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Modeling True Fatherhood

By Susan Ciancio

Recently, Republican congressman Sean Duffy from Wisconsin announced that he will resign from Congress to spend more time with his growing family. He told constituents and the press that his preborn baby, who is due in October, has a serious heart problem.  

This baby will soon join Duffy’s eight other children and wife. Citing his harried schedule as a congressman who lives away from his family four days a week, Duffy admits that he can no longer justify his absence.

Duffy stated: “With much prayer, I have decided that this is the right time for me to take a break from public service in order to be the support my wife, baby, and family need right now. . . . It is not an easy decision—because I truly love being your congressman—but it is the right decision for my family, which is my first love and responsibility.”

In today’s day and age, it is not only refreshing, but a beautiful tribute to his faith, to see a Catholic congressman live out that faith and put his family first. As it says in Ephesians 5:25, “Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ loved the church and handed himself over for her.”

Is not stepping down from a position you love for the sake of your family putting yourself in the person of Christ, who “handed Himself” over for us all?

Indeed, that is what being a good husband and father (or wife and mother) are all about. We hear and heed God’s call to raise our families, to teach them the truths of the faith, and to put them above all other earthly things.

It is evident by his actions that Duffy sees the immense value in his preborn baby, in his family, and in fatherhood. To him, his preborn child is not merely a “clump of cells.” His baby is his child—a child he will love unconditionally, sacrifice for, and cherish.

As Catholics, we know and understand that fatherhood is integral to the well-being of those not just in the family itself, but to those in the wider community and in our nation, as family is the foundation of society.

Let us all follow this extraordinary example and put our families first in everything we do. For as Proverbs says, “Train the young in the way they should go; even when old, they will not swerve from it.”

image: Gage Skidmore via Flickr | CC-2.0