Thursday, March 19, 2009

Walking the Walk

Photobucket -Milk Man trick or treating with the kids...

A blogger I follow named Todd has a great post today, and he reminded my foggy brain that it is The Day of St. Joseph, one of my favorite saints. St. Joseph was a carpenter by trade, with a royal ancestry. I've said before that St. Joseph is the ideal husband because his actions encompass the meaning of true love as expressed by St. Paul in his letter to the Corinthians. ("Love is Patient, love is kind...")

Joseph loved Mary, Jesus' mother unconditionally. He cared for her and protected the child Jesus. His deep compassion and faith is reflected in his actions as a husband and father. His trust in God is exemplified very clearly twice: first, his choice to marry Mary, who is pregnant and then to stay in Egypt after the birth of Jesus to protect the child from Ceasar. In both instances, he relies on messages of angels in his dreams.

Clearly, St. Joseph the man is reflected in the character of the adult Christ. No one expected a simple, poor man living in obscure town was raising the Son of God. In his adult ministry, Jesus held a special compassion for the poor and lowly. No doubt his priorities were formed by Mary and Joseph who raised him to be humble. St. Joseph walked the walk, as they say.

In his blog post Todd talks about his disappointment in the growing number of fathers who do not honor their roles as parents and husbands. He mentions his own struggle to be a better father and husband, and to find balance between family time and work, (although it looks like he is too hard on himself). I know his feelings are shared by my own husband. The pressures of starting a new job and finishing a Doctoral degree has put a great strain on our family life, as it has required a tremendous amount of time and energy from my husband. Although the hard work is leading our family to a more secure situation financially, we have scrambled to keep our priorities straight. The draining pursuit of work has caused some suffering.

In spite of the stress of finding a balance, one of my husband's most endearing qualities is that he listens, he helps, and makes a visible effort to improve the situation. Even though he is over-scheduled, he will drop everything and drive an hour home to eat with his family when he has to return later. The first thing he did last night when he came home was clean the toys up in the den for me. It was such a relief to come downstairs and find the den clean. He tries to find balance, and he is aware of what is truly important. That's a good start toward "walking the walk" and becoming more like St. Joseph.

St. Joseph is the patron Saint of the dying, social justice, the universal church, fathers and carpenters. His feast day is today, March 19th.


Elizabeth Kathryn Gerold-Miller said...

We have the same problem here. Kevin works late every night. This week he had even more work because another process server was in the hospital with a burst gall bladder. He felt really badly that he was unable to come home to eat cake with us on my son's birthday and I let him stay up just so he could get a kiss goodnight from Daddy. I had a ticket waiting for him at the circus but he was also unable to come to that. He doesn't work Sundays and we truly relish those days. His overworking enables me to stay home so I don't have to juggle a paying job with the one at home. That would drive me insane! And he also picks up the living room, mows the lawn, and takes out the garbage. Sometimes he even does the dishes. All very much appreciated!

Milk Man said...

and the milk man got milk last night!

Elizabeth Kathryn Gerold-Miller said...

I should call Kevin the Cereal Man. He can't start his day without cereal, and he eats alot of it, so he usually winds up at King Kullen buying cereal, milk, and juice every morning. That is a real life saver for me!

jenX67 said...

How wonderful to edify your hubby this way. It takes courage to speak kindness in our crazy, mixed up world.

My husband is back in school, too. The first degree was not sufficient to support us. Ehhhh. He's working toward a CPA and is in class when he's not at work. We miss him so much.

Koala Bear Writer said...

Great thoughts. My hubby also struggles with wanting to provide for our daughter and I, while working at a job that is very stressful. It's tough for men these days, for sure. St. Joseph is a great example. :)

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