Matthew 1:20-21 (NKJV)
“But while he thought about these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take to you Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.”
Have you ever been in a relationship when the conversation turned to the subject of having children or starting a family? What if the person you are becoming involved with already has children? How about if there was no conversation and one day there was a complete surprise?
No matter what form the conversation concerning children comes in, it can have serious consequences on the future. In the end what most people find out is that no matter how much preparation or planning there is that you never really seem to cover every eventuality. Each relationship, every family situation, and especially each child is different. This is why parenthood is so frustrating because there are no absolutes.
For those of you who are parents, can you remember if there was a conversation about having children or was it just expected to happen sometime? Even if you are not a parent you may be able to answer the question because of someone like a friend or family member. I know that I have heard and have been part of the discussion of all of the above that included the arguments for and against bringing another child into this world.
Even though children are a blessing it is still human nature to let our selfish desires affect the decision. There are people who are dead set against any additional family members because they do not want them or it will mean they lose many of the freedoms they enjoy. In today’s modern society the latter seems to be coming more of a consideration especially if you are a very social person.
If either of the people in a relationship already have children, then that person is usually already familiar with this loss of personal time and the other person soon finds out. You are just trying to spend some quality time together and you get the interruptions during a quiet moment or a phone call from the babysitter. You quickly learn the commitment it is going to take to keep the relationship going.
In both of these scenarios most of what we are discussing is known so it is easier to deal with. When the arrival of a child is unexpected it can change the conversation drastically. Whether a couple has been married for years or only have one date, many may not be prepared at all for the news. Sadly, some men choose to walk away instead of embracing that chance to be a father.
However, this is not new. Throughout the centuries men have had to decide what type of man they wanted to be. Will they do the right thing by stepping forward to take responsibility or run. Staying together as a family is usually better so the children have both parents to be there for them. Sometimes staying together is not an option, but everyone can still be there for their children in some fashion even if they have to be separated by distance.
Now, what if the woman you truly love and want to be with tells you she is pregnant, but the child is not yours? If you are not married you can walk away. Many people may think that it would make the decision easier, but in some cases it definitely does not. Even though it is not viewed the same way, it actually is not much different than entering a relationship where there is a child already present.
Today we hear stories or see movies where the man steps forward to be there for the woman he loves. In a sense, this is a similar to the story of Joseph and the birth of Christ. At that time in the Bible men and women remained faithful to each other during the engagement. So, even though Joseph loved Mary he was devastated by the news that she was pregnant. It did not matter if the child was the Son of God he was going to quietly break off the relationship.
Based on tradition Joseph was well within his right to walk away, but God would not let that happen. God knew what would happen if Mary had to be a single mom in that society. I would not have mattered if her child was the Son of God she would have been treated like an outcast. God asked Joseph to step up and be the earthly father that Jesus would need, and he did. Talk about pressure.
Joseph helped Mary through the difficult journey to Bethlehem, found them shelter, and then rejoiced at the birth of Jesus. However, in Matthew 2:13 we find that the celebration would not last. Now when they had departed, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream, saying, “Arise, take the young Child and His mother, flee to Egypt, and stay there until I bring you word; for Herod will seek the young Child to destroy Him.”
Joseph stepped forward again to protect the child and his mother from harm till it was safe to return back to Israel. Matthew 2:20, “Arise, take the young Child and His mother, and go to the land of Israel, for those who sought the young Child’s life are dead.” Many of us may do whatever it takes to protect our own children, but how many of us would go this far to protect ones that are not ours?
In the end, Joseph chose to be the father God called him to be just like He is calling us. To be a protector, a provider, and a loving example. So, no matter where you are, God wants us to not only be there as best as you can for our children, but also be there for all children we are called to protect, provide for, or be that example. Now please enjoy, “A Letter to the Father.”
A LETTER TO THE FATHER
Father, the woman I was to marry had a secret she did share,
Although she was still a virgin a child she was to bear.
Even though she said it was your Son I did not like the news,
At first wanted to break the engagement and thought I should refuse,
An angel appeared to me in a dream and put my heart at ease,
I should not be afraid to marry her, to do so, you this would please.
He was the one that was being sent to save the people from their sins,
And we were to name Him Jesus, but this only how the story begins.
Because we had to travel to Bethlehem before your Son was born,
Even though the journey was difficult we arrived there safe but surely worn.
We found no place to lay our heads and the Messiah was born in a manger,
Soon Wisemen came bearing gifts with praises from shepherds and strangers.
The celebration would not last fore in the night there came a warning,
There was danger from the king so we would have to flee before morning.
We are honored you gave the hope of the world to me and my wife,
I will go wherever you send me and protect Him with my life.
Simple Faith Christian