CHALLENGING LOYALTY TO FAMILY FOR GOD’S SAKE
So Jacob sent and called Rachel and Leah into the field where his flock was and said to them, “I see that your father does not regard me with favor as he did before. But the God of my father has been with me. You know that I have served your father with all my strength, yet your father has cheated me and changed my wages ten times. Genesis 31:4-7
How many marriages implode because couples can’t talk honestly about their parents? It’s hard to ‘leave and cleave’. Childhoods are sacred unless there has been unhappiness we’re anxious to leave behind.
Jacob has tough news to tell his wives. Their father has cheated him 10x his wages. Will they be defensive? And when Jacob tells them it’s time to leave home and everything familiar and head for Canaan, a foreign land, how will they respond?
There comes a point in every person’s life when God calls us to see the truth about our family. I am to embrace the good, acknowledge the bad, and cling to God for grace as I grieve and make different choices. I am to love God more than my ancestors and love truth more than I love the ‘family way of doing things’. If everybody did this, it would be easier but only a minority face the truth of their families and are willing to live as God’s son or daughter. They risk being the only one in their families who are willing to be sanctified, ‘set apart’, from everyone else.
There is an unwise way to talk to our spouses about their parents. It’s when past hurts affect my tone. Legitimate complaints are disregarded because my words are vicious. Every conversation that exposes ungodliness in family needs a lot of prayer beforehand. You know the truth of the phrase, ‘Blood is thicker than water.’ It’s hard to hear someone else, even a spouse, talk about my parents and siblings and not immediately think, ‘How dare you!’
Rachel and Leah heard Jacob’s account of Laban’s treacherous ways. They believed him and were able to see the truth of their father’s weaknesses. Few scriptures are more well known that this one. “You shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free.” Never is this more true than when I see my family as God sees them. When I embrace the truth of my origins, endless spiritual possibilities open up before me.
How long it took for me to see the faults of the family I love; even longer to see my own faults. Thank you for not giving up and continuing to bring the truth before my eyes. Amen
Journal Question: Is there something you’ve been unwilling to acknowledge about your family? Has another family member been trying to talk to you about it? Ask God to show you what following Him means. Would you be willing today to be ‘open’ to the truth? Tell God why or why not.