Stepping in Love : Stepparent Profiles – Joseph

Can you imagine how intimidating it must have been for Joseph to be Jesus’ stepfather? I don’t know if it would be harder to be the stepparent to a problem-child or to the perfect child? I mean, can you imagine how Joseph must have felt when he had to discipline Jesus? Did Jesus ever act up like other children? What would his 2 year old tantrums have looked like? Every interaction must have been awkward.

“Jesus, clean up your room. Were you born in a barn?….Forget I said that”

“I brought you into this world….ah, nevermind”

“Who do you think you are? The King of the Universe?”

“I know you’re Eternal, but I wasn’t born yesterday.

As hard as we think we have it, I think Joseph’s experience may actually trump ours. Step-parenting is difficult on the best of days, but I wonder what the prospect of parenting Jesus must have felt like.  I want to teach my girls so many things. I want to help them fulfill their destinies and much of this will be dependent on the behaviors I model for them. In light of my flaws and weaknesses, I wonder if I’m up to the challenge. Joseph must have felt like he had NOTHING to teach Jesus. He is omniscient (all knowing), omnipresent (all present) and omnipowerful (all powerful).  Jesus was God but he was also a human child who needed to be fathered. Joseph may not have had anything to teach Jesus in a spiritual sense, but he taught him how to be a carpenter. This became Jesus’ vocation.

Never underestimate what you have to offer your stepchild. We actually have a lot of influence over their lives (Both good or bad). I imagine a young Jesus watching Joseph while he worked, examining the various tools and asking if he could help. When he became old enough, Joseph would allow him to do increasingly more difficult tasks until he became fully trained and skilled in carpentry. Eventually, Jesus came to be known as the “carpenter’s son”. Joseph taught him to be a carpenter, but my guess is, he also taught him how to be a man.

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