I have had many people write me and ask why men don’t spend time with their kids and how to get them to change. I even had one woman write me and ask “Are there fathers that actually spend time with wife and kids?” I will first address what I believe are some of the reasons and then we will look at some things women can do to change their situation. Men don’t spend time with their kids for numerous reasons. This scenario has been occurring since the first family.
If men knew that one day they will stand before God and give account of how they valued their children and spent time with them I believe a lot of men would change. Yet, for most men, they really have no idea that the time they spend with their kids will have life long consequences. Many men feel that if one parent is involved that is good enough. Not true. Since a man was involved in making the baby – he has a responsibility before God to take responsibility for that child.
It doesn’t stop when kids hit the teen years – children always need their fathers – it never ends – even when the kids are adults. Parenting is forever.
One of the first reasons Dads don’t spend time with their kids is that our society offers many temptations to a man. Men can golf, watch TV, attend games, go to sporting events, work long hours, go to bars, hang out with friends. Sometimes a father doesn’t spend time at home due to an affair, drugs, drinking, porn, etc. Some men will use any excuse to not spend time with their kids.
When a man doesn’t spend time with his children – no matter what the excuse – he is being IRRESPONSIBLE to the gift that God has given him – his precious family. This breaks the heart of God – as God never intended for families to be abandoned or forsaken.
Most men model after their dads. Most men have never had their father spend a lot of time with them so they in turn think “that’s the way it is.” With so many distractions and entertainments men are often just not aware that their time away from their kids can be very damaging.
How to Bring about Change
Confront Him. Men are not mind readers. Yes, it should be obvious to them that these are his kids and he should take responsibility for them – yet oftentimes men are so caught up with their world of problems and busyness that they seem to be oblivious to problems at home. Take the time to pray and ask God to give you the right words and the right timing. Speak without crying, yelling or berating – getting all emotional about the situation will only cause you to look like an emotional wreck. Start out with positive words then get to the point. Make it clear that he is not there for the kids and it’s hurting your marriage and your family. Tell him you are done nagging – but there has to be change or there will be consequences. Speak firmly and confidently but graciously. Don’t rub it in his face. He doesn’t need to be reminded that he is a failure. You want to win his affections not lose the relationship.
Stop the nagging. One reason men spend time away from family is due to the atmosphere in the house. Many wives turn to NAGGING to try to control their husband’s behavior. This is the worst thing a woman can do. It will drive your man further away from you. If you are a nagger make a committment to STOP the nagging and begin to have intellectual conversations about what the real problem is.
Don’t make all the decisions. When a wife makes all the decisions and doesn’t bother to consult her husband she diminishes his self-esteem. Be certain you are both on the same page when making any major decisions. Even including him in small decisions makes him feel valued.
When a woman tunes out her husband and pays no attention to what he is saying it is a direct turn off for any man. No matter what your husband is saying give him your full attention. Let him know that what he says is important – no matter how insignificant it may be.
Teach your children to be respectful of their dad – even if he has issues. No man is perfect. Never ignore what your husband says. This is the quickest way to keep your husband beat down and disinterested in family. Include your husband in any family plans. Ask him where he would like to go out to dinner, what show he’d like to see, where he would like to vacation. Let him know he is important and that his opinion really does matter. Tell him how valuable he is. Tell him that you respect him – Say it even if you don’t always feel it.
Tell him how much you and the kids love spending time with him. Be certain that you model respect towards your husband. Teach your kids to respect him. Women, make your home a place your husband would want to come home to. Your husband will want to spend time in a home that is loving, attentive and respectful. When a man feels that his family doesn’t really care about him do you think he will want to spend time there? Of course not.
Men go where they feel loved. This is why there are so many men that are workaholics – at least someone at work appreciates them.
The last thing you need to remember is “Less say more Pray.” Say this phrase out loud right now. Say it all day long. It may save your marriage. The times you would like to nag – stop yourself and pray. Make a commitment that you will no longer nag – just pray. You will be amazed with the results. God hears when you pray. God doesn’t hear when you nag. You are only making life more miserable for yourself and others.
Commit yourself to begin fasting http://jackieosinski.wordpress.com/category/fasting-2/ on a weekly basis. You will be amazed at the miracles that will occur.
Jennifer was a young mom of two kids. She was a Christian, Kevin was not. Kevin loved to play golf. On week days he was always working. On the weekends he was at the golf course with his buddies. He never spent time with the kids. She begged, pleaded and nagged Kevin to spend time with the family. He was totally disinterested. When Jennifer came to me for counseling I shared with her the power of fasting and prayer. We talked about stopping the nagging. She agreed to try to implement God’s way of doing things. She began to change the atmosphere of her home. She no longer nagged. She left Kevin alone. She began to fast food until 6 pm each weekday.
During that time she began to pray that Kevin would see that He needed a Savior and that he would want to spend time with his family. Jennifer continued her fasting and praying for 6 months. After a while Kevin began to show interest in attending church with his family. Soon he dedicated his life to Christ. As if a blinder was taken off his eyes he began to see how precious his family was. He began to give up golf and spend more time with his children. That was over 13 years ago. Today Kevin only plays golf occasionally. He always attends his kids various events. He loves spending time with his kids. He is a loving and devoted father. His family is his first priority. He is a new man in Christ – a model father.
It’s important to remember that you cannot change your husband. You can do everything right and still not be able to keep him at home. Marriage is 200% – the man and woman each need to give 100 % to make the marriage a success. If a man doesn’t want to change – he won’t. Even God will not break a man’s will.
I have worked with women who have done all of the aforementioned and their husbands still had no interest in being at home. To each of them I suggested that they set a time limit such as 3 months to a year to implement positive changes in the home and if possible to seek marriage counseling. After that, if there is still no change, I suggest that they prayerfully consider separation. Many times the act of physically separating tells the spouse that you are not scared to move on if the environment at home continues to be toxic. Oftentimes this can be enough to motivate a man to seriously reconsider the error of his ways.
Leading a life of constant misery, depression and despair because the father is no longer home only destroys any sense of life and hope. The abandonment that is placed upon the children is very damaging. There comes a time when one must find what is best for the overall welfare of the family and the children. Use wisdom. God has called us to a life of peace. Each person must prayerfully hear from God as to what He is telling then to do.
It is never to late for any of us – but if we are not wise it may be too late for the family.