Monday, 14 June 2021

G Guest Editorials

The Frye Family Band - Helping Busy Families Reconnect

Tom Frye and the Frye Family Band got the phone call that many artists would dream of receiving.  A new reality show was interested in featuring them in an upcoming series.  Reality shows have become a phenomenon in television in the past few years, and the overwhelming success of shows such as Duck Dynasty have made the realty genre a launching pad for people to find fortune and fame.  So Tom knew he had to at least give them a call back. And he did.

Tom listened to the producer intently until a question popped up that stopped Tom in his tracks.  The producer asked, “So isn’t it weird for a dad to write and perform songs with his kids?”  That one question, says Tom, is why the Frye Family Band will not be a “dynasty” on television anytime soon.

“It struck me that she could have asked that same question in numerous ways,” says Tom.  “She could have said, isn’t it fun or neat or used any other kind of positive spin.  When I heard that question, I knew our answer was going to be no.  I could tell they weren’t looking for a functional family. They were looking for dysfunction.  I think there are plenty of shows to watch on television where people can view that.”

Because of Tom and wife Lisa’s approach to parenting, including homeschooling all three of their children from grade school to high school, they formed Family First Ministries to encourage parents to make family life a priority. In addition to creating music together, the Frye family wrote the book, 101 Devotions for Busy Families (Carpenter’s Son Publishing), which features daily devotions from Tom, Lisa, and all three kids. Whether through concerts, speaking engagements, or writing for magazines and websites, their goal is always to encourage and strengthen families.

“Having regular family devotions provides a sense of stability,” says Tom.  “Over the years, we would read through scripture or a devotional and many times the text would speak directly to a need or situation, opening up opportunities for Lisa and I to share in a very personal way with our children.  Sometimes they would lead to the kids sharing thoughts or feelings which might have otherwise gone unspoken, and potentially festered beneath the surface. Devotions have brought not just the peace and stability of God's directing in our lives, but also helped build trust, understanding, and patience when dealing with those inside and outside our home. By practicing the discipline of leading our families in prayer and scripture reading, we model the importance of faithful leadership in our own homes.”

Though Tom wrote the majority of 101 Devotions for Busy Families, he is quick to point out his lack of scholarly accomplishments. But he does have one thing going for him that he believes will connect with parents – honesty. “The world is not impressed by the number of scriptures we have memorized, our piety, or how faithfully we attend church,” says Tom. “They often dismiss scripture as outdated or irrelevant, but when we can speak personally about how God has met us at our point of need, what we were before and how His love has transformed our lives, they cannot argue with it. They may not view us as biblical scholars, but we totally have the authority to speak on our individual stories, because those are personal, tangible and relevant.”

Tom admits there was a time in his life when he was consumed with pursuing a career and the approval of others to the negligence of his wife and kids.  But a friend’s simple words caused him to change his focus. “A friend reminded me that my family is my first ministry. The Family was the first institution God established, and yet it is so easy in our fast-paced, get-ahead society to unintentionally push our family to the side.”

With his daughters now in college, it is increasingly more difficult to rearrange everyone’s schedule for concerts and events, but the Frye family somehow makes it work.  Tom sees his role as a father to be just as important in this new season of life.

“Our job as parents from the very beginning is to prepare our children for a life of purpose,” says Tom. “Our parenting life verse has been and continues to be Psalm 127:4, ‘Children are arrows in the hands of a warrior.’ A warrior’s arrow is meant to be sent into the heat of the battle and pierce the heart of the enemy. As parents, we are often tempted to provide our children with that which leaves them feeling safe and secure, but raising children of purpose has nothing to do with security or safety and everything to do with genuine calling. Parenting is about helping our children transition to the next stage. It just happens to be that this next stage is preparing them for life on their own. This is both exciting and scary, but parenting young adults is really no different than any other time in their lives. It is still about helping them come into their own, and being there for them all the way.”

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