A Father’s Heart

This week I have been reading back over the Christmas story throughout the Gospels.  This morning I was in Matthew, reading about the birth of Jesus and the chaos of events that followed after.  In this short portion of Matthew something hit me that has never hit me before.  What I noticed most was the attitude of Joseph’s heart.  Think about it.  Joseph had every reason to be mad and angry.  I would think that if my wife at that point in our relationship made this announcement to me, that I would not be able to respond the way that Joseph chose to.  In this very difficult situation, Joseph had two specific attitudes that I believe all dads should have.


The first attitude we see that Joseph had was the attitude of compassion and tenderness.  See Joseph didn’t fly off the handle and start yelling and belittling is fiancée.  Joseph, even though he was crushed still desired to be compassionate and tender to his wife.  Now I know what you are thinking….compassionate, he was going to secretly divorce her and send her away.  In that culture Mary should have been killed because in the world’s eyes she committed adultery.  Joseph chooses to not ridicule her and put her through that, and would secretly send her way.  Now we know that God convinced Joseph to marry her, and again we see the tenderness and compassionate attitude of Joseph come out. 


The second attitude we see that Joseph had was an attitude of listening to God.  Throughout Matthew’s account we see where God speaks to Joseph and Joseph chooses to listen and take action on what God asks him to do.  Joseph made time to hear from God, and He chooses to take action on what God said. 


If you are a dad, let me ask you two questions.  The first is does your family see that you have a tender and compassionate heart towards them?  The second is does your family see that you have a heart that listens to God?  If you answer is no, and I can’t say that the answer would always be yes for me, heck it might not have always been yes for Joseph, we are human, and we are men, then ask God to help shape you into a dad who has a tender and compassionate heart, as well as a heart that listens to Him.