So without good examples, and without a clear teaching from our pastors, what is the modern family to do. Having devoured Dr. Dilsaver's book, The Three Marks of Manhood, while striving to live proper patriarchal leadership in the home I felt I needed to flesh things out, while at the same time hopefully helping others on their journey. My hope is to remain ever practical in relating movement towards a truly authentic Christian male leadership in the home and culture.
Dilsaver links the father's leadership to the roles of Priest, Prophet, and King. These are offices that are bestowed upon the husband at the moment he unites sacramentally with his spouse. They are also roles that are part of the baptismal calling for every Christian. As a husband and father, these offices find their ultimate living out. These are not optional. They are God-given responsibilities...and the grace to live them out are also given in the Sacrament of Matrimony. I can't emphasize it enough, they are not optional. If a man fails to live up to this calling, he is failing no only himself, but his wife and children, and ultimately the entire society. Each man must wield the Cross, the Crozier, and the Scepter, no matter how inadequate he feels, no matter how much training he lacks, no matter what lies in his past. This is non-negotiable.
Let me put it this way. The Pope is elected by the College of Cardinals. It does not matter if he feels he is not holy enough for the office...he has been chosen, and that is that. He must lead, and the Church must follow. He receives the gift of infallibility in the teaching of doctrine, as outlined by the Magisterium. Let us also think about our own pastors. They may be sinful men, but they still are able to confect the Eucharist, in spite of their lack of holiness. They have been changed forever by the Sacrament of Holy Orders, but that doesn't mean they are instantly holy. They must still chose to be conformed to Christ.
Fathers of families are in a way, ordained and blessed by God for their office of Priest, Prophet, and King. However, they must chose to live these offices and grow in imitation of the ultimate Priest, Prophet, and King - Christ Jesus. On this Father's day, let us men commit to live our calling. Let us commit follow Christ, to bear the burden of the Cross, of the Crozier, of the Scepter of leadership. St. Joseph, Pray for us.