Men called to lead wives, children to holiness

Participants in the Men of Integrity conference in Spruce Grove were urged to get closer to each other and to God.

WCR PHOTO | RAMON GONZALEZ

Participants in the Men of Integrity conference in Spruce Grove were urged to get closer to each other and to God.

February 23, 2015
RAMON GONZALEZ
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

The way a married man becomes holy is by making his wife and his children holy, says American evangelist Dan DeMatte.

"We have this mission to help our wives and children be saved and enter the promised land of heaven," DeMatte told about 400 Catholic men Feb. 7. "In the process of doing that, we are raising saints."

DeMatte, 30, is a youth minister, speaker, evangelist, television personality and father of three from Columbus, Ohio, who challenges men to live a life of radical holiness – holiness that produces saints, not mediocre Catholic men.

He gave several talks on holiness to men and boys at Holy Trinity Catholic Church in Spruce Grove Feb. 6-7.

Father Stefano Penna, a professor at Edmonton's Newman Theological College, also spoke at the annual Men of Integrity conference organized by Catholic Family Ministries.

The husband, according to DeMatte, is the head of his wife just as Christ is the head of his Church. "As the Church is subordinate to Christ, the wife should be subordinate to the husband in everything. So the wife is challenged to be under the leadership of the husband."

The leadership of the husband, however, should be marked by love. Reading from St. Paul's letter to the Ephesians, DeMatte said, "Husbands, love your wives as Christ loved his Church."

The way in which we sanctify our wives is to lay our lives down in service to them, the evangelist observed. "We need to be of service to them, we have to listen to them and care for them."

Often wives are so busy with their daily tasks that they don't get time to dwell with the Lord in prayer.

"Making sure that our wives have time for prayer is critical and that might mean that we should take more responsibilities around the home," DeMatte observed. "We must ask them, 'Honey, did you pray today? Do you need to take half hour to go and spend some time with Scripture?'

"Make sacrifices so your wives have time for intimacy with the Lord."

FIGHTING THE EVIL ONE

DeMatte also recommended men to fast for their wives. "The evil one has such a stronghold on women in our culture that unless we are fasting and praying for them, their sanctification is going to be very difficult."

Dan DeMatte urged men to ensure there is not a hint of immorality in their homes.

WCR PHOTO | RAMON GONZALEZ

Dan DeMatte urged men to ensure there is not a hint of immorality in their homes.

The Ohio evangelist urged men to "make it a daily habit to pray the rosary for your kids and for your wives. Offer the decades of the rosary for the salvation of your family."

There is a group of men online who fast every Wednesday. "They offer the suffering of their fasting for the salvation of their wives."

When DeMatte was a senior in high school his dad left his mom.

"I watched my dad not really care so much for his faith and for my mom," he lamented. "I saw my dad's eyes drift and look at women when we were on the street and in the mall.

"I didn't want to be like my dad. I wanted to be a man who could show affection for his wife."

STUDENTS SHOULD FAST

He challenged high school students in the audience to fast on Wednesdays for their future spouses. "The salvation of our spouses will be won through our sacrifice and fasting is a great means of sacrifice."

While the Lord wants to give us full and abundant life, the evil one wants to destroy God's plan of happiness for our families. "So we as Christian men and leaders of households of God need to be on the defensive against the enemy," DeMatte warned.

The evil one, he said, enters our homes through the media, whether it is movies, television shows, music or video games.

"Let not even a hint of sexual immorality enter our homes. So if it is in your media, if it is in your children's music, destroy it. If it is on your iPads or on the shows that you are watching, destroy it."

He also urged men to make sure their daughters dress with modesty and dignity. "Leggings are not pants and mini-skirts are not clothing," he said. "Don't lose your fight. Defend their honour, defend their dignity. We need to defend our family against the lies of the devil."

CHILDREN'S FRIENDS

Fathers must also watch out for the friendships their children have. "Take an interest in the friends that your kids have. The single greatest influence on kids is their friends. If their friends walk in sin, they will walk in sin. So know their friends as well as you know your kids."

As head of their households, fathers must take leadership over dating at home. "Ask your daughters: I want you to invite me into this area of your life. I want to have a say in the man that you marry," DeMatte recommended.

"Go and ask your son: I want to have a say in the woman that you marry. This is our role. This is our field. This is why we exist as fathers, and it's been taken away from us because the culture says this is not our role. Let's take it; let's defend it."