Timeless truths for fathers
    June 13 2017 by Mark Smith

    The Lord gave Mary and Joseph the privilege to be the earthly parents of Jesus. Unfortunately, we have little information about this young couple, especially Joseph. However, the Bible does give us some insight into their lives just before Jesus was born.
    In Matthew 1:18-24, we learn three valuable principles from Joseph’s life. He was a man of integrity who loved the Lord and lived out his convictions. Here are three principles that guided Joseph’s life and should guide our lives, as well.

    Stand firm on God’s Word.

    The Bible refers to Joseph as a “husband faithful to the law” (Matthew 1:19a). When Joseph found out Mary was pregnant, it was reasonable for him to think that Mary had been with another man. He felt he could not go through with the marriage because he was not the father of the baby. This would violate his moral standards that were based on scripture.
    Joseph had every right to divorce Mary. In this situation, we see a man who stood firmly on God’s Word. He was a student of the Bible and was determined to live his life according to God’s standard. Joseph was a man who made his decisions based on the Word of God, no matter what the situation.

    Put others first.

    Although Joseph would have been justified to divorce Mary, the only question was how would he carry it out? Because of his love and kindness toward her, he did not want to put her through “public disgrace,” let alone have her put to death. Instead, he decided on another alternative. The Bible says Joseph “had in mind to divorce her quietly” (Matthew 1:19b).
    Here we see that Joseph was more concerned for Mary’s reputation. He had every right to expose her sin publicly and humiliate her in front of the whole town. However, his concern was not for himself. He decided to make the divorce a private matter with only two other people as witnesses. He did this because he wanted to protect his former “wife to be” as long as he could. In this passage, we see a man who put Mary first. Joseph was a man who put others before himself, no matter the situation.

    Be a man of action.

    As Joseph pondered what to do, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream explaining that Mary had conceived by the Holy Spirit and not to be afraid of taking her as his wife. When Joseph woke up from his dream, the Bible says that “he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him” (Matthew 1:24).
    Even when faced with an embarrassing situation, Joseph lived by God’s laws and made them the standard by which he lived. When God gave him a new assignment through a dream, hesitation was not in Joseph’s character as he acted on God’s command. He wanted to live a righteous life before God no matter what it cost. I can imagine he felt liberated by the angel’s announcement. Joseph was a doer of God’s Word.
    Be the man of integrity the Lord has designed you to be. Strive to obey God’s Word, live humbly and be the dad of action your children need to imitate.
    (EDITOR’S NOTE – Mark Smith serves as the senior consultant for the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina’s Faith at Home ministry. He can be reached at (800) 395-5102, ext. 5647, or msmith@ncbaptist.org.) 

    6/13/2017 1:28:15 PM by Mark Smith | with 0 comments

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