This evening I received the following email from my mom:
Last week in Sunday School Graham gave a good challenge for us–a question to ask our grown kids. What were the 3 most important things I taught you when you were growing up? I’ll look forward to hearing what you have to say–even though it is a bit scary
Well it got me thinking right away and it didn’t take me long to come up with my answers. Looking back on my formative years it struck me that the most important things my parents taught me were not necessarily things they told me but those that I learned from observing their lives.
If it’s important my parents don’t give up on it and that’s unusual in today’s world! They never gave up on the 8 us kids, even though there were countless times when we gave them plenty of reason to. They never gave up on each other and instead continually worked on the perfection of their marriage. They never gave up on the church despite having to deal with setbacks that would have driven others away.
Here is a little list of ways my parents have taught me faithfulness:
- Pastoring one church and preaching every Sunday for over 30 years!
- Raising 8 kids successfully
- Maintaining a christian marriage for over 40 years
My parents also showed tremendous patience towards the church. It wasn’t unusually for people to stop by unannounced at inconvenient times. My mom would always set another plate on the table and invited them in without a second thought. It was so natural that I didn’t even realize how difficult that actually is until I got a family of my own!
I also observed my dad’s patience in regards to ministry. Whenever there was a hot topic at the board meeting it seemed like he would be unusually quiet then I realized he was just waiting for everyone to say their piece before he weighed in. He would never inject his opinion or talk over someone else. The result was that when he did say something people listened.
At times growing up I heard pastor’s kids talk about how terrible it was growing up in a pastor’s family and how they regretted their father was always busy with the ministry and never spent time with them. That was a foreign concept to me! I know that both my parents are tremendously hard workers, yet somehow they managed to keep a balance. I
never felt that I didn’t get enough time with my dad, on the contrary, he always seemed to have time for us!
The emphasis on family had a great impact on me and continues to shape the way I live my life even today!
Of course there are many more lessons that my parents taught me but these three came to my mind right away.
What about you? What are the 3 greatest lessons your parents taught you?
Let me know in the comments below.