I was reflecting and thinking about Joseph from the New Testament. By the way he was a wonderful step-father and a committed man of God who was filled with integrity.
So the story goes that Mary and Joseph couldn’t even get a room, and they ended up camping out in a stable or cave, or something like that.
Now the Bible doesn’t specifically say this, but I have to believe that Joseph helped in the delivery of his step-son Jesus. Joseph was perhaps the New Testament’s first male mid-wife! (That kind of involvement in family life for a man in that culture and that time period would have been unheard of.)
I know that the Bible doesn’t say it specifically, but it also didn’t say that some other midwife, or female help in this delivery. Could Mary have done it all by herself? That is unlikely. I was present at the birth of all 4 of my children, and even though my wife is amazing she (like any other woman) needed an extra hand in delivering our children. (A hand…and maybe some oxytocin…)
When you think about it, if Joseph was a participant in this delivery, it speaks to something incredible in regards to the role of men in their families that goes beyond provider and protector. It reflects on men being present for any aspect of family life. (No matter if it’s perceived as “feminine” or “women’s work”.) I think we can accept the importance of men taking on more responsibility in the home.
I was considering how Joseph could embody our identity as modern men in this generation. Men of this generation (from what I’ve seen) partner with our spouses in taking care of the home and the children. We do so in a way that has been in stark contrast with our predecessors from the 1950’s and even the 1960’s. (So ladies, cut us some slack…sometimes!)
So whatever, and however God desires us to participate in, and partner with our spouses in our home and families, as men we need to do it as the will of God. It may be delivering a child (hopefully not) or making their lunches. We are a new kind of men in today’s society, today’s generation.
(If you’re not married, take notes.)
One more thing, Joseph was a man of sexual integrity, and I deeply admire that about him. He never touched Mary (sexually – till after the birth of Jesus), and it was not because he was commanded not to, but he put his own desires behind the well being of his wife and God’s plan. (Men, we won’t die if we don’t have sex.)
Speaking of sexual integrity, next time I want to talk about what the Bible says about sexual integrity through scriptures you have never heard read on Sunday morning… Trust me, I’m telling you the truth. (Try Genesis 38 for size…)