He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. (Luke 2:5)

I HAVE HAD THE PRIVILEGE of watching several close friends go through the adoption process. Families who are able to bring a child into their homes and love them as their own always amaze me.

This is basically the same process Joseph went through with Jesus. However, he went even further by also taking Mary as his wife. He didn’t have to do this; he would have been culturally justified if he had walked away. Instead, he chose to show love and grace to Mary and to love Jesus as his own son.

Being specific to the nature of God, these characteristics were also tangibly visible through Joseph, and may be part of the reason Joseph was chosen to be Jesus’ earthly father. Though Jesus was the Son of God, He was also the son of Joseph; and through Joseph’s life, He was able to observe the characteristics of God His Father.

Through our adoption into God’s family, we have been given characteristics of God the Father, and as our relationship with Him grows, these characteristics increasingly become a part of who we are—just like they were for Joseph when he was asked to take on the responsibility of raising the Son of God. God desires to instill these characteristics in His children to have the greatest kingdom impact in our world.

Identify ways you display God’s characteristics given to you through your adoption.

Traver Paul Butcher, a PhD candidate in international psychology and missions coach, has a passion for helping individuals encounter God in international and cross-cultural experiences.