Being fully present to your wife

Ephesians says that a man should love his wife as Christ loves the Church, giving up his life for her. The mission of a husband is to be inherently self-sacrificial. However distracted you might be, decide to be fully present to your wife. She needs you more than any other person so listen when she talks. Respond. Be supportive.

Putting others' needs ahead of your own

Before you brew your morning coffee, make your wife a cup. Remind her to take her vitamins. Leave her a loving note or text when you leave for the day. Do the laundry or put away the dishes so she can put her feet up. Stop talking about work and ask how she's feeling. It will go a long way.

Self-control

In a spiritual act of solidarity, try going without the things your wife has to give up -- like wine with dinner, or sushi. She'll think it's sweet, even if she doesn't admit it. Apply this same principle to other situations in the pregnancy. Try joining her if she retires early and giving her a gentle back rub, instead of staying up to watch the game. All this makes for a good spiritual discipline.

Goodness

It's simple: Be the best man you can be for your wife and child every day. Turn to God through prayer to make this possible. Use this time to grow in goodness.

Love ... no matter what

What does true love look like? Turn to 1 Corinthians 4-8 to be reminded.

Acceptance ... no matter what

She gets sick in the middle of breakfast. She's crying for no apparent reason during an insurance commercial. She falls asleep halfway through your excellent story. Accept her, no matter what. She's carrying your child. Acknowledge her beauty and goodness even when things get challenging. This same rule applies to your unborn child. Accept him or her, no matter what burdens or worries you face.

Forgiveness

If she lashes out at you, resist the impulse to fight back, even if she throws a pair of socks at your head. Her hormones are in overdrive and she has a million worries. Stay kind -- she'll love you all the more for it. And if you say or do the wrong thing or if she's upset, just apologize. It will help eliminate her stress, which is important.

Offer joy and humor

Watch a funny movie. Play beautiful music. Make her laugh. Be silly; not so serious all the time. You might be stressed and worried, but try not to let it show around her. She might need to be reminded that lightening up is the best way to relax! Even better, it will relax you, too.

Be the rock

The rock, like St. Peter, is the steady, strong foundation that bears the weight of feet walking over it, but that holds the whole house up, too. It's no easy job and takes a great man to do it.  It's vitally important to your wife and baby. But as you authentically support the feet of your family, you will also become your family's ceiling ... like St. Joseph, a strong dome of kindness who will inspire and lead your wife and children.

You're already a father

Just as life begins at conception, so does fatherhood. It may not be in the same way as when your child is born and you're helping them take their first steps, listening to their worries, or leading them in prayer. But you're already your child's protector and advocate. You're already thinking about all that you will be called to do --  physically, emotionally, spiritually and financially. From the first day you learned your wife was pregnant, fatherhood began.