rebelling against low expectations

3 Life Lessons I Learned From My Dad


My dad is one of my favorite teachers.

He taught me all the classic “dad stuff” when I was little. I cringed a little the first time Dad taught me how to bait a hook to catch a fish. He taught me to love football, and thanks to him I can throw a spiral that still scares my brothers. I never shared his intense passion for baseball, but he wouldn’t let me off without teaching me how to throw a good fastball. He taught me how to drive and showed me basic vehicle maintenance, which I promptly forgot.

I owe a lot to my dad for teaching me these practical, right-of-passage lessons, but I owe him even more for the lessons he has taught me about life.

These are three specific life lessons my dad taught me that I will never forget.

1. Read to Grow

I have disliked reading for as long as I can remember. I was rarely disciplined enough to finish the books I started. I wanted to be well read, but I didn’t enjoy it. I didn’t see much of a point.

My dad, however, lives and breathes books. He reads voraciously. He reads almost every genre you could think of, and it makes him a walking library of knowledge.

My dad is a very wise man, and that can be largely credited to his studious approach to reading. He never stops learning. He reads to grow.

I’ll probably never read as much as my dad, but he taught me to see incredible value in reading as a discipline. I’m so grateful for that.

2. Family Comes First

I am privileged and grateful to be able to call my dad my pastor. He is a humble shepherd who takes his call to ministry seriously and leads our church well.

Being a pastor is a can be an incredibly hard job. One of the notoriously hard things for pastors is balancing their work and family life.

My dad is not perfect and he would be the first to tell you that, but I can honestly say that I’ve never felt like my dad’s afterthought. My dad puts our family first. He recognizes his biblical call to spiritually lead our family, and he takes it very seriously. It can require great effort to prioritize family over work, but my dad has walked that road with wisdom and grace.

My dad has taught me the importance of family, and I’ll never forget his devotion to taking care of us. I will be happy if someday I can care for a family with just half of that devotion.

3. Be a Servant

My dad spent this last week bailing floodwater out of our decrepit church basement. It’s hard and thankless work, but he did it without question or complaint.

Being the shepherd of a small church, my dad is pastor, youth pastor, events coordinator, janitor, and counselor all in one. Oh yeah, and floodwater annihilator. (Also, I have to shout-out to my mama who is always right by dad’s side).

Dad leads and serves seamlessly with a humility I can only hope to mimic one day.

No matter where my dad finds himself, he serves with his whole heart. His Christlike example has instilled in me a desire to do the same.

I could never hope to write about all the lessons my dad has taught me in just one article. These three things are just a small part of the immense wealth of knowledge my dad has shared with me.

These are lessons I will never forget.

I am incredibly grateful for my dad’s example of Christlikeness in my life. And I can also find peace in the fact that he’s only a call away when I inevitably forget which Mazda Miata upgrades are compatible with my car, or how to change the oil in my car.

Thanks, Dad.

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About the author

Alathia Hayes

is a graciously forgiven college sophomore whose broken soul has been mended by the Author of life. She has a passion for helping children and other teens know how much they are loved. When she’s not studying, you will likely find her playing piano, sipping on a cup of coffee, perusing local used book shops, or participating in an epic round of Mario Kart with her brothers.

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rebelling against low expectations

The Rebelution is a teenage rebellion against low expectations—a worldwide campaign to reject apathy, embrace responsibility, and do hard things. Learn More →