Over the holiday break, I got a gift from my dad that I will never lose nor forget.
Dad turned 60 a few days before Christmas and he had the novel idea to ride his bike 60 miles on his 60th birthday. Dad had sent out an invitation to a few cyclist friends of his and since my family would be in town, he asked me to ride along.
While not an avid cyclist like he is, I have put in a few miles on my roadie over the last few years and I thought, although it would be a challenge, I’d be up for the task.
As Dad and I hit our last mile, it occurred to me: Dad gave me the one piece of advice – “Choose your battles wisely” – that stuck in my head before I got married but he hadn’t given me a good one-liner for parenting. So I asked him, “What advice would you give a new dad?”
After a few turns of the pedal, he unwrapped one of the best Christmas presents I had ever received:
Keep your priorities straight. Make God first, your wife second and your kids third. Everything else will fall into place after that.
It’s funny because the reality is that Dad has been telling me this through his actions for many, many years. Sure there were moments when he got them switched around, or even added something new to the Top 3, but it never stayed that way for long.
The advice my dad gave me is the same I would like to impress upon my kids.
There’s something bigger going on than what we can see. Sometimes it’s coasting downhill; other times, it’s a slow uphill crank of the pedals that seems to never end.
But always, knowing this larger reality is the key to understanding God’s redemptive plan for mankind – starting with ourselves, leaking out to our spouses and kids and eventually into the entirety of the lives we live.
Question: What parenting advice did your dad give you?