Raising our Kids like Mary & Joseph

What are our children expectant of today?

We don’t often examine what we knew about the lives of Mary and Joseph before the birth of their son Jesus. In fact, we seem to just gloss over the fact that an Angel pretty much shows up, tells them they are going to birth the King of the World-someone who is literally the son of God….and oh ya- Mary’s a virgin….so there’s that. And they like they both struggle for a second-a sentence or two if you’re reading out of Luke-  and then they just have Jesus, and they’re like, “Yay, we’re parents of the Savior of the world.” End scene.

If it really had happened just like that- stand alone- without the training and upbringing that they received do you really think they would have been expectant of the birth of the King, let alone accepting of their role in it?

I’ve been pondering this concept this season…

What prepared Mary & Joseph to become parents to the Savior of the world, especially amidst their culture and circumstances?

I think the question should really be, “How long did faithfulness precede Mary & Joseph?” How many generations taught their offspring about the Lord?

Well, based on the beginning of Matthew alone, the genealogy of Jesus expands for 490 years. 14 Generations. And for the majority of that time, the birth of the Messiah was prophesied over and over again to generation after generation.

There is a prayer that is still common today in the Jewish culture. The Shema- it’s the most central of Jewish prayers, and the perfect picture into how Jews in a whole view their daily life and responsibilities.

This is just an excerpt:

Hear, O Israel, the Lord is our  God, the Lord is One.

Blessed be the name of the glory of His kingdom forever and ever.

You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your might. Therefore, place these words of Mine upon your heart and upon your soul, and bind them for a sign on your hand, and they shall be for a reminder between your eyes. You shall teach them to your children, to speak of them when you sit in your house and when you walk on the road, when you lie down and when you rise. And you shall inscribe them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates – so that your days and the days of your children may be prolonged on the land which the Lord swore to your fathers to give to them for as long as the heavens are above the earth.

Deuteronomy 6:4-9, 11:13-21; Numbers 15:37-41

This is the culture in which Mary and Joseph were raised.

The Jewish people knew that cultures absorb influences from other cultures. They lived under oppression of foreign rulers at that time. Rome occupied their home.  Their Jewish culture would have been strictly threatened by their conquerors. But the Jews knew that cultures absorb influences from other cultures. So the question they asked was, “which culture do we want to see as the influencer?”

Today, do we follow American culture? Or Gospel culture? Are our eyes fixed on the things of this world,  or are our eyes fixed on the King?

I think the tendency of today is to have the culture around us redefine the Gospel. But friends, let me tell you, the Gospel is here to redefine culture. And the Gospel points to the King. Where are we looking?

Children (including Mary and Joseph) were taught in Old Testament days to have their eyes turned to the future and be expectant of the birth of the King.

What are our children expectant of today?

Parents then had to be intentional. We are talking about a point in time, where women for instance were illiterate. There definitely weren’t any tattooed pregnant women pastors standing on a stage preaching to the masses. Women had a place in their home, they weren’t schooled or taught. Boys had the opportunity to go to school- but they still weren’t handed a Bible like you and I have today. There wasn’t mass production of their text to be taken home and studied. So although boys were taught to read and write, they memorized what they were taught. That’s how important it was to them. Many young men had the entire Torah committed to memory- what we in Christianity would refer to as the Pentateuch- The first five books of the Bible. Can you imagine?

And they knew prophecy. Prophets of old were considered great teachers as they traveled around speaking the word of the Lord to the people.

And those prophets spoke these things. These messianic prophecies that all kids, all families, Mary and Joseph would have been incredibly familiar with. People back then would have been constantly looking for the fulfillment of these things. Throughout scripture we see messianic prophecies…

  • The Messiah would be the star coming out of Jacob: Numbers 24:17
  • The Messiah would be a descendent of King David: 2 Samuel 7:12-14
  • The Messiah would be born of a virgin: Isaiah 7:14
  • The Messiah would be the Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father & Prince of Peace: Isaiah 9:6-7
  • The Messiah would be the Son of Man: Daniel 7:13-14
  • The Messiah would be born in Bethlehem: Micah 5:2

These things were spoken hundreds and hundreds of years preceding the birth of Jesus. Hundreds and hundreds of years before Mary would ever become pregnant with the Savior. Yet all of these things were fulfilled in Mary & Joseph’s own lives. And they were very specific words of knowledge. They were more than just an encouraging word or just the mention that the Messiah was coming. They were words and prophesies that would be completely verifiable hundreds of years later at the birth of Jesus. And they would have been passed from generation to generation. As children, Mary and Joseph would have heard these things often.

I’d propose that without the culture of expectancy, a culture whose eyes were constantly looking for the birth of the King-the culture that went before Mary and Joseph- something so out of this world would have been so much harder to have faith in and accept.

What are we doing to continue a culture of expectancy?

We’re not searching in the way that Mary & Joseph were for the birth of the King…..we know that the Messiah was born, that prophecy was fulfilled, and that King took the world on his shoulders when He died for you and I, and we know that the word says that He will return.

What are we doing to ensure that our eyes, that our children’s eyes are constantly looking for the return of the King?

The world’s eyes are turned a different direction. In the secular world we see society of kids that are placed on the altar of adult depravity- the only solace here is in the holy return of the King. So are we looking for that? Are we teaching our children to look for that? Are we passing that down from generation to generation?

Just look at headlines. Josh Duggar case, Ghislane Maxwell trial, Epstein, the recent reports about child sex crimes in the CIA, the crimes within CNN, listening to WOMEN SCREAM FOR THE RIGHT TO KILL THEIR BABIES AFTER 15 WEEKS, watching the gender propaganda being pushed by mainstream media, entertainment and EDUCATORS.

Satan loves to prey on the malleable minds of children. He hates little ones. Why? Because they are a threat to him. He knows that when we teach them who they are, and we teach them to serve the King of the world and when we demonstrate to them to always have their eyes fixed on the coming King that they wield a power he can’t stand up against.

You have built a stronghold by the songs of children.
    Strength rises up with the chorus of infants.
    This kind of praise has power to shut Satan’s mouth.
    Childlike worship will silence[a]
    the madness of those who oppose you.

Psalm 8:2


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