The Unsung Hero of Christmas

December 20, 2009

Golf So here I am, sitting in peace and quiet… the skating rink. Okay. So it isn’t very peaceful or very quiet. But my kids are busy and happy – which counts for something, right? So with much thank to the Coeur d’Alene Fire Department for their sponsorship of “get in free for 3 cans of food night”, I will take advantage of the opportunity to write out some thoughts.

The thing that has intrigued me the most this Christmas in my time with God is this:  Out of the six times the angels brought messages to people in the Christmas story, three of them were to one person!  Have you ever caught that? Do you know who it was?

I’ve polled some people this week, and I usually hear the same answer: Mary. Makes sense. After all, isn’t she the most central character to the Christmas story – next to Jesus Himself?

But it wasn’t Mary at all. It was Joseph.

Nativity Joseph? Who is he? Isn’t he just the guy who got to be in the Christmas story because he was engaged to Mary?

Well, actually, he was pretty central to the whole story. The Scripture says specifically that Mary was chosen…that she was highly favored. Nothing specific like that is said of Joseph. But let’s be real here, mommas. You and I both know (if you’re married like me), that the character of our husbands- and his relationship and walk with God- are central to the strength and direction of our families. When the head of the house isn’t on board, there are great set-backs and obstacles. Are there not?

Think back to the time period Mary lived in. We don’t really know if she and Joseph fell in love, or if their marriage had been arranged since birth, or if Joseph bought her with some cows. Lots of movies have been made and stories have been told, but the Bible doesn’t say. We do know that in that time, however, that the man being in charge wasn’t just an idea or something the highly religious held too. It was the culture. Period. There would be a lot in Mary’s culture that she would have little to no say over. She would not make the bulk of the decisions. She would not decide who went where when or when the family would relocate.

Now, the husband being the head of the house (under Christ) has always been God’s plan. It is a good plan. So can you see how critical it was for Mary to have a good man? How critical it was for the Christ child to grow up in a home that was led wisely?

Joseph was a man of Honor. We know this for at least two clear reasons:

  1. When Joseph was afraid that Mary had been unfaithful, he had every excuse to divorce her. But he wanted to do it quietly and privately. He didn’t want to make an example of Mary…to embarrass or humiliate her. Even though, in his culture, it was equally embarrassing for the man to be cheated on.
  2. When Joseph took Mary home as his wife, he didn’t have any sexual relations with her until after Jesus was born. His integrity and self –control puts the stamp of safety on our belief that Jesus was born of a virgin. He restrained himself because He was a man of honor.

Joseph listened to God – and he didn’t just listen, he obeyed…and he didn’t just obey, he obeyed immediately. We see this in his responses to the messages the angels brought.

  1. When the angel told him to go ahead and take Mary as his wife, he got up in the morning and did it.
  2. When an angel came and warned him in a dream to escape the Egypt with Mary and Jesus, he got up right then – in the middle of the night – and ran with his family.
  3. When an angel came again to tell him it was safe to go back to Israel, he again obeyed right away.

I don't know what kind of husband Mary was hoping for when she was a little girl. I remember actually Joseph having a notebook where I wrote down the "requirements" for my future husband. Sadly, most of my requirements revolved around beliefs I would require him to have in order for me to marry him. Of course those beliefs would completely line up with mine.

Fourteen years into marriage, I'm understanding the value of desiring a husband who listens to God and does what God asks instead of listening to me and doing everything my way. Brilliant!

I'm so blessed to have a man like that – a man that listens to God and will do whatever He asks, no matter the risk, no matter the cost. He doesn't always know what to do. He doesn't always have all the answers – or a plan (he doesn't like plans at all for that matter). But he does listen to and obey God.

I hope you are blessed with a man like that. If so, I hope you realize what a treasure he is. If you have forgotten, consider spending some time thanking God for him today. Don't forget to tell your husband that you value that part of him, too. He needs to hear that.

If you aren't blessed with a man that listens to and obeys God, I hope you are praying for that. It is so easy to get focused on the peripheral things like jobs and how much time they spend with the family. Those are great things to want and to pray for, but they aren't the critical thing.

If you aren't married, I pray that the biggest thing you will look for in a possible husband is that he listens to and obeys God – for that is the proof of love.

Angela Gifford, Those With Young

If you enjoyed this post, and would like to read more about the angels were involvement in the Christmas story, come visit us at Those With Young.

The Unsung Hero of Christmas appeared first on Mom4Life Blog.

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