Fatherless Boys at Christmas

When A Father-To-Be Had An Important Decision To Make

His betrothed was pregnant.  And he had not impregnated his bride to be.  You can imagine the thoughts that ran through this man’s mind.  Only he knew this.  If he disclosed it, his wife to be would be shamed by her family.  This would be disgraceful in a family that had strong religious beliefs.  She was already pledged to Joe and was eight months into her pregnancy.  She couldn’t hide being with child.  As we pick up on the story, the couple was on the run, traveling to a distant town.  They used the excuse of having to sign census forms in their home town to escape from their families.  Joe, torn inside by the fact Mary was apparently pregnant by another man, decides he must divorce his new bride.  Yet in a dream he is told by God to marry his fiancée.

Given there weren’t marriage certificates in those days, Joe would have customarily paid the father of his fiancé the traditional bride price, so in effect, they were married.  That relieved the scandalous problem of being pregnant before marriage. But who was the father?   Joe wrestled with knowing he had not had sexual relations with Mary.

The Boy Crisis: Why Ou... Gray PhD, John Best Price: $10.00 Buy New $12.42 (as of 11:35 EST - Details) He was beside Mary when, while traveling, she suddenly broke water and could only make it to a nearby barn to give birth to an infant boy as hotel rooms were jammed due to the required census taking.  The shepherds came to view this child in awe and amazement.  But what was so special about this infant?

The above story is a paraphrased version of the birth of Jesus to Joseph and Mary some two thousand years ago.  Had Joseph left Mary, Jesus would have been a fatherless child.  Just how would Jesus have turned out without his father?

Jesus was too young to recall the precious gifts of gold and herbs from traveling stargazers, who hailed Him as the coming king of their land.  Jesus was too young to recall the first time His parents brought Him to church where his cries are heard by the elderly Anna and Simeon.  Simeon instantly views the infant Jesus as if he recognizes Him as the long awaited and coming messiah.  Simeon cries to God: “My eyes have seen your salvation.”  The young Jesus must have heard about all of this from his father as He grew up.

We don’t read much about Jesus’ dad.  He traveled to Egypt to keep his son from being murdered by the king who was killing every newborn in the land after it was foretold one newborn child would become the new king.  So His father was a good protector.  No swords to swing.  He just stayed out of Harm’s way.

The War Against Boys: ... Sommers, Christina Hoff Best Price: $5.41 Buy New $9.89 (as of 04:40 EST - Details) Jesus also learned to be a carpenter.  Only His father would have mentored him into that trade.  But that must have been His avocation because, by age 12, Jesus went missing from his family for three days and was later found in the temple rather than playing marbles like the other kids.

When Jesus was found by his mother and father He said: “Why did you seek Me? Did you not know that I must be about My Father’s business?”  But his parents did not understand that statement.

He didn’t have to be forced to go to church.  In fact, he relished the idea of debating the elders there.  But He was no church kid.  His many parables revealed Jesus knew about money and investments (parable of the talents), agriculture (as much faith as a mustard seed), baking bread (parable of the leaven), fishing (parable of the net), healing (the man born blind), division of labor (laborers in the vineyard), taxes (render unto Caesar), and the insight to handle liars (the rich young ruler).  It would be difficult to fathom this young Jesus learned about all these things by Himself.  His father must have taught him by example and instruction.  I wonder what Joseph read to young Jesus for a bedtime story?

The scriptures say Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men.  The teachers in the Temple were astounded by His understanding and answers, says the written accounts of that day.  Jesus’ father fades from view.  By the time He is being crucified there is no mention of him.

Father and Child Reunion Farrell, Warren Best Price: null Buy New $9.99 (as of 11:13 EST - Details) It later became obvious Jesus was quite literate as He quoted hundreds of scriptures from 27 books of the Old Testament off the top of his head.  Who would have taught Him from a young age but His father, as Jewish men had to learn to read the first five books of the Old Testament.

Today there is no more gripping presentation of the manifestations of fatherlessness in our modern society than Warren Farrell’s presentations on the topic.  In the book THE BOY CRISIS, Farrell and co-author John Gray note that boys often have underlying anger.  Fatherless boys are more likely to dropout from school.  In 4 in 10 households in America children are fatherless.  In divorce, 40% of mothers are blocking their boys (and girls) contact with their father.

Aimless boys end up unconsciously searching for a missing father and are vulnerable to predators in our society.  Farrell says, for the first time, this generation’s boys have less education than their dads.  Fatherless boys are less empathetic, less assertive, and less likely to perform well in school.  Fatherless boys comprise 80% of the prison population. Fatherless boys are more likely to decide to end it all.  Who knew?

Two thousand years ago Joseph made a choice, to listen to God, to be Jesus’ father.  Do you think the outcome would have been the same had Jesus been fatherless?

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