Self-control is about staying focused on your goal, and no objective is as important as interpersonal relationships. If you want to be a good husband, wife, or great parent, you have to learn to exercise self-discipline. Self-control is challenging to master because we have to deal with ourselves—our anger, our frustration, and our rejection. Control in one area of your life does not guarantee control in another area. A superstar athlete may be fantastic on the field but a complete disaster at home. No challenge in human existence can be more complicated than exercising control over our emotions, which translates into words and actions, especially when confronted with opposing emotions.
In the book of Genesis, Joseph is a living example of self-control because he remained faithful to God in a culture obsessed with self-gratification. Even when his brothers betrayed him, selling him to slave traders where he was taken to Egypt and sold to Potiphar, one of the Pharaoh’s officials, Joseph remained faithful. Joseph’s willingness to forgive people who hurt him is astounding. Had he not been a young man of godly character, willing to forgive others, there would be no story. But, because Joseph chose to stay faithful, he remains a model of self-control. The account is not about the tragedy done against Joseph as much as it is about the marvelous way God takes whatever happens to him and weaves it into what he intended all along.
The essential thing that Joseph comprehended was that God is in charge, and no one can change that. This is a principle that will change your life if you embrace it. You may not be where you want to be nor doing what you want to do, but it doesn’t matter if you are fully committed to God. God can weave the divine pattern he has chosen for your life with whatever color string he chooses, but in the end, he will reveal a beautiful tapestry of everything that comes to us. Joseph was prepared to face these extraordinary challenges. There are parents today that are not preparing their children for adulthood.
Many parents are obsessed with making their children happy; its what they live for every day. They make sure their children are never bored and always get what they want. Parents are consumed with putting their children in sports—after all; this makes them happy. Parents are fixated on their children’s popularity, so no expense is spared at any social event. In their obsession to pursue happiness for their children, they forget the importance of character and, most of all, a relationship with God. Unfortunately, such parents fail to prepare their children for the future.
Joseph had been prepared with character—the kind of integrity that helped him stay faithful even when facing a temptation of unfaithfulness. Mrs. Potiphar set her eyes on Joseph and tried to seduce him. Joseph, however, did not go for it. Mrs. Potiphar’s proposition, “Come to bed with me!” was answered with Joseph’s refusal. Joseph refused to betray Potiphar’s trust in him, but most of all, he refused to be unfaithful to God.
Joseph’s most significant deterrent to falling into sexual sin was his awareness that God was with him. Joseph knew that God sees all and that a sin that no one knows about is always known to God. This truth is the strongest deterrent to sin there is. Joseph did not think about the outcome and then decided his course of action based on how he could make things turn out better. He stood firm on his convictions and stayed faithful regardless of the consequences. The best gift you can gift your husband or wife is your faithfulness. Its what every marriage longs for and must have to survive.