My dad died recently. He was 89.
If you’re assuming he was quite a bit older than I was, you’d be correct – 49 years my senior to be exact.
While some may argue that I was at a disadvantage by having a father old enough to be my grandfather, I’d have to disagree with you.
Although my parents divorced when I was just seven and I didn’t live with my father after that, his presence was felt through the lessons he not only taught me, but lived out consistently in his daily life.
You see, the lessons I learned from my dad aren’t those that can simply be talked about: they need to be experienced through a life lived during hardship, and then passed on through example.
My father was a first generation Jewish-American, born to a Polish father and Ukrainian mother who had to flee their homelands. Not only was he born during the Great Depression, but he fought in World War II. He held his first job at the age of eight, not so he could buy the latest pari of designer jeans, but because he had to in order to help feed his family.
His stories weren’t simply stories:
They were first-hand accounts of a life well lived.
They detailed his successes and failures.
They illuminated multi-generational stories of survival.
They were subtle pleas that I wouldn’t take a moment of my life for granted because if I didn’t put my best into everything I did, it would be a slap in the face of my ancestors.
And while I’m thankful my children don’t have to struggle the way my father did every day just to survive, I also worry that they will never have the same appreciation for life.
So in an effort both to keep my father’s memory alive and to pass on his wisdom and experience to my own children, I’ve jotted down these 5 old school values to teach my kids that I hope will benefit yours as well.
As I mentioned, my father identified himself as a cultural Jew, but that doesn’t negate the power of his values. But in an effort to translate them into current times and with a Christian perspective, I’ve called upon my friends Chrys Howard & Korie Robertson (from Duck Dynasty) who co-wrote and incredible book called “Duck Commander Devotions for Kids”. Not only is the book absolutely adorable, but it is rich in wisdom and grounded in biblical truth written in a way your little ones can comprehend and apply to their own lives.