Joseph was obviously a tender hearted man, the way the gospel says it, “Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make her a publick example, was minded to put her away privily.” (Matthew 1:19).
He found himself in a sticky situation, that was surely an unexpected wrinkle in his hopes and plans with Mary’s betrothal. His desire to show kindness to someone he very much cared for, while not wanting to go forward with a marriage that would seem to undermine his wish to live obedient to God’s law left him in an unenviable position.
His heart was open to hear from God, and he found all his fears put to rest.
Is such tenderness considered a weakness today? Are our views of right and wrong, expectations and personal rights causing us to cast away tender feelings for others?
What Might You Have Done?
In Joseph’s place, would you have laid aside your doubts, disappointment, and taken up the obligations of care for a new mother and newborn? Could you see yourself laying aside your own plans in this way?
I wonder if every Christian believer does not in some way share this experience with Joseph. Allowing God to replace some or all of one’s own ideas about the future. Letting God into the picture in ways that could completely change our path and direction in life.
Taking the responsibility of caring for others sometimes calls on our love and sacrifice in ways we hadn’t imagined. Joseph is a good example to ponder as we approach Christmas Day.
A Father’s Heart
Through Joseph we see
- The nature of a father
- That one does not need to be a biological father to fill this role
- An example of a just man
- The importance of father figures in families
Joseph Dearest, Joseph Mine
You are a father to us, who has lovingly adopted us.
We thank you for your examples of tender, caring fathers who have been a part of our lives. We thank you for this picture you have given us of Joseph, who was accepting, responsible, protective, and sought spiritual guidance before taking long lasting actions that would have impacted other lives.
Help us to be this cautious of the welfare of others, careful of other’s feelings, and tender in heart.
In Jesus name we ask you these things, amen.