If you are a husband or a dad, you are likely exhausted. If you’re not, you should be. This stuff requires blood, sweat, and tears. And being a fully engaged husband and father should leave you feeling wiped out by the end of the day; if you’ve got energy by the time you’re going to bed, you probably aren’t doing something right.
The problem is that when we get tired, we get complacent and our tendency is to operate more out of routine and less out of intentionality. As men, we have to fight the urge to be comfortable and instead, consistently challenge ourselves to dig deeper. Don’t give up, don’t give in, and don’t get comfortable. Here are 3 ways to be a better dad at the end of the day.
3 Ways to Be a Better Dad at the End of the Day
1. Turn Off Your Phone
The world is fighting for your attention. Your boss wants to talk shop, your buddies want to talk sports, and your Facebook friends want to share another political rant. The truth is that none of those will have the eternal significance of the time invested in your wife and kids. Turn off your phone. Seriously. Set it in another room and give your undivided attention to those who God has placed under your leadership. Let them see your eyes and not the top of your head. This is what sacrificing for your family takes, and the impact it has on your family will not go unnoticed.
2. Seek Your Wife’s Heart
This may be the hardest one on the list. As a man, you’re probably pulling 40-60 hour work weeks and it’s hard not to look back on the days when you could come home and watch TV before crashing into bed. Those days are long gone. God has called us to a new season of manhood and maturity. When we clock out at work, the real work begins. You take a deep breath, walk in the house, and pour out every ounce of energy you’ve got with the kids.
But the work doesn’t stop when they head off to bed. As you spend time with your wife, seek after her heart. Ask questions that go deeper than “How was your day?”. The answer to that question is probably more complex than she has energy for. Instead, ask her about the highlights of her day. Ask her where she feels like she is at with the Lord and how you can help encourage her in that arena. One of the most romantic things you can do for your wife is to think through quality questions and engage with her at the heart level.
3. Pray and Reflect
As a husband and dad, make an effort to be the last one to go to sleep. Not because you’re staying up late unintentionally, but because you still need time to pray and reflect after the family has gone to bed. Ask yourself hard questions. Where did you come up short today and where do you need to repent to the Lord? Dig deep into any unrest your soul is feeling and ask “Why?”; why are you not fully satisfied? Spend time praying for your kids, your wife, and your marriage.
This is why you should be worn out. This kind of stuff is absolutely exhausting, but worth every second because what you are chasing after will have ripples into eternity and will impact generations to come. Work your butt off, but do it knowing that you will fall short, you will screw up, and yet your soul can be at rest as you’re reminded that the God of the universe is even more fond of you than you are of your own children. You are loved, not based on your performance, but by His grace.