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
Marriages suffer because couples can’t talk honestly about their parents. This part of Jacob’s story offers the perfect example.
Jacob had tough news to tell his wives when he had to disclose that their father had cheated him 10x his wages. He didn’t know if they would be defensive. And when he told them it was time to leave home and head for a foreign land named Canaan, how would they handle that?
There comes a point in all our lives when God calls us to see the truth about 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 family and love truth more than I love my ‘family’s way of doing things.’ I am asked to face the truth of my family as God sees it and then step out to live as God’s child. Sometimes, a person risks being the only one in their family who is willing to live sanctified, that is, to live set apart from the mainstream. God’s fatherhood and the ways of the kingdom trump what is unholy, even when it means being different from my flesh and blood.
There is a wise way, and an unwise way, to talk to our spouses about their parents. Bitterness will affect our tone and the outcome will be unfortunate. Legitimate complaints will be disregarded because our words are too vicious. Every conversation like this needs prayer before the subject is broached because ‘blood is thicker than water.’ It’s hard to hear someone else, even if it’s a spouse, talk about parents and siblings and not immediately think, ‘How dare you!’
Rachel and Leah heard Jacob’s account of Laban’s treacherous ways. Miraculously, they both believed him and were able to see the truth of their father’s sin.
Few scriptures are more well-known that this one. “You shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free.”Never is this truer than when I see my family as God sees them. When I own the truth of my origins, endless spiritual possibilities open 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