The Five Responsibilities of a Father

Oct 12, 2018Latest, Pro Victoria

The Five Responsibilities of a Father:

  • A responsibility to lead
  • A responsibility to seek God
  • A responsibility to pray
  • A responsibility to provide for others
  • A responsibility to protect others

Fathers have five responsibilities: A responsibility to lead; a responsibility to seek God’s will; a responsibility to pray and worship; a responsibility to protect the beautiful, the innocent and the good; and a responsibility to provide for those we love and lead.

What would you say if I told you men fulfilling their responsibilities as fathers could solve all the world’s problems? What would you say if I told you that women step up when men step away, but that women resent having to do that, and are weary and angry at men who neglect their responsibilities as fathers, husbands, sons and brothers?

This is not to say there isn’t plenty of good will between the sexes, but I think we can agree the world is a mess.

It’s a mess because it’s out of balance. It’s a mess because the relationship between the sexes has become completely distorted. And, what I’ll explore here today is the suggestion that we, as men, have allowed this to happen by neglecting our responsibilities as fathers.

We see around us increasingly desperate assertions of distorted perspectives overwhelmingly deaf to reason or reassurance. Gentle assertion of reason and reassurance is one responsibility of fathers.

We see around us a rejection of natural order between the sexes. Calm communication of natural order between the sexes is a responsibility of fathers. We see around us a rejection of humility before God and an assertion of progressive principles that reject masculinity. The example of calm, confident humility before God is a responsibility of fathers.

We see around us women at risk, attacked and fighting for their dignity. Protecting women and the elevation of their dignity is a father’s responsibility.

Finally, we see motherhood ridiculed and denigrated either implicitly or explicitly by an economic compromise that says women who choose to raise children are somehow less relevant or less valuable than those who choose to make money. Fathers are primarily responsible for providing for their families so women can have those kinds of choices. Providing so others have choices is a father’s responsibility.

Cui bono?

Cui bono is a Latin phrase you’ll see a lot at Authentic Masculinity. It means, “Who benefits?”

Who benefits from chaos? If you and I are arguing, someone else can exploit our division. Who benefits when men step away? Who benefits when families are weak? When a father’s responsibilities are neglected, distorted, rejected, or usurped, who benefits? You’ve heard the saying that nature abhors a vacuum. So does power. Masculinity is powerful. That’s why it’s under attack. Someone is asserting authority when men fail to. There is a natural order to the world that is universal and works well when we each do our part. But when we men do not do our part, when we fail to fulfill our responsibilities as fathers, someone else does. When someone else has the courage, boldness and audacity to assume and assert fathers’ responsibilities when we fail to, they have every right to expect the authority, privileges, and influence we relinquish. The ones who benefit from our neglect are the people more courageous and assertive than we are. The ones who benefit from our neglect and timidity are those who seek to push a political agenda that undermines our rightful authority as men, wherever we may be. It is they who attack our families when we neglect our responsibilities as fathers.

Qui patitur?

Qui patitur is Latin for, “Who suffers?” It’s a good question to ask.

Who suffers when men and women make war with each other? Who suffers when men neglect our responsibilities as fathers? Who suffers when men neglect our responsibility to lead? Who suffers when fathers fail to consult and worship God and stop protecting and providing for others? These are responsibilities of fathers.

Men suffer the least.

The ones who suffer most are women and children.

Everywhere we look now, women are being treated like men. And when men start treating women like men, the whole world suffers, but women and children suffer the most. So the enemies of our families benefit and women and children are hurt the most when men neglect to fulfill the responsibilities of fathers.

This must stop.

The Five Responsibilities of Fathers as Prince, Priest, Prophet, Provider and Protector.

Father as Prince: a father’s responsibility to lead

Men are created to lead.

It’s what we do and we do it well. We have a genius for clarity, simplicity and action. If you’d like 11 steps to leadership, look no further than the United States Army. To be a leader, start doing the following today and apply these at home, at work, in life:

  1. Know yourself and seek self-improvement. It’s a father’s responsibility to improve.
  2. Be technically and tactically proficient. This means know your job and do it.
  3. Seek responsibility and take responsibility for your actions. Fathers seek responsibility.
  4. Set the example
  5. Know your wife and children; look out for their welfare
  6. Keep your wife and children informed on matters that affect them
  7. Ensure tasks you ask to be done are understood, supervised, and accomplished
  8. Develop a sense of responsibility within your family
  9. Teach your family to work together as a team
  10. Make sound and timely decisions
  11. Only ask your wife and children to do what is reasonable

Father as Priest and Prophet: a father’s responsibility to honor God by Asking and Answering The Big Three

A father’s responsibilities are a negotiation between himself and those he serves. You as a father assert your authority. To the degree you earn respect and are taken seriously, those you serve accept your assertion. Here’s what is beautiful: you get credit for trying and you succeed as you proceed, you succeed as you learn, you succeed as you go. That’s how important you are. That’s how important your
masculinity is.

