I love the Bible for two reasons:
(1) It Is Very Relevant
More and more people are realizing that – from money to marriage to business to sex to raising children to the workplace – the Bible really gives solid advice that is very relevant in our present world.
(2) It Is Very Real
Humans have a tendency to idolize or demonize people – painting those they love as complete saints or angels, and blackening those they dislike as total devils.
The Bible does neither. It simply shows people just as they are.
This authenticity makes it easy for us to have them as ‘standards’ or role-models in certain areas – while discarding other parts of their lives. When you study those areas they excelled in, you are able to apply those principles to your own life.
*So, David was a very poor father – but he is the ‘standard’ in kingship, worship and intimacy with God.
*Solomon was a terrible husband – but he is the ‘standard’ for wealth, wisdom and skill in international relations and diplomacy.
*The ‘standard’ for youthful purity is Joseph.
*The ‘standard’ for faith is Abraham…
…and if you are searching for the qualities a good man should have for/in marriage, the ‘standard’ for the perfect husband is Joseph, the husband of Mary.
What are these qualities? Beginning from the spiritual:
(1) A Good Man Is a Son Of God.
You definitely know I will start from here. A good man has the nature and DNA of the Father in him. He is not trying to become a son. He is already in the family.
(2) A Good Man Has An On-Going Relationship With God.
It’s one thing to be a Son. It’s another thing to have a continuous relationship with your Father. This goes beyond bearing the tag ‘Christian’ or ‘righteous’ or ‘godly’. There is an ongoing relationship with God that colours everything he does.
We see from Joseph’s life that God was always talking with him, showing him things to come – and giving him instructions and warnings.
It was this relationship with God that made him protect Mary, and not put her away.
When a man has a real, continuous, vibrant relationship with God, it will change him into the image of Christ – who is the perfect husband to an imperfect church.
(3) A Good Man Obeys God – Despite The Circumstances.
Joseph knew that marrying the pregnant Mary was going to put his own reputation on the line. Who would believe that they didn’t sleep together – but, instead, she got pregnant by the Holy Ghost?!
But, you see, it wasn’t just Mary that God carefully selected – concerning the birth and life of Jesus on the earth. He was also particular about her companion. He was very selective about the person who would have the privilege of being Jesus’ earthly father – because that person could disrupt the whole process on earth.
God selected someone who would obey Him immediately and totally, not minding the consequences, his reputation – or the inconveniences. (You need to re-read Matthew 1:19 – 2:23 with fresh eyes. Joseph was phenomenal.)
The safest place to be is in the will of God – and the safest place a woman can rest (on earth) is in the arms of a man who would obey God – despite all odds, despite people’s opinions…and, even, despite her own objections.
(3) A Good Man Is Kind.
The Bible says that Joseph was a just man. Apart from ‘righteous,’ other translations say, ‘kind’, ‘kind-hearted’, ‘good’.
A good man has innate goodness:
He does not kick the dog or a child when he is upset.
He does not cut off his parents’ monthly allowance because he is angry at them.
He doesn’t play mind games or psychological games to ‘keep you on your toes’.
He doesn’t pull back or renege on his promise to assist or help because you had a quarrel – or did something he didn’t like.
He doesn’t rejoice when you fall into a major problem just because he can now say, “I told you so.”
He doesn’t puncture your tires when you have an important meeting or interview because you angered him. (Watch how a man fights before marriage. It’s a clear indicator of what to expect in marriage.)
A good man is not cruel.
He is basically just ‘good’.
(4) A Good Man Is Protective Of Your Reputation.
This, for me, is major. According to the Old Testament, any betrothed woman who slept with another man – not to mention getting pregnant – was stoned to death. Publicly. (Deuteronomy 22:23&24)
However, the Bible says in Matthew 1:19, Joseph did not want to ‘make her a public example and decided to put her away secretly’. Other translations read, Joseph
‘…did not want to shame her publicly.’ (BLB)
‘…was unwilling to put her to shame.’ (ESV)
‘…was not willing to disgrace her.’ (CSB)
‘…did not want to embarrass Mary in front of everyone’ (CEV)
Yes, Joseph was in the right, and Mary was – seemingly – in the wrong; yet, he didn’t want to embarrass her – even though he had the right to.
Love is protective and covers a multitude of sins – and this is very important because there might be things you will do that might hurt/grieve your spouse in marriage. However, a good man will not easily – and publicly – broadcast your flaws to show his grief or hurt.
Why was Joseph like this? Because ‘he was a righteous man’. (Matthew 1:19) That’s the root, sisters. That’s the root.
Now, did you notice that – in listing the qualities of Joseph – the Bible did not mention what he looked like? Or how much money he had?
(…to be continued)