Tag Archives: Dad

Ancient Advice for Modern Dads (Ed Young, Sr.)

Jacob did not have the kind of resources we have today on the subject of learning to be an effective father.  After all, there were not many parenting seminars taught in West Canaan in his day! And yet in the pages of Deuteronomy, one of the books of the Pentateuch, right in the middle of Jewish law we discover these timeless words of wisdom:

You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength.  And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart.  You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up.  you shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be frontlets between your eyes.  You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates. Deuteronomy 6:5-9

This passage speaks of two principles that are critical to men who would be effective fathers: one, a personal loving devotion to God Himself, and two, something I call “saturation leadership.”  Without a personal, passionate, devoted relationship to the Lord Jesus Christ, it is difficult for any man to be the kind of father whose children will one day call him “blessed.”  God’s strength and guidance are essential because the job is enormous.

The rest of the passage establishes the second principle, the idea of a continual and multi-faceted approach to teaching your children what really matters in life.  This approach speaks of consistency.  It speaks of personal example.  It requires time, and it means that every word heard or every action observed bears a solid witness to our children that our agenda and God’s agenda are one and the same. Most importantly, in time it becomes as natural as breathing.  The method is simply teach/talk/write/bind.  In everything we do, we must demonstrate that God comes first.  We need to live out the principles of God’s Word in a transparent and honest way before our children.  The scripture says we are to wear God’s commands on our foreheads, and the Jews of the Old Testament literally did just that.  They wore headbands that contained the law as a reminder of their covenant with God in much the same way that a wedding band today reminds us of our covenants with our mates.  The idea is simply to keep our commitment before us at all times.

This is an excerpt taken from Ed Young, Sr.’s book: From Bad Beginnings to Happy Endings, Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1994.

Top 10: Memories of My Dad

Last Tuesday marked the 20th Anniversary of my Dad’s departure from this portion of his life into the fullest of lives in the next. I was 18 when he died, but boy! do I have memories. Here are my top 10.

10. Cartoons. He loved cartoons. By cartoons, I mean real cartoons. Bugs Bunny, Donald Duck, etc. His favorite: Wiley E. Coyote and Road Runner. As a kid, I never got it. As an adult, I still don’t. But he also had an affinity toward Tom and Jerry. Those, I couldn’t stand as a kid. But as an adult, I laugh about as hard as he did.

9. Baseball. My dad loved baseball. He loved to watch the Braves and it was his love of the game that got me interested (somehow that didn’t happen with football; my wife’s love of football got me interested in that). We could watch the Braves (and often did) for hours, but that could be because it takes hours to watch a baseball game. Sadly, the players strike got under both our skins. Baseball wasn’t the same after that.

8. Bum shoulder. My dad’s shoulder wasn’t good. I never understood what happened to it, but it often gave him fits. I do remember though, often on days that it didn’t, he’d ask if I wanted to go through the baseball. Sometimes I took him up on his offer, and a few times I didn’t. I always remembered that the next day he’d be in pain. I asked him why he threw the ball around when he knew he’d be hurting the next day. He just wanted to spend time with me because he loved me.

7. Volley Ball. My dad was 48 years old when I was born. You do the math. By the time I’m 16, he is 64 (so I did the math for you). We’d have our youth group out on Saturday nights at our house, having a volley ball net set up. We’d get a game going and there was my 64 year old dad playing right along. Everyone (all teens) loved it and loved him. This group started when I was about 12, so that’s age 60 until just before he died at 67. Seven years of watching him play volley ball.

6. Cooking. My dad didn’t start cooking until later in life. He wasn’t the best, but he was always willing and he tried hard. It took him twice as long as my mom. But there were two things he did very well: fajitas and fried chicken sandwiches. Every Saturday, the youth would play volley ball, eat chicken sandwiches, and…

5. Bible Study. Imagine a dozen or so teenagers giving up every Saturday night of their teen lives to come to youth group. It wasn’t all “fun and games.” There was serious study going on. I can’t remember exactly what time the study began; I believe around 8:00, yet there were many nights it continued until midnight. He let them ask their questions, have them open their Bibles and show them the answer. He helped us learn how to think about our lives biblically. There was one Saturday where one of the teens opened their Bible and told my dad he’d found a $20 bill inside. My dad told him that he put it there on purpose and it was the young man’s to keep. He said, “Let this be a lesson to you. There is value in opening up God’s Word. More valuable than that $20.”

4. Dumb dumb. That seemed to be his nick-name for himself. He was not a dumb-dumb, but when he made a mistake, he used that name. “Come on, dumb dumb.” But never in real anger, or even frustration it seemed. It was just something he said to acknowledge his mistake and get back on track.

3. Sir-what-huh? That was how he answered if I had a question. “Dad?” “Sir-what-huh?” I remember my mom chastising him once, saying it was rude. I see her point if he did that to others; I don’t recall him doing that though. To me, it was funny. I loved it. He also called me Christosopher. Don’t know where that came from, but I loved it.

2. Homemade ice cream. While my mom had the best recipe for making homemade ice cream, my dad had the best method. I have no idea how he was able to get it to freeze just right. That sounds crazy if you’ve never had my mom and dad’s homemade ice cream, but it’s true. I’ve never been able to freeze ice cream like he did. He was a pro.

1. The Christmas Guest. Every year my dad told “The Story of the Christmas Guest” as retold by Helen Steiner Rice. He had it memorized and recited it in church at Christmas time. He became famous for it in our little town of Flovilla. He began reciting it every year at our community Christmas party held in our community center. It is my fondest memory of my dad, and I am sure it is one of my families as well.

Happy Father’s Day to all you dad’s out there. You and I will never live up to my dad, but as long as we seek to follow after Christ and lead our families in the way, we are great dads always relying on grace.

What are your favorite dad moments? Comment below.