The easiest way to be a good dad – be a good husband first. If you’re a guy who’s married and raising kids, you have a golden opportunity. You want to teach your kids all sorts of stuff. How to be responsible, take the lead, love well, and sacrifice for others. Well, the good news (or bad, depending on your perspective): by doing those things in your marriage, you’ll give your kids the chance to pick up those traits themselves, just by watching you love your wife well!
Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself for her —Ephesians 5:25
How to be a Better Husband
We work with thousands of dads each year, and interestingly, many of them have the proverbial cart before the horse. They’re more interested in being a good dad than a godly husband. That may seem sensible, even honorable. Yet, it’s not quite biblical. What’s more, when we get this in the right order, we tend to get double the return on our efforts.
Most dads – and surely those who are Christians – would have certain virtues and character traits we’d like to see in our kids. Honesty, generosity, industriousness, creativity, humility and friendliness are a few that come to mind. You can probably think of dozens more.
Our marriages are pictures of the gospel. That’s how God designed marriage in the first place. Think of your marriage as a high-definition movie screen. You get to show a giant-sized picture of God’s love on it for all the world to see. Your own kids get to watch for free. They don’t even need tickets.
This screen follows us around. It sits at our dinner table. It rides along on road trips. It freezes with us in the bleachers at the ball games and bakes in the sun on vacation. It’s always there.
When we take the afternoon off to run our wife to the doctor, in a small way, we’re demonstrating sacrifice. When we listen to our bride well – and don’t interrupt! – we’re showing a heart of care and compassion. When we snag that sitter and head out on a date night, we’re teaching our kids humility. The world doesn’t revolve around them. When we insist our children speak to their mom respectfully, we’re putting love and respect on full display.
Want to be a good dad? Love your bride well.
It’s much easier than trying it the other way around.
Kent Evans is an author, speaker, and co-founder of Manhood Journey, a nonprofit that helps dads be disciple makers. He and his lovely wife April have been married for 27 years and have five sons and one daughter-in-law. He shares more free fatherhood ideas at his website – www.manhoodjourney.org – and on his Father On Purpose Podcast – www.manhoodjourney.org/podcast.