I’ve been a dad for 27 years now, and a husband for 31. Trust me. These are invigorating, heart-stopping privileges. Here are a few tips I’ve learned. I hope they make you smile. And think.

 

1. Never loan money to anyone to whom you have given birth.
2. Let your kids see you laugh. Collect and tell clean jokes at the dinner table. Like this one: Why does a chicken coop always have two doors? Because if it had four doors it would be a chicken sedan.
3. No one dies wishing they’d spent more time on Facebook. Raise kids with real face time not via Smartphone. And in case of fire, exit building before Tweeting about it.
4. Let your kids catch you being kind, helpful, even goofy with strangers. I bought ice cream and milk at the grocery store and asked the lady at checkout, “I’m lactose intolerant, are these a good choice?”
5. Husbands beware. Ramona said, “I love you. Take me shopping.” It was a trick.
6. When we got back from shopping I told Ramona, “Honey, I don’t think there’s anything I wouldn’t do for you. Except the dishes.”
7. Every honest guy deals with regret. So remember: God says, “I forgive you,” so forgive yourself. Unless your standards are higher than God’s.
8. Love God. Love people. Live on purpose.
9. Remember that whatever is true, honorable, right, pure, lovely, and of good report—you likely won’t find it on the evening news. By the way, the guy who invented the remote control passed away three weeks ago at the age of 97. It was announced today after his wife found him behind the sofa.
10. Never say this in an argument: “If it makes you feel better, I’ll pretend I’m wrong.”
11. A tip to enjoying quality family time together. Raise lid BEFORE igniting barbeque.
12. Let your kids catch you reading the Bible.
13. Eat together. Pray together. Memorize Bible verses together.
14. Every family faces a crisis. The only way to face one is together.
15. Model the behavior you want your kids to embrace. Proverbs 29:7 says, “The righteous who walks in his integrity—blessed are his children after him.”
16. When your kids turn out great, be humble about it. The world needs more humble people. There are so few of us left.
17. They say that love doesn’t last. Neither does deodorant. So put them both on every single day.

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