Tough Love: How My Parents Taught Me To Love The Things I Hated Most

March 17, 2012 at 5:57 pm | Posted in Faith, Let's Talk Life... | 1 Comment
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In honor of my dad’s birthday tomorrow, I thought I would write a post about my parents and dedicate it to my dad.

Maturing, becoming an adult, is an interesting process. It has a way of making me look back on my childhood and see things very differently from how I viewed them in the moment. It has given me perspective and allowed me to come to one of my more shocking conclusions.

Almost all the things that my parent’s made me do as a kid that I hated doing, things that I found “unfun” or not worth my while, have now become some of the most important parts of who I am and the things I am most grateful that they made me do!

My parents are good parents, kick-ass parents (sorry mom, I promise I won’t swear in this post again!), and apparently, they are far wiser than I was as an impressionable youth. They knew what I needed, even though I had yet to figure it out for myself.

Here’s what I mean:

Example #1: My Faith

When I was growing up, every day before I even got up, my mom insisted that I start each day by reading the word of God. As much as I am ashamed to admit it, this was not how I, as an energetic young kid, really wanted to start my day, but my mom stuck with it. Every morning she had a new passage for us kids to read. She encouraged us to memorize verses and then gathered the four of us together and held a family devotional to discuss what we had read and learned.

For a long time I did not enjoy reading the Bible. I felt it did not speak to me; I thought that it was boring. As a result, when I first left the house, in my early adult years (all through college and a little past that), I was not consistent in reading God’s word. I was bored by it and even when I tried to read it and have it impact my life, I came away empty.

But I matured, I continued to grow, and slowly, God drew me back to his word. The verses and passages that I had memorized as a child rang in my head, and I began to rely on them and the truth they contained. Slowly, I was drawn back into God’s word. I began to read it again every morning. I began to pray that it would impact my life and slowly but surely, it has.

I would not have a deepening faith today or be growing daily in my relationship with God, if my mom had not insisted that I begin each day in the Bible.

Now, I don’t want to start my day any other way.

That’s just one example. My parent’s impact is not just in my faith journey though. There are a lot of things that I did not enjoy doing as a kid that now I am absolutely 100% thankful that my parent’s made me do.

Example #2: My Work Ethic

My Dad is the reason I have a work ethic. He made sure that if I was going to do a job, I did it right the first time. If I did not, he would make me go back and do it again. As a kid, that wasn’t very fun, I would have rather been playing, or done the job halfway and let Mom and Dad fix it themselves. After all, they were the ones that wanted the job done in the first place! My dad would have none of that though and as a result, I know what it means to work hard and take pride in a job well done.

So thanks Dad! I think my employers are appreciative as well.

Example #3: The Kitchen Sink

I probably would not be writing this today if my mom had not made me write all those research papers I absolutely hated writing. I would not enjoy prayer so much and have a rich prayer life, if both my parents did not start and end their daily lives and every important (and unimportant) decision they ever made with prayer. I would not have my deep love for the great out doors and nature, if Mom and Dad had not insisted that I get my butt up off the couch, stop playing video games, go outside, and play.

They insisted upon the little things too! I would not brush my teeth every day, floss, or eat, and actually enjoy, healthy meals were it not for their constant, always loving prodding.

The list could go on and on.


So here’s to you, Mom and Dad!

Thank you for making me do all that stuff that I hated doing at the time. It really is the stuff that I appreciate the most now. They are the things that have made me who I am today. The very things that I plan on making my own kids do, even if they hate me for it.

Hopefully in three or four decades, if I do it half as well as you guys did, my kid will be able to write the same thing about me.


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  1. This was very encouraging to read. I am struggling with my almost 15 year old daughter to do all the things she hates too! This really helps me to keep on doing what I know is right and hopefully my daughter and my son will feel the same way… in about 15 more years! lol

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