The Christmas Story is all about Jesus, His birth, God’s redemption plan…His mercy. I just watched a Kyle Idleman video study about the shepherds and I got all emotional thinking of how God has redeemed and restored my heart…my soul…my life. This is what Christmas is for me. Remembering how God came to a very broken woman and put a new song in her heart. Thanking Him for His redemption plan for my life. However, through all of that, I have noticed another little story woven through the amazing Christmas Story. A story of marriage. We are given an example of a Godly union between husband and wife. Here are 3 Incredible Truths About Marriage From Mary and Joseph.
When we think of Mary and Joseph, we probably don’t think about their marriage – or if we do, it is just a quick glimpse – like knowing they were engaged to be married. We then we move on to the important focus of the Story – Jesus. And so we should. Yet, I’d like to take a closer look at the marriage of Mary and Joseph today. There are a few truths that popped out to me…and encouraged my heart. I hope they will do the same for you.
Joseph Was Important
Joseph and Mary were engaged, they hadn’t had the actual marriage ceremony yet. Nevertheless, the engagement was just as serious as marriage back then. If a man desired to break off an engagement, he had to divorce his fiance. In today’s culture, we tend to see an engagement as not so serious and we can still end the relationship without any consequence. But not in Mary and Joseph’s day. They were considered married except for intimacy and, as with all girls then, Mary still lived with her family. In some aspects, she was still under her father’s authority as she transitioned into marriage.
As the story goes, Mary is chosen to bear God’s Son and eventually, Joseph discovers Mary’s pregnancy. Joseph was broken-hearted, I am sure. I can only speculate how all of this transpired. But, needless to say, we can be sure that neither Joseph nor Mary’s folks were thrilled about the news. In fact, we know Joseph did not believe her. Therefore I think it is safe to assume that Mary’s parents would not have believed her unbelievable story either.
Joseph did not want her shamed because he loved her very much – he was considering divorcing her secretly. While he was planning what to do, an angel appeared to him in a dream and said this:
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. So all this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying: “Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,” which is translated, “God with us.
Joseph Was Chosen
God could have had the angel appear to Mary’s father since she was still at home and remained under his authority until the wedding day. But He chose to have the angel appear to Joseph. If Joseph was going to lead his family as God intended, then he was going to have to start leading before the actual wedding. This was his responsibility. Not the responsibility – or even business – of Mary’s parents.
God has given our husbands the responsibility to be leaders of our families. Often, extended family and friends interfere and get upset when a husband makes a decision that they don’t like. But that’s just too bad. The husband has this responsibility. He is the one who will have to answer to God for how he has lead his family. No one else.
Truth #1 ~ Husbands are to lead their families.
Joseph Stood By Mary
Because the angel appeared to Joseph – and it took something miraculous as that to convince Joseph of the unbelievable truth of Mary’s condition – I am wondering if Mary’s parents simply did not believe her. She shamed her family, she brought dishonor to her parents. That’s how it was back then. Maybe they didn’t even believe either of them when Joseph still took Mary as his wife. I wonder.
I mean, it is a crazy thing to believe! And because a pregnancy in this situation would cause more problems and gossip in that culture, I don’t think it is unreasonable to assume that the townsfolk shunned them.
Regardless, Joseph believed her. Joseph supported his betrothed. Even if no one else would.
Life brings many curveballs. We have to make decisions that don’t make others happy. Tough decisions. I’ve had to make several of my own choices. But every single time, my husband has stood beside me and supported me. When I was weak from the backlash and hurtful comments and actions of others, he was the one who was strong for me. When others betrayed me, he was remained loyal. While family and friends humiliated and demeaned me, he protected me. And whilst family members sought to destroy my reputation, he defended me. He never left my side. When all others turned against me, he wrapped his arms around me and kept me safe. Just like Joseph probably did with Mary. Because he loved her as his Son would love the church.
Truth #2 ~ Husbands are to stand by their wives…even when no one else does.
Joseph Lived For God’s Approval
I can just imagine the backlash Joseph received for taking Mary. The gossip. The ridicule. They were the shame of Mary’s family. Mary’s parents and family probably didn’t understand. The townsfolk certainly didn’t get it. The spiteful and cruel looks they likely got from people would have made living there unbearable. Perhaps Joseph’s work suffered from this whole state of affairs.
Nevertheless, there certainly would have been some sort of negative repercussions for what was going on. However, Joseph remained confident in what God had instructed him to do. He chose to live for God’s approval and not man’s. It was risky, of course. But he did it anyway.
Our husbands are under a lot of pressure to conform to man, to worldly expectations. It isn’t always easy to live a life that is pleasing to God. To lead a family in the will of God instead of what everyone else wants can be extremely challenging. But Joseph’s example shows us the importance of living for God’s approval. Every day.
Truth #3 ~ Husbands are to live for God’s approval, not man’s.
Ladies, our husbands have a lot of pressure with their huge responsibility in leading our families. We must cover them in prayer daily. Letting them know how much we appreciate them goes a long way. For Christmas, I gave my husband this “100 Reasons Why I Love You” book. He LOVED it! I also have love notes for your hubby – only $3. Check out my shopping page for all of my products or click the button below to purchase. PS – use code ‘lovenotes’ for 50% off this product! Expires January 31, 2017.
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