Tag Archives: Marriage

Joseph Shows How To Be A Real Man

Get Encouraged is now available on Spotify!

As a father, he had a lot of responsibility. He had to provide for his family while keeping everyone safe. He may have hoped a unique beginning to fatherhood smoothed out to a more ordinary time, but his family stayed in the Once in History category. And, each step of the way, we see how his character makes him a real man and a great dad.

His name is Joseph, and his relationship with Mary started out in an ordinary way. They were pledged to be married, but suddenly Mary delivered a bombshell. She was pregnant! Joseph knew the baby wasn’t his, and Mary’s explanation was a little hard to swallow, so Joseph had to decide what he wanted to do. His character guided Joseph to respond to this situation in a compassionate, gracious way as a real man always should.

The Bible tells us Joseph had in mind to end his relationship with Mary in a quiet way. This would keep Mary from facing the public embarrassment and hardships that came in having a relationship end in this way. She, and he, would be able to move on in life the best way possible if he kept everything quiet, but the Lord intervened and guided Joseph to a different plan. Matthew 1:20 says, “As he considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream. “Joseph, son of David,” the angel said, “do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife. For the child within her was conceived by the Holy Spirit.” 

Joseph paid attention and went ahead with his marriage to Mary, so we can add being sensitive to the Lord’s guidance to the list of qualities Joseph displayed. This was not the only time Joseph was sensitive to the Lord’s guidance. As his family grew, Joseph continued to allow the Lord to guide him as a real man should.

  • When Jesus’ life was threatened as an infant, Joseph listened to the angel, who told him to flee to Egypt.
  • When the threat was over, Joseph listened to the angel, who instructed him to return home.

Joseph had the courage to allow the Lord to guide his decision making, and he had the wisdom to follow the guidance.

Joseph also had self-control. Matthew’s Gospel tells us Joseph and Mary did not have sexual intercourse until after Jesus’ birth. Joseph knew there was a proper time for this occasion, and he had enough control to wait until the time was right.

In summary, Joseph was a compassionate, gracious man who was sensitive to the Lord’s guidance, and he exercised self-control. These are certainly qualities of a great dad and a real man. In fact, they are excellent qualities for anyone – man or woman – to possess. How well do you measure up?

Firm Foundation

“The house don’t fall when the bones are good.”

The Lord’s truth often shows up in song lyrics. Our ears are hearing and our hearts absorbing valuable truth that can help in life.

Maren Morris’ The Bones packs a valuable truth into a cool song. The story has love holding a romantic relationship together in adversity, but the idea of having a firm foundation can help all aspects of life.

The Bible tells a parable about two men who built houses. One man built his house on the sand, while the other dug through the sand to place his foundation on the rock. A storm came, and the plain flooded. The house sitting on the sand was wiped away, while the house resting on the rock remained standing. It stayed in place because of its foundation; its bones were good.

Life has its storms. They are unavoidable. The difficulties of life will strain our marriages, families, friendships, and business partnerships; however, those relationships will stay intact if they are built on a solid foundation.

The Bones reminds us to build on a solid foundation. Where are you building?

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5 Reasons to Look Through Appearance to the Heart

What would happen if we looked through appearance to the heart? Here are 5 improvements we would see.

We live in a culture which places a high premium on appearance. An individual is judged on his or her looks or popularity. Leaders and potential spouses are chosen based on looks. Online dating apps use a single photo as the first layer of filtering. If someone doesn’t like your photo, they scroll to the next person. Many decisions are based on appearance.

A guy asks a girl to go on a date based on her appearance. An interview candidate receives points based on his appearance. The old saying, “a picture is worth a thousand words,” may be true, but I believe there is a better way. You see, one picture cannot tell a whole story.

What would happen if society readjusted our focus from the person’s appearance to the person’s heart? What would happen if we concentrated on a potential spouse’s personality and emotions rather than looks? What would happen if appearance was not considered in choosing a leader? Here are 5 improvements we would see.

1. There would be a rise in self-esteem.

As a society, we would stop beating ourselves up because we were not pretty enough. We would stop comparing ourselves to others’ social media appearance. Self-esteem would rise as we would be more confident in ourselves.

2. New friendships would be cultivated.

We would not be turned off by someone’s outward appearance; rather, we would take time to get to know our neighbor and may discover he is a cool person.

3. Marriages would last longer.

Psychologists state the key to a long and happy marriage is a deep emotional connection. While dating, if more time was spent connecting emotionally, the relationship would be built on a better foundation.

4. Society would be more at peace.

An increase in self-confidence and happier relationships would bring more peace to the world. Bullies would have friends so they would not feel the need to bully. The color of our skin would no longer cause friction. Peace would result as we looked through appearance to the heart.

5. God’s leaders would excel.

Leaders chosen on character without any consideration to appearance would result in the most competent leader always being chosen. The heart would outweigh the outward ability to capture our attention, be entertaining, or the life of the party.

Acting

Will you join me in setting a goal to pay less attention to appearance and more attention to heart? How do you believe making this shift would change our culture?