relationships matter

Relationships Matter: Keys to Be a Good Father and Build a Good Marriage

18 June 2022

3.2 MINS

In the face of possible death, a husband and father realised that his family mattered far more than his business. With a new lease of life, he embarked on prioritising his relationships. Dads4Kids invites you to do the same.

Harvey MacKay said, “The quality of your life is determined by the quality of your relationships.” MacKay knows a thing or two.

Harvey is a very successful businessman, married for over 50 years to his architect wife, with three children and eleven grandchildren. Harvey MacKay has sold over 10 million books about business and building a successful life.

Interviewing Steve Smith for the Dads4Kids podcast reminded me a lot of Harvey MacKay. Steve is an intentional father of four, husband and businessman. MacKay once said, “When you fail to plan, you plan to fail.”


Steve Smith is the inspirational planner who puts his close relationships at the top of the list; his business always comes second — and he is all the happier for it. Watch his story below.


In 1991, when Steve was only 25 years old, he was diagnosed with leukemia and given six weeks to live. Miraculously, he survived. In his own words, he said, “I am a tough bugger.”

This proved to be the defining moment in his life. He realised that people, not possessions, were his most valuable assets. You can’t possess people, but you can build mutually caring, loving relationships with them and in so doing, build a wealth that money can’t buy.

This is the core message of my wide-ranging interview with Steve Smith, and it comes through in every aspect of his life and his story:

“Relationships are the greatest treasure.”

Lessons During Loss

In this podcast, I share my own ‘dark night of the soul’ with Steve Smith. In 1984, I lost everything in a business collapse. Whilst it was humiliating, it was also invigorating and taught me the same lesson that Steve learnt.

In life, relationships are everything. Yes, you have to eat and live somewhere, but your relationships and the integrity you need to keep them, matter more than anything else.

I asked Steve for his best tip on having a successful relationship with his wife.

Steve told me,

“Warwick, I did not know how to love my own wife because I never had any good examples. My own mother and father got divorced when I was 26 years old. Thankfully I started to hang around married couples who had good relationships and were actively working on them. I watched them closely and I started to emulate their good points and my marriage got better.

“One of the major turning points for me was learning my wife’s love language. The big one for her was affectionate touch, but I had to learn this, Warwick, and it took me a while.”

“So, what are your wife’s five love languages in order of importance?” I asked.

“Affectionate touch, quality time, words of affirmation, acts of service and much to my dismay, receiving gifts is last. That’s why you have to know what is at the top of the list and what is at the bottom. Harvey MacKay was right to say, ‘If you fail to plan, you plan to fail’.”

“What else has helped you to be a better dad and husband over the years?”

“Warwick, your weekly newsletter has helped me enormously. I have reprinted articles and read and reread them. It was through your newsletter that I got introduced to Darren Lewis at ‘Fathering Adventures’.

“All four of my children have done the younger and the older adventures. My youngest, who has just turned 16, was on to me asking me when we are going to do the final father and teenage son adventure of a lifetime. It is a good thing to be pestered about.”

I asked Steve what his top three tips are for Dads:

  1. Intentional time with your children.
  2. Live by the example you want them to follow. (The words of Mahatma Gandhi come to mind, “You must become the change you seek.”)
  3. Let your children know they are loved — TELL THEM OFTEN.


Wow! Steve Smith is a hard act to follow, but let’s see what we can learn from him and put it into practice this week. Now that’s a challenge! If you have a question for Steve Smith, register for this coming Thursday night’s Dads4Kids Breakthrough Webinar. He will be one of our guests.

Yours for relationships that truly matter,
Warwick Marsh

PS: This week has been a big week. The booking information for the Men’s Leadership Summit has been released. Download the brochure here. Watch the promo video here.

PPS: We also opened the registration process for the ‘Dads4kids Breakthrough Webinar’ for next Thursday PM. Australian boxing champion Gavin Topp is one of the featured guests talking about manhood.

Watch the promo video here or below.

Register here.


First published at Dads4Kids. Photo by Jonathan Borba.


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