Lessons In Life

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The Rejection of Truth: When Sin Steeps Hearts in Defiance

To this, they replied, “You were steeped in sin at birth; how dare you lecture us!” They threw him out.  John 9: 34

Have you ever thought it would be fun to retake some classes you took when you were in school? History, for example, is far more interesting to me now than when I was in high school. I should have paid more attention to my economics teacher as well. She used to pronounce “Fiscal” as “Physical”. It made the lectures funny. We spent too much time re-arranging the letters on her bulletin board to see how long it took her to notice the four-letter words we made.

When I was in college, I took a class called “Human Growth and Development”. Fascinating topic, situationally unfortunate. I had just started my job at UPS, so I was getting up at 4:00 AM or earlier and working before spending the day in class. That class, in particular, hit at just the wrong time, mid-morning.

Sleeping Through Life’s Lessons: The Regret of Missed Opportunities

I slept through it for a week or two. I’m not talking about sleeping in my apartment while missing class. No. I showed up for class. I couldn’t stay awake through it. The instructor seemed to be offended by my snoring, so I went to his office to explain my situation. I did not want to be rude, so I told him that as long as he stuck to the dates on the syllabus, I would turn in research papers on time and show up for tests — no lectures needed. I remember he sort of laughed at the idea of missing the lectures and still passing. With no points deducted for not attending class, I think I ended the semester with around 95% or something like that.

Around 20 years later, I spoke to a service club in town and saw him in the crowd. Afterward, I was a little embarrassed but introduced myself and reminded him I was one of his former students. He said, “Oh, I remember, you didn’t think you needed to grace me with your presence for the lectures.” True story. I still feel bad.

If you have been around my family lately, you know a granddaughter has graced us with her presence. She is so beautiful. Our daughter is almost radioactive, she looks so happy. Holding her, you remember just how helpless a newborn is. Parents have a lot of things to teach a new human. I marvel at the fact that in just 24 years, our helpless little newborn daughter has grown up and made another person. Time will go just as fast for them.

Parenting as Preparation: The Journey of Raising Independent Children

It sounds weird, but I have a theory that a parent’s job is to have their kids ready to leave home the day before they do. Otherwise, they are not ready for the journey. To get there, some lessons have to be taught on purpose. I taught a lot of lessons on the fly as life happens. Consequently, there are many lessons in life.

Aly had an attention span that could be politely described as short. You can have your best lecture ready. She may have deserved it, but about 8 seconds in, her eyes went glassy. I may have kept talking, but the teachable moment was over. She was teachable, but our format had to be adjusted. She disciplined herself often. We would walk into the room, and she would hand us her phone or her computer or whatever was appropriate and explain what she had done wrong. True story, but many times we did not know she had done anything wrong, and she would confess, apologize, and impose an appropriate punishment. 

Uncommen Questions:

Have you ever wondered how your kids turned out so well despite you? We did not know what we were doing when we became parents. Why does much of our wisdom come after the primary need for it?

I realize it now, but for many of the lessons my parents tried to teach me, I was not ready to listen. If I could go back and go through it again, I would have had more wisdom–sooner.

Uncommen Challenge: 

Pick your lessons but be flexible in what method you use to teach them. We miss many opportunities by thinking the lecture is necessary.


  1. Tim

    Most of the time I have no idea how to raise these two boys. But I love them with all of my being
    PS I enjoy your frequent emails

  2. Andrew McCullough

    Ah yes, tiny humans they are. But small adults they are not! I am a father of four wonderful and completely different young men. I can unequivocally state that I was never prepared to be a father and anyone who thinks that they are…well they have another thing coming. Nevertheless, listen up dad….you are the only one that should do it. God Almighty ordained it that way and if you choose to follow Him (the wisest choice) then he promises to equip you. Let that sink in. God promises to supply you with all that you need and more to raise your kids to know and love Him. That’s success and that should be your primary focus after loving your wife and loving Jesus. Remember loving the Lord and your spouse is the only true way to love your kids properly anyway. As far as your role goes, it’s already tough to be a godly man. It’s even harder to be a godly husband, but to be a godly father has to be the hardest role on the planet. One with the heaviest responsibility and yet the greatest rewards. Tap in to the Word….thousands of years of power source waiting to be poured out into your family. Let them see….let them know.
    Deuteronomy 6:4-9

    • Tom S.

      Excellent comment and great advice about being a father of four. I have three boys and do not feel adequate at times… because I am not. I pray God fills in the gaps where I miss and am thankful that when I screw up my boys accept my apologies. As you mentioned… hardest role – greatest response. Love them, spend time with them, point them towards Him, build them up and guide them.


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