As I sit here, in honor of Father’s Day, reminiscing on my memories with my grandfather, Dr. Larry Crabb, I can’t help but smile. He truly is a man whose life is worthy of emulating. I do not say that lightly. Pop displayed Christ to others through his decisions and relationality in a way that few Christians are capable of. Pop was a righteous believer and an honorable mentor. Despite all the hardships he faced, his love for the Lord and others never wavered. However, at times, his faith did. That’s the tricky thing about faith, it is a deep conviction that something is the truth without definitive evidence.
His faith in God’s larger story was built upon a solid foundation. To build this foundation, it requires a deep degree of contemplation and prayer. First and foremost, he had to refute all preconceived ideas and question everything. This meant giving up Christianity for a period to evaluate his beliefs. He refused to be a Christian for any other reason than him truly believing it as the way, the truth, and the life. This is not an easy thing to do. It requires serious research in pursuit of the truth. Pop explained that shortly after his undergraduate, he sent a letter to his father explaining he was giving up Christianity. Pop was obviously anxious for his father’s reply. When he finally received his father’s letter, it read, “Glad you’re thinking.”
Pop vocalized that he wished the same thing for me. He wanted me to be sure in my beliefs. This was the best advice I could have received and how I intend to approach Christianity with my future children. Being raised in a Christian household is a huge blessing; however, it can also lead to complacency in our relationship with God. We can become stagnant in our prayer and lose touch of why we became Christians. It can lead to relying less on faith and more on our families’ beliefs. Therefore, Pop urged me, and I will urge my children to think for themselves. The doubt we all wrestle with is not a bad thing. As Pop demonstrated, we can use this doubt as a tool to strengthen our faith and draw nearer to God. Even from an early age I remember how fortunate I felt to be a member of the Crabb family with Larry as our Patriarch. I can only imagine what he’s seeing right now. Happy Father’s Day, Pop.
By Jake Crabb
Each birthday from ages 10 to 21 Larry would asks his two sons some combinations of the following questions based on what is going on in their worlds and stages of life. As the boys would struggle to respond to Larry’s loving probing, he would write down each of their answers to later be bound book for them. In this book that he gave to them he included each of their answers to each of these questions along with some of Larry’s own thoughts on the questions below.
We invite you to think about how you might be able to lovingly engage the heart of you son/daughter or grandson/granddaughter with thoughtful questions designed to help them to articulate what is going on in their own soul during that season of their life.
1. What is most important to you?
2. What do you think you do really well?
3. What do you like least about yourself?
4. What do you wish were different about you
5. Whom do you admire the most and why?
6. What do you like best about your grandparents?
7. What do you think when you think about God?
8. What do you like most about Mother?
9. What do you like most about Kenny?
10.What do you like most about your Dad?
11. What are you most afraid of?
12. What is God like?
13. What do you want to be when you grow up?
14. What do you like most about our family?
15. What gives you the most joy?
16. What is your best quality?
17. What do you see as the greatest beauty?
18. Say a word about yourself spiritually.
19. Is there anything you want to say?
20. What do you respect least about yourself?
21. What are you looking for in a woman?