Life Lessons I Will Pass On to My Kids

Don’t hold grudges. I’ve known several people, mostly women, who’ve held a grudge against someone for years. They never relinquish their anger, they never forgive, they never reconcile. They just hold on to their anger because it feels safe and powerful to be angry. But, if you have ever prayed the Lord’s Prayer then you are asking to be forgiven in the same way that you have forgiven (or not forgiven) others. Don’t hold grudges because grudges hold you hostage and they keep others out of your ever shrinking world.

Learn to say, “I’m sorry.” Admit you were wrong. “I’m sorry. Forgive me. I was wrong.” Don’t ever apologize with a blaming apology: “I’m sorry but I did it because you…” I don’t know how many times someone has done this to me. I realize that it is not a true apology but the person’s pride which is speaking. A true apology requires humility. Don’t blame others in your apology. Make your apology by stating what you did wrong. Ask for forgiveness and then shut up.

Face your fears. What’s bugging you? What’s gnawing at your insides causing you to bite your fingernails, drink excessively, spend compulsively and complain incessantly? What are you afraid of? Spell it out on paper. Tell yourself the worst that could happen and prepare for that. Then, get on with your life knowing that the worst that can happen will be dealt with at that time. Keeping your fears alive might make you feel alive but your body, your wife and your friends will bear the brunt of your worry. Face your fears and decide what you will do proactively to address them.

Learn to adapt. Life is hard. Life will throw curve balls at you. Find ways to adapt to change. Expect change and see it as a challenge given to you by God to grow thereby. Sometimes you need new soil to make growth happen. Don’t be afraid. Get on with your life, welcome the opportunity and grow. Change makes goals and desires all the more defined and dearer. I’ve learned, duh, that God knows the beginning from the end. He is already where I am going. He knows my desires. He knows what I want without saying a word. He’s making things happen for my benefit.

Be open-minded. The fact that you are only human should be enough notice to you that you don’t have all the facts. You are not omniscient. Be ready to receive new information, ask questions and listen to others. This will help you discern whether you believe in only half-truths. You want the whole truth. You should be seeking the whole truth in every situation and not something which only fits your politic. Be teachable.  Jesus said The meek shall inherit the earth.

Don’t complain. I know someone who has worked for a company for over twenty years. This guy complains about his boss and how his boss handles things. This guy believes that he knows better than his boss how to run things. Every night he comes home to his wife angry and spiteful. He complains to her and to every one he’s in a relationship with. He’s miserable and he wants every one to feel his misery. My guess is that everyone around him is sick and tired of his whining. They wish that he would quit that job and do something with his life other than complain. But, he likes to recycle his misery. It gives him some measure of pleasure. So, his complaining continues. Don’t complain – just shut up.

Be thankful. You don’t deserve anything except to be physically and emotionally safe from harm. Be grateful and not full of grating discontent.

Be courteous.  These days more and more people are becoming uncaring, thoughtless and just plain rude.  The “rights” revolution is the effect of people becoming  more self-absorbed.  It has given people a sense that they can do whatever they want whenever they want.  Don’t be like them.  Be responsible and kind. Be aware of people around you.  Turn off the cell phone and the loud music.  Be polite and gracious.  Be a light in the darkened wasteland of self.

Choose good friends. I don’t have to tell you that bad friends will bring you down. Good friends will be there when things change for the worse or for the better. You don’t need Job’s friends so it might be better to be alone than to have bad friends. I am a lone and waiting for good friends. Mark Twain said, “Be good and you will be lonesome.” Sad, but often true!

Get married when you are young.  Marriage is good.  For a woman, having children and being a wife and a homemaker is much more fulfilling than having a career. Don’t waste your time trying to become something in the business world.  This kind of nonsense is just rotten leftovers from the feminist movement.  Many people including parents have bought into this notion. This movement thought that if you were equal with men in the workplace and careers you would be complete as a woman and be a success  Well, your body, your heart and your soul know differently. If you have a high school sweetheart and you are both in love and committed to having sex only after marriage I say then,  marry right after high school.  If you wait and marry someone at, say, 28 or 30 by then habits, mainly bad ones from living a single lifestyle, are already ingrained and are very, very difficult to work with. Marry early and grow together. Each of you will change over time and become different people.  This is a fact of life. But this won’t matter if you choose love and commitment over self-interest, if you choose adaption and not abortion of your love.

Love is learned.  Love doesn’t just happen. Love takes a lot of trial and error and lot’s of hard work.  Love is kind, gentle and patient. The hottest fires of passion happen when you have acted in love toward your wife or husband.  Love offers itself without asking for anything in return. Love does what is best for the other person.  It is not selfish. It doesn’t seek its own way. This is the opposite of what the world tells you.  Be aware of this.

Sex is good. Sexual relations between a man and a woman in a committed relationship is wonderful. Outside of this boundary sex becomes an animal reflex and diminishes your sense of self, your humanity. It becomes a cheap thrill.

Give.  Give freely.  Don’t hold back.  This pleases your Father in heaven.

God is not going to do what you can do already. You can ask God for wisdom but if God has given you wisdom already then don’t ask again hoping to get a different answer. You can ask for courage to do what you know. God will bring you through circumstances that will either produce courage/character in our lives or it will produce a stubborn rebellion. It’s your choice. Just know that God has given you liberty to decide what response you will have. Be ready to accept the consequences of your bad response.

Life is short, choose wisdom. Your body, your bank account and your buddies will be thankful you did.

We are family, blood, and we take care of each other. ‘nuf said.

Ask dad. In any situation, when you don’t know which way to go, ask your father. He’s come a long way and he knows the territory.

“When I was a boy of fourteen, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be twenty-one, I was astonished at how much the old man had learned in seven years.” (often attributed to Mark Twain)

“It is a wise child that knows its own father, and an unusual one that unreservedly approves of him.” Mark Twain

Trust God with all your heart. He knew you before you were born.

Pray. Let your every breath and every heartbeat become a prayer.

2 Responses to Life Lessons I Will Pass On to My Kids

  1. Xaris Villa says:

    I’ve been looking around wordpress.com for a blog post that I could read to pass the time (insomnia is keeping me from sleeping)(cries).

    I stumbled onto this blog post and found it so endearing. I feel like they are the very same ones my parents taught (are trying) to teach me.

  2. Sally Paradise says:

    Thanks for your gracious comment, Xaris (or “Grace” in Greek.)
    I’ve learned some of these things the hard way so I thought I should pass them on to my kids.

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