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How Simple Family Traditions Can Change the World

Jeff:
We want to talk about a fun article. If you’re in our group, we’ll be posting usually things we think are interesting or articles we really like, or that make us think. And there was this viral moment on Twitter that Buzzfeed then turned into an article of a father and his three sons. And basically a tradition they had at Dairy Queen, that’s what we wanted to talk about. Is how simple small family traditions can actually change the world, shock the world, and actually be a huge blessing.

And what this one was is very simple, I believe they would go like on Thursdays or something. Every single week, they had this tradition where the dad and the three sons would go to Dairy Queen every week and get blizzards or whatever. And then every year as one kid got out of high school and went on to college, they would kind of drop out of the tradition because they’re at college. And then there’d be two kids, then it was one kid and then he basically did a post on like that last week of that last kid kind of being sent off in the tradition. What the father said was awesome, he has this quote where he basically says, “And then there was one. And DQ, Dairy Queen, was never really the thing itself, spending time driving to and from and talking, listening to their music and watching all of them interact as brothers, now that was the main thing. Maybe I’ll get by here every now and again.” He means maybe I’ll come back to Dairy Queen. “And certainly when they’re all home, I will. But with them not here, it’s just ice cream.”

And then the son posted, which was really awesome too. And he said, “Why did my dad have to go this hard on Insta? And why am I crying in Nashville RN, right now.” He wrote and it was retweeted over 165,000 times. And that’s actually where I first saw it even before Buzzfeed. But yeah, I thought it was such a cool thing to show what I like to almost call micro moments and micro traditions. But if you’re repeating them, become really powerful. And I think the dad nailed it, it’s just ice cream when the loaded-ness is not there.

Jeremy:
Yeah.

Jeff:
And that’s what traditions and all these meanings have is like, you’re putting baggage and weight in a rhythmic way. It’s compound interest, you’re putting compound interest of memories of meaning on kind of the tangible world.

Jeremy:
Yeah.

Jeff:
And I think that is actually the power of traditions and rituals and all these different things that we actually have to leverage and use for our family. Those guys, those brothers, those sons will never go to Dairy Queen ever again, with just like a blank slate, never having any context or connection to this moment. Or this kind of tradition. The Dairy Queen will always have that baggage now for them, in a good way. I don’t know, Jeremy, what stood out to you?

Jeremy:
Man, yeah. So you guys … 165,000 retweets before even Buzzfeed got ahold of it. What stands out to me, there’s two things. First of all, it was such a cool thing that a dad would do this with his kids.

Jeff:
Yeah.

Jeremy:
And then that final post where he was all by himself at Dairy Queen.

Jeff:
Yeah, I think that’s when it went viral. That’s when it went viral was he was basically did a selfie alone by himself at Dairy Queen. It was like the final horah.

Jeremy:
Yeah. Yeah, there he was. Yeah, he showed sort of … yeah, that really like struck the heart for sure and I love it. But I also want to point out to you guys that man, you guys, this is why Jeff and I are so obsessed with family traditions because they shock the world.

They preach the gospel in tiny little pictures. Imagine if there was an entire community of people on the earth who were developing traditions. The world looks at that, they’re like, “What is that like?” It’s so simple. A dad hanging out with his sons at Dairy Queen, but doing it rhythmically and doing it in that way, it blew the world away.

And so I think one of the greatest ways that we can express the gospel is to demonstrate our love for one another. Not just even our own family, but just the traditions where we’re in folding our children and then others, who are coming into the family of God, into these simple traditions that are so intimate, so deep, so rhythmic, they’re beautiful. And the world is starving to see this. The world doesn’t have a framework to even think about, how do we craft or why would we value? They know that there’s something good, something beautiful about seeing a father with his sons over the years dedicated to loving them and having these awesome conversations. And even the little details about that he would listen to their music and then he would talk to them about their love life. And like all the different things that these different Instagram posts really were describing, how this dad just wanted to engage his sons. And the world is like, “What is that? Like that’s crazy.” Like there’s something beautiful about it.

And you guys, so many of you are in the midst of really crafting this kind of a culture. And man, you’re going to blow the world away when they see what it’s like for you to love your family well. And so I’m super excited for what this means for the gospel. I’m super excited for what this means for you guys as dads and what you get to experience. I’m super excited for your children and what they get to experience being under your care. And underneath a dad like this, who just demonstrated faithfulness to his sons for years and years. It’s so rare and it’s so beautiful.

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