Welcome back to the Step Parents of The Bible Series! I hope you all enjoyed reading about God’s plan for Joseph in the last post. This week we’ll discover what it was like for Joseph to actually parent Jesus. There isn’t much written about Jesus’ childhood, but what we are able to see in the books of Matthew and Luke are full of wisdom for step parents.
I decided to write this series of posts becauseI 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. On a totally unrelated note, Tiffany actually writes an incredible blog herself, called Choosing Trust. It has been such a blessing to me as a person and as Stepmom.
Last week we looked at the plan and purpose of Joseph before Jesus was born. If you haven’t read that post, I highly recommend going back and reading that first to get the full context of this post. Let’s dive into how Joseph fulfilled his role once Jesus was born.
God Asks Joseph to Protect Jesus
“Now when they had gone, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, Get up! Take the Child and His mother and flee to Egypt, and remain there until I tell you; for Herod intends to search for the Child in order to destroy Him.’ So Joseph got up and took the Child and His mother while it was still night, and left for Egypt.” – Matthew 2:13-14 (AMP)
Did you notice in the verse that God appeared to Joseph and not Mary? This confirms to me that God fully intended to recognize Joseph as a legitimate part of Jesus’ life and He fully expected Joseph to protect Jesus as his own. I also noticed that Mary had complete trust in Joseph’s position in the family. She didn’t say “This is my child, I know what’s best.” She understood that Jesus’ protection was Joseph’s number one goal. Did I step on any toes there?
Mary and Joseph Lose Jesus!
“Every year Jesus’ parents traveled to Jerusalem for the Feast of Passover. When he was twelve years old, they went up as they always did for the Feast. When it was over and they left for home, the child Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem, but his parents didn’t know it. Thinking he was somewhere in the company of pilgrims, they journeyed for a whole day and then began looking for him among relatives and neighbors. When they didn’t find him, they went back to Jerusalem looking for him. The next day they found him in the Temple seated among the teachers, listening to them and asking questions. The teachers were all quite taken with him, impressed with the sharpness of his answers. But his parents were not impressed; they were upset and hurt. His mother said, “Young man, why have you done this to us? Your father and I have been half out of our minds looking for you.” His mother said, “Young man, why have you done this to us? Your father and I have been half out of our minds looking for you.” He said, “Why were you looking for me? Didn’t you know that I had to be here, dealing with the things of my Father?” But they had no idea what he was talking about.” – Luke 2:49 – 50 (MSG)
Can you imagine being charged with the authority and protection of your step child and losing them?! Yikes! Every blended family dynamic is different, but I can’t imagine this scenario going over very well with anyone! Did you notice that Joseph and Mary presented a united front when confronting Jesus?
Now let me lay down a little disclaimer: Jesus was blameless and lived a life free of sin, so I am in no way saying that He was rude or disrespectful.
Jesus was 12 when this incident occurred and was obviously coming into his own. He was obviously being pulled toward the purpose God had for Him. He worried His parents to death in the process, but I think it’s important to recognize that He was beginning to have a sense of autonomy at that age. I point this out because this is about the age where all of our kids really start to form their own world view apart from what they’ve seen modeled. They start to discover their own gifts and talents. It’s important that all parental figures in their life begin to recognize what God has placed in them and begin to cultivate that. If you don’t feel like you have permission, I hereby grant it to you.
Not only do we need to cultivate the gifts and talents of our children, but as step parents, we need to seek God’s plan for US in our families. I say this all of the time, we truly do have a purpose within our families. The only way to be effective as a step parent is to ask God what He placed you in that family for. We all want wise, well-adjusted kids who contribute well to their families and society in general.
“So he went back to Nazareth with them, and lived obediently with them. His mother held these things dearly, deep within herself. And Jesus matured, growing up in both body and spirit, blessed by both God and people.” –
Luke 2:51-52 (MSG)