During this Advent season I have been reminded of an older Michael Card song (1991) entitled “Joseph’s Song.”  The chorus goes like this: “Father show me where I fit into this plan of yours/How can a man be father to the Son of God/Lord for all my life I’ve been a simple carpenter/How can I raise a king, How can I raise a King/He looks so small, His face and hands so fair/And when He cries the sun just seems to disappear/But when he laughs it shines again/How could it be”

I often cry when I listen to Michael sing this song.  I am not quite sure why.  I think it has to do with the humble obedience of a simple carpenter. Joseph was the most unlikely man to be the earthly father of Jesus.  He could have been overwhelmed by the prospects of being the human father of our Lord.  Instead, he accepted the responsibility.  He willingly provided a “spiritual covering” for his very young family.  Imagine what lay ahead for Joseph as he cared for  Mary and the baby she was now carrying.

Men, how willing are we to take spiritual responsibility for our families. Your wife and children need you to provide them protection. They are vulnerable to spiritual attack.  Joseph was young and inexperienced in family life, yet he was obedient. God spoke to Joseph in dreams. Joseph’s  heart was open to the leading of the Spirit of God. In three of the four accounts “an angel of the Lord” appearing to him in a dream.

The first reassured Joseph to go ahead with his wedding plans.  Imagine hearing these words from an angel, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit” (Matt. 1:20).  Joseph needed to hear “do not be afraid.” He could still get married.  Remarkably, Joseph obeyed.  “When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife” (Matt. 1:24). God will give you the strength to follow through.

The second dream came when there was real danger.  The angel said, “Get up take the child and his mother and escape to Egypt. Stay there until I tell you, for Herod is going to search for the child to kill him” (Matt 2:13).  Men, I want to both warn and reassure as you provide covering for our family.  Satan will attack your family.  God will provide the way of escape as you are obedient to the Spirit.  Don’t lose the covering.

The third dream 0ccured after wicked Herod died, freeing his young family from danger.  “Get up, take the child and his mother and go to the land of Israel, for those who were trying to take the child’s life are dead” (Matt 2:20). Like Joseph, God asks us to act – “Get up.” It was hard traveling with a baby.  Joseph, “took the child and his mother and went to the land of Israel'” (Matt. 2:21).  Ask yourself – “What is God asking me to do in order to protect my family.”

The fourth dream came when Joseph was fearful about going back to Judea because of Archelaus, who had succeeded Herod as king.  “Having been warned in a dream, he withdrew to the district of Galilee, and he went and lived in a town called Nazareth” (Matt. 2:22).   Don’t be surprised if God asks you to do something you would not otherwise do to protect your family.

Remember no one came take your place as the head of your family!!!  God will hear as you cry out to him for mercy.