Glad for good dads
Joseph, her fiancé, was a good man and did not want to disgrace her publicly, so he decided to break the engagement quietly. — Matthew 1:19
Here’s something obvious. Good dads are not perfect dads. Yet the Bible is filled with good—not perfect—dads.
Take a closer look at a good dad, Joseph. The gospel writer Matthew does not specify whether anyone else knew of this Nazarene’s decision to divorce Mary. It is possible Joseph hadn’t yet shared his plan of action with Mary. Even if he did tell her, we have no record of how she reacted. Theoretically, it’s possible that she could have been angry, though that seems unlikely; divorce is better than being killed, which was the penalty Mary would have suffered under the Mosaic law for being pregnant out of wedlock (Leviticus 20:10). Additionally, and here comes more from the Rule Book folks, Deuteronomy 22:20-21 commands that an adulteress be repudiated (abandoned) by her husband.
Joseph is in a bind. His next step is key, and he knows it. Verse 20 says, “He considered this.”
That’s what good dads do. They consider things. Good dads take news slowly, contemplatively.
It is very likely Joseph lived in a world of religion, yet he himself does not get any religious language. By that I mean Matthew does not say that Joseph goes off to pray over this. He may have. Then again, he may not have.
When we, like Joseph, give ourselves time and space, God steps in, especially when we ask for this. In this case, Joseph receives a message from an angel.
No dad is perfect, but all dads (and moms) need to be supported—especially when shocking news hits. Anyone with a child knows shocking news does hit.
Learn from this good dad. Sure, he considers all sides. Some of his thoughts may have been in his best interest alone. Other thoughts could have included a Best Action Plan himself, Mary, and their future—however shaky it was in the moment. Before taking action though, he sits back. He waits.
God came through for Joseph with a message from an angel. God comes through for us, too.
Sometimes, like a good dad, we just have to wait.
PRAYER: Thank you for the “dads” in our lives, including our own who, like Joseph, was not perfect. And thank you for Your messages, however and whenever they’re delivered. Amen.