10 Skills Every Man Should Get Right
Ten Skills Every Dad Need to Get Right
By John H. Thurman Jr.
For centuries the mission of a man has been to provide, protect, serve, and love his wife and his children. In the past few years, thanks to shifts in our culture he is also expected to understand “feelings,” discern emotional nuances, be some type of manly man who is sensitive, caring and understanding.
Men still struggle to figure out what they need to be for the women in their lives, but one thing is for sure, men and women are created equal, they are not interchangeable. Yes, a majority of the tasks involved in raising children can be equally done by Angelina and Brad. However; there are components of child rearing that require the unique imprint of a man or a woman. We are hardwired to look at life in different ways, it is in our genes.
J.S. and Hannah are grown, married, apparently well-adjusted and living their lives in ways that bless their mom and dad. As I mature and work with other dads I am seeing some trends that concern me. It seems that some parts of our modern day culture have forgotten or tried to change the essence of men. Many in our society want to effeminize men and make them more “house broken.” We could debate this until the cows come home but seriously we owe our children the strength, grit, heart, strength, and power that only a man can bring.
Now in my fifties, I look back at my life and the see the impact of scores of men that God has placed in my life. My dad, is the most powerful one, following him my grandpas, uncles, Sunday School teachers, pastors, older men, Boy Scout leaders, Non-Commissioned Officers and Senior Officer, as well as other mentors have had a powerful impact on my life. I am grateful for the impact the men have had on my life, business and ministry.
Even as I a writing this there is sadness in my soul, knowing that many men have not been as fortunate as I in regards to the powerful, positive influence of a man.
With these thought in mind, I believe there are at least seven skills every father should pass on to his children.
Skill One – A love for God
This is more caught than taught. However; your sons and daughters can learn what it means to love God by your example. When they see you struggle to develop your faith and to lead the family in a relationship based on God’s love they are encouraged to do the same. When they see you spending time working on your own spiritual development, they are encouraged to do the same.
Skill Two – Courage
We live in demanding and challenging times. With all of the challenges that families face, men need to shy away from being “girly men,” and become the warrior you are designed to be. Courage is saying no to temptation, standing for what is right, facing danger for your family and having the guts to be a man that is learning what it means to be a servant leader.
Skill Three – The ability to tinker
A few years ago, Dr. Charles Lowery, speaker, author, and clinical psychologist was talking to a group of us guys and said, “I am handyman impaired.” We all go a good laugh out of what he said and for many of us that is true. One a least a couple of occasions I have felt the bite of electricity when I went to do a small electrical repair. While I am no Tim the Tool man or Bob the Builder, I can do some basic stuff. Everyone needs to know some basic tinkering skill. FYI there is no such thing as a left handed hammer or screw driver. If you don’t know how to do some basic tinkering, you can go to DIY or You tube.
Skill Four – A love and respect for nature
Growing up in the South you learned about respect for Nature from your family, your Scout Leader, and your community. You learned that God provided this earth for man to provide for his needs, in that context He has called us to be good stewards, good managers of this world. Simply stated, we need to respect the renewable resources God had provided. While we have to be careful to avoid worshipping nature we are to be respectful and grateful for all that God provides through it.
Skill Five – How money works
Survey after survey indicates that a majority of married and single adults wished they had learned more about resource management from their parents. Part of our current economic troubles goes back to our lack of understanding how money works. Several surveys suggest that one of the major issues for couples is money. Thankfully there are multiple resources for helping out in this area. Dave Ramsey, Crown Financial, Money Magazine.
Skill Six – A desire to work
“An idle mind is the Devil’s workshop.” How many times did you hear that one growing up? Work is a good thing. My wife and I are both self-employed, and while we don’t work traditional office hours, we do put our time in and love what we do. Teaching out kids how to work build character, social skills, and helps build a sense of purpose.
We are hardwired to work. Up until recent years, there was no such thing as a mom that worked outside of the home, because most businesses were family run, family owned. Work is good. The issue in America is that so many people don’t enjoy what they do.
Skill Seven – The ability to laugh
You need to set the pace in helping your kids learn to laugh at themselves and at life. One of the reasons our culture is medicated, caffeinated, and stress is that we have forgotten how to laugh. When was the last time you almost busted your gut or nearly wet yourself for laughter? One of gifts you can give you kids is a sense of humor. It makes living in the now more fun, and will reduce any therapy bills in the future. Humor is also a tool that can help build resilience. Check out some safe male humor.
Skill Eight – The ability to lead yourself
One of your missions as a parent is to teach your kids how to be self-sufficient adults and one of the best ways to do that is to do a good job of managing yourself. The Bible calls this self control, and while only one man every completely pulled this off, we are to learn how to manage our emotions, maintain our dreams, and fulfill the purpose and vision that God has given us for our life. Sure, the short term pleasure or thrill of giving into temptation is powerful and intense, but when you learn to push through, or go around those situation, you find that you are able to lead yourself in a way that makes you feel better and can help you teach your kids more about living a well managed life.
Skill Nine – Showing your daughters how to expect to be treated
Guys, this is important! You teach your daughters how they should expect to be treated by boys. If you are married, this happen in two ways; first, your daughter sees how you treat your wife. The second is how you treat your daughter. Women seem to have three basic needs. The first is to feel valued. The second need is to be cherished. The third and final one is to feel secure.
I believe that one of the ways we can decrease the incidences of date rape, domestic violence, and abandonment is to model our best behaviors at home. Dad, you are the protector, defender, teacher, prophet, and priest for your family. Don’t be a slacker when it comes to showing you daughter how she should expect to be treated.
Skill Ten – Show your son how to treat ladies
Guys, this should be a no-brainer. Your son will treat women like you treat your wife or girlfriend because this is a skill that is more caught than taught. One of the best gifts you can give your son is the desire to treat girls and women in a way that honors them. Check out For Men Only