“There is only one adventurer in the world…the father of a family. Everything in the modern world…is organized against that fool, that imprudent, daring fool…against the unruly, audacious man who is daring enough to have a wife and family, against the man who dares to found a family. Everything is against him” (Brave New Family, G. K. Chesterton).
Divorce is a scourge in our society, no doubt and disposable marriages seem to be the norm. But the typical image of a womanizing man abandoning his wife and family isn’t that typical anymore. I know many men who admit they were not perfect husbands during their marriages, and yet, speak with great sadness about all they did to try to save their relationships with their wives and keep their families together. If you are one of those men, I want to talk to you for a minute and give you some encouragement.
We’ve all heard it said that ”behind every great man is a great woman.” But you might be a man who fought for your marriage and ended up divorced anyway, making it even easier to feel like that imprudent, daring fool Chesterton speaks of in his book. But taking the “risk” in founding a family is still a great thing to do and despite the loss of your marriage, you still have a great woman right behind you, Our Blessed Mother. She can be your strength and support when your wife is no longer there.
Mary’s Example of Single Parenting
Single parenting is never an easy task. I know a lot of men out there who struggle mightily to provide for their kids, even when the kids forsake them because of anger over the divorce. These are the dads who move heaven and earth at work to be able to provide some stability for their children. They are the dads who, despite the shock and disillusionment their kids face, never allow negative words about their ex-wives enter into their parent-child conversations. These are the dads who really don’t understand teenage girls’ hormones, but do their best to guide their daughters in the absence of their mothers. These are the dads who, despite the stigma of their failed marriages still show their sons how to be real men. These are the dads who put the needs of their children first in the best way they knew how. They did their best to be an unfailing example of trust and reassurance. And Mary is behind them all the way.
The virtues Mary possesses and the perfection in human qualities she displays are all worthy of any woman’s imitation and all of us ladies should place her as the best example of being a wife and mother. But she’s not just here for women. She is a beacon of light, hope and a great source of comfort and strength for men who have experienced divorce. She is always there for you, obtaining graces for you, encouraging you, and leading you toward her Divine Son.
Mary was present with the Apostles in the upper room on Pentecost when the Holy Spirit descended and it was Mary that encouraged the apostles to venture outside of the room with boldness. She does the same for you.
I encourage you to take some time to reflect on your relationship with Our Blessed Mother and invite her to a play a more intimate role as you forge your new future. Allow her to be the great woman that provides you with the inspiration and guidance you need to continue your life’s great adventure.