Former Vice President Mike Pence says in a new book that the best way to save America is to save the family, beginning in each person’s own home.
Pence’s new book, Go Home for Dinner: Advice on How Faith Makes a Family and Family Makes a Life (Simon & Schuster), recounts how he prioritized mealtimes and family time even after he was elected as a U.S. representative as governor of Indiana and ultimately as vice president of the United States. He wrote the book in collaboration with his daughter, Charlotte Pence Bond.
In one chapter, he explains how, as a representative, he often went home to enjoy dinner with his family in D.C. in between House votes. Other times, they ate dinner on the steps of the capitol building. In another part of the book, he describes a dilemma he faced as a representative when the new president -- George W. Bush -- was meeting members of Congress on the same night a young Charlotte had a violin recital. Pence went to the recital.
“Save your family. Save America. Go home for dinner,” Pence writes.
The book reveals the principles Pence followed in order to find the right work-family balance.
People “never regret the decision” of putting “their faith and their family first,” Pence told Christian Headlines.
“And at a time when we have so much division in our country when it seems like more Americans are more anxious about the future than ever before, we end this book with a simple admonition: If you wonder what you can do to save America -- [then] save your family, go home for dinner, strengthen the ties that bind the people that you cherish most,” he told Christian Headlines. “That's what every one of us can do to strengthen America.”
Charlotte Pence Bond said the “spirit” behind the book’s title is to “make an effort to be with your family.”
“And that's kind of a big theme throughout the book is making sure your family knows you want to be together,” she told Christian Headlines.
The book’s title, Pence said, was born when he was in Congress.
“Anytime anybody would ask me, ‘Where do you see yourself in five years?’ I'd answer it the same way. I'd say: ‘Home for dinner.’ … I don't have to be motivated to work hard. I don’t have to be motivated to want to be out making a difference in the world. But I do have to decide that I will put my family first.”
It is being released at a time when the “American family is in trouble,” Pence said.
“The truth is that people are putting off marriage, they're putting off having children, some people are just choosing not to be married at all,” he said. “And we know the divorce rate in this country is heartbreaking. And the truth is that it's been the faith in the families of this country that has always been the wellspring of our nation's strength.”
During his recent campaign for president, Pence said he often heard people ask, “What can I do other than vote, other than get behind someone who shares my values?” Pence quoted Ronald Reagan’s farewell address: “All great change in America begins at the dinner table.”
Contrary to what the world teaches, Pence added, “You really can’t” have it all in life -- “not without somebody paying the price.”
“When you make a decision to go home for dinner when you make a decision to give your family Sundays … it has to be intentional from your heart,” he said.
Pence emphasized that his beliefs are grounded in the Bible.
“If God didn't exist, it would make no sense to take time away from work. But the Bible actually tells us that He gives to His beloved even while they sleep,” he said. “I honestly believe that when we make His priorities, our priorities, God will open doors of opportunity.”
Photo Courtesy: ©Getty Images/Mark Wilson/Staff
Michael Foust has covered the intersection of faith and news for 20 years. His stories have appeared in Baptist Press, Christianity Today, The Christian Post, the Leaf-Chronicle, the Toronto Star and the Knoxville News-Sentinel.
The views and opinions expressed in this podcast are those of the speakers and do not necessarily reflect the views or positions of Salem Web Network and Salem Media Group.
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