One of my favorite commercials shows a boy riding in back seat of the car with his dad. The boy’s looking out the window while he’s on a work call, until his dad says, “No, I’m sorry, I just can’t do that. I may lose the account, but it wouldn’t be honest and I can’t do business that way.” The son listens. A lesson has been taught.
The next scene shows the son at school. There’s a pop quiz in class and he’s not ready. Another boy offers to let him copy his answers. He thinks about it, then replies, “No I just can’t do that. I probably won’t do very well, but it wouldn’t be honest.”
Dads are teaching, even when they don’t realize it. I’m thankful for all you dads out there who actively, purposefully teach your children right and wrong, and even more, for you who live it out day by day. I applaud your diligence and integrity.
My dad did both and I’m grateful for his influence in my life. Here are a few things I’ve learned from him:
How to laugh
My dad has a great sense of humor, but he doesn’t laugh at the expense of others. He laughs at himself, and the funny and ridiculous turns of life. I love to hear his laughter.
The joy of music
Music was Dad’s work, but it’s also his delight. There was always music in our home—from the stereo, or someone practicing piano, flute, saxophone, clarinet, or voice. He and Mom played piano and trombone for years, then tried their hands at piano duets. They sang in the choir and we sang as a family. Our two “Halleluia” rounds are my all time favorites, but so are the silly songs we sang on camping and road trips, “Bill Grogan’s Goat; I’ve a Pair of Fishes; Tumba, Tumba; and Senor Don Gato Was a Cat.
How to take care of your body
Dad has always worked out. When I was a child he would change out of his suit and tie into a white t-shirt and sweats to do his military calisthenics after work. He loved hiking and playing tennis. He’s still going to the gym and playing tennis several times a week in his 80’s. And even though we all share a great love for food, Dad eats a healthy diet to keep his weight down.
That humility is strength
My dad is human and he has made mistakes. But I think I’ve admired him most when he humbled himself to apologize for a wrong or overly harsh response. He willingly asks for advice and learns from others.
The value of work
Work is a positive thing in my family. Mom and Dad praised our efforts, even when they were less than perfect, and they encouraged us girls to get jobs as soon as we were old enough.Working and practicing good stewardship taught us how to handle money, and we took pride in doing our best even when no one was watching.
How to balance work and family
But it wasn’t all work. Some Saturdays we took off for the beach or a hike. We traveled, played games together, and watched movies. When we were together Dad was fully present in our conversations and set work aside to be with us.
The importance of putting God first
My dad says he’s not much of a reader, but he’s been studying God’s Word as long as I remember. A born teacher, he likes to discuss whatever he and Mom are teaching in Sunday school. Dad doesn’t attend church, read the Bible, or do the right thing just when he feels like it, but because he’s committed to living every moment for Jesus.
About spiritual leadership
Mom and Dad led us in family devotions—not every day and it was not always fun. But now that we’re adults, my sisters and I all love talking with them about God whenever we’re together. Dad was the spiritual leader of our home, not because he demanded it, but because he accepted his God-given role and rose to the challenge.
I’m so thankful for my Dad and all he’s taught me. I could say much more, but I want to give you the chance to share what your fathers have taught you. Click on the Comment button and share a favorite memory, or what your dad is currently teaching you. And be sure to share with your dad how thankful you are for his words and example.
Happy Father’s Day!
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