Summary: By studying the lives of Mary and Joseph we can learn how we can build a loving family.
How A Loving Parent Builds a Loving Family
We don’t have a lot of information on the home life of Jesus. From the Biblical account of the home of Jesus we know that his parents were loving and caring parents. From birth to 12 Jesus had both parents at home. Sometime between the age of 12 and 30 Joseph died and Mary became a widow.
We can assume that Jesus grew up in all the activities that surrounded a Jewish family of that day. We need to remember that during his life on earth Jesus lived as a human person with all the weaknesses, temptations and challenges all children, youth and adults face.
Jesus followed the trade of his father and became a carpenter and wood craftsman.
By studying the lives of Mary and Joseph we can learn how we can build a loving family.
I. Joseph and Mary honored the Lord
Both Joseph and Mary honored the Lord in their lives. As a teenager Mary lived a righteous life and was totally yielded to God’s will. When an angel of the Lord asked her to accept God’s mission for her life by being the mother of Jesus; she did not resist or say “no” to the Lord.
Joseph was also a man of honor. When he discovered that Mary was pregnant he was not willing to publicly humiliate her by making public her pre-marriage pregnancy. He was going to privately end their relationship and not follow through with the marriage.
An angel of the Lord told Joseph the rest of the story. That Mary was pregnant by the hand of God; Joseph trusted God by faith and received Mary as his wife.
At the birth of Jesus Joseph and Mary dedicated Jesus to the Lord. When he was 8 days old they took Jesus to the temple for a special ceremony of dedication and offered 2 doves for the sacrifice. Joseph’s job as a carpenter did not provide the income to purchase a bull or lamb for the occasion.
A loving parent is one who honors the Lord. What a privilege and honor it is to be a parent. I remember when Tim was born. I was a student as Asbury Seminary in Wilmore, KY. When I saw Tim for the first time I was overwhelmed with the gift of life. Tim was God’s gift to us.
As soon as we could we dedicated Tim to the Lord in the Wilmore Free Methodist Church. All four of our children have followed that same tradition by dedicating their children to the Lord in a special dedication service.
Years ago Henry Ward Beecher said, “When a child is born into the world, God draws His hand near His heart, lends something of Himself to the parent, and says, ‘Keep it till I come.’”
A loving parent gives his/her best to their children. As parents we all make mistakes and from time to time lack judgment. As a parent our goal is to build a moral fiber into our children. Just as we honor the Lord we want our children to honor the Lord.
We all know that we can’t force our children to be good. We all know that in time our children will do what they want to do whether we like it or not. Our goal is to help them want to do what is right. We want them to honor God in their lives.
We need to make sure we first of all have dedicated our own life to the Lord. Only then can we truly dedicate our children to the Lord.
We may lay down the law, but what is better is to let our children know we love them and appreciate them. Take time for your children and encourage them. Demonstrate love by setting boundaries according to their age. Boundaries are designed to protect their freedom. Show them the consequences that happen to people who disregard God’s Word.
Someone has said: “Law minus love equals rebellion. Love minus law equals insecurity. Love plus law equals insight and incentive.”
When our children were young I heard horror stories of kids of Pastors and Missionaries. Carollyn and I made an extra effort to make the Christian life and home a fun filled experience. We set clear guidelines and expectations. We let them know clearly what would happen if they didn’t obey. If they disobeyed they were the one choosing the consequences.
II. Joseph and Mary demonstrated love and care for Jesus
The parents of Jesus demonstrated love and care by protecting Him from the command given by Herod to kill all children 2 years old and younger.
After the wise-men visited Jesus in the home of Joseph and Mary in Bethlehem they were led by the Lord to not report back to Herod the location of Jesus.