The Family Man title
with Todd Wilson
A Manly Kind of Dad

ometimes when you begin writing an article, it takes on a life of its own and goes in a direction you never intended it to go. So it is with this article. I intended to write about passing on boldness to our children, not by forcing them to swim in mountain streams, bungee jump off bridges, or ride broncos in the rodeo, but by being kind, loving, and serving one another. That’s when the article went off rail because I knew the article wouldn’t sound very manly.

So just for the record… let me say I’m a manly dad. I own a chainsaw and lots of power tools, and I spit. At the same time, I encourage men to be affectionate with their children, take an active part in putting the kids to bed, and make the relationship with their children and wife a priority above everything else.

Because I write and speak about doing just that, occasionally I get an email from an upset guy who thinks I’ve sold out manhood and feminized fatherhood. In fact, many books and speakers would voice a manly “Amen” to that argument.

But they’re wrong. The views they share and write about are not based on Biblical truths but on some kind of macho Hollywood Marlboro Dad.

Black and white photo of a dad and son on a walk and pushing a cart with an infant in the baby seat
Yes, we need warrior-men who lead their families, love their children, and fight for their wives. In fact, that is our prime directive. But, we do not achieve that by watching Monday Night Football, shooting guns, using power tools, refusing to vacuum, and communicating in grunts.

We’ve been fed a lie that says: For a man to be a man, he needs to do “manly” things and act according to his “natural” tendencies. Really, what is being said is that we should do what we want to do to be truly masculine. That line of thought is based on selfishness, not selflessness. It is a worldly philosophy, not a Biblical one.

The Bible is counter-cultural. You could almost say that if the world goes one way, God would have us go the other.

For example, the world encourages husbands to go for the gusto, don’t be pushed around, take time for themselves, leave the women’s work to the women… or at the very least have your children do it. In contrast, the Bible says to pray for those who persecute you, live with your wife in an understanding way, do not provoke your children to anger, give to those who ask, turn the other cheek, serve one another, to be great…serve…and a bunch of other stuff that is easier to say than do.

Quoting the article, "I’m a manly dad because I deny myself and serve others. I set aside my natural tendencies and sweep the kitchen, change diapers, give baths, talk with my wife about fabric colors, and try to be interested when my children describe their latest LEGO creation."
Can a man turn the other cheek, communicate with his wife, offer to do the dishes, and still be a man? Yes! In fact, that’s the kind of man God wants us to be. Yes, some have feminized men, but working to be a good listener, servant, and communicator isn’t feminine; it’s “living with your wife in an understanding way.” It’s manly, manliness!

I remind dads, as I do myself, that if we are not sensitive to our children’s needs, care about what they care about, and love them as they need to be loved, then we will provoke them to anger, and no crutch in the future will be of aid to them. The undeniable truth is that we fathers leave indelible marks on our children for both good and bad (just look at some of the fathers and sons in the Bible).

That’s an awesome truth, one that real men embrace but other men mistakenly blow off as “unmanly.”

Again let me say, I work on cars, have remodeled my house, and go days without shaving, but that isn’t what makes me a manly dad. I’m a manly dad because I deny myself and serve others. I set aside my natural tendencies and sweep the kitchen, change diapers, give baths, talk with my wife about fabric colors, and try to be interested when my children describe their latest LEGO creation.

Now I fail a good chunk of the time—just did about ten minutes ago—but I never give up. I apologize (another “unnatural” thing to do) and try again.

That’s what a real man is…a Biblical, selfless, go-ahead-and-punch-me-in-the-face-cuz-I-can-take-it kind of man. That’s what God has asked of us, that’s what I want of myself, and that’s what I encourage other dads to be. Talk about a good way to show your children how to live boldly!

And with all that said, I still fail miserably.

So my fellow dad, keep being a manly dad: defend your family, rescue your damsel, and don’t forget to take out the trash.

You ‘da dad,
Todd Wilson Signature
Todd Wilson headshot

odd Wilson, author of Lies Homeschooling Moms Believe and Help! I’m Married to a Homeschooling Mom, is a dad, writer, conference speaker, and former pastor. Todd’s humor and gut-honest realness have made him a favorite speaker at homeschool conventions across the country and a guest on Focus on the Family. Todd and his wife Debbie homeschool their eight children in northern Indiana and travel around America in the Familyman Mobile. You can visit Familyman Ministries at: