JOSEPH: FATHER OF JAMES
Just before her death in the eighties one of America's best known faces Lucille Ball, was interviewed by Merv Griffin. He asked her a very insightful question, "Lucille, you've lived a long time on this earth and are a wise person. What's happened to our country? What's wrong with our children? Why are our families falling apart? What's missing?" Without any hesitation she replied, "Papas missing!" Lucille continued, "Things are falling apart because Papas gone. If Papa were here, he would fix it!"
Is that true? Listen to the world; they have taken note of it. Marion Levy in her societal critique has written, "For the first time in the history of humankind the overwhelming majority of little boys and little girls continued under the direct domination and supervision of ladies until they reached maturity. This has never happened before in history. Crusades, wars, migrations, pestilence - nothing for a people as a whole ever before took so large a percentage of young adult and older adult males out of the family context for so much of the waking time of the children. Most of us have not even noticed the change, nor do we have any idea of its radicality."
How bad is it? U.S. News and World Report states these facts: 1 in 4 children born have no father to welcome them at birth. Only 40% of children grow up in 2 parent families. A million children each year go through divorce, 9 out of 10 will stay with their mothers. And when he is present a normal dad gives his children only 3 minutes of time to them with his undivided attention!
1. Know their job is important but their home is essential
2. Express deep love for their wives but always save some for their children
3. Pay attention and respond to their children but even more to God
Amazingly every one of the 27 references to fathers in Proverbs is POSITIVE! And, when we get to the New Testament the pattern continues. A model dad is Joseph. Everything we see him do is right on. If you are a dad, follow his lead. If you want to be a dad, listen up and learn. If your children are grown, listen and share. Let's all commit to be fathers of the Word !
1. GODLY DADS LIKE JOSEPH ARE FULL OF COMPASSION.
MATTHEW 1:19 "Then Joseph her husband, being a just [man,] and not wanting to make her a public example, was minded to put her away secretly." (NKJV) he planned to put away Mary privately
2. GODLY DADS LIKE JOSEPH LISTEN TO GOD
MATTHEW 1:20-24 "But while he thought about these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, "Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take to you Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. 21 "And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name JESUS, for He will save His people from their sins." 22 So all this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying: 23 "Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel," which is translated, "God with us." 24 Then Joseph, being aroused from sleep, did as the angel of the Lord commanded him and took to him his wife," (NKJV)
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