As I sat in church yesterday and listened to pastor talk about Joseph, "father" of Jesus, I thought about how important a father is in the life of his child/dren and how so many men have come to take that for granted.
While Joseph is only mentioned in 16 versus of the New Testament his role was not nearly as insiginifcant as his 16 versus, in fact he was extremely important and a positive role model for all men to follow. Why? Because although Joseph didn't immediately believe that he child was legitimately his; he accepted the word of the angels and assumed the role of father. He followed the word of God and supported Mary and raised Jesus as his own son. He didn't let anything stand in his way of supporting his family and treated Jesus no differently had he been his biological father.
Now, in a day and age where many men knowing create children, they are turning their backs on them as if the children are dispensible items. Correction, the condom should have been. I'm not letting the women off the hook here either because they should be protecting themselves against pregnancy too. That aside, my point goes back to the men. Many men in today's society are/were raised by a single mother. Many of these men never knew their father's and if they did the relationship was (in some instances) are strained one. Forgive me if I sound like I'm brow beating all men; I'm not. I'm merely pointing out some facts and not attacking those who have stepped up to the plate.
I digress. If you as a man are not willing, ready, or able to play your part in the childs life, then do whatever you can to prevent that pregnancy from occuring. If you have reason to believe that ol' girl was sharing her cookies, then be willing to take a paternity test. If the child is yours, then take care of him/her and be the best parent you can be. Furthermore, if you've decided to be with a women who already has children, still be a good role model for that child. Women, stop laying down with every and any man hoping he'll be a good daddy to that child.
Our children are having a hard time making it in this society and if we keep creating them without regard for their future, what kind of future will they have? I was recently over at Electronic Village and came across this article.
America has lost generation of black boys, which describes how black men are regarded in this country and how other countries are considering adpoting some of the US's policies.
I've said all this to say, that Joseph was a fine example of how a man, husband, and father should be. He followed God, supported his wife, and took care of his son. Granted Jesus was not biologically his, but he assumed his role and did it well. Fathers, be they biological, step, adoptive, surrogate, or godfathers need to step up to the plate and do their part. They need to look at Joseph as their example and follow his lead. Men, and the women who love them, I implore you to give these children the love, care, time, and attention they deserve and require. Women do your part also. If you're fortunate to have a supportive father to your child, tell him how much you appreciate his help, role, and love. Think of Mary and how she could have been divorced, disgraced, and disowned had Joseph not listened to the angels in his dream. Women, stop putting yourself in positions where paternity has to be questioned and/or challenged. Men stop helping to create children you're unwilling or unable to raise and play an active/positive role in their lives.
Parenting is a two person activity and we must remember and practice that.