On Husbands and Hobbits: an Unexpected Journey
Today is my husband’s Birthday.
In honor of this incredible man, born just a week short of Christmas Eve, I would like to bring light to another significant husband in the Bible:
Joseph was an ordinary man, a carpenter who daily worshipped God in his work. Like many people, Joseph may have had expectations for his life. But God had other plans for him.
In many ways, Joseph’s story reminds me of the plot in Peter Jackson’s retelling of The Hobbitl.
Biblo also had plans to live a quiet simple life and enjoy the peace of his little home. Assisting a bunch of dwarves in a journey that would certainly change his life (not necessarily for the better), was not a welcome prospect. Yet eventually, we willingly stepped out his front door.
Joseph’s plan to get married, live a quiet life in a small town, and raise a simple family with Mary, was also slightly altered to say the least. God stepped in and asked Joseph to marry a woman whose reputation would always be stained with an out-of-wedlock pregnancy. God asked Joseph to bear his own reputation as the gullible man who fell for her trickery, claiming that the Holy Spirit conceived the child in her. In all wisdom and divine authority, God gave Joseph the opportunity to step out of the simple, and step into the reckless but redemptive plan of the most High God.
And Joseph did.
“And Joseph awoke from his sleep and did as the angel of the Lord commanded him, and took Mary as his wife, but kept her a virgin until she gave birth to a Son; and he called His name Jesus.” (Matthew 1:24-25)
Joseph was faithful to raise a Son who was not his own, probably at the scoffing of many. But that Son would one day save the world…. because Jesus was conceived by God, He did live the life of a man veiled in flesh, and He did die the death that I deserved so that I could live the (everlasting) life I couldn’t earn!
Joseph chose a painful obedience; knowing this baby would one day “save His people from their sins” through His own death and sacrifice would not have been easy. (Matthew 1:21) Nor could hearing the remarks of family and friends, the discouragement from co-workers, seeing the raised eye-brows from clients for his carpentry… yet Joseph obeyed.
Not only did he obey at the beginning, but Joseph obeyed through the whole process. He fathered Jesus; he taught Jesus how to use a hammer. Joseph did the day-to-day mysteries to honor God, provide for his wife, and raise God’s Son.
As Gandalf says of Biblo: “I found it is the small everyday deeds of ordinary folk that keep the darkness at bay. Small acts of kindness and love.”
It is these men, and specifically these husbands, that make all the difference in the world and, as Gandalf says again, “gives me courage.”
My dad is also an obedient carpenter. His unexpected journey brought him a wife and 3 daughters and way too much estrogen in one home. But he maintained the day-by-day faithfulness to nurture us all into godly women.
My father-in-law is also a man who worked with his hands, as a roofer; he too obeyed God by raising a godly man who would one day be my husband. On this day, 25 years ago, they took up the responsibility as Joseph did, not knowing what raising Shane would be like, or if God would fashion this son into their hearts desire. Through the ups and downs, God does prove to be faithful….
Like his father and like mine, like Joseph and Jesus too (who spent 30 years also honoring God in the everyday activities), Shane is a man who is faithful in the little things. He loves me daily in ways I will never know. He is strong and courageous to share the love of God with others. He is honorable in his work. He provides for our family and I know he will make an amazing father someday (but not quite yet.)
Shane makes the mystery of Christ evident in his daily manner. He honors God daily in whatever he does… “in word or deed, [doing] all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father.” (Colossians 3:17)
I praise the Lord for Godly men (and hobbits) who work day in and day out, stay faithful to the Lord, love their wives, and provide for their families both physically and spiritually… no matter how unexpected the journey.
Please watch Mark Driscoll’s excellent sermon on this subject, from which God encouraged me greatly with these thoughts today.