Application for Dad's Today
We don't know an awful lot about Joseph, but what we do know is measurably good.  We can assume (and correctly, I'm sure) that Father God would not choose just any ole carpenter to raise His Son.  Joseph was a man of honor, hard working at his trade-enough that he was known by what he did professionally. ("Is not this the carpenter's son? Is not His mother called Mary, and His brothers, James and Joseph and Simon and Judas? -Matthew 13:55) He raised Jesus to work in the same profession (Mark 6:3 reads: "Is this not the carpenter?").  We should rightfully presume that Joseph taught Jesus to perform at his job well.  After all, what righteous father would train his son to fail?
I well remember the afternoon my husband taught our son, Chris, the fine art of cutting grass. (It should be noted that my husband has a landscape design and maintenance company.)  Having given the twelve-year-old apprentice the right tools (a mower) and carefully explaining the details of how to use it, push it, pivot the wheels and turn it to the opposite direction, he stepped onto the front porch, joining me where I stood observing.  After a few painstaking minutes of watching our boy push the mower back and forth, around and over, my husband shook his head as it hung between his shoulders.  "Our yard looks like a jigsaw puzzle," he said.
But when Chris was finished, his father praised his efforts, then went over some of the finer details of perfection.  Years later, Chris-as an adult-went into business with his father. Though the joint business venture was short lived, it certainly proved that the son had learned well from the father.  Allow me to be the first to tell you that when our son called to tell us he and his wife were expecting a baby; my husband said to me, "Chris will make a good father."
"He learned from the best," I replied. 
"I could have done better," he said.  In that moment, I remembered the boy and the mower. 
In speaking with several fathers about the role models they had versus the role models they wanted to be, I discovered that Christian father's of today have a fairly clear understanding of the relationship between themselves, their children, and their Heavenly Father. One father told me, "As an earthly father, it's my goal to be godly in front of, and to my children. I want to be a father of unconditional, sacrificial love, forgiveness and mercy, while upholding the importance of obedience, respect and discipline (consequences), while not denying who I am - a man who would be lost without Jesus. It's a delicate balance at which I typically fail miserably, but it's a goal!"  Another dad said, "If [my children] see me act kindly or offer hospitality and help to those in need, those less fortunate, or those who are simply cranky, they see that grace is better than callousness."
Another father told me that while his dad had not been a "bad" father, he wasn't an especially good role model. "The one thing I didn't have with my father was his attention and time. I promised myself that I would listen to my children. I tried." 
In other words, Dads, the issues of what it takes to be a good father begin with you.
Raising your children to be men and women of respect has nothing to do with who your father was or his father or the father before him.  It has to do with who YOU are, how you act, how you respond to people around you and how you deal with business.  As Joseph's example proved, coming from "good stock" begins with you.

Eva Marie Everson is the author of Shadow of Dreams & Summon the Shadows and an award-winning national speaker. She can be contacted for comments or for speaking engagement bookings at or you can go to