I thought I would kickstart this blog by sharing a devotion I recently did on Matthew one. It started with the genealogy of Jesus, and the first thing I noticed was that a few mothers were mentioned: Ruth, Uriah’s wife-Bathsheba, Rahab, Tamar, and of course, Mary. Typically, genealogy traces the family history through males only. Fathers are thought of as the ones who pass on the family name or legacy. Yet, this scripture finds it noteworthy to slide some mom’s names in there. I think it is because these women played a vital role in the lives of not only their children-but the people their children impacted.
The Bible doesn’t necessarily make this connection, but if I learned from each of their stories growing up, I am sure their children gleaned wisdom from the examples their mothers laid before them. Not all of these women were stand up gals-like the dark pasts of Rahab the Harlot or Bathsheba the Adulteresses. In Bathsheba’s defense, some Bible scholars suggest that she had to follow David’s instructions to cheat on her husband because of the power imbalance between them. Otherwise, he could have killed her. Either way, God used these women who had unlikely and messy stories to teach us lessons.
Just like these women should not be looked over in this genealogy, women should not be dismissed as only caregivers or emotional support. They help-hopefully alongside a caring husband and community of other believers-to build the character of their child. What they instill in their child both verbally and through actions will pass on to their children’s children and so forth. Women have a vital role in the life of a child. Everything we do has a ripple effect on who they become. Now, this is not a fact meant to scare us because we obviously mess up quite a bit. We need to allow ourselves room to be imperfect. I love this post by John Rosemond (a Christian child psychologist) that I found this week: http://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=10157051131663277&id=75412958276&sfnsn=mo
I am saying though, that we should not underestimate how keenly our children listen to our words and watch what we do, and structure their lives based off of what they see in us.
The second portion of Matthew one is about Joseph being told about Mary’s pregnancy. Can you imagine? He knew for a fact he had not slept with Mary and yet here she was pregnant. He probably faced all sorts of emotions: horror, embarrassment, betrayal, anger, confusion, deep sadness ect. After the Lord explained to him that she was pregnant by the Holy Spirit, I am sure that he still wasn’t all that happy about the situation.
Yes, he may have understood the logistics of what was happening, and felt relief that he had not been cheated on, but I doubt he felt excited about explaining the strange phenomenon to others. I also doubt that others received the news well. A pregnant virgin? I imagine he felt humiliated and unsure how to process the situation. However, he did exactly as the Lord told him to and he married Mary. The Bible mentions nothing about Joseph arguing or resisting, he simply accepted God’s will.
I deeply desire to get better at simply trusting the Lord, but this is definitely not my strong point. I am not sure about you, but I often need to know the whole plan before I take something on. When I felt God tugging on my heart to write this blog, I felt overwhelmed like I often do. Here is my argument with God over several days:
Me: “How will I keep this up after my baby girl is born?”
God: “We will cross that bridge when we get there, I just need you to start.”
Me: “What should I write about? Why do I feel like my ideas are everywhere? I just want to know one specific direction. Just tell me specifically what I should focus on.”
God: *Laughs knowingly* (Poor guy is pretty familiar with my Type A personality)“We will get to that as your blog evolves. You just need to take the first step. It will all work out.”
Me: “How can I bring others to you when I have not been so faithful myself, is that not hypocritical?”
God: “Your journey back to me is just like countless examples of others you’ve read in the Bible about how easy it is to wander away, and yet I am always here with arms wide open.”
Me: “What if I am still figuring it out? I don’t know what I am doing.”
God: *Smiles with understanding and gentleness*“You won’t ever have it figured out. That is what I am for. You just need to draw near to me and let me do the rest.”
Me: *Sighs with frustration* “Okay, but that is scary.”
God: “Change often is, dear one.”
Me: *Giving in with reluctance and excitement* “Alright, I’m in.”
God: *Embraces me warmly and smiles*
Me: *Snuggles in with a peace washing over me*