There are a lot of important jobs in this world, but none any bigger than being a dad. When our heavenly Father created mankind, He gave man and woman many responsibilities, one being an earthly father to their children. One must realize that even though this job has great significance, it is a temporary one.
When I was a child, I thought my dad could do anything. He was truly that one individual I looked up to. He taught me many things about life, even though he didn’t become a Christian until later in life. The one thing I never forgot about his teaching was this, “You are not any better than anybody else, and nobody is better than you.” We came from very poor beginnings, as most people did, but his words have echoed in my mind continually.
When I think of Scripture and the men who had great responsibilities as a dad, my mind goes back to Joseph, the earthly father of Jesus. His job was an important one, but temporary. Joseph was of the lineage of David (Matthew 1:2-16), the royal line. He was betrothed to Mary and they had publicly announced their intentions of being married (Luke 1:26, 27). Joseph’s dilemma was that Mary was expecting a child and he had never known her, she was a virgin (Matthew 1:18-21). The angel of the Lord came to him and assured him what was taking place and God’s plan for this child. Joseph was a man of faith (Luke 2:41) and he accepted God’s plan for their lives with the Christ child. We also read that Joseph was a carpenter, a working man, working hard daily with his hands.
What do you think he taught Jesus as He was growing up? He would have had all the responsibilities that any other dad would have had. Here are just a few thoughts to ponder about Joseph:
1. Family—There is no doubt he taught Jesus the importance of being a real family. He taught Him respect for father and mother and the position each member held. He was taught to love by the example that His dad lived.
2. Responsibility—He was taught responsibility from His infancy. He learned a trade, working in His dad’s carpenter shop. Learning how to work is an intricate part of growing up. Many children today spend most of their time playing video games, social media, etc. I also learned very young that “idleness is the devil’s workshop.” There must be responsibility to teach discipline that is greatly needed in this life.
3. Worship—Joseph was a man of God and a man of faith. There is no doubt in my mind that he put first things first. God must always be first if we want everything else to fall into place. We are doing our family a great disservice to cut God out of the equation of life.
4. How to be a man—There should always be time for a child to be a child. We sometimes rush them into adulthood without the joy of being a kid; however, when it is time to be an adult the skills should be there to fulfill the obligation.
I am thankful for Joseph’s example of parenthood, even though there is very little said. I am also blessed to have had a dad who did the best he could. If I could tell him one more time, “I love you, Dad” I would. I miss him, but I know I will see him again in heaven. If you still have a dad, tell him you love him while you can. Happy Father’s Day!
Tom Mansbarger is senior pastor of Grace Community Church. He encourages anyone who would like his help to call him on his cell phone at 765-517-1187 of e-mail him at: firstname.lastname@example.org.