This week and last week are guest posts to help us become better fathers. In this post, Kent Evans, Co-founder and Executive Director of Father on Purpose gives his 7 reminders for being a good husband and father. Last week, Ryan Sanders, Director of Outreach wrote about our motives for becoming a more godly husband and father.
Enjoy! –Rich, your Chief God Buddy
This post assumes you are ready to hear some secrets of the good husband and father based on my original post here. My hope is you’ll read this list and do your own triage. But don’t try to fix everything at once. Pick one and then get to work.
Here are seven secrets that will help you become the leader God intended.
Secret #1 > The good husband and father takes care of himself.
Depending on your kids’ ages and stages, balancing this can feel impossible. If you have five kids under five, you going on a guys’ weekend every other weekend isn’t self-care—it’s selfish.
On the flip side, if you’re too busy to take care of yourself until you get physically sick—that’s your red flag. Rich also wrote a post about why Men Need Get-Aways and Retreats in order to recharge their batteries.
Do not be conformed to this age, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may discern what is the good, pleasing, and perfect will of God.—Romans 12:2
Secret #2 > The good husband and father loves his wife.
Pray for your wife. Learn to pray before complaining. Be affectionate with your wife. Give your wife a peck on the cheek when you walk by her—just because. Be interested in your wife. Ask her questions like when you were dating. These are a few secrets to a godly marriage.
Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself for her…—Ephesians 5:25
Secret #3 > He is the family shepherd.
One of the best ways to be a good father to your kids is by spending quality time with them. And you know how quality time happens? With quantity time!
The shepherd guides his sheep. From discipline and training, the shepherd uses his time and words wisely—he intentionally disciples his son. Get this secret right, and you won’t live in fear and regret that you haven’t trained your child well.
Fathers, don’t stir up anger in your children, but bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.—Ephesians 6:4
Secret #4 > He knows how to connect.
One of the biggest challenges dads said they faced in our recent survey was feeling connected with their son. Be sure you have times of connection by adding them to your calendar. Be intentional about scheduling times for fun.
My family manages to fit in at least one pizza night per week. Depending on the week, we may do pizza night on a different night, but rest assured, a week doesn’t go by without at least one pizza night.
Secret #5 > He knows how to manage priorities.
We see it all the time, but this is one area that gets dads in trouble. Learn to leave work at work and be home when you’re home.
There is no multi-tasking when it comes to work and family. Learn to use your time wisely and efficiently at work. Then, when you get home, unplug, live in the moment, and enjoy being home! Rich also understands the importance of priorities and wrote about it in his post, The Biggest Challenges Men Face: Reordering Priorities
Secret #6 > He closes strong.
How we finish each day is often a great indicator of how our tomorrow will go. Are you sabotaging your evening? Be intentional about your evening and night routine. Get in the habit of preparing for the next day—the night before.
Secret #7 > The good husband and father stays positive.
Look at your interactions with your wife and kids. What percentage of your time is just you being a complainer?
Imagine doing all of this list, but your wife and kids only seeing you go through the motions of a checklist with no enthusiasm. Regardless of your temperament or personality, I know when I’m at my best, my wife and kids see me not only be positive but maybe even enjoying life with them.
Rejoice always, pray constantly, give thanks in everything; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.—1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
Do you feel overwhelmed by this list? Please don’t. This post is meant to encourage you to be better—not perfect. We can do this. I’m on this ride with you and happy to help.
What one thing would you add to this list? Feel free to comment below.
Kent Evans is the Executive Director of Manhood Journey. Kent is married to April, his wife of 22 years and has five sons ranging from age 2 to 18. He’s founder of Manhood Journey and author of Wise Guys.