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The First Jesus-Centered Marriage

December 5, 2016

Joseph’s world was shattered. His future drastically altered. The trajectory of his life was taking a turn that he never saw coming. How could she do this to him? He had pledged his love and devotion to her in front of his hometown friends and family. How could she, after hnativity_tree2011e valued her so much, value him so little? How could she bring this embarrassment, this shame, upon him and his family? How could Mary become pregnant by another man in the middle of their betrothal?


But then Joseph had a divine visitor that gave him some insight into the providence of God and the particulars of his soon-to-be life. This visitor, his message, was convincing enough to change Joseph’s heart. No longer was he willing to divorce his wife. Rather, Joseph would scoop her up, protect her, and nurture her throughout her pregnancy.

What were the words from that angel that melted Joseph’s heart? It was a message concerning the baby in Mary’s womb. She was not a cheater; she was a vessel being used by God. And that baby boy, he would save his people from their sins.

Right there is the beginning of the first Jesus-centered marriage. Oh I know, many marriages before then were built upon the foundation of God’s word. But this marriage was the first one built upon the specific person and work of Jesus Christ. Joseph did not keep Mary around because of some great aspirations for Jesus to make them a lot of money. He didn’t keep her around because there were fantastic dreams of him taking Joseph’s carpentry business to new heights. Joseph stayed in the marriage because of the gospel—Jesus would save His people from their sins.

Placing your children at the center of your marriage is a lethal move because your kids are not designed to carry that pressure. Both your marriage and your kids suffer from it. Unless, of course, you are Joseph and Mary. Their first child could carry the burden. And he did.

So this Christmas season, if you are looking for a foundation strong enough upon which to build your marriage, look no further than Mary and Joseph’s marriage. It was crumbling apart right before their eyes. No hope was in sight as far as Joseph was concerned, until his sight was directed towards the salvation that this newborn baby would bring.

I know. Your marriage vows may have really been broken. Perhaps heartbreak and pain and betrayal really are present within your relationship and the bond is severely strained. Your relationship isn’t just a perceived hurt like Joseph’s was, but rather, your marriage is filled with a legitimate sting. But there is still hope, because that baby named Jesus, who would save their people from their sins, really was born, and he really did provide salvation for his people. He really does make his people new—new hearts, new desires, new forgiveness, new mercy.

Turn to Jesus today. Repent of not having Jesus as your foundation. Trust him, like Joseph and Mary did. Get on board with Jesus’ message and mission. Let him be the foundation, and watch your marriage flourish.


photo cred:By Jeff Weese – Flickr: Nativity, CC BY 2.0,

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