My dad loves to tell the story about how when I was a baby and my family was traveling, they would put me in a cardboard box in the floorboard of the car. For real. There’s even a picture (somewhere at Mom’s) to prove it.
When Mary Margaret was born, he got a lot of mileage out of telling people she was named after the mother of Jesus and the mother of Tom.
My dad loves to tell lots of stories, and ask lots of questions. And I am exactly the same way!
In light of Father’s Day being tomorrow, I was thinking about what I’ve learned from my dad. Here are the ones that came to mind immediately.
1. Find the bargain. You’ll be glad you did.
2. People are important. Things are not.
3. The principles we live by are based on what God’s Word says, regardless if we serve in ministry or not. As a teen, I said to my mom, “I sure wish Daddy wasn’t a preacher, then he would let me blah blah blah (I don’t even remember what it was).” She went on to tell me that it was not because he was a preacher that he felt the way he did; it was because he was a believer, and his stand was because of what the Word said.
4. Pick your battles. When I asked him one time (I was a new parent) how he & Mom knew which issues to make a big deal about, rather than making a big deal about everything. He said that they picked their battles. I can look back and see the wisdom in how they did that with me.
5. In marriage, it’s the everyday things that make or break a couple. The trips away are a good thing, but it’s the day in and day out, the way we serve (or don’t), engage with (or don’t), honor (or don’t) each other every single day that will keep us connected (or not).
6. Serve. Don’t just talk about serving, do it. I may have blogged about this before, but about 10 years ago, I ran into a man who Daddy pastored and also officiated his wedding in the late 70’s. This man wanted to go into ministry, and went on to seminary after college. He told me that his wife’s dad had died and the family didn’t have a pastor, so Daddy went & did the funeral. He said that the family was poor and could not afford to pay the company that would come and dig the grave, so after the graveside service was over, the uncles and other family members there took the shovels and started digging. He said it was raining and just a dismal situation. He said Daddy took off his sport coat and laid it on a chair with his Bible, grabbed a shovel and started digging. The man said, “Your dad taught me more about ministry that day than any class I’ve ever taken.”
I am thankful that my two daughters have a dad that has the same values that my dad has. What a heritage. I know that everyone does not have the same provision.
I am so thankful.