Ecclesiastes 3:1 says, “There is a time for everything and a season for every activity under the heavens.” It is that time of my life, where my mother, grand-mother, aunt and all the far related (whom I haven’t met for 15 long years) are looking out for a “perfect spouse” for me. I often wonder what their idea of perfection is. Do they mean a perfect spouse is someone with a high qualified job? Is it someone who has good looks? Is it someone who has a fancy car, big house and all the material things of the world? Or is it someone who has all of these but no Jesus?
As I was pondering on what God really wants me to see in my future husband, Jesus brought to my mind his earthly father – Saint Joseph. The Bible says he was a just man, which means he was a simple and normal guy like the rest of the humanity, who lived a very ordinary life. He wasn’t rich and all he had was a small carpentry job that helped him bring food to the table and raise his family for Christ.
This humble man, often called as the silent worker, doesn’t stop fascinating me, not because he was a man of few words but a man of God. I am always taken aback at how this great mighty God of ours chose Joseph, out of all the abled rich men, to be a foster father to His own son. What does he really possess so much, that God allowed Saint Joseph to take over his place, on earth? I am just left with goosebumps, thinking about him!
As a Catholic woman who is pursuing for the vocation of marriage, I see so many traits in Saint Joseph that I would want to see in my future spouse. Firstly, he was man who obeyed God even when difficulties aroused. There are times when we don’t want to say yes to God and when the situations seem challenging, we choose to run away from it. In such trials, we need a man like Joseph, who would say, be it fair or stormy weather, we will cling to God alone and obey Him till the end of our lives.
Another trait that I completely adore about Saint Joseph is that he always clung to His wife. Though it wasn’t cool those days for a strong man to cling to a woman, Joseph led the way. He chose to be faithful to God and his spouse, over others. Even when he had to personally suffer for it, he clung to his wife where he enjoyed his relationship with her and loved her as if she was the most precious jewel (She definitely was!). If you look at his entire life, he never looked at another woman; he took up responsibilities, worked diligently, provided for his family, protected his wife, was faithful to her and made sure that she was comfortable and happy all her life. In short, Saint Joseph modelled the essential aspect of manhood. Ah! I’m already so much in love with him.
In today’s world, it may be too cool to have a fling at work while having a spouse back home, it may be cool to get drunk at a pub with colleagues than spending quality time with spouse, or it may be cool to show people that you aren’t married at all. In a world that has lost its sanctity, we can be lured to do everything the world has to offer but Saint Joseph teaches us that a true man obeys God, even when it’s not popular or accepted in the world. He teaches us that in marriage, the wife comes first and everything else is rest. This great saint definitely has something to say to the men of our day.
Another trait that left me in awe is how this exemplary man prioritized his vocation over career. Saint Joseph strived to excel in whatever he did; the same was with his work. As a carpenter everyone knew him and he was making decent business too but when it came to choose between job and family, he chose the latter. Without giving a second thought about his career, Joseph took both Jesus and Mary and ran to another city, for their safety. He had no clue how he was going to provide them in a new city, but one thing he was certain is that God was with them.
In the current scenario, many demand a lifestyle which requires a lot of extra-income. To fulfill this desire, we take up high-paying jobs where we slog in office late hours, or go different cities/abroad leaving families alone, do freelance from home, what not! But my question is do we really need it? Won’t we be able to live a happy life with a decent paying job? Should we really cut down on our precious family time to win the material things of the world? In my opinion, it is not worth it at all. As Saint Joseph, we need men who would love their precious family and sacrifice anything that comes between them and their family.
In an age given over to the selfish pursuit of illusory pleasure, Saint Joseph is undoubtedly the greatest model to men. This awesome saint is the patron of many wonderful things; he is the patron of the universal church, the patron of unborn children, the patron of fathers, the patron of workers, the patron of travelers, so on and so forth. But for us young women, he is also the patron of finding a good future spouse, patron of holy relationships, patron of successful marriages etc. As young women, if we desire to raise our family like the Holy family of Nazareth, it is so important to seek his intercession in our daily lives.
Well, I agree that in reality it may be highly impossible to find a future spouse as perfect as Saint Joseph but if we are blessed enough to find that one person, who is ready to emulate even some of his traits, then it is definitely worth waiting for him!