1. They keep their lives de-compartmentalized. They are the same man, husband and father regardless of where and when. This directly connects to the character of these men. None are perfect, but I would trust everyone of them with my kids.
2. They realize that their manhood and fatherhood are directly tied to their relationship with God. This means time in God’s Word, time in prayer and time with God’s people are essential parts of their lives.
3. They uphold their wives as their number one friend and co-worker in life. They realize that loving their wives is one of the greatest things they could ever give their kids, and they protect their marriage like it’s their life.
4. They practice the discipline of meekness. They exemplify the combination of humility and strength. Men need to be strong for their families not at their families. These great dads get this idea well. In these homes, yelling and abuse of any kind is never tolerated.
5. They’ve tied their hearts to the hearts of their children. There is a very special God-given bond that they cherish and cultivate on a daily basis. This means they are always looking to create heart-moments with their kids, especially when it comes to sharing God’s love and truth with them.
6. They honor their child’s gender and unique giftedness. They raise their sons to be men and their daughters to become women. There is a difference and a good father knows how to engage both his sons and daughters. When most dads pull back during the adolescent years, these astute men mentor and engage at an even deeper level.
7. They are great listeners and make themselves available for those “by the way” teaching moments and conversations with their children (Deut. 6:5-7). These dads have invested the time to truly get to know the hearts and souls of their children.
8. They make their children feel special and believe in them. Late Jim Valvano made this statement : “My father gave me the greatest gift anyone could give another person, he believed in me.” Great dads believe in their kids and their kids know how special they are.
9. Mercy and grace are a part of their households. As sinners, these men know that we will always be dealing with offenses and trip-ups. This makes mercy and grace two of their strongest relationship allies. A saying we often come back to is, “forgiven and forgiving.” In this regards, they take the lead in admitting when they are wrong and asking for forgiveness.
10. They take care of the fundamentals or basics (the list above!). If something seems out of place with your life and your family, there usually are some fundamentals in your life that are not getting done. That’s why prayerful evaluation is a life-trait of successful dads. It’s hard to re-calibrate your life if it is constantly in the hectic mode.