Today’s Women in Ministry features an interview with our special guest, Kathy Young, who is wife and ministry partner of D.J. Young, author and founder of Wisdom 4 Dads Ministry. “D.J. is a full-time writer and conference speaker with a passion for encouraging men in their God-given role as ‘Dad’. He and Kathy have been married 40 years, and are the proud parents of five adult children and grandparents of six.”
The work D.J. and Kathy are involved with at Wisdom 4 Dads is invaluable to the needs of fathers everywhere– even gaining the praise of the Presidential Staff.
In conjunction with the 100th anniversary of Father’s Day this Sunday, June 20, 2010, the White House sent a special letter of thanks and commendation to D. J. Young, founder of www.Wisdom4Dads.com and author of 10 books on fathering.
The letter from Joshua DuBois, Special Assistant to the President — and Executive Director of the White House Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships — states:”
‘I wanted to take the time to say thank you for all you have done and continue to do as an advocate and supporter of responsible fatherhood. Your leadership at the Wisdom 4 Dads organization is both impressive and invaluable as you seek to reach out and support fathers across the nation.
The President knows first-hand the power that father’s can have in the lives of their children, and the challenges families and communities face when fathers are absent. For this reason he directed our Office of Faith Based and Neighborhood Partnerships to advance responsible fatherhood and strong communities as a top issue priority. Your work in the state of Washington supports our efforts here in Washington D.C.
Again, thank you very much to your commitment to this nation and its families. i look forward to working with you to support responsible fatherhood and healthy families in the months and years ahead.’
It is wonderful Kathy that our President and his Staff recognize the importance of what you and D.J. are doing and how timely to celebrate that work as we approach the 100th anniversary of Father’s Day.Thank you for being with us here and sharing a little about who you are and the role you play in ministry with D.J. at Wisdom 4 Dads.
Q: Is Wisdom 4 Dads connected to a larger group or denominational organization?
A: No larger group, though we’re friends with a number of them. Dr. Ray Lubeck at Multnomah University. World-renowned evangelist Luis Palau and his ministry.
Q: What is your title or role?
A: I am editor-proofreader-support/assistant to my writer-speaker husband, who writes books with biblical wisdom for dads. The one exception is a book written for wives, just released on Amazon titled A Wife’s Guide to Inspiring a Great Dad by D. J. Young.
Q: Are you on staff or volunteer?
A: I am a volunteer, but our ministry is financed by the Lord’s generous supply.
Q: Are there paid staff in your organization?
A: Yes, we pay our team: our graphics designer-webmaster, other editors, and our ministry development coordinator. Our meetings with them maintain our motivation and our plans for what we feel the Lord wants of us.
Q: As a volunteer Kathy, how many hours a week do you work?
A: That really depends on the stage of each book my husband is on. I have to say “as needed…” Doesn’t that sound like a woman’s role in everyday life!
Q: How long have you been doing what you do?
A: My strength has always been as a sounding board with my husband in ministry, whether as a pastor, a private school teacher, or as an at-home mother of five. And we have been married for over forty years! But as for the ministry to dads, we created it after D.J. wrote his personal mission statement in 2000—“to write and to speak on the excellence of fathering.”
Q: Tell us a little about what you do and why do it?
A: I see myself as a co-partner with my husband in a ministry finding wisdom that the Lord has hidden from others. He writes a short book (for men, remember) every 3 to 5 months, but his extensive research uses the Socratic method of questions with the Lord and finding the ‘answers’ to his questions only in the Bible and listening to the Lord.
Others might describe my life as ‘too subservient’ to my husband, but it is not a matter of feeling denigrated by my role as much as a fulfillment of my womanly mission of caring for, respecting and supporting the ministry the Lord has given us, as a couple.
Q: Will you share with us your personal testimony?
A: I grew up on a farm-ranch in Montana in a community of rural families where I absorbed the importance of neighborliness and of family interaction. I had an identical twin sister along with 2 brothers and 3 sisters so I lived with my best friends throughout my childhood.
I came to ‘wanting to know Jesus’ when my denomination’s ritual of First Communion and First Confession began in second grade. At that age I understood He was the One who forgave sins (not the priest), but didn’t know how that freedom was won for me by the shed Blood of the Lamb of God in His sacrificing His life on a cross.
Not until I was married and a mother, at age 22, did I hear the good news of God-Man Jesus’ substituting His Life for mine. Then I came to accept that wonderful God-truth of His love, justice and mercy. I used to say “Saved? From what?” whenever asked if I was ‘saved’ because I didn’t understand that my own sinfulness was the barrier to getting to heaven, God’s home. I love the Cross now….for its merciful justification of my sins. And I love the Holy Spirit leading me into further sanctification and service.
