Lessons from Dad

The righteous who walks in his integrity — blessed are his children after him!

~Proverbs 20:7


Dads are influential people. I was blessed to grow up in a home with a Dad who loved me and encouraged me. He always encouraged me in the things that I showed interest in. He was never a sports guy, but he entertained conversations about the greatness of Michael Jordan and he let me watch many Spurs games. He came to my basketball games and encouraged me to work hard. While in Seminary he talked systematic theology with me as I wrestled through different issues. He has been one of our biggest supporters with our aspiring church plant. Dad also took the time to teach me a few life lessons. There are far too many to think through here in this blog, but here are a few that will always stand out.

Risk vs. Benefit

I remember several times when I was about to do something stupid and my dad walked up on me. This typically meant a risk vs. benefit conversation was coming. I remember getting a Calvin and Hobbs book. The weather was nice so I thought I should go outside to read. As I arrived outside I realized that it would be even more peaceful and serene to read up on the roof (naturally). So I started the process climbing up the wall that would put me in good order to make the risky move to the roof. That’s when Dad came out. We talked about the joy I could get from reading on the roof. That conversation was followed by the horrible things that could happen to me while I was up there. I remember thinking that I hated how he made so much sense. Those conversations cost me some great times, but they also saved me some broken bones. I guess in the long run I have to appreciate the risk vs. benefit conversations. Over the years I have found myself thinking through this evaluative model many times. In case you have not pieced it together, we had these conversations often enough that they really made an impact on me. That means that I almost did plenty of stupid things. Good thing that man was around!

Road Trip Eating

I am not so sure if this is a lesson I learned or just a random tid bit about Father Dawsey, but nonetheless it is one of those memories that has stuck with me. When we would drive to Houston to visit my Grandparents we would swing through the occasional fast food joint. This was always a treat for us as kids. As soon as the drive through cashier handed out the food it was divided out to everyone. We had our food and we were always ready to eat (not much has changed over the years... I am still ready to eat anytime there is food in front of me). Just as we unpackaged our food Dad would remind us that no one could eat until we were back on the highway and at cruising speed. My brothers and I never understood this. We were always ready to start eating right away, but Dad never really had an explanation. It was what it was. Over the years it became so routine that we all expected it and held each other accountable to this “Dawsey way of living.” As an adult I have never lived by this road trip code, but as Avery grows up I will institute this code if I ever want to mess with her head like Dad did to us. 

The Bible is God’s Word

My Dad loves the Bible. He honors it. Not because of its history or impact on humanity, but because he knows it is God’s revelation to fallen man. He treats the Bible with this respect and taught us to do the same. I can remember coming out of my room and placing a book on top of one of the family Bibles. He noticed and called me over. He reminded me that no other book is to go on top of the Bible. God’s Word is to be treated with respect in word and in deed. This was something small that Dad did that revealed his heart towards God and His Word. It has always made an impact on me and I hope to instill the same love, faith and trust in my family.

Loving Others

My Dad drove a van for our church and picked up kids whose parents did not attend. The bond that my Dad built with those kids has always amazed me. These kids could have been easily overlooked in the crowd since their parents were not there and they did not have a background in the church, but that was never the case with my Dad. He made time to get to know the kids and he showed them that he cared. I know of at least 5 kids from church who learned to drive in my Dad’s car. The love he had for them impacted them in a big way. These kids are off in college now, some have even graduated, but they remember my Dad’s love. They still invite themselves over to watch movies and hang out. Love is the foundation for any impactful relationship. Dad taught me this through his words, but even more with his actions. Thanks Dad!

First Father’s Day

Today is my first Father’s Day. I have an exciting journey ahead of me. Knowing the impact my Dad had on me reminds me of the important role I play in Avery’s life. What am I modeling for her? What do my words teach her? What will she see as my passion? How do I reinforce the truth of God and His Word? I can look back and answer how my Dad took care of these issues and I can only hope that I do the same with my kids.

I love you Dad! Happy Father’s Day!

Love, your son, Thomas

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