Overview: As you train your son, do you ever think about what kind of husband he’ll be someday? Great husbands don’t just happen. We need to be intentional training our sons.
Someday, God willing, most of our sons will become husbands. Many of us parents are already praying for the future spouses of our children. Prayer is very important! At the same time, we also need to be sure we are preparing our sons to become good husbands and fathers as much as we possibly can.
“ Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” – Proverbs 22:6
Are we actively engaging in training our sons to be good husbands? Learning to be a good husband doesn’t just happen. God wants husbands to be willing to lay down their lives for their families. It doesn’t come naturally to put other people before ourselves. If our boys are to become good husbands and fathers, we need to intentionally train them. It also helps if they are surrounded by good examples.
Let me be clear. There are also plenty of traits we should be focusing on for those of us who are raising daughters. It takes two people who are fully committed to creating a good marriage. And I hope that the parents of my future daughters-in-law are actively working to help prepare their daughters to be good wives as well. But since I blog about raising sons, the focus of this post is for parents with sons.
If we want to intentionally train our sons to be good husbands, there are 20 traits to keep in mind.
Train Your Son to be the Spiritual Leader of his Home
1 – Disciple of Jesus – Does he have a relationship with Jesus Christ? Does he take time to pray and do devotions on a regular basis?
2 – Willing to lead spiritually – Will he take responsibility for leading family devotions? Will he be an accountability partner for his wife? Will he take his job of praying for his family seriously?
3 – Willing to forgive – We all make mistakes. A great husband needs to be willing to forgive his wife and children when they do something that causes hurt or harm.
4 – Willing to apologize – Our sons will also make mistakes and we need to teach our sons to take responsibility when this happens.
Train Your Son to Cherish his Wife
5 – Does your son know how to be a gentleman? Does he open doors for people? Does he let women through the door before him or let them take the first cookie from the plate?
6 – Is your son a good listener? All women want to know that their husband is willing to really listen to them… to listen to hear rather than listening to respond.
7 – Will he be in tune in to her needs? Does he care enough about other people to ask them how he can help? If he senses that something is wrong, is he willing to probe? When he sees her working, is he willing to jump in and help her?
8 – Is he able to give a good compliment? Women love to receive sincere and honest compliments. Does he notice what other people do? Does he have a desire to make people feel good about themselves? Is he appreciative?
9 – Will he want to invest in their relationship? Marriage is hard! Our sons need to be willing to do the work to make their marriages successful. Will he take her on dates? Will he be willing to learn how to communicate with his wife? Will he spend time with her versus being alone or with his friends?
Train Your Son to be a Good Father
10 – Baby skills – Does he know how to hold a baby, entertain a baby, and change a diaper?
11 – Kid skills – Is he willing to play with younger kids? Will he get down on their level and have fun with them? Is he willing to do things that they enjoy doing in order to connect with them?
12 – Does he look out for others? Even as teens or younger, our sons need to develop the ability to look at the world around them and to jump in where they see a need. My oldest son rarely drives anywhere without checking with friends or fellow teammates to see if they need a ride. He works hard to make sure everyone is included when his buddies all get together. And he is willing to contact cousins who are hurting or who are lonely and just need to hear a friendly voice. The habits he is forming of caring for the needs of others will definitely translate into helping him to be a good father someday, if that’s the path that God has for him.
Train Your Son to be a Provider for his Family
13 – Balance – Does he have the ability and desire to provide for his family without being a workaholic?
14 – Marketable skills – Is he technology savvy? Does he work hard? Does he have a good, moral character? Is he dependable?
15 – Job Experience – I’m an advocate of encouraging kids to hold summer jobs as soon as they are able. Even young boys can earn money by doing odd jobs around the neighborhood. As soon as boys are 14 or 15, they can learn a lot of responsibility by working for area greenhouses or farmers. And at age 16, the job opportunities expand exponentially. The skills and confidence our sons gain by holding summer jobs are incredible.
Train Your Son How to Maintain a Household
16 – Chores – Can he do the dishes by hand? Is he comfortable loading the dishwasher? Can he do a load of laundry? Will he dust and vacuum when needed? Wives love it when their husbands jump in and help out in these areas.
17 – Yard work – Does he know how to mow the lawn? Does he understand that weeds need to be pulled? Is he comfortable using a weed wacker, a chainsaw, a rototiller, and other various yard tools?
18 – Handyman skills – Does he understand that houses need to be painted? Can he complete simple plumbing and electrical tasks? Has he ever put up drywall or laid a wood floor?
19 – Car repair – Does he know how to change a flat tire? Has he ever changed the oil in his car? Does he understand that various fluid levels need to be checked and maintained? Can he make simple car repairs? Does he know who to call if something breaks that he can’t fix?
Train Your Son to Have Good Hygiene Skills
20 – Take a shower, brush your teeth, etc. – These are pretty self-explanatory. Wives are glad that their husbands are willing to get their hands dirty – but they are also glad when they are willing to clean up afterward! 🙂 By the way, just because your tween or younger son resists taking showers or brushing his teeth doesn’t mean you’ve failed in this area. Our boys’ hygiene habits change dramatically when they hit the mid-teen years. And if they don’t change on their own, then don’t be afraid to start setting some ground rules with your son so that he will understand the type of cleanliness you expect.
All of our sons are unique and have different personalities. We can’t expect them all to be able to master everything written above. And frankly, we may not see some of these character qualities pop out in our sons until they meet a girl for which they are willing to make the effort!
However, the above list is a great one to keep in mind as we are raising our sons. Steven Covey, author of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People says we should “begin with the end in mind.” That is also true when raising our boys. If we want our boys to become great husbands and fathers, we need to work on their character development from a young age. If we aim high and keep our goal in mind, there is a much higher probability that we will be proud of the husband that our son becomes someday.
Question – What other skills/traits do you think we should work on with our sons? Have you found any specific training to be especially valuable for your sons? Please leave a comment below.