The transitional changes of life and living today reflects in the state of our families. Many married parents divorce each other. Many are parents that have never been married. As a result, when the step of matrimony is taken or re taken by these individuals, the new union creates a step family. At that point, the love and commitment of the newly married couple, is charged with blending a family. This is a very common occurrence and yet the true challenge of blending a family harmoniously can seem impossible to accomplish at times. Visitation schedules, weekend times, child support (too much; too little), are all issues that may arise and present roadblocks to a smooth transition into a “beautiful blend”. One thing that step families should note and take to heart at this season of holiday celebration is that Jesus, Mary, and Joseph were a step family. They set a wonderful example of overcoming hardship in order to be the Greatest blended family. Let’s examine:
1. The creation of their family was a Divine creation. Although, Mary and Joseph were engaged, Mary was a virgin when she conceived Jesus. Gabriel, the angel first foretold her of the impending birth. An angel also appeared to Joseph to calm his concerns regarding Mary and the conception and to make him understand that the conception was not carnal but divine. A premarital pregnancy in those days could have been not only a dismal embarassment but it could have cost Mary her security and life. It would have also brought great shame to Joseph and affected his social standing. Despite this, both answered the divine call and creation of their family. Just as today, the blended family is a calling and a creation of God.
2. The family had to flee trouble and depend on God’s guidance to keep them safe. At the time of Mary’s pregnancy, King Herod wanted to kill the child Jesus for fear of being dethroned by Him. There resources were limited even at the time of Jesus’ birth. But they depended on God’s guidance through this difficult time. Step families, will sometimes have outsiders who may want the “death” of their families by creating conflict. Sometimes, physical resources such as money and space may be limited. However, the example of Mary and Joseph who remained steadfast on their journey, is one step families should emulate. Follow God’s guidance.
3. Rough travels can lead to new beginnings. The constant traveling of Mary and Joseph to flee Herod and the meager beginnings of Jesus’ birth in a stable did not end their story. Instead, it was the beginning. For those of us who are Christians, the obedience of Mary and Joseph allowed the birth of our Savior to come forth. Their rocky road of travels and upheaval was a new beginning for mankind. Therefore, stepfamilies following the example of the greatest blended family should keep in mind that sometimes travel on rough roads leads to great beginnings. The key is obedience to God’s guidance.
So, do you want to be treated “like a stepchild”….yes if called….Jesus had a stepfather.