How to be a Man at Home

Having been married for 20 years and being the father of four kids, I have learned a lot about what it means to be a man at home.  Here are five simple but effective things that I strive to live out every day.

Be a Man

1.  Don’t come home from work and turn on the TV

Watching college basketball games or Seinfeld re-runs every night will not help you lead your family. Evenings are Prime Time for husbands and fathers to be completely present to our families. Don’t let the remote control dominate your family.  I watch less TV than ever these days because there is simply not time to parent four kids, love my wife, and watch much TV. Three or four nights a week, my wife and I watch a tv show together after the kids go to bed. From 5-9, however, the TV is seldom on.

2.  Be careful with the time demands of hobbies

If you are going to love and lead your wife and family, you have to be at home. This means that you can’t play softball or basketball or poker four nights a week. I am not saying that you have to do away with all hobbies but loving your family well takes a lot of time. I have few personal hobbies during this time of life.  To be a strong man at home, you have to say no to most things in order to focus on what is truly important.

3.  Talk about spiritual things continually with your family

Being a man at home means being the Leader in spiritual discussion and practice.  Don’t be the guy whose wife is the spiritual leader.  Deuteronomy 6:7 teaches parents to teach their kids spiritual truths. “You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.” (ESV)  Brotha, take the lead role in this!

4.  Be fully present when you are at home.

Though I have written about this extensively elsewhere, be reminded that you can be in the room with your family and be unavailable to them. Put down your iPhone, make eye contact, ask questions, listen, and be emotionally present. You are the only person that can do this for your family.

5.  Be the chief servant to your family.

My goal as a husband and father is to be the chief servant to my family. I attempt to model Christlike service but putting my wife before me and serving my children before me.  When I travel and am away from my family, my oldest son knows that he is the chief servant of the family. I model this and teach this. Men, put your family first.

What do you think should be added to this list?

Related: 5 Things You Absolutely Must do to have a Healthy Marriage

Extra: Read 7 ways you can help Typhoon Victims in the Philippines right now!

Posted by Brian Howard

My focus is to help YOU move forward one step at a time. I write about church excellence, personal productivity, and family leadership. I coach leaders, start churches, and help organizations break growth barriers. My goal is to draw on this experience to help YOU move forward in life, leadership, and productivity.

  1. Hey thanks for sharing this. It’s the practical stuff that gets me every time. I am convicted that I watch too much tv during “down” time, and leave the fathering to other devices that don’t improve communication between my sons/wife and I.

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  2. […] Howard gives some advice on how to be a man at home. Good […]

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  3. Manage time carefully you spend on Social Media Sites. Heads up and off the phone.

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  4. Really good commentary. One area I struggle in this is when working from home – even when done working, it’s easy to not turn off work and be completely present

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    1. Craig,

      good word. I am going to write a post on this soon.

      Reply

    2. I can totally relate to this as well. Both my wife and I work from our home, which is also the ministry office space too…. So I’d love to know how to keep myself from self destructing in this area. 🙂

      Reply

  5. Excellent. What to add? Listen more, talk less. But that’s probably the outgrowth of all the others.

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  6. […] How to Be a Man at Home:  Five simple but effective things! […]

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  7. 6. Take time to work and play with your family (building something, writing, planting, fixing stuff, yardwork, chores, Legos, puzzles, wrestle/tickle, hide-seek, teaparties, dress-up…). That may fall somewhere under your #4, but I think they are important enough to stand alone. They build a joy, passion and appreciation for work and play. Plus it’s in these times where the bridge is built for the deeper conversations and moments in life. I don’t recall where I heard this, but “Quantity time leads to quality time.”

    7. Read. Let the see you read. Read with them. Read to them. Your Bible. History. Fiction. Non-fiction. Life long growing.

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  8. Being fully present when at home is a scary concept for me as an introvert. On the one hand, being an introvert I need to be alone to rejuvenate, and home is the most comfortable place to do this. On the other hand, being fully present for one’s family while at home is important to building a healthy family. Do you have advices on how to be an introvert and still be fully present for the family at home?

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    1. Mark, I recognize that some people recharge by being alone, but the very choice to have a family necessitates that much of your life will be given away in service of them. I think your question requires another blog post! It seems that you will need to balance getting some alone time with being fully present to your family as well. What are some things that you thing would work well for you?

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  9. ..less TV ‘than’ ever.

    Good article, I enjoyed it.

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  10. Great list, Brian. Thank you. 🙂

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    1. Thanks, Eric!

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  11. […] Growth! It is something that is inevitable in every area of our lives. However, the determining factor is what we are growing in. One area of my life I hope to never stop growing in is being a better man, husband, and father. In desiring to grow in this area I am often reading blog posts and other articles about how to improve as a man, spouse, and dad (specifically as a Christian man, husband, and father). This week’s feature Friday is short, sweet, and to the point in addressing “How to be a Man at Home“. […]

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