50 Fatherhood lessons from my Dad.

June 16, 2012

I was blessed to have exceptional parents. As a team, they led my brother’s and I through the different stages of childhood and then finally manhood.

Father’s day is Sunday, therefore I want to highlight some of the things I learned from my father.

My father was the only person in his family to find Jesus. He lived for Jesus in the worst of environments. He was faithful to Jesus throughout the trying teen years. He accepted his call to preach, married a beautiful lady, and had three sons. He has built churches both physically and spiritually. All while working full time as a elementary school teacher.

He is the type of dad that can fix anything and do anything.

50 things my Dad taught me about being a godly father:

  1. God is the first priority in your life. Secondly, your immediate family, and finally the church. Never put the third priority in front of the second.
  2. It really doesn’t matter if you kill a deer or not. What is important is that you just spent 10 hours with your children.
  3. Experiences are much more valuable than expensive gifts. Long after the toy is broken, your family will reminisce about the times you spent camping or fishing.
  4. No two children are exactly the same. Even twins. Learn each child’s different personalities and never pressure them to be exactly alike. Celebrate their differences.
  5. If you put your brand new pair of glasses in your back pocket and break them, you are going to have to tape them up and wear them anyway. You must live with your bad decisions.
  6. Chopping wood will never stunt a child’s mental growth. Rather, chores and responsibilities help to nurture the child into a man.
  7. Sometimes dad wears the same suit he has had for years so his boys can wear Nike cleats.
  8. Never teach your children how to worship in church: show them.
  9. Disciplining your children calls for creativity. Just swatting a child doesn’t always work. I did thousands of jumping jacks.
  10. Always, always, respect and love your mom.
  11. The best vacations are spent with your collective family. After all, family relationships are the most important relationships a child can have.
  12. Boundaries are a blessing. They allow a child to grow with honor and respect.
  13. The loudest person at the ballgame should be your parents.
  14. Be the first one at the altar celebrating a prodigal sons return.
  15. Teach your family the bible in relevant ways. Picture bible’s are the way to do this with children.
  16. A little dirt on the underwear never hurt any kid.
  17. If your son is preaching too long on a thursday night, stand up and tell him to stop. Never quit mentoring your children.
  18. Push your children to maximize their potential. I’m not my brother’s, and they are not me. And we have all been pushed hard toward our unique destiny’s.
  19. If you think your child can be great, practice with them and coach them toward greatness.
  20. Alaska is the greatest state in the U.S.
  21. Let your heroes be spiritual people. Honor and revere the elder’s in your life.
  22. Character is much more important than charisma.
  23. Loyalty or nothing.
  24. If you crash and burn learning how to ride a bike, get back on and try again.
  25. Correction doesn’t always have to happen the day a mistake is made. Learn that timing and tuning work together.
  26. The fact that you are present in hard times is enough. The ministry of your presence can never be overrated.
  27. Get a job as soon as you are able. Nothing in life is free.
  28. Throwing snowballs at cars is wrong. Actually, I never learned that lesson.
  29. Manage your money and take good care of your possessions.
  30. Your family is your harvest field.
  31. Your children must have somebody they can look to as The Man. You will never be tougher than your dad. He is the person you go to in troubles and trials. You have to be The Man.
  32. Nothing in life has to be rained out. Just put on your rain coat and go grab the poles. Circumstances don’t change your goals.
  33. You are never done being a father. Even after you die your legacy will live on. What parts of you should be buried, and what parts should be embalmed?
  34. Keep sighting in the rifles. Even if you don’t have a hunting trip planned, be prepared.
  35. If your children won’t quit fighting, buy boxing gloves.
  36. Build influence through your lifestyle and relationships. This influence will play a big part in your child’s future. You must be able to say, “Let me make a phone call.”
  37. Transparencies are great for teaching sunday school, and great for your lifestyle. You must be an authentic christian.
  38. Storms can be navigated, if you take your time and work through the waves.
  39. Start out letting your children follow you. Then let them carry the rifle. And finally let them be the shooter. Responsibility grows as your children grow.
  40. There are some hills worth dying on. These hills need to be taught to your children.
  41. Some influencers are not good for your children. You need to tell some coaches you cannot draft my boys.
  42. Guard the gate. Some things shouldn’t be allowed into your home.
  43. Have rice with every meal. Find out who you are and stick with it. Children need stability.
  44. If your children wreck the truck. Ask if they are ok before you start lecturing. No material possession is more important than your children’s well being.
  45. If you can make pancakes that look like animals, then do it. Kid’s love kid stuff.
  46. When you are with your children, be with your children. Don’t let technology, or other distractions rob your children of your time.
  47. A good name is very important. You are representing the family. Nobody is living unto themselves.
  48. Watch “White Christmas” every Christmas Eve. Family traditions are very important.
  49. Have a well worn bible that you are going to pass on to your children.
  50. Throwing rocks through windows is wrong. Actually, I think I have might have some kind of record there.

 

Disclaimers:

1. This list is in no way complete.

2. My dad generally proofs my stuff, so the mistakes in this blog today are all on me.