The best part…

I love telling this story, so I thought I’d post it here in case anybody else gets as much of a kick out of it as I do.

There were 8 kids in our house, which is a big source of real interesting stories as you can imagine, and occasionally we’d have steak, and boy did we love it. (I still do.) But my dad used to do something that when I was a kid I understood one way, and when I became a man (and a married man at that) I understood another.

My dad would, as soon as the steak was off the grill, cut off the best part of it and give it to my mom. Ther was never any discussion. None of us were ever getting that real nice tender portion. No, sir. I thought my dad was trying to show my mom how much he loved her. And he was, and I’m sure that was the main point. But there was something else.

My dad was showing his kids how you treat someone you love. He was modeling it. He never “taught” us how to do it. He showed us instead. This is the same guy who when he came home from work put down his briefcase and gave my mom a kiss and a hug. Immediately. We learned by example, and I hope we learned well. If you love someone, you put them before yourself. Whether it’s loving God (we NEVER missed church) or loving your family (something my parents did, in my humble opinion, as perfectly as any parents ever have).

They made rituals in their lives, traditions that made this live and breathe in everything they did and everything they were. Think of some kind of ritual you can put in your life to do this kind of thing for the people you love, your spouse, your kids, your parents. Show the world how to love by doing it.

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7 thoughts on “The best part…

  1. Sir Kenton Of Drake says:

    Thanks for that Peter… if you have a good Dad it makes life a lot better. I remember how my Dad would join in the wiffle ball games in our back yard as full time pitcher and umpire and the neighborhood kids loved it. Then after the game I’d go off and do other stuff but my Dad would sit around the picnic table and talk to the kids and share life and gospel truths. I used to think he was square ya know…I was kind of embarrased but now I realize that two of my friends that liked to hang out with my Dad had less than perfect Dads…one in jail off and on and the other out of town 6 days a week. So now, I think of my Dad as a wise man and I’m proud of the little things I saw him do while I was growing up. Thank God we had good fathers.

  2. Julie says:

    You remember Dad, and I remember Mom. Who always made sure a good dinner was on the table when Dad came home. Who made sure that the little kids didn’t make a lot of noise during his “martini time (you might not remember, because, well, you were one of the little kids). Who straightened up the house a little when he was on his way home.

    And beyond that – she had a drink for any mover or repairman who came to our house. She gave unreservedly to whatever church she belonged to as a volunteer, usually part of the women’s organization, but she gave unreservedly.

    Not to mention by instantly forgiving a teenage daughter who had strayed far from her values and come home in serious trouble. And then supporting her through the consequences of her act.

    And I agree with you about them – our parents are able to love as well as anyone I have ever known. And they taught by their example. Oh they “taught” sometimes, too. But the lesson that remains is the one we see. It is no surprise that of the 8 of us, at least 7 are deeply involved in their church communities, and are significant leaders and volunteers.

    Someone recently went out of their way to thank me for something I’d done at church. I found myself responding that I grew up in a home where my parents were always deeply involved in church – I’m not sure I now another way to be. And I’m terribly glad for that.

    Thanks Dad, and Mom.

  3. Janet says:

    Peter,
    I really enjoyed your memories. You were very fortunate to have such good role models. Its sad to say not everyone have those kind of memories. But, we do have a perfect role model in our heavenly father in how to love others. I do thank God for my mum – who really showed me how to love others.

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