Dad’s the word: 6 crucial life lessons from my dad

Father’s day was yesterday and so many people celebrated their fathers. Others celebrated their mothers who played both roles. We also celebrated all the many in our lives who are or one day will be fathers. I love my dad, maybe obsessively so. He is an amazing man, a loyal husband, an industrious worker, a sensitive father and incredibly disciplined. I love hanging out with him because he likes the fun stuff also because as I said, I am obsessed. In fact I realized I had search ‘impossible’ standards of love that I tried dating a guy who was the exact opposite of my dad. Then now I have just resigned myself to the fact that my dad will forever be my main man. 

My dad has taught me many things. Some it was through lectures, others by actions and others by just talking with me. But here are the 6 best ones that really help me be a better human being:

  1. Invest:

My dad is a sucker for investment. He will always find a way to bring up saving, buying shares, buying land, planning for the future. He loves it when young people take initiative and plan for a financially stable future. My siblings and I know too well his love for investment. In fact of late, that is his key speech. And I get it, there was a time- one and a half years to be exact- when we lived off my parents’ savings, then we lived off grace. It’s great to invest financially but most importantly invest spiritually and emotionally. Build great relationships and bonds that will carry you when you are down and low. Create excellent friendships that will always pick you up when you are down. We are not animals; we are made of spirit. In fact, this world has more going on in the spirit realm than in the physical realm. Be sure that your spirit has a permanent home in the next life, and that it is a good home because that home is forever. Not only that but ensure your spirit is enriched and at peace always by looking to God up above to guide you and leaning on Jesus to hold you. That’s why my dad has built our home on a strong christian foundation, because he believes hat investing in a relationship with the God of the universe is the most worthwhile investment of all.

2. Give:

My father is a very generous man. He gives of his time when he mentors young men, he gives his money, he gives his home to host meetings and bible studies and people. He is always giving and he encourages us kids to give. He always reminds us that when you give it shall come back to you, in good measure.He also cautions about what you give; is it negative or positive? Is it building someone up or tearing them down? Because what you put out will always come back to you. He actually teaches this one by example. He never forces us to give, he just gives himself and occasionally will urge us to do so but never actually makes it a requirement. He has taught me that the best kind of giving is that which is cheerful and from the heart.

3. Family first:

Both my father and mother and strong believers in the motto family first. They always insist that your bestest friends, your best business partners and strongest allies should be your brothers and sisters. And I love my father for this. He has given up job opportunities just because they would tear him from his family. He has sacrificed his sleep just to come home early and bond with us and then work when we are long asleep. He has missed meetings to attend our school events and always makes time, even in his busiest of days, to talk to us and pray with us. He has said that his greatest investment is in his children and how they will turn out. He always says that we should keep unity and peace and always support and correct one another in love.

4.Healthy body, healthy mind, healthy life:

My dad is a big advocate for healthy lifestyle choices, I mean , he works in nutrition. He always wants us to eat right, exercise, read good books and avoid taking medicine and processed food and such. I wouldn’t even want to be fit if it wasn’t for my dad. As I said, he is big on investment and one of the major points is invest in  your health while you are young and you will save a lot of time and money when you are old. He actually waked us up at 5 am every morning just so we can work out. Now, I’m not a fitness model, but I am very sure that I am healthy. My dad evened banned sodas from the house once. And now, we just don’t take them that often, I’d say maybe thrice a year at most. You have to invest in a healthy body, it is yours, the costume to your soul and you have to ensure it reflects on your heart well.

5. Be yourself:

My dad does not like copy cats. He believes that God made each and every one of us uniquely and specifically for a purpose and he does not want any of us kids veering off to a path not meant for us.His first lesson is always, women be women and men be men, We were both made for a purpose and we both make an equal and valuable contribution to society when we embrace our genders and work together as a team and not trying to outsmart each other. His other lesson is follow your God-given path. He would rather be wrong about what we are going to end up being rather than be right and have us not fulfill our purpose. He always insists that you would rather take time and discover who you are, than rush and seem ‘ahead in life’ when all you’re doing is following a path already made by someone else. Don’t spend time comparing yourself to others but instead be who you are and be good at what you do and you’ll stand out and won’t need to prove  or chase anything.

6.Grace and forgiveness:

My father may be strict but he is not merciless. He has taught me that in the end, grace and forgiveness were given to us freely and we should give them freely. He always forgives us kids, even the times that we really really embarrass and provoke him.This isn’t to say that we let people walk all over us, no, it is about extending grace and forgiving them when they wrong us and yet letting them suffer the consequences of their actions. In the end, love wins and one way to spread love is to be gracious. If someone is spreading rumors about you, address them but do not spread rumors about them back. If someone hurts you, forgive them. Yes, maybe don’t relate with them again but also do not carry bitterness and anger around. Wear grace and carry forgiveness and you’ll realize you will be way more understanding, calm, peaceable, relaxed and less judgmental and harsh and the world will become a better place.

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