The life lessons from Jesus’ earthly father will inspire you to be the kind of dad you want to be.
Do you know anyone about to become a new father? If so, this is a wonderful time to remind him of the many blessings he can find through following St. Joseph’s example. For those who are already dads, these 10 lessons from St. Joseph are also a great reminder.
1Trust that this is God's will for your life
Follow St. Joseph’s example and just trust! You are meant to be a wonderful father.
2Take on the great challenge
In the years preceding marriage and family, men are often drawn to activities that involve some element of risk-taking, challenge, and adventure, whether it’s fast cars, white water rafting, sports, or climbing the ranks at work. You need to be safer and more mindful about the risks you take now: but make no mistake: the adrenaline rushes of your youth have got nothing on fatherhood. And fatherhood is the greatest adventure of all. Every time in your youth that you dreamed of being the war hero, the super hero, the explorer, or the trail blazer: you finally have that ultimate chance and you were made for it. Welcome to fatherhood.
3Dream about your new family-to-be
You’re living the dream. You have a child on the way: a dream-come-true. As you dream about the kind of life you want to give your family, the ways you’ll bond with your child, remember that St. Joseph prayed even while he dreamed. So ask St. Joseph to help you make the dreams you hold for your children come true. Good fathers, that is to say, good St. Joseph figures, dream wisely for their children.
4Be a leader for your family
Your family (no matter how strong your wife and kids might be) will be looking to you for a servant-strength like Joseph had: a head of household who lives to serve them, leading by an example they respect.
5Even if it's meager, give fruits of your labor back to God
You might understandably be worried about money these days. Even if it’s meager, tithe something to charity, give something to the poor. It’s a way of saying that God will always come first. St. Joseph was poor, but he still gave those two doves at the Presentation!
6Protect your wife and child
Every woman (no matter how strong) wants a hero and kids sure want their dads to be a hero, too. Just as Joseph saved the life of his family, guiding them to Egypt you must always remember you are your family’s foremost protector.
7Work hard to support your family
St. Joseph is the Patron Saint of Work. He worked so hard as a carpenter. Pray to him; he will never turn his back on you and he will help you provide.
8Teach your children the value of hard work, faith and love
Think of what a great role model St. Joseph must have been and emulate his example.
9Keep the family together in love
A wise priest once told me that the one deprivation God did not allow his Son to endure was a dysfunctional family. Jesus knew poverty, he knew pain and suffering, but he had the best family: Mary was the loveliest of mothers and St. Joseph was the most steadfast of fathers. That’s a great reminder: a child who will grow up to do great things needs a foundation of great love, great faith, great commitment. You can guarantee our child has that, by being the kind of man who keeps your family together and like a good soldier, never abandons your post!
10Be as gentle and kind as you are strong and brave
The symbol of St. Joseph, a strong carpenter who guided his family on foot from Bethlehem to Egypt, is a fleur-de-lys, a type of lily. The strongest man besides Christ has a lily as his symbol, as he guarded the Virgin and her child with gentleness even as he protected them powerfully. Let the symbol of this brave carpenter be your guide.
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