Thinking of Others

In order for a commercial to be successful, it needs to communicate to the audience what the product is, why the audience should need or want it, and cause the audience to remember the product so that a purchase can be made. Companies usually accomplish these goals by either appealing to our humor or by tugging on our heartstrings.

Every once in a while a commercial will grab my attention, not because of the product being peddled, but rather because of the underlying message in the ad. These messages can be intentional or completely by accident. Either way, I do appreciate when the message is positive.  A while back I wrote about McDonald’s subtle, fresh, and positive perspective on The Importance of Dads. And now, the Golden Arches have delivered once again.

Just the other day I came across a commercial for a new product that McDonald’s was introducing. It began with a kindly elderly man ordering at a drive-through. He was alone in the car and yet he ordered two coffees. After a brief pause, he then ordered way-too-many orders of the new product being introduced.

When he pulled forward to collect his order the employee said something along the lines of, “wow you must really like these things!” And the man responded with, “oh, they’re not for me…they’re for them.” And just then he looked in his rearview mirror and the camera pans to a tired looking dad with a car full of energetic and loud pre-teen girls enthusiastically singing a song.

Perhaps the funniest part is when the song lyrics play “I’m losing my mind just a little.” We, the audience, are treated to a zoomed in shot of the dad wearily mouthing the words.

But that’s not what drew me to this particular ad. I remember this commercial because of the underlying message.

It is good to think about someone other than yourself.

The kind old man bought breakfast for a family he, more than likely, had never met before. And he supplied some much-needed coffee to a weary parent. And it made me think…

How often am I putting the needs of others before my own?

How often am I kind to others while expecting nothing in return?

Luke 6:31 records Jesus’ words, “Do to others as you would have them do to you.” And Philippians 2:3 says that we ought to count others as more significant than ourselves. Colossians 3:12 urges believers to “clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.”

Now you may be thinking, “ok slow down this is just a fast food commercial.” And yes, you’re right it is. But I also think that small and silly little things like commercials can cause us to stop and do some serious self-evaluation. Do we care about others enough to go out of our way for them or are we too self-absorbed to even notice?

Jesus tells us in Matthew 22 that the greatest commandment is to love God with all our heart and soul and mind and strength. And then He says, “and the second [greatest commandment] is like the first, that you love your neighbor as yourself.”

Now, am I saying that in order to love others you need to buy them McDonalds? No, not necessarily. But what I am saying is that there is a Biblical mandate for us to love others.

We are called to show kindness, to love and care for people, and to put others before ourselves.

I am grateful that a silly commercial can remind us of those truths.

I pray that we all would be kind and love like Jesus loves each and every day….even when we are not in a drive-through line.

The Importance of Dads

I want to eat at McDonald’s?

Ok, let me back up and explain.

The other day I was driving, and a McDonald’s commercial came on.

Now, commercials are generally very annoying. Whether they are on T.V., radio, or YouTube, advertisements are normally very frustrating for me. It’s not just because I don’t like having products shoved in my face, although that is a big part. But, even more so, Ads usually use silly stereotypes and lowest-common-denominators in order to make their sell.

But this particular commercial was different. In a very subtle but important way.

It began with a mom whispering to her baby to go back to sleep. Then the dad’s voice enters and whispers, “Hi honey…” he then goes on to tell her about the “amazing” new breakfast sandwiches he got and how they were such a great deal.

So far, it’s a very typical commercial. I actually thought I knew what to expect. My prediction was that they would both take a bite and loudly mutter “MMMM, so good!” and then the baby would wake up crying. After which the mom would huff in annoyance, “it’s YOUR turn now.”

My prediction was only half-correct. The couple did, in fact, enjoy the sandwiches so much that the baby did wake up crying. But then, the commercial took a surprising and pleasant turn.

After the baby cried the very next thing heard was the dad’s cheerful voice announcing, “It’s my turn!”

And, I know it was just radio, but the way that the line was delivered made it so that you could hear the dad smile as he said it.


Alright, maybe I spent too much time analyzing a fast-food commercial. But the message that I got from it was this: dads do love and care for their kids. It’s a message that many advertisements over the years have failed to convey.

Are there men that would rather just sit on the couch? Yes. Are there men that are selfish and lazy? Yes. Are there men who are aloof and unwilling to learn how to parent? Yes.

But not all dads are like that. Mine wasn’t.

(By the way, that STUD in the picture is my dad and the adorable baby he is holding is yours truly.)

Our culture has done a pretty good job at minimizing the importance of fatherhood. So much so, that the problem has become somewhat of a self-fulfilling prophecy. Boys are taught from an early age that being a “dad” means; sitting on the couch eating Doritos, enduring the nagging wife, being inept at changing diapers (or any other simple task for that matter), and generally ignoring your family. It’s time for the dumb-goofy-uncaring-inattentive-lazy T.V. “dad” to come to an end.

We need to celebrate good fathers who absolutely dote on their children.

Shout out time. I have known and been close friends with my brother-in-law for a bit over 9 years now. In all those years knowing him I have never seen anything, or anyone bring him more joy than his son. His face completely lights up when he holds his baby, and it is truly awesome to see his love and affection. He is a good dad.

Fatherhood is so important because it is something we all are impacted by. Even if we aren’t dads ourselves we all have been affected by one, or by the lack of one.

And if you fall into the second category there is good news. There is a perfect, wonderful, loving, and caring heavenly father who loves you with a love beyond your comprehension.

There are a few things that we all should remember:

To Dads: Children are a blessing, (Psalm 127) and you have an incredibly important role in raising them, (Proverbs 22:6) love your wives, (Ephesians 5:25-37) and lead by example. (Deuteronomy 6)

To Boys/Men who one day hope to be dads: Be the kind of man that God would have you to be today (Ephesians 6:11-18) and trust in God for your future (Proverbs 3:5-6) also see all the verses above.

To those hurt by lousy dads: realize your heavenly father loves you, (John 3:16) and that He is faithful, dependable, merciful, and loving. (Psalm 86:15)

To those with godly dads: praise God for them and follow their examples.

To women looking for husbands: look for men with character who exemplify the above qualities, and who will love God more than they love you.

To wives: pray for your husbands and encourage them in godliness.

To all of us: let us continue to grow closer to Jesus and allow our heavenly father to continually correct us because he loves us. (Proverbs 3:11-12)