What we can learn from the family Jesus was born into

Christmas.

Christmas gifts.

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In a short while, Christmas will be here with us again. This week marks an important date for holidaymakers, a holiday revered for its significance by those who ascribe to the Christian faith. For the Christian, the coming of Christ through the work of the Spirit in a natural family has a lot of significance. This natural family where Jesus was born into has a lot that we can learn from.

First is the unparalleled devotion of obedience shown by the couple.

 When Joseph realises that Mary is with child, he does not reject her, and as much as he had within him many unanswered questions, he sticks by Mary’s side, and actively shows his devotion to her.

Obviously, there is no marriage without challenges, it is how we navigate them that matters.

Second, challenges help us find new strategies to keep moving forward in our relationships. Misunderstanding, if left unchecked, could trigger hurt or create confusion between a husband and wife. Because God remains a key part of your relationship, he plays a key role in your unity that helps you remain together.

Third, Joseph and Mary chose not to take shortcuts. When the angel said, “Do not divorce Mary,” Joseph listened to the advice. Could it be that such a thought was being entertained by him? Instead of blaming or getting rid of the baby to avoid shame, they boldly took the step to be parents to the unborn child.

When couples grasp this idea of true sacrifice to each other and fully embrace it, they will be able to approach their marriages from an entirely new perspective. They will learn to view their relationship as a total partnership, where they share in both the good and bad times together. While Mary sacrifices the fact that she was a virgin waiting to be married, Joseph makes the sacrifice to face any ridicule that would emanate from this pregnancy.

True love

Fourth, we may never have all the answers, but true love makes the impossible possible. Love deepens through tough moments where spouses act with devotion. Love points to that which is pure, selfless, and unconditional connection.

Joseph and Mary bring to us this same understanding. Deep love that shows compassion is possible in a marriage. Instead of taking the easy way out, which included leaving each other, Joseph and Mary chose a path of courage and selflessness.

When our reality is tested, victory can only come through devotion, sacrifice and remaining true to each other. Our words gain meaning when accompanied by expressions that authenticate them.

Lastly, Joseph and Mary teach how to face struggles together. When the life of their baby is threatened, Joseph as a good husband takes the lead in offering protection to the family.

There are many adversaries on the way to building a great relationship, however, victory is assured where we navigate such troubled waters without running the love boat aground. Such support for each other is evident when we offer help where and when it is needed.

The Bible aptly shows us how the couple navigated the pain of managing their far from ordinary relationship and what others thought about their relationship and how they managed to care for and protect their child.

Memorable experiences

This Christmas, creating memorable experiences as a couple is possible. Start by showing affection and warmth that befits the season. Put on the right attitude and support your spouse in every way possible.

Finally, engage in meaningful family dialogue that includes talking about your dreams, but even as you do this, don’t forget to celebrate your achievements. Round this off by gifting your spouse to affirm your partner’s place in your relationship.

Let this Christmas be about the two of you because when you focus on one person, it sets the stage for selfishness. Think of the angels celebrating through music and the wise men finding their way to the cowshed to visit and gift Jesus. This was indeed an unselfish occasion. It was about the family. I pray that family will take centre stage this Christmas.

Merry Christmas

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