by Eric Burd
FTYC…strange title for an article? What is FTYC anyway? Well, of course – it is an acronym! It is four letters which convey an important message. After all, issuing an acronymic quip is as American as TV. It has become a prevailing way of communicating in our ever-changing world; and, after all, we have an acronym for almost everything:
Or, how about government agencies:
FBI and CIA
…and we wouldn’t want to leave out the IRS
What about company names?
the B of A
and even TCBY – which only the courts could decide whether that means “The Country’s Best Yogurt” or “This Can’t Be Yogurt.”
But where is FTYC?
We have acronyms for the military, the sciences, mathematics, aviation, business, computers, medicine, private industries, plus nearly every other conceivable field you can imagine. We can even mix numbers into our acronyms:
Aside from the many long-standing acronyms that we have enjoyed for generations, a new “language” seems to be emerging around our electronic and social media, with common expressions such as:
W8AM (Wait a minute)
?4U (Question for you)
LOL (Laughing out loud, or Lots of love, or Lots of luck)
But there is still no FTYC?
While in the Army we had very crowded schedules and were often slammed with intense pressure. We had a menagerie of expressions to articulate our see-saw emotions:
OBE (Overcome by events)
MEGO (My eyes are glazed over)
BBR (Burnt beyond repair)
And all of this is aside from what I understand to be the most universal phrases on the entire planet, and in nearly every prominent language: “O.K.”
Yes, we use initials for the simplest and most-meaningless expressions – but there is no FTYC. We absolutely need one more acronym – at least one more to keep a crucial principle before our eyes and hearts. We need FTYC – “Fathers, Teach Your Children.”
Why do we need FTYC? Because we need to be reminded of our roles as nurturing Christian parents. Our culture offers so many ways to outsource parenthood. We have invented a boatload of kiddo-geeks to help raise and disciple our kids, allowing us to be off doing something “more productive” while they are being “safely” entertained. This is a modern American “parent trap” and let us not, as believers, fall into it!
Deuteronomy 6:4-8 says: “…and these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.”
This seems to imply that it is wise and godly, even obedient, to keep our children with us as much as we can. Oh, it can be a drain on our efficiency, or a strain on our emotions; but the long-term windfall is incredible. Do we see the potential of spending each moment that we can invested in our children? Do we see the value of hauling our kids around, engaging them in the daily affairs of the home and involving them in the most mundane adult activities? Kids love to be with mom and dad, to do “adult things.” And this kind of participation with mom and dad both disciples them to future responsibility and knits their hearts to the hearts of their parents.
Of course, we are busy. Maybe we feel OBE, or MEGO, or maybe we feel BBR and it seems we will never be able to be the discipler that God intended for us to be.
Don’t think that way! God is faithful. Follow His Word! Just keep them with you as much as you can. Take them to the store. Take them on errands. Teach them the importance of the various things you are doing. Speak to them about biblical principles as you drive by the way. Laugh a lot – make the day fun. You will win their hearts!
How important is FTYC? Well, God commands it. Is that important enough?
FYI, we should all stop being AWOL on FTYC ASAP!