What does it Really Take to be a Family Man?

What does it Really Take to be a Family Man?
November 2, 2014 Matthew L. Jacobson

matthewljacobson-com_famiylmanWhat does it Really Take to be a Family Man?

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  (For creative suggestions on how to truly love and cherish your wife, check out this book : 100 Ways To Love Your Wife) 

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.

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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!

***Is your marriage where you want it to be? Is it all it could be? Get fresh, practical ideas on how to love your husband or wife better, get these (short, inexpensive) books, today: 100 Ways To Love Your Husband and 100 Ways To Love Your Wife. 

you might also enjoy these articles:

Mom & Dad, Are We Raising Men or Boys?

5 Common Discipline Mistakes Wise Parents Avoid

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18 Comments

  1. Sarah 2 days ago

    There is nothing much about wife why?

    • Author

      Sarah – just because an article focuses on one gender doesn’t suggest the other gender is being slighted. This is an article about husbands. That is why it doesn’t speak about wives . . . except to highlight the husband’s responsibility toward his wife found in this excerpt from the article:

      “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  (For creative suggestions on how to truly love and cherish your wife, check out this book : 100 Ways To Love Your Wife)” 

  2. Kristy Howard 2 months ago

    Great article!

    I’m blessed to be married to a family man, who also happens to be a pastor and the hard-working dad of our five children.

    No husband or dad is perfect, but my man is pretty amazing. I’m blessed!

  3. St John 2 years ago

    Great list, not sure where god comes into it though. Surely if a family is working, god isn’t needed right? If god was controlling what we’re doing, I wouldn’t be a free thinking and loving individual would I? I’d rather if god stayed out of this situation, if you need god to help out with your emotional state as a family man, you seriously need to question yourself as a person, maybe get some counselling, if you need the strength of an imaginary friend to pull you through the tough task of parenting. Any man who doesn’t have any of these attributes to his name, doesn’t make him a bad person / need god, this man needs help psychologically and a sensitive support network of real world people.

    Great list though

    • Author

      Appreciate the kinds words . . . but, where we disagree . . .

      Either you believe the Bible is true and Jesus is who he claimed to be, or you don’t. I do. Everyone has faith, including you. It’s just a matter of what or in whom you place your faith. You are a man of great faith. Question is, can you see where your faith is placed? Most can’t.
      Thanks for your comment.

  4. momto3 2 years ago

    This is a great list. I’m wondering if you have an article to provide guidance to young ladies (and their parents) in regard to identifying these character traits in a potential mate? How would one know if a young man will be a true family man? As someone who has not come from an in tact home I would like to know how to help my daughters make wise choices in a future mate.

    • Matthew Jacobson 2 years ago

      Thanks for your question.
      Great topic for future article . . . taking note!

  5. Joe 3 years ago

    Hello, EXCEPTIONAL list! The only thing that I have learned from my own personal experience which is important to not only men, but women too….is the individual taking time out for themselves to pursue their own passions, hobbies, and friendships. My ex wife and I became one in the same, and each of us lost our individualism. WE both fostered a perpetual state of compromise to accommodate the other and do everything together; Like we were joined at the hip. Part of what fostered that could have been some co-dependence issues in each of us, (which nobody ever realizes at the time). Sometimes the power of the family unit can become so much of a powerful force, the individual’s personality, drive, and passions can become lost, fall by the way-side, or put on the back-burner. This is not selfishness for an individual to take care of themselves, but sometimes there are facets to the family unit which can not fulfill all needs. Even though people are in a committed relationship, the individual’s personality, self, and soul is in need of a healthy dose of good, loving self treatment. A little bit of selfishness isn’t a bad thing….All in balance.

    • shad 2 years ago

      But, co-dependency in itself is selfish. http://www.mentalhealthamerica.net/co-dependency explains it a lot better than I can. Enabling someone is the opposite of being a healthy supporter. Yes, everyone needs some time to themselves and reflect, but this is a really great list. Love is putting someone else’s needs before your own, but to support a healthy relationship, someone needs to make themselves healthy first, which may be what you mean by, a little bit of selfishness isn’t a bad thing. Putting your breathing apparatus before putting on your wife’s and or children’s is not being selfish, it is ensuring the protection and safety of your family.

  6. Jason Edwards 3 years ago

    i agree with all except #1, If you put GOD first then you will truly be a family man..

    • Matthew Jacobson 3 years ago

      Understand your point but the Christian man cannot put God first unless he is obedient to God’s Word which says, “Love your wife as Christ loved the Church and gave himself for her.” I could have been clearer about he presupposition behind this list.

      • Mark 3 years ago

        Except that God himself and than later Jesus and at many other points in the Bible we are told to always but God first and than family.

        I agree with Jason!

        • Matthew Jacobson 3 years ago

          Absolutely, Brother, and I could have been much clearer that putting God first is presupposed . . . is the context . . . for this article. Obeying God, putting Him first, means I am obedient in doing what He says, which is, for the married man: Love your wife as Christ loved the Church and game Himself for her.

  7. jocelyn 3 years ago

    This is a really good read

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