St. Joseph: Sign of Contradiction?
Have you noticed the advertising initiative created by the National Responsible Fatherhood Clearing House aimed at encouraging fathers to be better dads? Whether it is the billboard campaign “Dad Jokes;” the videos, “Dance like a Dad, where dads “show off their moves”; or the activities page of their website, “Take Time to be a Dad,” which spells out ways to make time with your kids meaningful; all of these are aimed at showing how fun fatherhood and being a dad should be.
Though, the motivation behind this campaign is good and attempts to answer perhaps the most fundamental and most pressing crisis of our time–fatherlessness–in the end, it will not produce lasting effects that ultimately change families and society for the better.
Playing and dancing with your kids is great, but there is much more to fatherhood than being fun, nice, or a good time Charlie. Personally, I believe that the government’s fatherhood campaign highlights a real misperception: fatherhood is not a call to glory, but something soft, unchallenging, that doesn’t demand the courage of a warrior’s heart. In other words, campaigns, programs, and initiatives that tell dads how to be fun, nice, and involved miss the mark because they don’t answer the fundamental cry of the warrior’s heart; the desire for true mission. They don’t validate the greatness, the battle, and the necessity of the fatherly mission.
Our age needs the example of the warrior-father who carves the path through the thicket of this world and its false promises and allurements, to ensure that his wife and children–his friends and other families–arrive safely to heaven before being captivated and enslaved by the devil.
To impact, transform, and convert the culture to Christ–and His Gospel of hope– our age needs St. Joseph and his version of fatherhood. His version of fatherly glory will never be mentioned on the National Responsible Fatherhood Clearing House website because it runs contrary to our society and flies in the face of radical feminism, political correctness, and the world’s version of “family.”
St. Joseph’s fatherhood consists of seven signs that contradict the modern definition of dad:
1) A husband’s headship
2) Patriarchal authority
3) Chaste love
4) Living symbol of God the Father
5) Silence and the Interior Life
6) The power of the domestic priest, provider and protector
7) The fatherly vocation as path to glory
Do any of these attributes cause consternation in your heart? Do any of the characteristics just mentioned instill an ill-ease that makes you uncomfortable? If they do, it is because our culture has conditioned us to see these things as the enemy of political correctness and diversity; rather than seeing them for what they truly are: the attributes of the warrior-father who is called to do battle with the devil, overcome evil and make sure that his wife and children have eternal life in Jesus Christ.
As we prepare for the Solemnity of St. Joseph, let us ask him to obtain for us the grace to become like him: a father-warrior who will sacrifice his self-importance and vain ambitions in order to save souls.