Years ago, I attended a Bible conference at Abilene Christian University and heard Willard Tate expound on the love chapter, First Corinthians 13, as it relates to parents, and especially fathers.  The short proverbs he gave could serve as guidelines for all of us.

             Tate began by telling us that as parents, we may not realize the extent of our influence.  Each pebble thrown into a lake sends out 229 ripples.  Like those ripples, hearing his nuggets of wisdom may affect others to consider them and apply them.

            The hunger for love is much more difficult to fill than the hunger for bread.  Tate added that the average person in the United States does not have a true friend.  People will trash your trophies.  Only what you do for the Lord will last.

            The sin of sins today is rudeness.  Television programs are built on rudeness and lack of respect.  Children and the elderly are especially rude today.  Tate said God put people here to be loved, not laughed at. 

            There is no place for violence in any relationship.  Aggressiveness of males is God-given, but it is to protect his family, not abuse it.

            Let envy play out.  Do not renew it like an insurance policy.  Only thankfulness will shove out and replace envy.

            Humility is looking down, but not looking down on others.  Any prayer to yourself is a bad prayer.  The thing about getting a Humble Badge is that they take it back if you wear it!

            The greatest source of motivation is someone who believes in you.  The most motivating single sentence is, “I know you’re going to do a good job!”

                       Non-smiling parents have more delinquent children, so smile!  It is a God-given gift.  No animal can do it.

            Fatigue makes cowards of us all.  It makes us forget the needs of others.  What you give yourself is lost, but what you give others goes on forever.

            To encourage others, smile, say kind words, do loving deeds and become a good listener.  That is what children want most.

            Love has a long fuse, so it is not easily angered.  We can pull in kites, but not angry words.  Angry people are a headache to themselves and a heartache to others.

            Children say the number one thing they wish is that Dad would not be so angry.  The number two wish is that he would admit when he is wrong.  The best thing for a father to do is to gather his children around him, promise them he will not blow up again and promise they can trust him.  Then, he should offer to pay them $25.00 each time he blows up again!  It won’t take long to quit!

            Dads don’t love their children just every now and then.  It’s a love without end.  Love has staying power.

             Love never debates who goes first.  Do you want to be right or do you want to be happy?

         Tell your children that when they make a commitment, don’t quit.  Finish what they start.  Make their word mean something.  The same kids who won’t finish anything won’t stay married either.

            Finally, Tate said the Master Keys in Life are the ability to be grateful, forgiving, and humble.

            Such concise yet profound gems can be buried in our hearts to motivate us toward loving more like Jesus.  May God help us do just that.



      Joyce S. Broyles is a retired Library teacher and serves the Lord in Jennings, LA.