As many of you know, my father passed away on February 14, 2014. Since then, every year on Father's Day, I spend a lot of time reflecting and thinking about the great memories I have of William Jones. This past week was no different. However, this year, I began reflecting on the life lessons that he taught me. Although my father was a man of very words, his actions spoke volumes! Below are a five of the most important life lessons he ever shared with me:
- Your faith in God must have legs!
My father was a Christian and always emphasized having a relationship with Jesus Christ. Therefore, no matter what was happening around him, his trust was in the Master! This same faith also led him to serve others in whatever way he could.
- You can't love God and be great if you don't love people!
William Jones met no strangers! Although a lot of people in Tyler, TX knew my father, he could hold extensive conversations with total strangers. When he talked to people, he made sure that they felt heard and that they mattered.
- Sometimes, you will be a father to more than just your own children.
My dad taught me at a very early age that a lot of kids I knew didn't have good fathers (if any at all). He would often make it a point to take us all out for pizza, to the Smith County Fair, football games, the park, etc. And while in the car, he would also make sure to drop some knowledge on us. My sister and I brought a lot of friends home over the years. If you were to ask them about my father, they would tell you that they felt like my dad was their dad too! In case you didn't know, this is also one of the many reasons why I joined Big Brothers Big Sisters in 2002.
- You have to move in silence.
My sister and I were taught that we did not have to publicize every move we make. "Your actions will always speak louder than your words," he would say. When participating in youth sports, my father always emphasized doing your talking on the court and field (as well as in the classroom). If we won, bragging was not allowed. If we lost, complaining would not be tolerated.
- Accept your children for who they are!
There was NEVER a moment where I believed my dad was trying to force me to become someone/something that I wasn't. In fact, he would always say that he wanted me to be better than him in every way. My father was a great running back and knew how to fix things with his hands. It didn't take him long, however, to discover that I was mediocre in sports but excelled in the classroom. Rather than talking me out of playing football, he continued to support my decision (as long as my grades remained high).
These are lessons that I will never forget. May they be a blessing to you as well.