Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Joseph, Husband with Backbone


In this world of diminishing husbands, Joseph exemplified a man with backbone.

Rest on the Flight into Egypt”
by Arnold Houbraken, 1660-1719, Dutch
 
The Christmas Story renders some great lessons, not the least is the example of Joseph. You remember, Joseph served Mary as patriarch, partner, provider, protector, and priest. All, good qualities for a husband. Ask any woman.... In this world of diminishing husbands, Joseph exemplified a man with a backbone.

Right off, Joseph was faced with a serious dilemma; his fiancée was pregnant with child (Matt. 1:19). Two horrible choices confronted him. He could expose her to public disgrace and death by stoning to meet the standards of religious regulation. Or he could divorce her quietly and put her away.

Mary's goodness stopped Joseph in his tracks. In reality, his heart was broken; his most beautiful and virtuous fiancée was with child. The situation was beyond his belief, beyond his understanding, but not beyond the deep anguish and torment of his crushed heart.

That's when the angel showed up!

(Matt. 1:20-21). Have you ever experienced a spiritual dream more real than life? Angel Gabriel presented Joseph a third choice not thought of. And this choice is supported as God's word hundreds of years earlier (700 BC) through the Prophet Isaiah.

Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel”(Is 7:14 NKJV/Matt 1:22-23).

This solution was more practical. Joseph took Mary home as his wife (Matt. 1:24-25). Would this divine solution not solve many broken and dysfunctional relationships in today's society?

Joseph protected and cared for Mary on the long eighty-mile foot journey to Bethlehem, a trip imposed by governmental regulation. He protected her from Herod's horrific slaughter of the babies in Bethlehem. He protected her on the long desert exodus and exile into Egypt.

Always Keys for Marriage!

Over some forty years as a husband in one marriage, I have learned a few “Always Keys” to relationship in marriage. I see these reflected in Joseph's life and the lives of godly men. I advise young women to seek a godly husband.

To Husbands.
Key: tender love. “Try a little tenderness.” Always.
Key: interested communication. When your wife or offspring speaks, stop whatever you're doing, and listen.
Key: sensitive to needs. Your antenna should always be up like “My Favorite Martian.”
Key: washing of the Word. Yes, bathe your wife daily in prayer and the Word.

Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, 26 that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, 27 that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish. 28 So husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies; he who loves his wife loves himself (Eph 5:25-28 NKJV).

Key: family prayer. Bless and pray with your children each evening. Always be ready to minister to your family in prayer.
Key: unconditional forgiveness. First forgive, it matters little who's at fault.
Key: yield to each other consistently. “Yes, dear.”
Key: financial stewardship--balanced, strong, stable, sharing, tithing, and generous.
Key: secret weapon, respect. Each person needs the freedom of self-sovereignty, to follow God's call on their daily lives.
Key: God-Husband-Wife. “And a threefold cord is not quickly broken” (Ecc 4:12 NKJV).

Live joyfully with the wife whom you love all the days of your vain life which He has given you under the sun, all your days of vanity; for that is your portion in life, and in the labor which you perform under the sun (Ecc. 9:9 NKJV).

Merry Christmas Blessings!
   Bill Hunt

The Lord bless you and keep you;
The Lord make his face shine upon you,
And be gracious to you;
The Lord lift his countenance upon you,
And give you peace” (Num 6:24-26).

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5 comments:

Lori said...

I love your post titles, Bill. You always make them sound like headlines, which they are! You are so right on. If more husbands had your attitude, there would much less divorce and much happier wives! Bless you and Merry Christmas! Lori

BILL said...

Thank you, Lori.
I want so much for people to realize marriages don't have to end in divorce. Most can be healed by looking into the face of Christ.
Merry Christmas....

stephen porter said...

Those are all very good points about marriage, Bill. Thanks for posting.

Manifest Blog

Anonymous said...

HI BILL,
I WOULD LIKE TO WISH YOU MERRY CHRISTMAS and A HAPPY NEW YEAR WITH ALL YOUR BELOVED ONES, BILL.
HAVE A WONDERFUL TIME!!
GOD MAY BLESS YOU ALL!!
ALL THE BEST,
POET STARRY DAWN.

BILL said...

STEPHEN, STARRY,

Thank you so much. Blessed Christmas, and thank you for your wonderful blogs. Apples in settings of silver!

In Jesus,
Bill