Proverbs 1:8 – Listen, my son, to your father’s instruction; don’t neglect your mother’s teaching;
Tomorrow is Father’s Day. Since my Dad has been gone for several years, I often reflect upon what my Dad taught me. I see his spoken and unspoken instructions to my siblings and I ringing loudly in my life. Here’s just a few things I learned from my Dad.
- Work hard. According to my Dad, nothing was unobtainable. If you work hard enough, you can accomplish anything. Literally, anything. There were times when maybe he expected a lot of his children at a young or too early age. He was not afraid to let us try things. While letting us fail was hard, I discovered from my Dad not to set boundaries on what I could tackle.
- Be involved in your community. Rather than just talk about how things could be different, my Dad become involved and looked for ways he could be part of the change. My Dad was involved in a variety of local non-profit, volunteer causes. Every time I serve our local community, I pray it reflects what my Dad taught me by his example.
- Purchase locally. Often, my Dad spoke of this. If you could buy something locally (especially when we’re talking small town America), buy locally. Even if it means paying a little more. As a small business owner, i.e. – dairy farmer, he wanted local businesses to be available for our farm. This meant being a religious buyer of everything locally he could. Sometimes it really is a lot easier to purchase something online. But there are other times, I follow my Dad’s example and buy as much locally as I can.
- A Commitment is a Commitment. Backing away from something you agreed to do was not acceptable. Period. Honestly pairs with this as well.
- Laughing is OK. There were times when laughing wasn’t part of my Dad’s vocabulary. Times were tough in the 1980’s for my parents. Later in life, he was able to relax more, laugh more and enjoy being more. I pray I can discover this as well.
- It’s OK to show emotions. Again, this is learned-later-in-life trait. For years, my Dad was stoic. But things happened. Life moved on after some difficult times. I would never say my Dad was terribly comfortable giving a hug. He never became comfortable in wearing his emotions on his sleeve. There were times when he got choked up because something touched him deeply. I appreciated those moments and was proudest of my Dad in those precious times.
- Be Humble. Would I say my Dad changed the world in a dramatic way? No. His mission was to affect and influence the people’s lives he had contact with. This, he did. My Dad never sought attention. Recognition made him uncomfortable. He was more than happy to contribute, add value and lead, all from behind the scenes.
For some people, Father’s Day is a difficult day. If you are one of those people, I apologize for this post. I pray that in reflecting upon the values my Dad taught me, you can also think about the values others have modeled for you.
Thanks, Dad, for this and so much more.
For this, I am grateful.
As my heavenly Father, I appreciate you, Lord God. Thank you also for allowing me to have a man in my life who modeled so many important and wonderful values and traits. Be with those who are struggling this Father’s Day weekend. May they find peace in your arms. Amen.
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