Sunday, August 23, 2015

52 Lessons from My Father

My father's life has had a major impact on mine.  And that's a good thing.  Recently for his birthday I wrote down, in no particular order, fifty two life lessons that dad has tried to teach me.  If you've hung around dad very long, you've probably picked up some of these.  Some are simple, some are profound.  But that's what fatherhood is, showing the less mature how to apply God's wisdom in all areas of life, from the mundane to the awesome.

These are not a complete compendium of everything you need to know for life.  (There's a Book for that.)  You may not even agree with all of these.  But maybe this will cause you to reflect on the legacy of your own life.  Maybe it will inspire you to write down some lessons your father taught you, and then share them with a new generation?

1. Don’t be the cheapest seller.
2. Don’t go in debt.
3. Never buy a new car.
4. Men need to read Proverbs.
5. Open rebuke is better than vague politeness.
6. Have as many kids as God gives you.
7. Get up early to spend time with God.
8. Do physical work.
9. Learn to repair your own stuff.
10. College is optional.
11. Teach your kids at home, and don’t make your wife do it all.
12. Go with your wife to her doctor appointments.
13. Surprise your wife with flowers.
14. Call friends to see how they’re doing.
15. Help widows.
16. Spank kids with a flexible stick while they’re young.  It saves a lot of trouble later.
17. Never be ashamed of Jesus.  Evangelize at work.
18. Jesus, wife, kids, ministry, work.  (In that order.)
19. Don’t listen to rock music.
20. Listen to your wife’s advice.
21. Be liberal in giving money.  You can’t outgive God.
22. Forgive quickly.  Bitterness will rot your bones.
23. Efficiency is more important than frugality.
24. Throw things away.
25. God loves new beginnings.
26. Persistence is better than brilliance.
27. Don’t cause division at church.
28. Remember people’s successes and forget their sins.
29. TV is a waste of life.
30. Don’t eat junk food.  Better to spend money on healthy food than on doctors.
31. Learn everything you can.
32. Doing something imperfect is generally better than doing nothing at all.
33. Pray with confidence.
34. Don’t fear visiting people in the hospital.
35. Seek the success of others more than your own.
36. Lead family devotions.
37. Praise your kids when they do something right.
38. Flee sexual temptation.
39. Memorize Romans 6.
40. Shake hands like a man.
41. Help in the kitchen.
42. Stay off motorcycles and ATVs!
43. Read the Bible every day.
44. When you’ve done something wrong, say “Will you forgive me?” and not just “I’m sorry.”
45. Divorce is always wrong.
46. Floss your teeth.
47. Look people in the eye.
48. Show your teeth when you smile.
49. Leave the top shirt button unbuttoned, unless you’re wearing a tie.
50. Don’t be afraid to do something that others think weird, if it is necessary.
51. Put off current gratification for future benefit.
52. And of course… Little is much when God is in it.  Labor not for wealth or fame!