My father is not a man given to frequent or overt displays of affection. Until recently, I could probably count on one hand the number of times he had said the words "I love you" to me. But my father has given me more than hugs and kisses and pretty words can ever provide. Much of what I learned, I learned from my father. Not to minimize the role of my mother, but it is Father's Day and I am a daddy's girl at heart. I could write for days on everything I have learned from him, but I will keep it to the Top 5 tonight...
1) Take care of your family.
My dad has always worked hard to provide the things my mother and I needed (and, for the most part, wanted). His top priority was making sure his family was taken care of and safe at any cost.
2) Be honest in life and business.
In a day and age where honesty and moral values are often sacrificed for the almighty dollar, my father taught me that these are vital to good business practices and life in general. How you treat your fellow man, be it your neighbor or business partner, is more important than your net worth because it speaks to the value of your character. Even in situations where you are not treated with the same respect, my father taught me that you rise above the situation and never compromise your character. He always compared his behavior not to others in a similar situation, but to the best behavior that could be expected of anyone in that situation.
3) The right decision is not always the most popular decision.
I remember as a teenager several...okay many...times when I complained to my parents, "but my friends parents let her have that of do that!". But Dad stood his ground and did not give in (okay..maybe sometimes, but not often!). He taught me that what is good for others is not always good for me, and what others are doing may not be good for them either. He taught me to make my decisions based not on what was popular at the moment, but what was in the best interest for my life (and now my families life) in the future.
4) Save for a rainy day.
I did not learn this lesson until recently...very recently. I am of the firm belief that God provides for His children, both our spiritual and physical needs. But He also expects us to be good stewards of what He provides. Until recently, I had never considered what would happen if the next paycheck never came, I always assumed that someone (usually my parents or in-laws) would help us out if we ever became desperate. But I have seen that is an irresponsible and inconsiderate way to live. My father always saved for emergencies and just life in general...I am glad that lesson has finally sunk in!
5) People change.
Growing up, I did not receive a large amount of physical affection from my father. He was not a man given to hugs and kisses or even frequent "I love you" 's. But 3 grandchildren have changed my Dad! It is the joy of my adult life to see him interact with my children. They laugh and play and I see more hugs and kisses from him than ever before.
I pray daily for my father, both thanking my Heavenly Father for providing me with the blessing of a wonderful earthly father, and asking Him to open my father's heart to God's love and salvation.
Happy Father's Day!