father-in-law appreciation day

In a conversation early this morning with a couple of friends, I found myself quoting a saying, a bit of wisdom, that I learned from my father-in-law.  I prefaced the statement with the tongue-in-cheek comment, “it’s always difficult for me to admit that I’ve learned something from my father-in-law.”

My friends know my father-in-law, so we had a good chuckle, then I shared the saying.  What followed was a wonderful conversation built around that point that blessed me and my friends.

As I contemplated that conversation, and the true love and appreciation I actually have for Dick Dougherty, my father-in-law, I thought of several other things I’ve learned from him that are worth acknowledging, at least this one time, for the record.

So, here are a few of the many things I’ve learned from Richard Kent Dougherty, the father of my wife, the grandfather of my children, and my friend:

  1. “Ministry comes from the overflow.”
  2. “Be careful where you stand, lest you fall.”
  3. “Poor people have poor ways.” (Usually followed by some activity involving duct tape.)
  4. Never stop learning, and re-examining the things you think you know.
  5. If you’re blessed with having people to love, tell them that you do.
  6. Fight for principles, and apologize for fighting whenever necessary.
  7. Grandchildren make good friends.
  8. Nonsense rhymes are a great way to make a lasting impression on your family:  “He’s been workin’ like a perkin!”  “She’s my little helper schnelper.”  “I was sleepin’ like a peepin.”
  9. Remembering scripture, and taking it to heart, is probably the best way to prepare for whatever life will throw your way.
  10. Having a daughter grow up, get married, and move away, is a bittersweet experience, but there are few things sweeter than having her move back and become one of your best friends for life.

Thanks, Dick!  I love you, too.

In honor of this made-up day, father-in-law appreciation day, if any of you have a father-in-law whom you’re learning to appreciate, please share.

6 thoughts on “father-in-law appreciation day”

  1. I second the motion. I love you, too, Dad. Thanks for the countless things you do to encourage me, make my life easier by your serving me, and your constant love and support. Thank you, Dale, for sharing this. I have the best men in my life. I am overly blessed. Thank you, Lord.


  2. We love you too Dick… our brother in Christ, encourager, teacher and dear friend!! (and former “boss-man!”) From Susan and Norman


  3. good, good stuff, all! my own father-in-law is not so loving or encouraging, though. becky has told me stories of her dad telling her not to break her arm patting herself on the back. seriously, if she did well in school or made all-state choir, he would tell her crap like that. and don’t get me started on becky’s father-in-law! hey . . . maybe you could be our surrogate father-in-law, dick!! call me. no really.


  4. I don’t think that I have enough words in my vocabulary to describe what a wonderful father-in-law I have. He constantly amazes me with his generosity, patience, and love for his family.

    A few weeks ago he was standing at the barn with my husband grinding feed for the cows. As Brianna and I were standing and watching I said to her, “Isn’t he cute?” and she replied by saying, “Yes, he is a cute old man!” And he is! He will drop whatever he is doing at any time when the kids want to hang out with him. Every week for four years he would get up early to do the feeding so that he could take Brianna to the school for Bible Club. It didn’t matter what the weather was, or if he was sick , or had other things to do – she had to be there so he took her. He knows alot about many different subjects, can fix anything, and will be there quick if you need him. He is an optimist with a quick smile and an even quicker wit. He can help the kids with their math homework when I lack the skill or abililty to do so.

    The people in the community where we live value him for his honesty, work ethic, friendship, and loyalty. He can also be stubborn and will argue with you over anything at the drop of a hat – but you just have to love him! God couldn’t have blessed me with a better man to have as a father-in-law.


  5. I realized today i only have your old email address. you should fix that.
    I want to tell you that I passed. I am officially a PhD candidate.
    I will also add that it was not with flying colors therefore my concerns were not misplaced 😉 !
    Thanks for the support though!


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