6 Lessons I Learned From My Marine Corps Son

As parents we teach our children. But we don't always notice what they teach us.

Posted in , Sep 16, 2014

Edie's Marine Corps son, Jimmy Melson.

As parents we get so caught up in teaching our children, we sometimes don’t notice what they’re teaching us. Parenting has taught me so much more about life than I ever expected, and a lot of those lessons have been through my kids.

Edie's Marine Corps son, Jimmy MelsonWhen our son chose to become a Marine, I immediately began to look at the things his experience in the service would teach him. I never expected it would prove to be such a learning ground for me as well.

Today I want to share with you 6 lessons I learned from my Marine Corps son:

1.  Don’t be afraid to follow your dreams, even when they don’t line up with the expectations of others. Enlisting in the Marine Corps straight out of high school wasn’t our original vision for our son’s future. But we’ve watched God use his time in the military to shape him into an extraordinary man.

2.  Stick with your commitment, even when it’s harder than you ever imagined. I know there were times during boot camp that Jimmy considered quitting. He didn’t though, and he came out on the other side stronger and further down the road toward the man intends him to be.

3.  There are always worse things. I watched some of the things our son endured during his military service and two deployments, and I cringed. But through it all he always said, “It could be worse.” That inspires me and humbles me when I find myself beginning to whine about something I’m facing.

4.  We’re all stronger than we think. I know Jimmy was able to achieve more, endure more, and accomplish more than he ever imagined. And I know, when I follow God’s path for me, I can do the same.

5.  Going through is often better than going around. Our son will tell anyone who asks that he wouldn’t be the person his is today if he hadn’t chosen to enlist in the Marine Corps. There are lots of things in life we’d rather avoid. But those are often the things God uses to mold us into his vision of who he wants us to become.

6.  True heroism has very little to do with mighty acts, only the quiet fulfillment of commitments–no matter the cost.

These are the things I’ve learned from our Marine Corps son. I’d love to hear what you’ve learned from the military men and women in your life. Be sure to leave your thoughts in the comments section below.

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