Q: In your ministry Kathy, what do you see as important issues facing the people you serve?
A: Dads in crisis — whether divorced, widowed, single parenting — need resources of encouragement and someone to talk with about their life’s walk.
My husband mentors dads as well as gives workshops and seminars, giving value to the role of each dad in his home. ‘Families in crisis’ is the current issue for the church today, I believe—healing of marriages, supporting each other, training in parenting while following together in God’s ways.
Q: Are there any events or situations that come to mind that make you say, “Wow, I see God’s hand in this”…and stand in awe of Him?
A: 1) Healing events with prayer answers while traveling in our family car with our 4-year-old daughter and 2-year-old son over 40,000 miles in one year, evangelizing in ecumenical prayer groups. God cared for our financial needs ‘by faith’ and without our requesting any offerings during that year—never staying overnight in a motel but rather in people’s homes as we went out from and returned to our rented house in Dickinson, ND. God directly cared for us all the way even though we were still both Catholic and had no directive from a group.
2) God’s hand graciously guided us out of our childhood denomination without embarrassing or affronting our families. We learned together how to receive a now-word from the Lord, work through it and stay close to Him—growing with God’s gifting and each other during the process.
3) By inviting the world into our home through hosting over 30 international students over a 10-year period, we overcame the limitations of raising a family of five children on a minimal teacher’s salary. Again, He met our needs and the desires of ‘foreign’ families who sought to learn the American culture and the English language. Our Christianity was the culture each was surrounded with.
Q: Having such broad experience, what do you think are some of the major concerns in Christianity today as a whole?
A: In the church and the world I see the need for father’s hearts to be turned to their children and the children’s hearts turned toward their fathers. I’m convinced that until each person learns of his true identity in Christ there will be a hole yet to be filled in each life.
Q: How is your organization addressing those concerns?
A: My husband’s books and speaking opportunities convey the significance of fathers in the home and clarifies how each father can relate successfully in the training and disciplining of his children. He expresses the needs of fathers and grandfathers and the needs of adult children, especially addressing the spiritual aspects in men’s souls.
Q: Is it working?
A: His responses from the workshop participants bear out the effectiveness and practicality of his clear, useful biblical principles. The men enjoy his sharing creative ideas and encouragement while expanding their horizons as fathers and grandfathers.
Q: How do you think a person could grow deeper in their faith?
A: By boldly venturing forth after getting a sure word for what to do and say in each situation. The Holy Spirit guides into depth as we come trusting Him to bring the results and good fruit. His Word the Bible always brings character development with patience and self-control, lovingly caring one for another and entering into the joy of the Lord.
Q: What is the greatest challenge you face on a regular basis?
A: Waiting on the Lord’s timing is my regular challenge. In other words, patience. I also have difficulty with not boldly speaking forth of God’s goodness.
Q; Greatest joy?
A: I readily admit my greatest joy is relating to our six grandchildren. For the past 3 years we were privileged to have all five (and then six) grandkids on the same block where we live. What a joy to be available to help each of the four families (when invited!) and share the caring for little ones in their early years. We knew it would not last but for a season and earlier this year two (and then three and four) of our kids’ families moved off our block to follow the paths the Lord was leading them on. Thank You, Jesus, for Skype and email!
Q: If you could tell the world one thing about why it is so great to be a Christian, what would you tell them?
A: Becoming a Christian means reaching an inner peace which cannot be taken from you—that is such freedom! You can depend on an all-loving, trustworthy God who wants to keep you at peace within yourself. He is always there for you–ready to listen and hear your heart, to lead by His Spirit and to watch over you.
Q: Is there anything else you would like to add?
A: For the wife who finds it difficult to see her husband as a good dad, I’d suggest getting our Wife’s Guide book if for nothing else but the simple prayers after each chapter. The questions to think on are good (a bit stretching in remembering your birth family for this grandmother), but the prayers formulated by a man’s heart give great insight into how God can draw us as wives into the fatherhood experience with our man.
Q: Just one final question–When you get to heaven, what one question do you have for God?
A: I don’t think I will have any questions because I think all will be revealed as I spend eternity on those golden shores. Maybe I would ask “Lord, how have you been able to hold Your just wrath for so long?” I feel His timing is up to Him and I’m most grateful I have met Him, but I do wonder at how such a great LOVE can overwhelmingly wait for soooo loooonnngggg.
Thank you again Kathy for being here with us and sharing about this much needed ministry to men (and their families) not only in the US, but around the world.
For more information about D.J. & Kathy Young’s ministry, log onto www.Wisdom4Dads.com.
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Letter from Joshua DuBois, Special Assistant to the President — and Executive Director of the White House Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships via email from David Sanford, Development Coordinator at Wisdom 4 Dads, June 17, 2010