Editor’s Note – Even though today’s devotion is directed toward our male readers, I would like to assert that God gives us examples such as this one for the men to follow and for the women to know what to expect from them. Ladies, accept nothing less from the men in your life.
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.
In the midst of the birth of Jesus, the Christmas story contains many sub-plots that can teach us a lot! One of these is the story of Joseph, the earthly father of Jesus. The Gospel of Matthew describes Joseph as a “righteous” man. In order to understand what that really means, one must have some grasp of the world in which Joseph and Mary lived.
Because it appeared that Mary had had an adulterous affair, not only was she bound to be disgraced, Joseph had every right to be the one who did the disgracing, for if a woman had an adulterous relationship, the man in her life could have her arrested, or even put to death. But even before the angel of the Lord spoke to Joseph (Matthew 1: 20-21), he made the choice to quietly walk away. This speaks of the tremendous love and respect he had for Mary. And in the world and time in which they lived, this was not a common thing!
Men and boys: God is speaking to us about the way we should treat our wives, our sisters, our girlfriends, and our mothers. I often wonder if we have really progressed that far since the time of Mary and Joseph. Many young men treat women as property when they refuse to respect their virginity prior to marriage. Men stray through adultery, and expect their wives to take them back when they get caught. Whether it is in a dating relationship, a marriage, or with any woman in our lives, God is calling us to be men who love and respect women. And Joseph should be our example!