Family man. Seems like a simple title, and one, if you are a father or mother, that carries many conflicting responsibilities: I serve God by serving my family, but what is the best way of serving my family?
The pursuit of the means to provide food, shelter, and education can sometimes overwhelm us or make us cranky and tired whereby our family suffers emotionally; if I spend more time worrying about the emotional and spiritual aspects of my family am I neglecting opportunities to enhance their physical well-being?
These are over-simplifications I know, but you get the picture.
Laurentius was born poor, struggled as a day laborer, marrying late, in his thirties. He was a husband and father, not of means or status but was known for his honesty and humility.
A convert, he was arrested when he objected to the arrest of his spiritual father and when ordered to renounce his Faith, he refused and was then tortured and killed.
I'm not sure what became of his wife and daughter, but he represents to me that struggle we parents face in trying to live our Faith, no matter what the consequences. Was he wrong in not renouncing so as to continue being a husband and father? I cannot say. Do we benefit from his strong witness? I can say yes to that.
However we end up living our lives, we must be true to Christ first, trusting that God will take care of the rest.
“Therefore do not be afraid of them. Nothing is concealed that will not be revealed, nor secret that will not be known. What I say to you in the darkness, speak in the light; what you hear whispered, proclaim on the housetops. And do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul; rather, be afraid of the one who can destroy both soul and body in Gehenna. Are not two sparrows sold for a small coin? Yet not one of them falls to the ground without your Father’s knowledge. Even all the hairs of your head are counted. So do not be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows. Everyone who acknowledges me before others I will acknowledge before my heavenly Father. But whoever denies me before others, I will deny before my heavenly Father.
-- Matthew 10:26-33