Summary: Joseph loved his wife, didn’t expect a perfect child, and did all that he could for his family. Today’s dads may be able to gain some insight from Joseph.

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“Was Joseph A Good Dad?”

Matthew 1:18-25 (Matthew 2:13-23, Luke 2:41-52)

Father’s Day, June 15, 2003

Purpose: By taking a closer look at Jesus’ dad, today’s dads may be able to gain some insight on responsible fatherhood.

Introduction… Someone wrote these humorous word entitled, "The World According to

Dad." These are supposed to be words uttered by most fathers. Let’s see how familiar

these words may be.

- This is going to hurt me more than it hurts you.

- Quiet. I’m watching the game.

– Fill it up before you bring it back. Don’t forget to check the oil.

- Bring back ALL the change.

- How should I know? Ask your mother.

– Look, I’m not made out of money!

- When I was your age I walked 5 miles to and from school each day and it was uphill both ways,

and I never complained.

- You are going AND you will have fun!

- Who’s paying the bills around here, anyway?

- I was not asleep. I was just resting my eyes.

- If you break your leg don’t come running to me.

- Don’t put your feet on the furniture. Your mother will kill you.

- Get down before you kill yourself. On second thought…

- Quit playing with your food.

- Be quiet! Can’t you see I’m trying to think!

- Why? Because I said so!

- If you don’t quit that I’m going to call your mother.

- You better get that junk picked up before your mother comes in here.

- Just wait till you have kids of your own.

I suppose we who are fathers could probably add a couple of quotes to this list. The bottom line is that being a parent and a father can be an interesting and trying experience.

And although we have don’t have much Biblical material to work with, I believe that Joseph struggled with being “dad” as well.

In many ways, I feel for Joseph. He hasn’t faired to well in the eyes of history. While the mother Mary is lifted up as the one who sacrificed, Joseph is often regulated to a third-party status even in the Biblical accounts where we have only a few passages that tell is story.

But we can draw some conclusions… In a previous sermon, we looked at some of his personal characteristics. We know that from these verses in the first chapter of Matthew, that Joseph was a righteous, merciful, discrete, obedient and intelligent man, who followed God’s direction in the midst of other options.

And we know that Jesus of Nazareth came directly from his Joseph’s household. Jesus spent thirty years with his family before his ministry. And I have to believe that Jesus picked up his personality traits not only from His heavenly Father to whom he gives much of the credit, but also from his earthly father, who was there at least in those beginning years.

Luke 2:52, a passage we’ll get into more later, simply says that “Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men.” I believe that Joseph did much to make Jesus’ increase happen, and I believe that, by example, Joseph has much to show us fathers and parents, as he was a significant part of our Lord’s upbringing….Amen?

So, this morning lets look at Joseph and see how he was a good father.


First and foremost, Joseph loved his wife…

Ephesians 5:28 says, “So husbands ought also to love their own wives as their own bodies. He who loves his own wife loves himself.”

There is no doubt that children watch their parents…

If they see disrespect, statistics show that it will carry into the children’s marriage.

If they verbal, mental, or physical abuse, children will think that to be normal.

If there is little value given to wives and to the opposite spouse, children will use that

model in their future homes, families, and marriages.


If they visibly see love and respect, it will be modeled in their marriage and family.

If the father honors the mother (and vise versa), that is exactly what the children will look for in their marriage.

If the parents treat one another as valuable, as loved, then that will carry into the children’s lives as they grow older.

That familiar Proverb rings true, “Train up a child in the way they should go: and when they are old, they will not depart from it.” (22:6)

The earthly Jesus treated women with respect. Probably more respect than any other religious leader of his day...

He loved his mom. Even to the point of making sure that she would be cared for as he died on the cross.

He valued each and every person. Whether the theif on the cross or the solider or the blind or the sick...he saw value in each person.

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