Do You Worry About Your Children?
OF COURSE you do! Disease, drug abuse, and delinquency are just three of the problems that you know endanger your children. It is normal for parents to be concerned about their children—even to worry about them.
That is how most parents have felt down through history, as the Bible shows. Remember that Jacob sent Joseph to check up on his brothers because Jacob was concerned about them. (Genesis 37:13, 14) Job, too, worried, even though his sons were grown-ups with families of their own. He thought: “Maybe my sons have sinned and have cursed God in their heart.”—Job 1:4, 5.
Why, even Joseph and Mary were concerned about their perfect son Jesus! In fact, on one occasion when Jesus was 12 years old, they became particularly worried about him, for they found that he was missing. Nevertheless, their child Jesus was a credit to them, and they had no reason to reproach themselves. Let us see exactly what happened on that memorable occasion and consider what lessons modern parents can draw from it.
A Lost Son
If you are a parent, you can probably sympathize with Mary’s feelings when she scoldingly said to Jesus: “Son, why have you done this to us? Your father and I have been terribly worried trying to find you.” Joseph and Mary had been separated from Jesus for three days. You can appreciate why they were anxious as to the whereabouts of the 12-year-old boy.—Luke 2:48, Today’s English Version.
Why did Joseph and Mary lose Jesus? A well-known commentator criticized them for this, writing: “Knowing what a treasure they possessed, how could they be so long without looking into it? Where were the bowels and tender solicitude of the mother?” But really, as we will see, close analysis of the account clears Joseph and Mary of serious blame.
The fact is that the Bible shows that Mary was a fine woman and a good mother. The angel Gabriel, when he came to foretell Jesus’ birth, said that she had “found favor with God.” (Luke 1:28, 30) She willingly accepted the assignment of giving birth to this special man-child, along with the weighty responsibility of raising and training him. She was a woman of humility and strong faith in God. After Jesus’ birth, she did everything required by Jehovah’s Law, “just as it is written.”—Luke 1:38, 45-48; 2:21-23, 39.
Joseph, the man who married Mary and became the adoptive father of Jesus, was also a fine, righteous man who had had communication with Jehovah’s angel on four occasions. (Matthew 1:19, 20; 2:13, 19, 22) Remember, Jehovah selected Joseph and Mary to rear His precious, only-begotten Son. Would God have done less than choose a couple who would do well in helping this son to grow in divine wisdom?
Of course, parents today likely worry about their children because of the dangerous and delinquent environment they have. And they know that their children are not perfect as was Jesus. Still, we can profit from the example of Joseph, Mary, and Jesus.