Building A Happy Home

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The Shocking Message

Rise and Shine for Jesus

These weekly devotionals I will be posting come from and are copyright to Pam Iannello, my pastor's late wife who went home to be with the Lord on June 18, 2008. They were written by a Godly lady for other ladies young and old so that their walk with the Lord may be strengthened.

Used with permission from New Beginnings Baptist Church.

Learning how to face our family problems through an in-depth study of the troubled home of Joseph.

Building A Happy Home

This devotion is part of the "Family Problems" series.

Joseph was 30 years old when he finally got married and began his own family. We find in our text today of Genesis 41:50-52, that he married an Egyptian girl named Asenath and fathered two sons through her, Manasseh and Ephraim. We know that while growing up, Joseph's own home life had contained some very unhappy moments and memories… Therefore, I can't help but wonder about Joseph's viewpoint toward family life as he embarks on building his own. Certainly a life of rejection can take its toll on a man's heart and affect his attitude toward his own family unit! Remember too, that Joseph was also exposed to Potiphar's home and obtained a close up view of what it was like to be married to an unfaithful wife. Did he doubt the character of all women now?? And of course, having been thrown in prison for so long did not afford Joseph the privilege of witnessing much of a successful life in anyone! Would all of these circumstances combined taint Joseph's hope of ever enjoying happiness in his own home? Did the past haunt him and hinder his ability to erect a strong family of his own? Could he really be a successful family man minus any good examples in his life? Do you think he was looking forward to building his own home, or dreading it? Come with me and let's see if we can't find out…

Genesis 41:50-52
And unto Joseph were born two sons before the years of famine came, which Asenath the daughter of Poti-pherah priest of On bare unto him. And Joseph called the name of the firstborn Manasseh: For God, said he, hath made me forget all my toil, and all my father's house. And the name of the second called he Ephraim: For God hath caused me to be fruitful in the land of my affliction.

Not much information is given when it comes to Joseph's perspective toward his wife. First of all, he did not single this woman out as his choice bride. Pharaoh arranged this marriage in order to "Egyptianize" Joseph, for Pharaoh was determined to completely identify his prime minister with Egyptian life. What more could you expect from a worldly man as Pharaoh? Secondly, it seems a political move on Pharaoh's part, for marrying Asenath, daughter of the high priest of the Sun worshippers, put Joseph in the main stream of a society of idolaters. Though Pharaoh tried to fit his top man into the mold of the world, he could not stop Joseph from still maintaining a bold confession of the God of Israel! It was Joseph's walk with God that determined all of Joseph's dealings. Though having to live in the world and under worldly conditions, the inward condition of Joseph's heart did not decline! Even though his relationship with his wife was probably somewhat hindered by worldly values, no doubt Joseph's strength in the Lord became the foundation of his home life…

1 Tim. 3:5
(For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?)

Yes, family responsibilities must always be a priority for God's people. As Christian workers and volunteers, we sometimes make the mistake of thinking our work is so important that we are justified in ignoring our families. Spiritual leadership, however, must first begin at home. If a man is not willing to care for, discipline, and teach his children, the Bible says he is not qualified to lead the church! God entrusted Joseph with much authority and placed him in a position of leadership because Joseph had proven himself faithful and responsible. As a married man, we can confidently assume that he also exercised these traits at home. Ladies, if we truly desire a strong home life and healthy relationships among ourselves, we must never allow ministry or church related activities to detract from our family responsibilities or reduce us to serving one another a steady diet of "left-overs". After all, the church is only as strong as the families within it! Just how strong is your family today?? While it's good that we enjoy serving the Lord and spending time with God's people, there comes a time when Jesus says we must go home…

Mark 5:18-19
And when he was come into the ship, he that had been possessed with the devil prayed him that he might be with him. Howbeit Jesus suffered him not, but saith unto him, Go home to thy friends, and tell them how great things the Lord hath done for thee, and hath had compassion on thee.

It's clearly identifiable when folks view the members within their family as an encumbrance to their spiritual growth. However, God would have us to look at one another as friends and communicate accordingly. Christians are quick to assist the heavy hearts of the poor and needy but don't forget your family members need their faith boosted too! One can't help but notice that God blessed Joseph with two sons - two boys he would have to train properly how to behave one toward another as brothers. In reflecting upon his own past experiences, Joseph probably taught his boys to communicate with love and respect so as to avoid what he suffered at home! Likewise, God's people should not despise relations but honor them. The negative attitudes we carry around in our hearts toward certain family members does not result in strengthening relationships but rather tears them down…

Ephes. 4:29
Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.

What actions do you think most strengthen family unity? Are you careful to perform them? As I consider what it must have been like to have Joseph as a father and husband, I imagine that he had many stories of his past to share with his children, especially all that the Lord had delivered Joseph from and brought him through. You know ladies, retelling stories of God's faithfulness in our lives builds up the family! Before you reach for a worldly storybook to read to your children, why not share the stories of what God has done for YOU instead! It will do wonders for their faith and yours!

Exodus 10:2
And that thou mayest tell in the ears of thy son, and of thy son's son, what things I have wrought in Egypt, and my signs which I have done among them; that ye may know how that I am the LORD.

Yes, it is important to tell our children about God's past aid and to help them see what He is doing presently. What are the turning points in your life where God intervened? How is God helping you now? Your personal testimony will form the foundation of your children's belief in God, as I'm sure any story Joseph may have shared with his sons would have.

Deut. 6:6-7
And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.

Consistent living also makes the deepest impression on children. By the above verse we learn that we are to love God, think constantly about His commandments, thoroughly teach them to our children, and faithfully live each day by the guidelines in His Word. Do you think Joseph was the type of person who lived a consistent life before his children? How about you dear lady, is there stability in your life as a Christian? In this text, God emphasized the importance of parents teaching the Bible to their children. The church Sunday School program and Christian schools cannot be used to escape from this responsibility. The Word of God provides so many opportunities for object lessons and practical teaching that it would be a shame to study it only one day a week! Eternal truths are most effectively learned in the loving environment of a God-fearing home.

Deut. 4:9
Only take heed to thyself, and keep thy soul diligently, lest thou forget the things which thine eyes have seen, and lest they depart from thy heart all the days of thy life: but teach them thy sons, and thy sons' sons;

Psalm 78:4
We will not hide them from their children, shewing to the generation to come the praises of the Lord, and his strength, and his wonderful works that he hath done.

Though his brothers after the flesh had cruelly rejected Joseph, the Bible says in our main text today that his first-born son Manasseh made Joseph forget all his toil as well as all the trials in his father's house. Every bit of suffering that had taken place in Joseph's life had been wiped away in the face of this new birth! So it is with us when we've been born-again, amen ladies? God's grace causes us to forget our past troubles. His second-born son Ephraim, whose name means "doubly fruitful," reveals that each one of Joseph's afflictions had, in the end, led to fruitfulness and blessing. In spite of all the odds he faced, Joseph cultivated a happy family to the glory of God! Likewise, if our faith in Christ is real, it will bear out first at home and minister grace to every single member. Through a lifetime of trusting in God, Joseph was being used to pave the way for a populace of new believers, beginning with his very own family!

God Bless,
Isaiah 60:1&2
Copyright 2000 Pamela A. Iannello
Revised 2003 Meet Ms. Pam

Other Rise and Shine Devotionals
New Beginnings Baptist Church Website

Past Weekly Devotions

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