A Family man . . .
1) Loves His wife as his first priority.
For building security, stability, and trust, there is no substitute for Dad loving Mom and being fiercely faithful to her. For the true family man, mom comes first and the kids come second. When God truly has first place in a man’s life, he is obedient to what he is told to do: Love your wife as Christ loved the church and gave himself for her. Ephesians 5:25
2) May travel for business or the military but, his heart is always at home.
A family man doesn’t look at “home” as something to be gotten away from. Everyone he encounters knows wherever he is, he’s away from the place and people he loves. He may have a big business meeting with “important” people but, to him, the most important people he will ever interact with are waiting for him at home.
3) Loves children.
Any husband can be a family man at heart, even before the children arrive because he loves them and sees children as an integral part of what God is doing in the world – not as burdens that will compromise his plans, goals, and ministry.
4) Puts his family before himself.
A family man makes a lot of everyday choices for those under his care before he focuses on what he would like. His first choice is to meet his family’s needs. His needs are a second-tier priority to the needs of those he is responsible for.
5) Spends time with his kids.
It’s the least profound reality with the biggest impact. Family men know how children spell the word ‘love’: T I M E. They don’t spend time with their kids out of obligation but out of genuine love for the little person God entrusted to their care.
6) Keeps himself from filth.
A family man recognizes that spiritual forces are arrayed to destroy everything of value in this life and the next, starting with his relationship with his wife and children. He says “no” to the daily offerings from the spiritual darkness he is surrounded by.
7) Guards family commitments.
He understands that life will send an endless parade of wonderful opportunities his way . . . opportunities that will constantly vie for attention over the commitments he has already made to his wife and kids. Family commitments are not easily or flippantly set aside for the next “wonderful” opportunity.
8) Doesn’t allow the drama from other people’s lives to invade his family and destroy their joy.
A family man genuinely cares about others but is “on point”, guarding his own family’s peace from the chaos of those who refuse to grow and mature.
9) Seeks to get to know his children as individual people.
To the family man, the kids aren’t merely “the kids.” To him, each child is a little person. He respects that unique personality God brought into his life and seeks to truly know and understand him/her.
10) Is ready to mete out discipline when needed.
Because he loves his children, he will not shrink from loving his children through discipline . . . just as God does with us. Whom the Lord loves, he disciplines. Hebrews 12:6
11) Builds up his children with words of affirmation.
The family man knows relationship is built not only through instruction but through affirmation. He looks for opportunities to build up his kids. (if you could use some ideas on speaking courage, confidence, acceptance, and self-respect into the heart of your child, Click Here: 101 Words of Affirmation Every Child Wants To Hear.)
12) Doesn’t view time with family a duty to be fulfilled so he can pursue his own interests.
Many dads chafe at the time they spend with their kids. Not the family man. His interests are integrally intertwined with his children’s need to be with him. His heart isn’t constantly roving away from home, yearning to chase personal dreams and interests, if only he could get free of the kids.
13) Guards his children’s innocence in a perverted world.
In many ways, this world is a sick place. The family man is a constant guardian of his children’s innocence. He is aware and purposeful about what they watch, where they go, who they’re with, and what they do.
14) Is purposeful about the character development of his children.
A family man knows that character in his kids is instilled through his example and his training. He actively teaches his children what it means to be good men and women.
15) Expresses to his children that he is proud of them and challenges them to be their best.
Just about every dad will tell you he’s proud of his kids but will he tell them? He will if he’s a family man because he knows they need to hear he approves of and is proud of them. To be their best, kids need to know how to work. How do you teach young kids to work hard and love it? Click Here to read the article, Teaching Kids to Work Hard in a World that prefers to Play.
16) Listens to what his children are trying to say.
A family man is sensitive to the little person who is having difficulty communicating. He’s patient, encouraging his children to express to him what they are feeling.
17) Teaches his children the Truth.
Teaching children who God is and what He requires from us is Dad’s responsibility. (If you could use some help getting started, Click Here)
This is a lot to think about for any dad and no one will fulfill each one of these perfectly, all the time . . . certainly, I don’t. But, when we reflect on these things, we “keep our head in the game” and stay focused on what matters, making our children – the first disciples entrusted to us – the priority that God would have them be in our lives.
God bless you, Dad!
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Matt Jacobson is a biblical marriage coach and founder of FaithfulMan.com a biblical marriage, parenting, and discipleship ministry providing written and audio teaching, as well as couples marriage coaching. He is the co-host (with his wife, Lisa) of Faithful Life Podcast and is author of the bestseller, 100 Ways to Love Your Wife. Matt is pastor of Tumalo Bible Fellowship and is married to Lisa, founder of Club31Women.com (they have 8 kids!).