We were sitting in church yesterday and the sermon was on Jesus and such, as it is December, when the preacher mentioned that Joseph was the ‘step-father’. This perked my interest as I, myself, am a Step-Mom. (Side note: I like the term BonusMom, sounds less ‘cinderella-ie’)
But, by very definition, Joseph is indeed the “step-father”. This was just a mind blowing moment for me. It was one of those things that you know, but when shed on the right light, changes your thinking.
This had to be so hard! Because let me tell you, being a step-parent is even harder than being a regular parent. As if parenting is hard enough, trust me, it’s even harder.
Because we have heard this story so many times, we know that Jesus was born in what we imagine a magical stable, then we skip forward to him being like 11 and telling all the old guys at the big passover what’s what, and then all of a sudden he is 30 and backpacking all over doing his thing.
But he had to be RAISED. And as most healthy families, he needed a literal father figure in the household to teach him to be a man. Jesus came as a baby, not as a full grown man. Things needed to be done, potty training to be done, walking to be learned. I mean He needed to be taught how to eat!
So now that we have established that he was an actual toddler at some point, let’s get back to stepdad Joseph.
Our God is a good God. I mean, really pretty awesome. He let’s us make decisions. However stupid they may be, He let’s it be OUR own decision. So Joseph could have totally copped out of this deal and the world would support his decision. I mean after all, that kid Mary is knocked up with (i mean with respect but you know what I mean) is totally not his. And I mean, the angel came to him in a dream…don’t we disregard our dreams all the time and chalk it up to something we ate. But nope, Joseph was game! He said, “Bring it on Lord, I got your back. Let me raise Your son as my own and I will give it the best I got. I mean, I don’t do anything exciting. I work with my hands and sweat hard for a living. This kid will not have silk linens for his bed, but I will give him what I do have. And most of all, I will give him my love. I will teach him to be a man so that he can follow Your will. And Lord I am not entirely sure what all that entails, and I am REALLY not sure why you picked me, but I will give it my all.”
Just wow…can I be Joseph when I grow up? I wondered if he ever doubted himself along the way. I wondered if he ever broke down…even just a little.
I sat in church and thought on that for a minute and looked over at my son and thought, If I didn’t have my husband, where would this little guy be? I mean really, who would laugh at all of his fart and poop jokes? Lord knows little boys need that! Or those mom moments when you think, ‘yea, that’ll work’ and Dad comes around the corner and says, “that’s not for boys”. Boys need a dad, and Joseph stepped up and obviously did a pretty good job.
Being a Step Parent is bigger than just being a parent. Parents just do it cuz it needs to be done. But Step Parents do it because they CHOOSE to. They strap on an extra thick pair of pants and say “bring it on, I got your back”
So, if you are a Step parent and you are doubting you involvement or roll, take a lead from the most famous Step Parent EVER and teach your children to love God and to do His will.
This is my sweet “stepdaughter” (though I never call her that, that just sounded super weird). It is been one of the hardest jobs I have ever done, but I know we are in each others lives for a reason. And my biggest goal is to get her on the path God wants her on.