2006-05-26 - Purity Is Possible, Mary and Joseph Did It
Matthew 1:18-25 (NIV)
When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife. (Verse 24)
Long before abstinence campaigns became the latest rage, Joseph was the role model for God's plan for purity. He was a man of honor. He did not want to disgrace Mary, even though it was believed at that point she had been unfaithful to him. Joseph had integrity. His feelings and emotions were not the center of the universe. Joseph wasn't worried about his ego-it was still intact.
Once it was revealed that Mary had not cheated on him, Joseph and Mary married and continued to abstain from intimate relations until Jesus was born. Even though Joseph and Mary were married and it was "legal" to engage in marital relations, they did not. Both loved God and the holy child inside Mary more than their physical needs dictated. Talk about willpower. Of course there is nothing wrong wtih a married couple enjoying a healthy sexual relationship; in fact, as Paul says in 1 Corinthians 7 it's a gift from God.
I pray Mary and Joseph can be an example to us the next time we are tempted to go beyond our limits. We can say no to a second helping of food and we can avert our eyes from the latest violent movie. It's in our reach; we don't have to compromise.
God, Raise up more men like Joseph. No matter what society says is the norm, let us be a people of integrity and conviction. Let us stand up for the right to live a pure life. If we fall, pick us up. We don't have to stay defeated, for we are victorious by the blood of Jesus. May we always remember that we are not defeated; Satan is. In Jesus' glorious name I pray, Amen.