3 Life Lessons from Dad

Contributing Writer: Leslie Foster Ponderings from an Ohio Farm Girl

Last Sunday was Father’s Day, and whilst writing in the card I gave my dad, I was reminded of all the stuff he has taught me.  I’m blessed to have a pretty darn awesome dad.  He has taught me so many things, both in word and deed.  Often, lessons that seem unimportant have deeper, hidden importance.  Here are a couple of lessons my dad taught me, and the deeper lessons I’m slowly finding, hidden inside.

1. Lock your doors.

Even though I grew up on a small farm in a rural part of Ohio, my parents always locked the house when we left the house.  My dad said it was “to keep honest people honest”.  As a kid I didn’t think much about it, but as an adult I realize that what this lesson boils down to is helping people make good choices.  In Luke 17:2, Jesus tells us that we’re better off dead than causing someone else to sin.  Strong words.  Am I causing a thief to sin if I leave my house unlocked?  No.  But is it possible that someone’s more likely to steal something from me if there aren’t any obstacles?  Maybe.  Why take the chance?  Shouldn’t we try to help people when we can?  And so, I lock my doors.

2. Slow down on icy roads.

In my family, the day you got your driver’s permit, you became the family chauffeur.  If you were IN a car, you were DRIVING a car, until you got your license.  My birthday is in February.  February in Ohio is usually cold, sometimes icy, and often snowy.  And so, I heard this bit of advice many, MANY times during my 16th year.  It’s good for driving, but it’s a good life lesson, too.  In a class in grad school, one professor warned us that as Americans, we’re especially likely to screw stuff up by rushing; we’re trained that way by a culture that values speed and efficiency.  But those two things don’t necessarily go hand in hand.  So slow down.  Think it through.  Make a choice based on thoughtful consideration rather than panicked, knee-jerk reactions.  It might keep you out of the ditch, or better yet, out of the hospital.

3. You’re not really hungry; go drink a big glass of water.  

Ok, I’m not gonna lie; I really, REALLY hated it when he said this.  If I felt hungry, I wanted to EAT, not DRINK (especially not water- boring!!). But the deeper lesson here is really important: look for and treat the REAL problem.  It’s not always the obvious choice.  Sometimes thirst is misinterpreted as hunger.  Likewise, sometimes fear is expressed as anger; insecurity can show itself as arrogance; a broken spirit can look just like rebellion.  Things aren’t always what they seem, so look carefully.  Seek out the truth, and act accordingly.

Dad taught me loads more stuff than this, but I hope these few lessons will encourage you.  As a parent, an aunt or uncle, a teacher, or a friend, we’re all teaching lessons.  May we all strive to teach lessons with deeper meaning.  The rest is just details.

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10 Responses to “3 Life Lessons from Dad”

  1. June 22, 2012 at 8:06 pm #

    What a beautiful post! The lessons are great- and made even greater the way you expound on them. Would love to read more lessons from you- and your dad:)

  2. June 22, 2012 at 10:57 pm #

    Thanks for the encouragement, Laura. I’m glad you got something out of it!

  3. June 23, 2012 at 12:19 pm #

    What a beautiful photo and post!

    • Leslie Foster
      June 24, 2012 at 4:27 pm #

      Thanks, Jennifer. I can’t take credit for the photo, though. I believe it’s Mari’s, since it’s her husband and son.

  4. June 23, 2012 at 6:12 pm #

    I had to chuckle when I read your #3. I always tell our boys “drink water” when they say they are hungry. They always respond “I didn’t say I am thirsty I said I am hungry.” lol

    • Leslie Foster
      June 24, 2012 at 4:28 pm #

      See? Did you even realize you were instilling such a deep ideal? :)

  5. June 24, 2012 at 3:12 pm #

    Beautiful post… I miss my dad everyday!!

    • Leslie Foster
      June 24, 2012 at 4:29 pm #

      Aw, I’m sorry you’re missing your dad. I’m thankful to finally be in the same part of the country as my dad is again, but my mom passed away 7 years ago, and I miss her everyday- I understand the feeling :(

  6. June 28, 2012 at 5:49 pm #

    Beautiful post! Thanks for sharing it with us! We are so glad that you linked up to our “Strut Your Stuff Saturday”. Please come back again really soon! Thanks! -The Sisters

  7. June 29, 2012 at 6:31 pm #

    Beautiful post. Love that photo too. Thanks for sharing with us at our Pinteresting Party. Hope you will come back and share again this week.

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