywhere, which the Lord has prepared me for my whole life because I've never fit in anywhere. And so I'm just kind of used to not fitting in. Now, the thing that our kids that are used to fitting in, this is going to be a lot harder for them.

Natalie Tysdal

Yeah, isn't that true? Yeah And that's an important point because as adults, we can say, it's fine if you don't like me, I don't care. But we know, working with teenagers, I most certainly know that they live with blinders and what all they think about is what do people think of me? And what are people saying about me? And what's on social media about me? And so I worry about that for our kids, that to have that kind of confidence is totally different for a young person versus what it is for us.

Hillary Morgan Ferrer

Yeah, I remember my youth pastor telling me my senior year, sometimes you know you're on the right track by who you make mad. Like, it's like you want to... the person we're always aiming to please is Christ, but sometimes like it's knowing... you know that if you're on the right track, if you make the right people mad, the wrong people mad, they might be seeing something that...

Yeah, that's a legitimate thing that I've crossed the line somewhere. But the people, there's certain people who are maybe the more legalistic and kind of hypocritical and don't actually live their faith. If I make them mad, hey, maybe I'm on the right track. Or the people who are more compromised and who are wanting to live as part of the world make them mad. That's kind of be expected. And I love the freedom that to me gave me the freedom to just really not care what all the other things, all the other people said, but just really what did Christ model.

Natalie Tysdal

Yeah, absolutely. Well, Mama Bear Apologetics, you all have a podcast, you have a website, tell people a little bit more about it. And if you could give us, I didn't ask you off the top, but why you've started it, what you're doing.

Hillary Morgan Ferrer

Yeah. So why I started it several years back, it kind of started with a friend of mine who mentioned that there was an entire demographic of women who wouldn't read something unless it was by women for women. And being always being a daddy's girl and always being comfortable with being the only girl in the room, that had never even occurred to me. And so I thought, oh my gosh, like I went immediately from who's preparing the women to more than that, who's preparing the moms? Like the moms are that first, it's like kids always go to mom's first with questions, no matter what they are. Up until like maybe they're 16, you know, the kid that needs to open the jar of pickles will bypass dad sitting on the couch watching TV and go into the bathroom where mom's trying to shave her legs and ask her to open the jar of pickles. And it's like, did you not see your father sitting on the couch? All the questions, mom knows best. And so mom is the one that we need to be.

Hillary Morgan Ferrer

equipping the most if they're getting the questions first. And so I originally thought that the Lord had called me to commission someone to do this because my husband and I just for health reasons, I can't have kids and I can't adopt. And so I'm not a mom, but I thought nobody's going to listen to me. And that's the lie. Basically, the enemy held over me for a really long time. And I found that the Lord had called me to almost like my own kind of motherhood, which is to help prepare the moms. So I've got something that moms don't have, which is time to research. And that's kind of all I've got. So that's where Mama Bear apologetics started.

Natalie Tysdal

What a beautiful story. I have another friend who you remind me of her because similarly she started a group for young athletes at my daughter's college because she wasn't able to have children. And now she gets to be a mom to all of these student athletes. And she always says that I have so many kids and this is what God's called me to do. So what a beautiful story that you're able to do that and you do it in such a great way.

Natalie Tysdal

And to all the dads out there, it doesn't mean you're not important in other ways. And the kids are going to come to you for certain things, but...

Hillary Morgan Ferrer

Yeah, the kids come to dad usually later on in the teens and usually involving like economic and political stuff, which mom's usually like, I'm fine, go to your father for that. But at the same time, it kind of shows us how dads need to be also presenting themselves. Maybe they come to mom all the time because mom's always the one talking about this. Like, how can we make dad really the spiritual leader of the house, him being the one to say we are going to prioritize.

Hillary Morgan Ferrer

family time around the table and reading our Bible together. And like, there's lots of ways. And what was it? The families in faith, I can't remember what the name of the author is, found that retention of faith across generations is actually more tied to having a warm, loving relationship with the father than it is the mother. So we cannot deny the importance of the fathers. It's actually that that faith transmission actually hinges more on dad than it does on mom, even though mom's the one getting the questions first.

Natalie Tysdal

Yeah, that's so interesting. I remember hearing a statistic, I wish I could remember the exact, you might know it, that families that go to church with dad and children end up staying in the church. And that's not to say mom shouldn't, but my mom took me to church, but dad didn't go. And my mom made sure that my sister and I were always in church. But families where dad goes to church, those kids end up staying in church more often.

Hillary Morgan Ferrer

Especially if dad has a warm relationship with the kids. That was a specific thing. Just that safe relationship because men got to realize that the kids can view God the way that they view dad. So if dad is super angry and judgmental and always critical and wanting you to do the best and pushing you even when you're tired, God's going to seem like that. But if dad is that safe, warm, loving place that pushes you to do your best but is there for you when you fall, that's, you know, strong enough to just be the man but tender enough to comfort. That's how they're going to see God. And so we cannot leave dads out of the picture. I think they're vastly important. But when it comes to apologetics, so like when it comes to Christianity, a lot of times you get the dad, you get the family. But I would say difference when it comes to apologetics, you get the mom, you get the family, because normally dads would be interested in this on their own, just because it's more of an analytical kind of, you know, kind of they like the idea of debating and stuff like that. And so mom may not get into it. And there's like not childcare at all the apologetic conferences. So she's like, you go and have fun. You get the mom, all of a dad says, well, wait, that sounds super interesting. Now he wants to get involved. Now mom and dad are talking about this together in front of the kids. Now the kids are interested in what they're talking about. So you get mom, you get the whole family with apologetics.

Natalie Tysdal

Yeah, and it's empowering to young women to be like, I need to understand this and I'm not just relying on all those around me. Young women, of course, and young men. What a great conversation, Hillary. Thank you so much. I appreciate it. We will link up all of your links to the website and podcast and your social media so that folks can click on and follow you and all that you're doing.

Thanks.



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