lessons I learned from my dad
Never Give Up On People — I learned this lesson by example. My dad forgives, again and again and again. He never stops giving second chances, least of all to his family. And he’s been tested, thoroughly, by all of us, many times over and often through the same mistakes. But he never gives up on any of us. Thank God, he never gives up on us. My dad never has never forgotten what it feels like to be forgiven, and he is quick to offer that to everyone else. In this way, he models our heavenly Father, making it very easy for me to believe in a loving, gracious God. I will never be able to thank him enough for that.
Marriage Is For Life — and your word is your bond. If you commit, you don’t break that vow. I watched my parents struggle through some very difficult years in their early married life, and many years later I witnessed them both verbally commit to never divorce and to always work through whatever challenges came along. Since that day, I’ve watched their love grow and their relationship flourish. I’ve seen them trudge through pain and anger and fear until they could finally make each other laugh again. Their example is a powerful one. I understand the truth of enduring love because of my parents, and I understand how a woman should be treated because my dad has modeled it with my mom. It’s a high standard of excellence, to be sure.
You’re Never Too Busy — For family, for friends, for people in need. You might have other plans or thoughts about what you want to accomplish, but God is in charge of all your time and when He creates an appointment for you, nothing else is more important. This is especially true for grandchildren and daughters who can probably handle things themselves but really want Daddy to do it instead. It’s easy for us to take advantage of our dad because he’s so willing to rearrange his agenda to accommodate almost any request. But I think he does this because it makes him feel necessary and irreplaceable. Which he is. In every way.
The Love of Jesus Is Overwhelming — My dad has a soft heart, but he’s not necessarily prone to tears. Except when he speaks of his relationship with Jesus. When my dad considers the sacrifice of our Lord and the depth of His love and grace, he can barely speak about it. The words always catch in his throat. His eyes fill with tears, and his heart swells to capacity. He has to stop and take several deep breaths before he can speak again. It was this way when he first began his relationship with Christ, and it is exactly the same (perhaps moreso) 25 years later. Nothing affects him the same way; not even his family. And at the same time, my dad bursts with true joy when describing that intimate relationship with Jesus. Nothing in life brings him more delight. Which is why I know that…
The Greatest Character Trait Is A Sense Of Humor — My life is full of hilarious episodes, and most of those are directly tied to my family. My dad has always modeled a joyful life. He finds humor in everything. And he is quick to laugh! He has a quirky sense of humor and a subtle, dry wit, and he analyzes every situation until he can find something to laugh at. Even when things are the worst you could imagine, and especially when things just keep going downhill, my dad will always find some small goodness in the midst of it and find a way to make it funny. It may only be funny because it’s so ridiculous, but he will find the dark humor in the midst of the terrible. I’ve learned to laugh instead of cry, or at least to laugh in the midst of crying. I always think of my dad saying, “Yes, it’s terrible, but that’s the darlin’ part.” And after a time I can always see that he was right.
My dad, himself, is the darlin’ part of our lives. He shows us how to love and how to live life fully. Without regret and without turning around to focus on the past. He leads by example, and we gladly follow. And I am thankful every moment of every day for God’s great gift to us in this man.
Posted on 20 June 2010, in People I Love and tagged commitment, Dad, faith, family, forgiveness, Jesus Christ, joy in the journey, Life Unabridged, things to know about me. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.