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Woman's New Life Clinic

From Our Blog

A Reflection on Fatherhood

By Kevin Sprehe, Woman’s New Life Center Board Member

I frequently think of St. Joseph and the kind of man he really was. I like to imagine myself imitating him. I am blessed to have four beautiful children, the youngest just born this past April. I have learned that being a father requires wearing many different hats and also loving each of my children in their own unique way. My oldest daughter yearns to feel protected and to know that I love her. My boys crave all things manly (mainly playing super heroes, playing with Legos, and talking about Star Wars) and my fierce love and loyalty. But all of them have one thing in common and that is that they want a dad who loves them and is there for them. I know I am not a perfect father, and there are times that I get too angry with them over small things. I lose my patience with them because they do something like spill a cup of water, and I can’t get past the fact that it was an accident and really isn’t that big of a deal. If I would have the humility of St. Joseph I would realize in those moments that I make mistakes too.

St. Joseph embodies many virtues, but as a father I think the two that are most often needed are patience and humility. I was, and still am, blessed to have a father I look up to and see as one of my greatest role models. My dad taught me not just to be a man but, more specifically, to be a good man and to have the humility to see my faults and to be willing to make those changes necessary to be great. He would be the first to admit he isn’t perfect, but I can testify to the fact that he is a man who has changed his life and has had the humility to make the changes to be a better man. I firmly believe that it is humility that is foundation to being a great husband and father.

My dad also taught me about hard work. My daughter truly despises the fact that I have to work. Nearly every day before I leave for work she asks me how many more days until I get to stay home again. My answer rarely satisfies her. I explain to her, however, that I work and sacrifice because I love her, but I wish I could spend all day and every day with our family. It is my responsibility though, and God’s will, for me to work and support my family, and it is my duty to love and care for them in this way (See Genesis Ch. 2). St. Joseph surely understood this.

St. Joseph is a tangible person that anyone, especially men, can relate to. In a culture where death seems more prevalent than life and in a time when marriage and family life are constantly under attack, St. Joseph’s example is needed more than ever. I pray that I can have the humility and awareness to know when I need to step up and be a father more like St. Joseph. And, I hope that each man, whether he is a husband, father, brother or son, can reflect on those areas where he needs to make changes in his life and have the humility to make those changes to be a better man.

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