I know not everyone has a great relationship with their father. However, this Father’s Day, I encourage you to think about your dad and find at least one thing he gave you as a gift. Was there a lesson you learned that has impacted who you are today? Some will think of many things, others will struggle. Since we are commanded to honor our fathers in whatever way we can, Father’s Day is a perfect time to reflect on the positive.

My father is no longer with me. He lived just shy of 98 years. While not a perfect man, he gave and taught me much! So many fond memories flood my mind when it comes to my dad. He was hard working, steady, strong, and loved my mom deeply.

He taught me how to have fun, to relax, to go on vacation and see the country. Every summer, our family loaded up in our big Buick and discovered America. Some discoveries were a little cheesy, but most times, we were awed by our adventurous road trips.

My dad had an upbeat attitude. He liked to explore, to see new things, and to meet people. In our small town, everyone knew him and greeted him by name. When he died, his funeral was packed with people I had never met who he touched in some meaningful way. His love for people, community and relationships rubbed off on me.

My dad gave me security. He was always there and attended every recital, play and music competition in which I performed. He never complained, even though I often noticed him napping during long piano recitals. He endured nightly music practices of three children who turned out to be decent musicians even though he didn’t have much musical talent. Whatever we did, it was important for him to support us. And he always supported my mom.

My dad pushed me. Sometimes, I felt he pushed too hard, but I knew his intent was to give me more opportunities than he had in his life. Education was one of the most important things to him. He believed it was the key to making a better life.

Finally, my dad gave me an appreciation for the church and faith. He quietly served in whatever capacity needed. His humility and steady devotion marked his walk with God. And no matter the conflicts our church family presented, he taught me to love the body of Christ, appreciate their diversity and do my best to bring unity. And when we had differences with church leadership, we stayed and worked through conflicts.

All dads have their issues. None of them is perfect. But this Father’s Day, as you honor your dad with a special gift, or dinner out, or a new tie, take a moment to reflect on the gifts he gave you. Then let him know the lessons you learned from him.

Lessons from Dad