Day 37: Parenting: A Lifestyle of Faith

Luke 2:39-41 :

When they had accomplished all things that were according to the law of the Lord, they returned into Galilee, to their own city, Nazareth. The child was growing, and was becoming strong in spirit, being filled with wisdom, and the grace of God was upon him. His parents went every year to Jerusalem at the feast of the Passover.

Mary and Joseph were godly parents in that they gave God first place in how they lived day-by-day. They believed God and so they carefully did everything that was required of them, even though it meant that they had to travel. This lifestyle of faith is a good example to all parents. Our lives should demonstrate what we believe and our actions should go along with our words.

What a great thing it is for a child to grow up in a home in which God is given first place. In a home like that children get exposed to the kind of influences that will cause them to grow inside and out. I am sure that it was God who was helping Mary and Joseph as they relied on Him. That’s how it is for us. We don’t really know what to do sometimes as parents, but trusting in God is a good way to find out since He is the one who created all of us.

Specifically here, I like how Mary and Joseph took a “yearly vacation” to spend time with others who shared the same faith. That is very important for us today. Families should spend time together with each other in a setting of faith so that it can counteract the world and build up children and their parents. Just like today, Mary, Joseph and family lived in a culture that was antagonistic toward a godly lifestyle and doing this each year must have given their family a good set of memories that included God and His people interacting naturally with less inhibition and distraction.

It’s good to note that Mary and Joseph had other children and they raised them quite well. Jesus’ own brother became an important leader after Jesus went up into heaven. It is obvious that this earthly family had troubles and made mistakes as we read later, but this involvement with things of God must have made it much more healthy than it would have been otherwise.