Independent Affirmation

A financial institution in Chicago has taken over Whataburger and it just feels wrong. Pure-D-Wrong. The San Antonio-based Whataburger was seeking millions of dollars in order to expand its brand all over the United States and this investment firm in Chicago made the deal. Sure, in a few years I’ll be able to get the #1 with everything and extra onions and french fries with spicy ketchup in New York and California and Illinois. But, so what?!? Is it worth it? A Massachusetts company owns Dr Pepper now, Mrs. Baird’s is controlled out of Mexico, and an Ohio company owns Schlitterbahn. What the Ted? Everything in the United States is owned by like nine companies.

Was there not any money here in Texas? Would no one in Texas back the expansion? All you people who have been tweeting and Instagramming stuff like, “Pray for those who don’t have Whataburger” and “A moment of silence for the people in the states who don’t have Whataburger,” look what you did!




Will Whataburger still have the “Family Owned and Operated since 1950” sign on their windows? Will J.J. Watt of the Houston Texans be able to save Whataburger with his tweets? Is the whole thing going to be watered down now? What’s fueling my angst over losing this valuable distinctive, my Texas or my Church of Christ?


We’re in the middle of a sermon series here at Central we’re calling “Family Matters.” We’re attempting to understand why family is so important to us and why it can never be ultimate for us. We’re trying to see the family clearly but also see past the family. We’re wanting to crucify our family values. This past Sunday we considered the topic of Christian Parenting, raising our children by the love of God and the cross of Christ. This is part two of that sermon. I posted part one here yesterday.

Independent Affirmation – A lot of us are living our lives through our kids. We push our kids into certain sports or certain academic pursuits or certain careers or hobbies or even religious activities either because we missed out and my kids can make up for it — they can do whatever I failed to do or they can make up for my own regrets or they can achieve what I never had the talent or opportunity to achieve — or so we can keep what we achieved alive. We can keep our legacy going through our kids. We can stay relevant and important through the successes of our children. And if we’re not careful, we can start to search for our identity through our kids. Their success is my success. When they do something well it makes me look good and feel good.

Hey, your children don’t need that pressure! They don’t need that stress! Don’t put that on them!

And if you’re looking for your own sense of identity or worth in what your children do and how well they do it, you’re going to be horribly disappointed. They’re not you!

Your children have their own identities. Our Father made them and formed them individually with their own unique personalities and their own gifts to bring him glory. As parents, we need to honor that. We need to take the time to explore those things with our kids and look for those gifts and affirm them independently of what they do for us.

Think about the cross of Christ. How do we as parents sacrifice and serve our children to say to them, “Who are you?” How do we really get to know them and their talents and passions? How do we sincerely ask, “How did God gift you?”

The love of a parent is really made clear when you make the effort to genuinely affirm the gifts and callings of your child, especially when their skills and interests are different from yours.

Think about how many times during Jesus’ life God said out loud from heaven, “You are my Son. I love you. I am very pleased with you.” That’s the model. And I think I’m only just now beginning to figure it out.

Here’s a trick that helps me: Instead of telling our daughters I’m proud of them, I try to say, “I admire you” or “I admire this about you.” I don’t want them to hear “I’m proud of you” as something I say when they make me look good or feel good. I don’t want it to feel like “I affirm you or I love you because you’re making me look good or you’re doing what I want you to do.” I want to affirm our daughters independent of me.

I really admire this about you. I see this in you and I think it’s great. I love you, daughter, and here’s what I know about you. I know who you are. I see you the way God made you. I love you. I admire you.




  1. Larry

    I visited your blog to see if you had heard about Whataburger. It seems you have. I showed my wife the Whataburger/Chicago deep dish pic, and while I was shaking my head, she says it looks great and she wants one! Spoken like a true yankee.

  2. Allan

    If you want a little more information, here’s a link to an article about the “Burgerpocalypse” by Texas Monthly’s Dan Solomon. I was surprised to learn that the Chicago investment firm that bought Whataburger is the same group that owns Lou Malnati’s deep dish pizza chain in the Windy City. That’s the pizza place we go to every single time, without exception, when we travel to our quarterly Transforming Communities up there. So, that’s a positive vibe for me personally. But it is also the same firm that backed Keurig’s purchase of Dr Pepper a year-and-a-half ago. That’s not a positive. Here’s the link:

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