Former Vice President Mike Pence may have suspended his presidential campaign, but that hasn’t quenched his desire to serve others. However, rather than turning to the political realm, Pence has turned his focus on marriages and families with his newly released book, Go Home for Dinner: Advice on How Faith Makes a Family and Family Makes a Life. The book, authored along with Pence’s daughter, Charlotte Pence Bond, focuses on the ways the former vice president and his wife, Karen, have prioritized their faith and family despite their many other obligations. Recalling how he responded to the question “Where do you see yourself in five years?” after ascending to the vice presidency, Pence recalled how he stressed “Home for dinner.”
Pence believes that that commitment to be home with his family every night, despite his busy political career, is the foundation of a faithful family. “When I think about the concern that tens of millions of Americans have for the future of this country, I want to encourage people, ‘Focus on your own, make your family a priority,'” he told The Christian Post. “I hold the view that faith makes a family, and family makes a life. And in these busy days, I hope they go home for dinner… We will strengthen America by strengthening families and faith.” Pence did note, however, that the idea of prioritizing family over profession is countercultural. “The truth is, our culture likes to tell young people that ‘you can have it all, you can have everything,’ and you actually can’t,” he said. “But I have come to believe since I put my faith in Jesus Christ as a young man and have been working ever since to make that walk with the Lord real in my life, that when we make God’s priorities our priorities, that He blesses us. I don’t mean in material ways; I mean in deeper and more meaningful ways in terms of richness in relationships and satisfaction in life.” His own adherence to prioritizing family has at times earned him criticism, such as when he revealed his adherence to what has been termed “The Billy Graham Rule.” Pence committed to never being alone with a woman in a situation that could appear compromising, earning criticism from some that this would limit women’s professional opportunities during his administration. “It was remarkable that we were being criticized for putting a premium on respecting our marriage and avoiding the appearance of impropriety and also creating conditions in the workplace that were respectful of the men and women that worked with us,” Pence recalled.
Pence has also been clear that the American family is essential to American prosperity and warned against declining marriage rates in the country. “In 1970, 67 percent of Americans ages 25 to 49 were living with their spouse and one or more children younger than 18. Over the past five decades, that share has dropped to 37 percent,” he told CBN, citing a Pew Research Center study. “The American family’s in freefall. People are putting off marriage, they’re putting off having children, and I really do believe that the strength of this country from its very founding has always come from our faith in God and from the strength of the American family.”