by | Mar 28, 2017 | All, Relationships | 2 comments

 My dad, a textile mill worker in rural North Carolina, loved Jesus passionately. Forced to drop out of school in the seventh grade to go to work, after coming to Christ as a young man, he studied the Bible voraciously.

Dad taught an adult Bible study class, wrote poems about faith, and often wept when he heard a gospel song on the radio.

At 59, he died of kidney failure. At the time I was 29, with two boys.  As I reminisce about him, I realize there’s a lot I never learned about my father, and even more I could have learned from him, but didn’t. I wish I could go back and ask him these questions.

  1. How did you come to faith in Christ?
    I’d probe for who was responsible for leading him to faith, or what circumstances created an openness to the gospel.  As a teen, he was known for hard drinking and fist fights—even gashing others with his knife at times.

  2. What is your favorite Bible book? Chapter?  Verse?  Why?

  3. What were your mom and dad like?
    I never met my paternal grandmother, and my paternal grandfather only once. All I recall is that he was an alcoholic.  I’d probe for ways dad’s upbringing affected him.

  4.  If you could start your life all over again, what is one thing you’d do differently?Why?
  5.  What is one thing you’d do the same? Why?
  6. When it comes to raising kids, what did you learn that could help me as a dad?

  7. What is the most important thing you’ve learned about succeeding in marriage?

  8. Think of an event or situation that caused great joy to well up inside you. Tell me about it.

  9. Think of a time or experience that caused you significant pain. Tell me about it.

  10. If you could give me one nugget of counsel to help me in my pilgrimage as a Christian, what would it be?
    Not only would his answers ramp up my knowledge of my heritage, but asking him those questions would have given him a chance to mentor me.  I could have elevated his self-esteem and sense of contribution by giving him an opportunity to share his input.  He would have known without a doubt that I not only loved him, but that I respected him and his wisdom. 

    What question could I have added to this list? 

If your dad  (or mom) is still alive, it isn’t too late for you to ask him (or her) questions of this sort.  But don’t procrastinate.  Don’t experience my regret.

Please note: comments are closed after two weeks. You are welcome to contact me directly after that time if you would like to share your thoughts.


  1. As usual – you have struck a great cord! This is wise counsel. It also invites me to think about what I would tell my own children. My dad, who was born in 1919, was believer who struggled with his faith but nonetheless raised me to know that I needed a savior and told me he loved me every day even until 1994 when he died at the age of 75. I thank God for him every day! Love you and your heart!

  2. Shane, you have always been a great encouragement to me. Hard to believe I am 67 and finishing my 36th year at CIU….blessings on you and your family and any ministry you are involved in. Keep in touch.


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