Being a Dad of Quiet Wisdom Earns Respect of Kids
- Thursday, March 06, 2003
What Dads Today Can Learn From Joseph - Part 2
Quiet wisdom is a quality that allows solutions to be evident not from the spoken word, rather the absence of it. ~~ Dave, a dad.
From the front door of the family's 1950's dollhouse-style house one could look directly through the living room, past the square hallway and into, should the door be opened, the teenage son's bedroom.
One particular afternoon, having returned from another long day at work, the boy's mother stepped through the threshold of their home to see that the door was, indeed, opened...and that her son had hung a rather large poster of a voluptuous, tanned young thing on the wall directly across from the bedroom door. Meaning, anyone who walked into the front door of the house could see the slick and glossy image of the young woman who wore only a snake-skinned bikini and a pout.
Mom freaked out, pointing out every possible sin associated with the poster. The son argued back. "What's wrong with it?" he asked. "What's the big deal? It's not like every time I go to the beach I'm not seeing some girl in a bikini."
Mom fired back, "But when people walk in...THIS is the first thing they'll see!"
It was about this time that the father, a man of quiet wisdom, walked into the house. Mom, who was certain her husband would demand the immediate removal of the eyesore, turned victoriously as he stepped toward them. The son, who was equally certain his father would appreciate the finer things in life (like poster art of beautiful women), turned as well.
Dad stopped before the poster, studied it for a moment, then moved toward the door. "Well?" his wife asked before he could get into the hallway.
Turning back, Dad said, "Must have been an awfully small snake."
From within the privacy of their bedroom, Mom and Dad discussed the poster...Mom doing most of the talking. Finally, Dad said, "Honey, make a mountain out of this, and he'll keep the poster up forever just to spite us. Say nothing, and it will lose his appeal."
Dad...so quiet...so wise...was absolutely correct! Within two weeks, the poster was removed from the wall, never to be replaced.
In the days of Joseph and Mary, our young couple of the Gospel story who would parent the Savior of mankind, marriage was not only sacred it was a covenant vow. Laws had been written concerning it. Strict laws. According to the International Standard Bible Encyclopaedia, [This is the correct spelling] - "Of the three great events in the family life, birth, marriage and death, marriage was regarded as the most important." 1
Unlike our modern marriages, the legal union of a man and woman began with the betrothal. (The closest thing we have to a betrothal is an engagement period...which doesn't even come close!) Rather than Joseph slipping an engagement ring worth two month's salary on Mary's finger, his father asked Mary's father if the young virgin could be his son's bride, offering a price for her, called the mohar.
When the father's had finished with this piece of business, the groom's father poured a glass of wine, which he then handed to his son. The young man then offered (or passed) the glass to his intended bride. If she accepted the cup and drank from it, she was agreeing to be his for life.
When Joseph and Mary went through this act, their parents present, they sanctified themselves to each other for their entire village to see. Afterward, Joseph returned to his father's home where he would begin to prepare a proper place for his future wife.
Mary remained with her parents, waiting for Joseph's return (which, according to custom, would happen a year later, at night, with much fanfare!). Though the two were legally bound, they were not to consummate the marriage until the "Marriage Proper" so, until that time, Mary was to remain a faithful virgin to her intended.
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