Dads, Happy Father’s Day! I hope your children celebrate you in a big way. You deserve it. Dad, you have great influence on your kids, and I know you want to help them navigate life better. Here are some lessons that I think can help children sidestep the landmines of life.
The following lessons – there were more than I had space for – do not appear in order of importance. Some of these lessons my father passed down to me. Many others I learned through trial and error and colleagues, friends, and other godly men investing in my life. I have succeeded in some of these areas, and I have failed more than I care to remember. My hope is that these talks and lessons will inspire conversation between you and your children as well.
- Life isn’t fair, but God is good.
- Trust God even when you can’t trace God.
- Find your identity in Christ. Period.
- Humility paves the way for God’s blessing to rest in your life.
- Disappointment is inevitable, but God’s faithfulness is incredible.
- You will never, ever, as long as you live, understand women.
- You will never, ever, as long as you live, understand men.
- Sex and intimacy are not the same. So, learn to build a friendship first.
- Somebody else has it worse than you. So, fill your heart and mouth with gratitude.
- Spending more money than you earn will leave you broke and in debt.
- One of the best ways to avoid temptation is not to walk down its street.
- Develop your relationship with God above every other relationship.
- Laugh and then laugh some more (especially at yourself).
- Success does not come overnight. So, work hard.
- It’s just nice to be nice to others.
- Genuine gratitude will move people to want to do more for you.
- Wealth is built incrementally. So, save little by little.
- Don’t quit a job before you have another job.
- Refuse to compromise integrity for momentary success.
- No one can make you angry; anger is a choice.
- Think before you post anything on social media.
- Your friends will determine the trajectory of your life. So, choose your friends carefully.
- Change the oil in your car every 3-4 thousand miles.
- Handshakes should be firm, and you should look the person in the eye.
- Ask thoughtful and meaningful questions.
- Your vote is your voice.
- If you lead anything or anyone, expect opposition.
- Be willing to say NO to what you want, so you can say YES to what is necessary.
- Be generous to your servers when you go out to eat.
- Bounce back and do not waddle in disappointment.
- Failure is not final.
- Love and serve people without a hidden agenda.
- God can and will use your failures to accomplish his purposes.
- Failure becomes a success, only if you learn from it.
- People-pleasers will always compromise their values to live someone else’s.
- You are not ready to be in authority until you have learned to be under and share power.
- Every failure can teach us something; don’t stop searching until you have found/learned the lesson of every failure.
- The world doesn’t owe you anything. So, don’t let the spirit of entitlement grow in your heart.
- Work hard for what you get.
- Humility precedes elevation.
- Nothing good happens after 12:00 a.m., except your wife having a baby.
- If you are not careful, immediate success will jeopardize future success.
- Take responsibility for your decisions and your life.
- Your choices will always have consequences.
- Read good books.
- Have the most important conversations face-to-face.
- Appreciate turbulence.
- Good beginnings don’t guarantee successful endings. Keep getting better.
- Don’t talk big and live small.
- Keep the negativity to yourself.
- Give other people permission and power to help you improve.
- To be successful, you must be selective. You will not and cannot be friends with everyone.
- If a man will not respect and honor you, he is not worthy of you (Father’s with daughters).
- If you appear to be desperate for a man to love you, it will be easier for him to take advantage of you.
- Manage your money wisely.
- Brown socks with black pants don’t go together.
- You cannot change anybody.
- It’s not a good idea to wash red t-shirts with white underwear.
- It’s not cool to leave your house with wrinkled clothes.
- The world is bigger than your present address. So, get a passport as soon as you are old enough.
- Treat women like the precious treasures they are.
- Loving another human being is worth the risk, pain, and disappointment.
- Your actions today are creating memories tomorrow.
- Having talent is no substitute for developing character.
- When you focus on what you’re losing, you’ll never be able to enjoy what you have left.
- Never let fear determine your fate.
- You are more than what has happened to you.
- Some days, as a black person, you will be judged by the color of your skin and not the content of your character.
- You are not responsible for how people treat you, but you are responsible for how you treat them.
- Buying material things for your kids can never take the place of time you spend with your children.
- Because your time is limited, limit what you do with your time. Turn your minutes into moments.
Dads, thank you for being faithful to lead your children in the way everlasting. You are my heroes. For the men who have invested in my life and taught me many of these lessons – you know who you are – I thank God for you. You are amazing warriors to me.
So, fathers, we get one shot at this. Let’s rise to the challenge and make significant deposits in our children’s lives. If you have not lived up to your calling, it’s never too late to start over. Apologize. Ask questions. Learn from other fathers. Practice what you learn. Being a dad can be difficult at times, but it is an incredible privilege.
HAPPY FATHER’S DAY!
What lessons would you add to this list?
What are some lessons your dad taught you?
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