Summary: It is easy for us to break a good relationship but very tough to build it up. How do you handle your relationships? We are good to see the key to sustain healthy relationships based on the story of Joseph, the father of Jesus.
Secret to Healthy Relationships
Scripture: Matthew 1:18-25
Introduction: Man is a social being, that is why relationships are very important to us. We share relationships with our parents, spouse, children, relatives, church members, colleagues, friends, and neighbours. Every relation has its own levels of respect, communication, and intimacy. God wants us to share healthy relationships with people in our contact.
1 Corinthians 14:33b God has called us to live in peace.
Romans 12:18 18If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.
It is easy for us to break a good relationship but very tough to build it up. How do you handle your relationships?
Subject: Secret to Healthy Relationships
Scripture: Matthew 1:18-25
This morning we are good to see the key to sustain healthy relationships based on the story of Joseph, the father of Jesus.
People hardly talk Joseph the father of Jesus. People talk about Mary, the wise men, the shepherds, angels etc. But Joseph is the silent man of Christmas. If you look deep into the life of Joseph you can get some keys in sustaining healthy relationships.
Let us read the story.
Matthew 1:18 18This is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph.
Joseph and Mary’s parents come with the proposal.
• They like each other.
• Joseph and Mary got engaged.
• As per tradition Joseph working hard to earn a steady income.
• Once well established he will marry and bring Mary home.
• Now, this young man and woman is in love.
• He is committed to her.
• Joseph believed Mary also loved him.
See what happens: Matthew 1:18b but before they came together, she was found to be with child through the Holy Spirit.
• This news shocked Joseph.
• He his heart was broken and betrayed.
• He felt Mary betrayed him.
How would you react?
• When you feel betrayed by your loved one?
• When your friend cheats you?
• When your colleague back bites you?
• When someone misuses your freedom?
We have all gone through such situations in life and betrayal usually comes form a close friend or a close person in a relationship. See what David said:
Psalm 55:12 12 If an enemy were insulting me, I could endure it;
if a foe were raising himself against me, I could hide from him.
13 But it is you, a man like myself, my companion, my close friend,
14 with whom I once enjoyed sweet fellowship as we walked with the throng at the house of God.
David felt betrayed by his friend. Joseph felt betrayed by his fiancée, Mary.
Human response to betrayal
1. Tell it to everyone.
When we feel betrayed we tend to tell it to every one in the town. We tell our story to the maximum number of people possible. This was the first option for Joseph also. If Joseph could just tell it in the society and come up with a divorce certificate Mary would be stoned to death as per the Old Testament law. He could have been easily out of this mess and married another woman.
2. Keep quite about it.
Some people keep quite when others betray you. Keeping quite is good as it does not publicize one’s mistake but it does not do anything to build up the broken relationship. Many in this place have gone through betrayal and broken relationships in the past and you have kept quite about it. It is good in one way; you do not spread malice or slander. Maybe you have kept a distance from that person now. But this leave you with a great wound in your heart as you feel betrayed always. Joseph could easily have kept quite about the matter and let Mary deliver the child in her mother’s house. There was nothing for him to lose. When the child would be born she would be stoned to death as the child was born without Joseph being married to her.
3. Confront Head-on
Some people the moment someone hurts them or betrays them just walks up to them and have a head-on confrontation with them. Understand when you do so you will be angry and you will later regret all what you have done and said when you are angry. You will cause more harm than good with such a behaviour.
See what Joseph did
Matthew 1:19 19Because Joseph her husband was a righteous man and did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly.
Joseph was merciful towards Mary. It is a response of solid character. Read v19
1. Be Merciful in your relationships.
Being merciful when someone hurts you is the best way to gain people’s confidence back. We respond usually the other way. We yell, shout, explode at people when they offend us. Joseph never did any of this.