A friend of mine was telling me about a conversation he was having with his seven year old grandson. His grandson was the product of divorced parents who had remarried and each had a child with their new spouse. My friend asked him is your dad picking you up and taking you home? To which his grandson replied, in a matter of fact tone, "I don't have a home". He further explained, "my mom has a home with her family and my dad has a home with his family, but I don't have a home". My friend said he could feel his heart come up to his throat and he tried to tell his grandson that his mom and dad really do love him, but he could tell his grandson was not completely assured by that statement. His grandson then looked at him and said, "the only place I feel at home is here with you and grandma, at your house". My friend told him "this will always be your home".
Too often when parents experience difficult times with their spouse, they get caught up in the blame game. They begin to see the other's faults and short comings and focus only on those things that impact them negatively. They truly believe they are doing the adult thing by fighting for their own rights, rather than doing what is right for the family as a whole. They become too locked into their fighting stance too see the damage they are inflicting on the innocent around them. Why? Because they want what's best for themselves, not what's best for all. They want to win. Like a ship on a long journey off course by just a few degrees, they are headed for disaster and not just to themselves, but all passengers on board. So, parents should check their bearings and adjust their focus just a few degrees down to see what precious cargo they are endangering with a lifetime example of hate, anger, malice or any other deadly weapon, their children. Kids have a way of expressing their true feelings, they will act out or lash out, they will express the confusion they experience in some way and their parents would be wise to heed their cries before permanent damage is done.
We have an earthly example to show us how we should strive to live as a family, the Holy Family. As a man, St. Joseph showed us that true masculinity in found not in feats of strength, but in the strength of trust and obedience to the Lord. Even when St. Joseph was ready to quietly divorce Mary (Matt 1:19-25), he trusted and accepted what was told to him by an angel of The Lord in his dream and was not willing to bring shame upon her. Even when he knew people would look at him as weak, he trusted and believed that God's will was far greater than his own pride. We see in scripture (Matt 2:13-15, 19-23) where Joseph was always obedient to God's voice and put the protection of his family above his own self interest. That is why St. Joseph is the patron saint of fathers and the Universal Church.
So put away your pride and throw your pain, shame, sorrow, anger, hurt at the foot of the cross. Let Jesus know that you are willing to trust him, patiently like good St. Joseph. Believe that He is waiting to transform your life, your relationships, your family. Call on the Holy Spirit to cleanse your heart and fill it with the love that God has for you, so that you may love each other, again, like God loves you. Submit and surrender your will to the Father, for His perfect will to be done in you. It won't be an easy task, but think about the voice of your child growing up in dual homes saying "I don't really have a home"! That won't be any easier!