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Ten Important Responsibilities of a Husband and Father in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints


1. Preside

Many may believe that this means that fathers rule over the home. To preside means to love, serve and sacrifice for others. As Jesus taught his Apostles that “And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant” (Matthew 20:27) God intended for a wife to be an equal companion to her husband (1 Corinthians 11:11). As the family leader, and in counsel with his wife and following God’s counsel in scriptures, a husband righteously presides over his home. He gives direction to his family and sees his children are taught correct principles.

2. Live worthily

In The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, husbands and fathers are to follow God’s commandments and live a respectable life. Many men in the church have the opportunity to hold the priesthood, which is power and authority given by God. Priesthood power is given to bless and bring salvation to all of God’s children. A man must be worthy to receive the priesthood by living righteously; he also has the responsibility to use the priesthood to uplift and support his family through priesthood blessings and ordinances (such as baptizing his children). If a man does not live worthily, he doesn’t have the ability to use the priesthood (see D&C 121:36–37) or the guidance of the Holy Ghost to perform those sacred blessings and ordinances.

3. Provide

A capable man must help provide for his family’s physical needs (see 1 Timothy 5:8), whether he works outside or inside the home. In many homes, a man blesses his family as he obtains the needed education and skills to materially provide for his wife and children by holding an honorable job. In other homes, the husband doesn’t work outside of the home and the wife does, or the husband and wife both work outside the home. In either case, the husband should support his wife in her work.

4. Help maintain the spiritual well-being of the family

Along with helping to ensure the family’s physical needs are met, husbands and fathers also must spiritually provide for their families. To help preserve his family’s spiritual well-being, a father centers his life on Jesus Christ and righteous principles, maintains his sacred trust to use the power of God to help others, shows and talks to his children about how they can follow God and Jesus in their lives and shows love to everyone.

5. Love his wife

Husbands are commanded to honor and love their wives (Ephesians 5:25). They are to esteem women’s roles as wives and mothers. A man honors these divine roles by loving and respecting his wife, remaining faithful to her, and actively participating with her to care for and manage their home and children.

6. Protect

Wives and children should feel safe and protected in their homes because of their husbands’ and fathers’ physical and spiritual strengths. Howard W. Hunter, former Church President, taught, “A righteous father protects his children with his time and presence in their social, educational, and spiritual activities and responsibilities.” Wives and children should feel safe and protected in their homes because of their husband and father’s physical and spiritual strengths.

7. Teach

Parents are commanded to teach their children. With their wives, men should teach their children how to love and respect others, serve others, have righteous values, pray, live God’s commandments, follow rules, do chores, and behave appropriately in different settings. Parents should teach these things by regularly talking to their children and showing them how.

8. Show physical and spiritual strength

Physical strength or how much you can lift in weights doesn’t denote true manliness. Fathers seek to strengthen their families both physically and spiritually.  They seek to be physically strong by taking care of their bodies, exercising and eating healthy, getting adequate sleep, and avoiding harmful substances. To increase their spiritual strength, they pray daily, read and study the scriptures and attend church meetings regularly. 

9. Perform chores

A husband shouldn’t expect his wife to do all of the chores inside the home. Marriage is meant to be an equal partnership, which means fathers and mothers work together to make their home a safe and happy place for their family. They share responsibilities and work together to find out what works best for them and their family.

10. Be equally yoked in all things

A husband should walk hand in hand and side by side with his wife. Husband and wife should make all important decisions together and work and serve together in caring for and rearing their children.