Thursday, September 8, 2011
Step By Step
When they had gone, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream. "Get up," he said, "take the child and his mother and escape to Egypt. Stay there until I tell you, for Herod is going to search for the child to kill him."
My husband, Danny, and I are both step-parents, he to my son and daughter, and I to his two boys. When we got married, my son had already been out on his own for years and my daughter lived with us only briefly before she was off to college and married shortly thereafter. Danny's sons, however, were ages 11 and 13 when I took on the role of the hopefully not-so-wicked stepmother, and they lived, and still do, with us. Yes, I'll be the first to admit it - step-parenting is not for the faint of heart. Sometimes, it's a step by painful step journey. The eldest (now 19) and I didn't take but a few months to acclimate to on another and our relationship has grown in so many positive ways over the years. The younger (now 17), however, is a completely different story; he bucked me from the get-go on everything from getting up on time for school, to picking up his room, to doing his homework, to taking out the trash. We had our share of head-to-head and toe-to-toe until I finally realized I needed to let Danny do ALL the parenting here as mine was as ineffective as scissors trying to fell an oak. I had to remember, too, that neither boy chose me as a step-mom; I assumed the role and took my chances.
So, what does all this have to do with Joseph in today's scripture? For me, Joseph, Jesus' earthly father, was the paradigm and perfect step-parent. He was a righteous man and obedient to God in all things as is attested to by him always heeding, without question, the instructions given him by the angel of the Lord in his dreams. He was kind, patient, protective, loving, responsible, compassionate, and wise.
"Hold on a minute!" You say, "where in scripture does it describe Joseph's character?"
Nowhere. I can infer these personality traits in him based on one fact alone: God chose this man, out of all the men on in Israel, to be the step-father for His only Son. And, God never makes mistakes.
Are you having a rough ride in the step-parent rodeo today? Think of Joseph. Thank him for the example he set for our Lord and Savior. Pray to become more like him.
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