Men need a mission that is greater than their relationships. If a man makes any of their relationships their primary mission, it will destroy those relationships.
A man treating the happiness of a woman as his greatest purpose in life will make that woman despise him.
A man treating the success of his children as his greatest purpose will crush those children. They can’t support that kind of burden. They should follow you. You shouldn’t ride them like a vehicle.
Instead have a purpose and a mission greater than yourself and greater than any of your individual relationships. Your wife should help you on your mission and make it easier. Your children should benefit from your mission and either be trained to carry on that mission or be taught how to seek their own. They also add fuel to a man’s drive and make the journey more joyful.
The best missions will be potentially generational in scope because they spin-off sub-missions that are worthy in themselves. Building and feeding a church. Building a business. Founding a school.
A man’s mission might change as he reaches different stages of his life. That’s fine. That’s appropriate. Sometimes his gifts and skills don’t coalesce until later in life. Earlier in life, he’s focused on building those skills.
But a man must have a mission. He cannot be listless. He must have a vision for the future and work toward making that vision a reality.
Even if that mission is small.
If your wife asks you how she can help you accomplish your mission, you should have an answer. You should not say “I don’t know.”
Your kids should also know what your family is trying to accomplish. It gives them the “why” to who they are and what you are doing together as a family.
Don’t have a mission? Start small. Learn your affinities and gifts. What are you interested in learning? Where do you see a need in your community?
To start with, it can be as simple as “We will be a hospitable household” or “I want to be a great plumber.” Something.
Don’t worry, you aren’t pouring concrete. You can change and iterate. In fact, you should. You’ll have more wisdom as you get older.