8 Things Every Father Must Teach His Son

As I thought about writing out a list of things a father should teach his son, I started to feel a bit uneasy. Penetrating questions raced through my mind. Did I do this as a man? Did my boys see it in my life? Did I teach my boys to do these things too? Well, I can say with great certainty to all of these questions, “yes, “no,” and “sometimes.” Having made that confession, I’d like to share a few things that I’ve sought to teach my two sons, now ages 18 and 17, throughout the years.

1. Be a Gentleman. A firm handshake combined with looking the other person in the eye carries with it respect, dignity, and strength. Opening a car door for a woman, standing up at table when she is seated, and carrying a heavy bag for her displays honor.

2. Honor Your Father and Mother. Honor and esteem your mother and father not because of their performance, but simply because of their position as your parents.

[4 Things to Do to Honor Your Parents]

3. Respect Women. Respect a woman physically by honoring her body and accepting that it is reserved for her future husband. Respect her emotionally by understanding that she has very special ways of thinking and feeling that are different from yours.

4. Be a Man of Integrity. “Integrity is doing the right thing, even when no one is watching.” C.S. Lewis makes this one real clear. Be a man who speaks the truth and lives by the truth.

5. Take Responsibility. Do what you say you’ll do, do it right, and do it with excellence. When you don’t do something the right way, man up and own it. That means apologize immediately without excuses and pursue doing it the right way the next time.

6. Work Hard. We were all created to work and work is good. Work is necessary for a productive life. Work teaches self-discipline. Work is not only healthy for the body, but also healthy for the mind.

[5 Reasons Your Child Should Work]

7. Love Others. Loving others is our great and eternal duty. Love is all about giving selflessly and sacrificially to others.

[5 Places You and Your Kids Can Serve Others]

8. Love God. We were created by God and for God. We are to love him with all of our being—heart, soul, mind, and strength. This is absolutely the most important thing I must teach my sons.

Those are most of the most important things I’ve sought to teach my sons. I realize this list is not exhaustive and that there are many other things that we need to teach our sons. Can you share some others?

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • C Cornell Hicks

    You say it’s not exhaustive, but I think the things you chose to list were general enough to spread over into other areas, yet specific enough to give us men, who may not have thought about this, a non-overwhelming list to undertake. I have a 17 year who’s preparing to go off to college. Now, while I can say the same as you, “yes, no and sometimes”, I still wish I could say “yes” to a larger percentage of your list. At any rate, thanks for the article because as they say, “Better late than never…”

  • C Cornell Hicks

    Maybe I’m wrong for this, but this isn’t even the discussion for that.

  • C Cornell Hicks

    You could have just not even posted and we would have all been just fine. SMH

  • C Cornell Hicks

    If you teach your child not to kill, you’re teaching them God’s word…You know what? Nevermind, because my God is not an insecure, over-compensating ruler of a communist nation. I love how people who don’t want to be accountable #1 Equate God to one of his creations who chose the idiot’s way of thinking and #2 make blanket statements about Christianity because a few people claiming to be Christians took bits and pieces of the Bible and manipulated people and caused wars with it!

  • fel121

    You do realize your post makes no sense to anyone outside your head…

  • fel121

    Because men are the only flawed ones in the relationship that need their mommies to fix them.

  • carl

    Always look like a gentleman!!!

  • carl

    I thought the same thing when I started to read #8 but, he makes it by stating that this is the most important if all the things that need to be taught.

  • Dave Baker

    Also, how to fly a kite.

  • Orngu

    I like these. I have a 4 year old boy and I know it will be helpful to me to teach him, especially now that he is in his formative years. Thanks for writing and sharing…

  • Todd Barnes

    This may seem counterintuitive to #7, but you’re an idiot.

  • fel121

    Truth sucks sometime dont it…

  • fel121

    No your God is a willful and capricious mass murder, who if you don’t get down on bended knee and do his bidding will down women and children to make a point.