Have you ever thought about what Mary was like as a child? We envision her as being one of the sweetest, most obedient, meek, and godly young ladies you would ever hope to meet. There had to have been something special about her for God to choose her as the mother of His only Son. Though she may have been considered an adult in her culture when the Holy Spirit overshadowed her (it is believed she was a young teenager), she was still incredibly young and untouched. When I was thirteen or fourteen, I could boil eggs, make stir-fry and cook boxed Mac ‘n’ Cheese. I could not have imagined having a child, especially without being married.
When I was a teenager, I had recurring pregnancy dreams and I can remember the fear I felt. In one dream, I was seven months pregnant and at my baby shower, I hid in my room from all the visiting ladies. I called my mom and friend in and told them that I didn’t know how it was possible for me to be pregnant. I woke up from that scary dream but Mary’s “dream” was not a dream. God sent the angel Gabriel to her to explain what would happen and he addressed her by saying “Greetings, O favored one, the Lord is with you!” (Luke 1:28 ESV) I don’t think there could be anything sweeter in this life than to be called highly favored of the Lord!
Even though Mary knew that the Baby in her womb was from the Lord and that she had done nothing promiscuous, I would imagine she was still somewhat fearful about what others would think of her. Not only that, but she was betrothed (like engagement, but stronger, though not yet married) to an honorable man, Joseph. What would he think of her? What would he do?
But God had every detail worked out (as He always does) and after Joseph had decided to break the betrothal quietly, an angel appeared to Joseph and said, “Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” (Matthew 1:20b-21) No pressure, Joseph!
God favored Mary, but He must have also considered Joseph to be worthy. After all, he was responsible for raising Jesus, teaching Him a trade, and caring for Him until adulthood. Parenting is no cake walk with an earthly child, but this child was fully God and fully man. I imagine there were days when young Jesus taught His earthly father a thing or two about life. ~smile~
Can you imagine being engaged to someone, her getting pregnant, and you knowing the baby is not yours? What emotions would flood you? Betrayal? Anger? An intense pain in your chest? In those days, having a baby outside of wedlock just wasn’t done (and could possibly face the Israelite death penalty). It wouldn’t surprise me at all if Mary was shunned, whispered about behind her back, or simply put down by others. Sometimes to accomplish God’s will in your life, you will be shunned, whispered about, and put down by others. Mary and Joseph faithfully carried out their God given roles and birthed, raised, and loved the Son of God.
The Bible doesn’t go into much detail about Mary and Joseph’s marriage, but the fact that God chose them to be Jesus’ earthly parents says a lot about their characters. They were not spectacular people by the world’s standards, but God saw something special in them: they were obedient and faithful. They didn’t run from His call, they did what God commanded, and they were faithful to Jesus, their other children, and each other.
Obedience and faithfulness should pretty much sum up a believer’s walk with God. God doesn’t require us to be extraordinary in the eyes of men. He tells us to trust Him, obey Him, thank Him, and be faithful to Him. Believe me; living this way will not only bring peace to your life, but to your marriage. When both marriage partners love God and serve Him faithfully, the other circumstances often fall gently into place. The husband and wife who are faithful to God will naturally be faithful to each other.
I can’t imagine what it must have been like to hold the Son of God in my arms as a tiny infant. I would love the opportunity to look into Mary and Joseph’s home and see them interact with their kids and each other. What went on in Jesus’ household? Were there lots of hugs and laughter? I wouldn’t be surprised. ~smile~
When you choose a future mate, look for someone you truly believe will follow the call of God faithfully. Ask yourself, “If God gave this man the task of raising a child that was not his own, would he do it or run from the responsibility?” “If God told this woman to do something that could cost her reputation, her friends, and potentially her life, would she be faithful to God’s call?”
The safest place to be is in the center of God’s will. It’s not always easy to choose God’s path, but it’s even harder to follow God’s call if you are married to someone who refuses to obey Him. Mary and Joseph didn’t have a perfect, easy life (after all, Mary had to watch her firstborn Son brutally beaten, hung on a Roman torture device, and stabbed in His side). But, even after all of that, no one can question their faithfulness.
Is your boyfriend or girlfriend a godly man or woman who desires to please God above all else?