Tag Archive - age: all

Waiting on Dad


Throwing rocks at puppies is probably not a good idea. Throwing rocks at puppies when you are standing by a large window is definitely not a good idea. I looked up at the window and surveyed the damage. It didn’t shatter the glass, only made a rock-sized hole. Oh, yeah, and a noise. Oh, and one more thing: my mom was in that room.

So I did what any guilty, rock-throwing, panicking eight-year-old would do. I ran. That was mistake number one. I ran to the back corner of the house, took a hard right, to the front corner, and then headed straight for the front door.

By this time I had a plan: get inside the house so quickly that my mom would not suspect that I had anything to do with the broken window. That was mistake number two. If she had been eight years old like me, I probably could have fooled her. But she wasn’t eight, she was . . . older . . . and smarter. Somehow she knew that I was coming in the front door and there she was, drying a plate, and looking me over.
She asked, “What was that noise?”

Looking as innocent as any guilty, rock-throwing, panicking, panting eight year old could, I remembered George Washington and the cherry tree. George told his dad the truth and things worked out. But I was no George Washington, and this was not my dad. So I decided to try a different strategy–I wiggled around the question. “What noise?” I asked. Mistake number three.

She didn’t take the bait. She simply said, “Go sit on the couch and wait for your daddy to come home.” No pirate walking the plank could have felt more dread than I did. I walked to the couch and sat down, knowing it would be the last time I might sit down for a while. I said nothing. I sat in silence. I aged ten years in that few minutes. In my own little mind, I was spanked a thousand times. I thought, I prayed.

Then I heard the car coming down the driveway, gravel crunching under the tires. I heard dad shut the car door. I heard his footfalls on the steps, and then he entered the house.

The spirit of George Washington came upon me, and I threw myself on the mercy of the court, crying and confessing in a torrent of words and tears all mixed in with snuffles and sobs, “Puppies . . . rock . . . window . . . scared . . .  ran . . . mom . . . couch. I’m sorry; don’t spank me.”

Surprisingly, he didn’t . . . spank me, that is. He listened, he understood. He called it an accident.

He was just.

I loved him; I respected him.

There’s no future in the middle of the road!

Do you ever feel like the danger and evil in our high pressure, in-your-face world will just run us and our children over? Does our next generation have a chance? What can we do?

The National Study on Youth and Religion (2002 to 2005) may have pinpointed the problem. We parents will have to live out the answer. In her book Almost Christian, Kenda Creasy Dean summarizes the results of the NSYR project.
Some results are encouraging: Teens are much more interested in God and religion than we have assumed. And they are 80% influenced by the faith of their parents. That’s encouraging.

Some results are troubling: The faith that the parents are passing on to their children is not quite Christian. Almost Christian. Middle of the road. Continue Reading…

Active Dads, Effective Dads

Not long ago, I sat in church and noticed a young visiting couple having difficulty with their little one. As I watched, the young mother got up once during the worship, once during the announcements, and once during the message—three times— to take her little troublemaker out. Meanwhile, the dad sat there and did nothing. He was passive.

It reminded me of Adam in the garden when Eve was being tempted by the serpent. Eve discussed, listened, and ate. Then she gave the fruit to Adam “who was with her.” He had been there the whole time and done nothing. He had been passive. His passivity did not benefit his offspring. Continue Reading…

Is it Easier to Discipline Ugly Kids?

“She’s  too cute.” Reason number one that we often do not discipline a little guy or girl is just cuteness. Apparently we must think that discipline will “uncute” them. Continue Reading…

Gifts—“I asked for it; I oughta get it.”

When our children were younger and our finances were tight, Patricia and I agreed to buy them three Christmas gifts: a book, clothing, and a toy/game. Although they were disappointed at times because they did not get the “gift” they wanted, they were generally happy and learned to handle those times. On the other hand, we noticed that birthdays (when they received all the gifts) produced some pretty stinky little attitudes. More was not necessarily better. Continue Reading…

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