My dad was not a perfect man. But he was great man and model of what a husband and father should look like: faithful husband of 33 years, father of 5 boys, pastor and mentor to many other men. Not a day goes without me wishing he was still here with us.
In honor of him, I want to share with you 25 things I learned from my father on how to be a husband, father and all around decent human being.
1. Follow Jesus.
If there was only one thing he could have taught his children, this would have been it.
2. Always tell the truth, even when it hurts.
Proverbs 12:19 – Truthful lips endure forever, but a lying tongue is but for a moment.
3. Your integrity is the most valuable thing you possess.
Proverbs 22:1 – A good name is to be chosen rather than great riches, and favor is better than silver or gold.
4. Finish what you start.
Luke 9:62 – Jesus said to him, “No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God.”
5. Be quick to repent and confess your sin.
James 5:16 – Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.
6. When you’re done with something, put it away.
My dad hated messes. And with 5 boys in the house, there were plenty of opportunities for messes to appear. He taught us to clean up (take responsibility for) our own messes.
Proverbs 18:9 – Whoever is slack in his work is a brother to him who destroys.
7. Guard your heart.
Whenever I would fall into sin, my dad never condemned me for my actions. Instead he always asked me what was going on in my heart. Of course there was penalties for wrong behavior, but he always started by helping me examine my heart issues that lead to my actions.
Proverbs 4:2 – Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life.
8. Never be alone with a woman.
This was a non-negotiable rule in our house. Even into our twenties, my dad wouldn’t allow us to be alone with girls. To this day I hold this as a personal standard for myself.
1 Thessalonians 5:22 – Abstain from all appearance of evil.
9. Never hit a woman.
1 Peter 3:7 – Likewise, husbands, live with your wives in an understanding way, showing honor to the woman as the weaker vessel, since they are heirs with you of the grace of life, so that your prayers may not be hindered.
10. Be a one woman man. Marriage is for life.
Proverbs 6:32, 33 – He who commits adultery lacks sense; he who does it destroys himself. He will get wounds and dishonor, and his disgrace will not be wiped away.
11. Never talk back to your mom.
Matthew 15:4 For God commanded, ‘Honor your father and your mother,’
12. Don’t put people on a pedestal.
13. The Christian life is the only way to live.
14. You’re a champion.
1 John 5:4 – For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith.
15. Your words have power. Speak life not death.
Proverbs 18:21 – Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruits.
16. Put God 1st.
Matthew 22:37 – Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’
17. Next to your relationship with Jesus, your family is the highest priority.
I saw my dad model this on a daily basis.
1 Timothy 5:8 – But if anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for members of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.
18. He modeled unconditional love.
19. He modeled unconditional commitment.
20. Always included us in his life.
He would often include me and my brothers in whatever task he was doing. It was more important that we were with him, that the job getting done perfectly.
Proverbs 22:6 – Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.
21. It doesn’t matter what everyone else is doing. You do what’s right.
22. Responsibility is not something to run from, but should be embraced.
23. True riches aren’t found in money and possessions.
Luke 12:15 – And he said to them, “Take care, and be on your guard against all covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.”
24. The world is an evil place full of wicked men.
This might not sound like the most positive outlook. But my dad taught me to be on guard against those who would try and abuse and take advantage of me. As a father and husband, it’s now my God given calling to do that for my wife and children.
Jeremiah 17:9 – The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?
25. God is our perfect father who sent us his perfect son.
John 3:16, 17 – For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him.
I know that I have been blessed beyond measure to have had Dave Bell as my father. Most of the things I learned from my dad were taken straight from God’s Word. By God’s grace, I hope to continue in the things I have been taught and impart God’s Word into the hearts of my own children.
Thanks for reading!
If you want to know more about Matt Bell, here are some links that will surely bless your socks off!
Verse of the Day with Pastor Matt – Podcast
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Here are some more good reads from Manly Training, and don’t forget that every day until Father’s Day manly training is publishing a new testimony from highly recognized authors, pastors and businessman on what they learned from their dads.
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