Matthew 1:19 – Because 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. (NIV)
Joseph must have been quite a compassionate man. In his days, a young woman who was found to be pregnant out of wedlock would have been ostracized by the community and ruined for life. Even before the angel visits Joseph, this old carpenter decides to settle things quietly. He doesn't want Mary to be publicly shamed; neither does he want the child to be alienated.
Any other man would have been outraged, but Joseph presents himself as a perfect gentleman. If Mary has been chosen by God to bear Jesus because of her obedience, then Joseph has been predestined to be her husband because of his dependability and moral strength. He is God's perfect choice because he will protect both mother and son in the early years of family life, when he is needed most.
Perhaps if more men adopted a Joseph attitude to their families and partners, marriages and homes would be a lot stronger today.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, thank You for the lesson of loyalty that Joseph presented when he accepted Mary and You into his life. Teach us the strengths from his character and help us to apply them in our own homes. In Your holy name, we pray. Amen.
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