You may or may not know where Father’s Day came from, so I looked it up and found it. It came about because of a girl named Sonora Smart Dodd. In 1909, she was sitting in church listening to a Mother’s Day sermon when she had the idea of Father’s Day. She had been raised by her father after her mother’s death, so she wanted her father to know how special he was to her. To make a long story short, twenty-five years later, through her efforts President Calvin Coolidge designated the third Sunday of June as Father’s Day, then President Lyndon Johnson declared it as well but it took President Richard Nixon to sign the proclamation and make it permanent.
In God’s Word, there is one father that we know of who doesn’t have anything to say and yet he helped to raise and teach and nurture the Son of God. I am speaking of Joseph. In the story of Jesus’ birth, Mary and the angels have big parts to play; the wise men who are seeking the Child are prominent in the story too. Joseph is told that the Child is from God and that it is OK to accept Mary as his wife. Later on he is warned in a dream to take the child and flee to escape Herod’s soldiers.
Nowhere in the story do we hear from Joseph. I suppose if you are told that you are to be the step-father of the Son of God that would take your breath away. But there are many things about Joseph that we can only get from other scripture. Joseph loved Mary, which is what a father is supposed to do. Even though he thought she didn’t love him.
When he was making plans to divorce Mary, God showed him the divine plan in a dream: In a dream an angel appeared to Joseph, “Joseph, thou son of David, don’t be afraid to take Mary as your wife, because the baby in her womb is of the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a Son, and you will name him Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins” (Matt. 1:20-21). “When Joseph woke up, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded and took Mary as his wife. But he did not have relations with her until her son was born; and Joseph named him Jesus.” (Matt. 1:24, 25).
How much better would the world be if every father took responsibility like Joseph? He understood what God expected of him, and he was ready to obey! Even if the village that they lived in considered the child to be a child of adultery. Joseph believed God, obeyed God and accepted the responsibility that God had given him.
About fifty years ago, seventeen percent of the children born were raised apart from their fathers. In 1990, that number was up to 36%. Today, nearly half of all children in the U.S. are raised without a father in the home.
You know, in many ways, we as fathers and husbands, are to be the leaders of our team. The team being the family, we are expected to be the head of the household in all areas. That includes financial, religious, personal, etc. Every part of our lives and the life of our family, we do not control but we are to guide and help and nurture to the best of our ability and the ability that God has given us. That is our responsibility as fathers. We are to be like God as much as is humanly possible, just don’t ACT like a god!
Your wife will take care of that! She will bring you down a notch or two if you do!
Joseph was a devout Jew and made sure to do everything according to the Lord’s teachings in the Law of Moses to the best of his ability. He sought God and led his family to the Passover festival every year.
I read once that “A child is not likely to find a father in God unless he finds something of God in his father.” (Austin L. Sorensen) Seeing God in their father is a child’s best way to come to know God as their Father. Let that settle a bit in your mind and think on it. Who else would a child look to if not his or her father? We all claim, if we know Jesus, that God is our Father but can you feel Him? Can you touch Him?
Those sensations of touch are necessary for children and only our earthly fathers can give us a hug or hold your hand or pull the fish that you caught off the hook. We are supposed to be the spiritual leader in our family, like the priests in the Old Testament. If your child sees you reading the Bible, then they will see that you think it is important, especially when the wisdom that you gain from it is applied in your life, to every part of your life.
You are able to instill faith in your children. You are able to show them what a loving father looks like and acts like. You can give them the ability to trust and depend on their Father in heaven, but you can’t give your children something that you don’t have. Before they will see God in you, you have to let Him into your heart and your life. He has to be the top priority and they have to see you seeking Him. When you do, your children will see it; your grandchildren will see it. They will know that it is important, that He is important to you and to them.
A preacher once asked some preschoolers to draw pictures of God. He was going to use them as illustrations for his sermon. At the end of the class, they came up with rainbows and men with big hands. His daughter told him that she didn’t know what God looked like, so she drew a picture of him instead.
Joseph was a quiet man in scripture. Strong in his faith, yet we never heard him speak. His example teaches all of us a lesson in righteousness, responsibility and a lesson in religion. God is our Heavenly Father and He wants nothing more than for you to be a part of His family.