In the popular TV game show Family Feud, two families of five contestants each compete to name the most popular responses to survey questions to try to win cash and prizes. While we may enjoy watching the show, we certainly do not like the idea of families actually feuding. Therefore, we must have an understanding of what the Godly family should look like; that we each have different roles. And if we fulfill those roles in a Biblical way, we will have a successful home.
One of the Bible’s most dysfunctional families is recorded beginning in Genesis 25. There, we read of Isaac and Rebekah, and their twin sons, Esau and Jacob. In v. 27, we learn more about the two brothers. Esau was the four-star athlete, while Jacob was a momma’s boy who “dwelt in tents.” In the following verse, we’re told that Isaac loved Esau and Rebekah loved Jacob—creating a house divided against itself (Mark 3:25).
The brothers’ discord can be traced literally to the womb (Gen. 25:22-23), and their dissension boiled over on two occasions. At the end of chapter 25, Esau sells his birthright to Jacob for bread and stew. Two chapters later, Jacob steals the blessing designed for Esau by deceiving — with the help of his mother — his father. Esau was enraged and threatened to kill Jacob, who then ran away. Sadly, it didn’t have to be this way.
Know your child (Prov. 22:6): Strengths, weakness, likes, dislikes, dreams, fears. Make certain you’re doing everything you can to help them become everything that God created them to be.
Don’t play favorites (Gen. 25:28): You want to guarantee a dysfunctional family? Treat one child better than another child. What will happen is you’ll pit your children against each other. Love them equally. Pour your life into them equally.
Live in harmony (I Pet. 3:8): Our culture has jumped on the idea of specialization. Everybody has a specialty, and that’s trickled into the home. We need homes to be like-minded. What we think. What we believe. What we’re doing. Where we’re going. We must be of one heart and one mind.
God wants the home to be a place of love, where His authority is respected and every member has a positive influence. In that kind of home, there will be happiness, not dysfunction.