Monday, December 14, 2009

He was the husband of Mary.

Christmas is less than two weeks away. Our tree is just now decorated. There is a pitiful little wreath on our door which needs serious help, and I am not finished with my Christmas shopping.

Picture blogger pulling her hair out here.

I have finished most of the shopping for our out-of-town family and friends. I've even done most of the shopping for Daughter. I am not finished shopping for Hubs and I'm pretty sure he isn't finished (or started?) shopping for me.

Which reminds me, if you want to be thoroughly entertained on Christmas Eve, find a spot in a department store near the fragrance and jewelry section, and observe. Watch as frantic husbands search for the perfect gift.

When I worked in a department store, those poor clerks in fragrance and fine jewelry never got to go home early on Christmas Eve. They were bombarded with husbands who strolled in after work, within an hour before closing, to find a gift for their wives.

I worked in the children's department. By 4:00, our department was empty of customers. Every mom and grandma purchased their gifts from us weeks in advance, on sale, knowing all the correct sizes. A husband's' idea of correct sizing is holding up a cashmere sweater set and eyeballing it.

God love 'em. They try.

These last few days I've been rushing to get things done. I've been a stressed out wreck. At Christmas time, I always feel like I'm caught up in a tornado of commitments and duties, whirling around in a mess. And what is Hubs doing?

He's the one keeping me grounded. (Believe me, it takes a lot of patience.)

I've been thinking lately about another husband who doesn't get a lot of press this time of year. We hear about him briefly in Sunday School a few weeks before Christmas. Then, for the most part, his wife gets all the attention.

I'm talking, of course, about Joseph.

Joseph was a Godly and honorable man. When he first learned of Mary's condition, he considered dealing with it quietly. This wasn't because he didn't love her. He wanted to protect her from being put to death.

Instead, he trusted God and was obedient. Joseph took Mary as his wife and became the soon-to-be earthly father of Jesus.

When it came time to go to Bethlehem for the census, the birth of Jesus was drawing near. Joseph must have been afraid or, at best, concerned traveling with an expectant wife across rough terrain.

Still, trust and obedience. Jesus was born in a stable.

When Herod ordered the infant sons to be killed, God sent a warning to Joseph to flee. He took Mary and Jesus to Egypt, protecting them all from death.

Are you noticing a pattern?

Yes, we love to think about Mary, her faith and her love for Jesus. The thought of a young woman bringing the Savior into the world makes for a great story (and thank God, a true one.) But what about Joseph?

He doesn't get a lot of credit because he never asked for it. Instead, his trust and obedience to God point us straight to Jesus.

I wonder what Joseph would be like if he could have been a husband of our times.

He may be the kind who works hard, reads his Bible, says the blessing at the table each night, and tucks the kids into bed. The quiet, strong one, the one you can depend on, who never complains.

He may be the kind who supports his wife while she spins like a top with commitments and Christmas stress.

If you have a Godly husband in your life, go right now and hug him. Tell him you love him and that you're glad he loves the Lord. Tell him you appreciate him, even when he thinks it goes unnoticed.

While you're at it, you may as well tell him your sweater size, too.


Jackie said...

So very true...our pastor did a sermon on this a while back. Of course we all know that He is not a God of coincidences, however, just as Mary was so carefully chosen, so was Joseph. I think this is often forgotten, or worse yet, unrealized. This is such a good reminder...thank you.

Catherine said...

Great post, Melanie, and so very true. I, like you, have a Godly husband -- and I could not have asked for a better gift!

That said, I let him off the gift-giving hook this Christmas by suggesting that we buy ourselves a new flatscreen TV. He was thankful for the reprieve.

The Bug said...

I wish I WOULD spin like a top - I just slog along & hope that somehow everything will get done. Won't the elves take care of it?

I've been posting all the Christmas poems my husband & I have written for the last 18 years. The very first one (it posted on December 8) mentions Joseph. It really is mind-boggling to think of the faith & trust he & Mary had.

Carpool Queen said...

They often get short shrift, don't they? Steady as a rock, the calm in the midst of the storm, doing the practical things that keep everything moving forward.

Great reminder.

Susanne said...

You know, we never really do think of Joseph. Great post about a wonderful example of a Godly husband.

Someone Being Me said...

Amen. I so needed to read this as I complain about how my husband gets off so easy on all the Christmas preparations. I forget who is funding it all, who does all the actual holiday driving, and the hauling things down from the attic.

Anonymous said...

Excellent post. I made a comment about Joseph just yesterday in Sunday School. I happen to have a Godly husband, so I'll get right on that appreciation thing. Thanks for the reminder!

Melanie said...

What a great post Mel. I have a wonderful husband that loves me for me. He treats me like a queen and always is patient with me when I know that he would love to scream. (like when we are hanging pictures and my brain has a built in leveler and it is an 1/8 of an inch off...redo) I always let him know that he is loved and appreciated. I wish every one could have a man like mine.