For about six months, I've known I would soon be a father. The more I look forward to this little girl's birth, the more I think about the things I want her to learn before she steps out from under my roof. I have begun to compile an ever-growing list. Here's what I've got so far.
1. "The God of heaven is the giver of all things. He is faithful." - When you leave our house, your beliefs will be your own. Regardless of the path you choose, you won't be able to say that your mother and father ever gave any credit to anyone other than the Creator of the Universe.
2. "If Mom says it, it is a rule." - Little girl, your mother will have your respect always. She loves you dearly and she deserves only the best. As you grow, you may be tempted (as teenagers do) to talk back or carry an attitude of haughtiness. These actions will certainly demand swift action on my part which will quickly remind you to whom you are talking. Understand that your father will always be showing you(to the best of his knowledge) how a man loves and serves his wife.
3. " No means no." - We have rules. If you don't follow the rules, discipline happens. This is because we love you. I hope you learn this one quickly...
4. "Conservative politics and free market capitalism work. Everything else is for dreamers." - On those nights where sleep evades us, I will take you in my arms and read the classics to you; Edmund Burke and FA Hayek and even Milton Friedman. Sleep will come. Sleep will certainly come.
5. "No one has the right to touch you without your permission." - I'm not even a father yet but I know the one thing that frightens fathers of daughters above all other things. There is a very real threat against young women and it is what causes dads to go a little crazy. Avery, guard your boundaries and trust your own judgment. Always remember to explain to those boys about your father's broad interpretation of the Second Amendment.
Incidentally, to those of you raising young men: I ask you to take your job seriously and teach your sons how to be good men. My little girl is going to need someone to love her like Christ does so I'm banking on you guys.
6. "Dogs are good creatures, cats are worthless." - If this one needs explanation, I've probably already lost that battle.
7. "Learn to win and learn to lose." - Very few things in life are as obnoxious as a sore loser, except maybe an ungracious winner. Competition is part of life. Sometimes you win, sometimes you get creamed. Accept both with joy and know that your value is elsewhere.
8. "Food is fuel, not a hobby." - This one has taken dad a while to learn. Eat when you're hungry; mainly vegetables; watch the sugar.
9. "Love for your country is worthwhile." - America is the best there's ever been. God has been so good. (see #1) Freedom is something of which we should be proud. Learn the rich history of your country and never allow the happenings of your life to keep you from giving thanks for liberty.
There are many more I can list and I'm sure many will appear along the way. If you have any you'd like to tell me about, feel free to add to my list. I need all the help I can get...