As a stepmom, I have often fallen into the trap of doubting my significance, wondering what my role is, and allowing the voices of others to drown out the voice I’ve been given in my boys’ lives. For many years, I failed to realize that the voice and authority I have is not the same as their biological parents. It is unique. Something only I can bring to the table.
I got to a point in the last couple of years where I really had struggled with this long enough. I was tired of shaming myself for not doing enough, doing or saying too much, and constantly being in state of “limbo”. I am not sure why I had not thought of this earlier, but I thought I would ask God (and my friends Tiffany and Jon Michael, pastors to one of our church’s campuses). I found that God has so much love for blended families and stepparents! Of course, He knew we would need a reference for this dynamic and has been so generous to provide it right in His Word.
If you have been struggling with similar feelings toward your role in your family, I want to encourage you today and show you exactly what God says about us.
The Genealogy of Jesus – He was legit from the start.
I have been studying Joseph of the new testament regarding his role as a “stepdad” to Jesus. In the gospels he is referred to as Jesus’ “parent” over and over. Scripture is God-breathed so God recognized his role and anointed him to speak into Jesus’ life. To give him instruction as a child. He gave him PERMISSION TO PARENT. Not Only did he have authority and a voice in Jesus’ life, God made sure his lineage was required to make Jesus the legitimate savior.
The Greek singular feminine pronoun hes, translated “whom,” shows that Jesus was born of Mary alone, without Joseph’s participation; however, Jesus was considered Joseph’s legal son and heir. Accordingly, Matthew’s genealogy confirms Jesus as a legitimate descendant of David.
Joseph gets more than he bargained for.
In some translations of scripture, Mary is described as “betrothed” to Joseph. In that day, it was legally binding even though they were not yet married and required a divorce to nullify it. Yikes! Doesn’t that make you really think about how quickly we try to put our running shoes on sometimes? I have, on several occasions, just wanted to quit. I didn’t, but the point is God takes commitment seriously and spoke to Joseph personally to reassure him of the circumstances. I especially love that God reminds him of his OWN legitmacy in His plan by reminding Joseph that he is a descendant of David. Joseph, being Jewish, knew that the Messiah would be in his lineage. I think this certainly helped him to hold his head high and move forward in courage.
As stepparents God gives us permission simply by placing us in a position of authority in that child’s life. We should steward that authority well because it is a gift. However, we should never put ourselves in the position of asking for permission from anyone else. Not the child, not our biological counterpart, or anyone else who deems themselves an “owner” of that child.
That being said, we should definitely honor everyone in the situation. If we ever find ourselves puffed up and saying we do not care what someone thinks or how they feel, that is when we’ve crossed a line and made it about making ourselves look like a hero. God did not call you to be a hero, He said to reflect His glory so that people are pointed toward Christ, not you. This is why we don’t hear much from Joseph. He was pointing us toward Christ.
Next week, we’ll explore what this family dynamic looked like after the birth of Jesus. I hope this was encouraging to you all! God Bless!