4 Things Dad Teaches Me About Life | Happy Birthday, Dad

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I have the greatest dad in the world.  Today it’s his birthday.

I think I’m too old to get him a greatest dad in the world mug.  Moreover, it’s too late to send him something as mail takes 3+ weeks to get from PNG to Canada.  So for dad’s birthday, I want to offer him a tribute post. 

You’re welcome to read along, if you must be so nosey.

4 Things Dad is Teaching Me About Life

1.  The liberation of choice

I got a lot of positive feedback on a post I recently did.  The post was called The Liberation of Choice.  The only thing I didn’t tell you was that I stole all the material included in that article. 

I stole it from my dad.  I stole it from 33+ years of his positive influence, example, and mentoring.

It was my dad who taught me how to have confidence and a positive outlook on life.  It was my dad who taught me that I can choose how to react to situations.  He taught me all these things in both word and deed.

2.  The principle’s office is no place for good kids.

When I was in either grade nine or grade ten, I got sent to the principle’s office.

It was my intelligence that sent me.

You see, we were in a math class and I already knew everything and had little patience for the underlings who still had trouble with their algebra.  In order to properly occupy my adolescent mind, I decided to stick a pen up each nostril.  Those who appreciate such things affirmed my conduct by laughing.  The teacher, unfortunately, did not.

A sharp, “Craig, cut it out” was the rebuke.

The teacher then returned to writing on the board.

I then stuck a pen up each nostril and in each ear.  Once again, those who appreciate the finer points of life laughed, and they simultaneously tipped off the teacher.  My lightening reflexes did not allow me to get the pens out in time, and I was sent to the principle’s office.

The only problem was that dad was the principle.

I was pacing the halls when dad found me.  He shared a few quick words with me before sending me back to class.

There are some kids who thrive off negative attention.  I was really not one of them, despite my conduct.  Seeing my dad reminded me that I’m better than that and that more is to be expected from me.  He didn’t say it.  He didn’t even hint at it.  You see, I got so much positive attention and affection from my mum and dad, that when I felt the feeling of disappointing dad, I knew that’s not what I wanted to be or become. 

I just instinctively knew that I wanted to make choices that honored God and honored him, and it brought out the best in me.  It was my dad who instilled that in me.

3.  Dads make a significant contribution to the development of their children.

A few weeks ago I was teaching a Bible class and I was talking about how dad was such a good example for me growing up.  I realized how much of my thinking and values were shaped by my dad.

Since I love and respect my dad, I’m able to look in the mirror and ask myself if I’m raising my children the way he raised me.  He has become a model for me in how to raise children.

4.  The reality of spiritual authority

My dad is well respected in his home.  Well respected in his community.  Well respected by everyone who knows him.

As such, he simultaneously wields a tremendous amount of authority. 

The Bible speaks of the leader who serves and does not lord it over the people.

My dad is that kind of a leader.  He leads not out of force or power, but out of meekness.  I could share hundreds of stories, but I won’t.

The greatest leaders in history are not those who had authority to command; they were not those who were appointed to powerful positions.  They were those who had the authority of character.  Over their lives, their conduct has earned the respect of colleagues, citizens, and communities. 

My dad is that kind of leader.

Today, I do my best to lead in the same way. 


I’m thankful for your influence in my life.  I’m thankful for your presence.  I have been and I am continually blessed because God allowed me the privilege of being your son. 

The righteous man leads a blameless life; blessed are his children after him. (Proverbs 20:7 NIV)

Oh, and happy birthday.


  1. Art Ford says

    Thanks for the gift. My children made it easier for me to be a better father than I otherwise would have been. I hope I’m still learning how to be even better as a person and a father.


  2. says

    Great post, Craig! I have an awesome dad too.

    I’m reminded of Bill Cosby talking about his dad. He said when he was 18 his dad was the dumbest man in the world. When Bill turned 25, his dad was the smartest man in the world. Cosby couldn’t figure out how his dad got so smart, so fast.

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