My father is strong. He’s not the muscled, tough-bodied, tall, overpowering, heavy jaw-lined, bearded kind of strong. He’s not the superficial kind of strong. He’s the real kind of man, the right kind of masculine.
He’s the reason that I set the bar up higher for the men I date because no one can really match up to him. He’s the reason that I have healthy boundaries and good self-respect. He’s the reason I am who I am.
Here are 10 things I’ve learned from an unimaginably resilient father about what really makes a man a man.
1. A good man’s heart is a home
My father is not only a person; he is also a home. Home is where the heart is, and a good man’s heart is a home. His love is built on a strong foundation of trust. It stands the test of time and weathers the worst storms. It is not a temporary, passing residence built on a weak foundation. It is a forever kind of love, built on incredible depth.
2. A good man chooses peace
My father never keeps score. He doesn’t hold grudges, bring up old fights, and open old wounds. A good man chooses his battles wisely. He doesn’t sweat the small stuff. He lets it go because he puts peace before his ego.
3. A good man respects women
My father respects women. He appreciates the nurturing and giving nature of femininity. A good man doesn’t take and expect, he gives back more than he receives. He doesn’t think that showing emotions is a weakness, he appreciates openness and vulnerability.
4. A good man puts family first
My father puts family before his needs and wants. A good man understands the value of personal sacrifice for the well-being of the family. A good man compromises. He priorities his family over professional success and excessive ambition. He always has time for them.
5. A good man is emotionally intelligent
My father is emotionally mature. He takes accountability for his problems. A good man admits his own shortcomings. He doesn’t push the blame onto other people. He doesn’t take out his frustrations on his family.
6. A good man apologizes for his mistakes
My father always apologizes, if he makes a mistake. Sometimes, even when he isn’t wrong. A good man breaks the ice. He knows that saying sorry doesn’t make him weak.
7. A good man is mentally resilient
My father doesn’t crack under pressure. A good man is calm, no matter how bad things get. He is a pillar of strength, a vault of secrets, a ray of light, a beacon of hope. He takes road blocks and difficulties in his stride and approaches them with enthusiasm.
8. A good man builds people up
My father has a strong sense of self-worth. He is secure in himself and encourages the rest of the family to have faith in themselves. He encourages independence of thought and supports decisions that he may not necessarily agree with.
9. A good man challenges himself
My father takes risks, he pushes himself and pushes the potential of his family. A good man knows the value of failure. He knows how pain can help personal growth. He is optimistic in the face of adversity.
10. A good man gives more than he takes
My father gives too much, and expects nothing. He loves unconditionally. My father has faults too. He isn’t always strong on the inside, even though he appears as if he is. He is just as scared and uncertain as anyone else, but a good man has the courage to face his fears, and protect his family.