Over the last twenty years there has been an emphasis on fathers and the art of fathering. Psychology has recognized that children, especially boys, without fathers in the household, can have learning problems and difficulty in social skills. The father of the household has a particular place and role towards his wife, and with his children. It is not simply a matter of having another adult around.
Just as the mother nurtures and nourishes the home, the father is the protector, guide, and the bestow-er of life. The roles of the mother and the father should compliment each other. When we talk about the strength of the father we are not simply describing brute force our physical discipline. Rather we are describing an inward strength and courage which provides a foundation for his wife and children.
St. Joseph seems to have always been in the background in the stories of scripture. Yet we are told that St. Joseph, being an upright man, makes a moral decision to divorce Mary quietly; so as not to expose her to shame. And again Joseph takes his family to Egypt, away from danger, protecting and providing for mother and child.
As we are involved with Marriage Building these last few months, the role of being a good father is emphasized and supported. The place of a father in the home is for a lifetime. St. Joseph is looked upon as the model of fatherhood for all Christian fathers. He hears the voice of God and faithfully does the will of the Father in heaven. As a source of faith and strength, Joseph completes the picture of what becomes a Holy Family.