What Joseph and Mary Can Teach us about Parenting the Early Years.
"She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins." All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet: "Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel" (which means, God with us). Matthew 1:21-23
My son just turned ten-years-old. He is growing up too fast, My Friend. Long gone are the days of Toy Story and plastic toy drums. Legos and dinosaurs are the names of the game, and Momma helping him to make his bed or pull out a loose tooth is no longer an option. God gave him to us to raise in the ways of the Lord, and lately, I am feeling the weight of that responsibility.
As I was studying Matthew 1, I saw Joseph and Mary through new eyes. They were raising the Son of God. Can you imagine that responsibility? But they did such a brilliant job. From the first chapter of Matthew, we can see the importance of parenting those early years and how we can take away so much from just these few verses in Matthew 1:21-23.
From the time of His birth, Jesus knew who He was. He knew His gender and His mission. He knew His name, and it's meaning. He was born a male. His name was Jesus, meaning "Savior". His mission was to save His people their sins. He followed that mission throughout His life and into His death and resurrection.
His sex, name, and mission were revealed to His earthly father and mother, Joseph and Mary. They received the Word about their Son, and they followed through with it.
Parents and Friends, we have a responsibility to our children. They have a gender, a name, and a mission to fulfill. And yet, we have an entire generation of parents feeding their kids lies. Please don't be one of them.
JESUS KNEW HIS GENDER.
"Male and female He created them." (Genesis 1:27) I cannot even believe this is an issue today. It is so simple, and yet our culture has twisted gender into something unrecognizable. Parents, your kids don't get to choose who they want to be! Male or female. God decides that at their conception.
I know this is a huge hot topic issue. But do we believe the entirety of God's Word, or don't we? Can you imagine Mary and Joseph allowing Jesus to choose His gender? Parents, Jesus had a gender at conception. Period. Don't let your kids, the world, society, culture, feelings, and emotions to alter God's plan for your child's life!
JESUS KNEW HIS NAME and it's MEANING.
He had a name, and that name carries meaning. JESUS ... SAVIOR. When you name your child, you nature your child. We named our son Asher because we spoke that before his birth, he would be "happy, fortunate, and blessed." And at ten years old, he is all of those things to anyone who meets him.
As a former public school teacher, I can't tell you how many Vaseline, Queen, Rayne, Rain, Rebel, Rogue, and Diva's I've taught. And each one of them was a walking definition of their name!
Mary and Joseph followed God's leading and gave Him the name Jesus. It was a name that held purpose and a name that held a part of His character. Parents-to-be, pregnant Mommas, and expecting Daddy's ... when you name your child, you nature them. Please remember that when you have the Baby Names book or website open.
JESUS KNEW HIS MISSION.
Finally, Jesus had a mission. He was to save His people from there sins. Now, many of our children do not have a prophetic word from the time of conception. But as parents, our responsibility is to teach our kids their mission.
Teaching your kids that they can be whatever they want to be is a dangerous lie. We tell Asher, "You can be whoever God created you to be." God designed. God inspired. God-filled mission.
Growing up, I wanted to be a pediatrician. It was all I could think about. I wanted to help heal babies. Unfortunately, in High School, my parents realized this was my dream for my life and not God's desire for my life!
I was in High School around the time the TV show ER came out, and George Clooney was all the rage. I would watch that show each week with my parents. However, I couldn't get through an episode of ER without getting nauseous. My parents helped me redirect to what they knew all along; Music was the mission. The Arts were the mission. They redirected me to my God-designed purpose, and that made all the difference.
Parents, we have a massive responsibility to our children. Please don't take it lightly. Just as God entrusted Mary and Joseph with His Son, He has entrusted or will entrust you with His precious children. Your children are His. They are on loan from God. What are you doing with them?
YOUR TURN: What is the best piece of godly parenting advice that you could give to a new or soon-to-be parent? Let us know in the comments.