Let’s look at the spiritual side of life. A very quick look at a father’s responsibilities as a priest and prophet. All of the roles men play are a negotiation with the world around them. Note well these working definitions and the questions they presume:

A prophet may be defined as a man regarded—regarded by whom?—as an inspired teacher or proclaimer of the will of God. It’s a father’s responsibility to seek the will of God. As a father you must pray.

A priest may be defined as a man authorized—authorized by whom?–to perform certain rites and administer certain sacraments. It’s a father’s responsibility to be reverent. Show your family you revere God. So as a father you must seek—and it’s the responsibility of a father to be seen to seek—the will of God and then you must try to do—and it’s the responsibility of a father to be seen trying to do—the will of God.

Your children must see you trying to figure it all out. Children are smart and even they, especially they, ask the big questions in life. In their innocence children seek God. In their innocence they seek the will of God. If you demonstrate to them that you are trying to do the same, not only do you encourage and strengthen them in their own precious desire to know God, you become a companion to them on the most important journey in life: the journey to spiritual fulfillment. And note, too, that you receive authority from those you serve as a responsible father. If you have ever made a mistake in front of your children and then gone to apologize to them for that mistake you know the life changing power of the forgiveness of a child. Your responsibility as a father is NOT to be false or hypocritical. The world hates a phony. Your desire must be humble, your desire must be sincere, but if your children and your wife see you struggling to figure out the meaning of life, you all benefit.

A Father’s Responsibility to Ask and Answer The Big Three

It is a father’s responsibility to wrestle with the big questions in life.

Hold a baby in your arms and you will know what I mean. The Big Three are the three most important questions you can ask as a man.

Here are The Big Three:

  1. Where do I come from?
  2. Why am I here?
  3. Where am I going when I die?

If you’re not asking those questions you’re avoiding one of the key responsibilities of a father. Avoid those questions and you are not living a life of responsibility. You may be living a life of significance because your masculinity will affect those around you whether your know it or not, but if you neglect this central responsibility of a father by not asking the Big Three you are criminally negligent in a spiritual sense. Avoid these questions at your peril, for if you are not asking them you are like the man sleepwalking through life, a hazard to himself and those around him.

Father as Provider and Protector

A father’s responsibility to provide food, clothing and shelter for others and to protect the innocent, the beautiful and the good from physical, spiritual and moral harm.

These two responsibilities of a father are simple, too, and straightforward, but they are not easy.

You have a responsibility as a father to provide for your wife and your children. You are responsible for putting a roof over their heads, for providing them clothes and shoes, food and education.

This is what fathers do.

You love your wife by providing for her. If she wishes to pursue other opportunities you must love her and support her by helping her to make responsible decisions of her own so you reach agreement as a couple.

It is a father’s responsibility to ensure the children aren’t neglected. This is where life gets complicated. The welfare of the children must come first. That, too, is a father’s responsibility.

It’s a privilege to be a parent, a privilege to bring children into the world. Your responsibility as a father to your children is to love their mother and work toward her good, but she’s your cherished companion to be honored, not tyrannized.

We all know this is not easy.

Men have fathers’ responsibilities and women have mothers’ responsibilities. We are radically equal and radically different, but children require time and attention. It is the rare mother who doesn’t want to be with her child, at least for the first formative years. It is a father’s responsibility to make this possible and a husband’s privilege to work with his wife so she has choices. We have responsibilities so others may have privileges. It’s what we do. Being a responsible husband and father deserves respect.

When we do this right, we earn respect.

A father’s responsibility as a protector is perhaps the most dramatic responsibility we have. The evidence of all studies is conclusive. Children whose fathers are in the home grow up more secure and safer. A father’s active involvement in his children’s lives teaches confidence and security. A man’s view of the world and the threats it contains offers his children a stable position from which to see the world in a way that is realistic and more confident than children without fathers or healthy men in their lives. A father’s responsibility to protect in a physical sense means protecting with violence or credible threats of violence of his own in a violent world. Prayerful fathers protect spiritually. Hard working fathers protect financially.

Healthy strong fathers protect emotionally and smart men of all kinds master violence.

Mastering violence and learning to deploy violence to protect the innocent, the beautiful and the good is a privileged responsibility of a father. We know, too, that men who can be dangerous on demand are men who take the responsibilities of a father seriously. It doesn’t mean we’re out of control, it means we control the savage nature of our masculinity to serve our families as protectors.

As guardians. As fathers.

Shannon McGurk

Shannon McGurk


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