Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Dysfunction Junction: the next generation


Jacob did so and completed her week, and he gave him his daughter Rachel as his wife.

Genesis 29:28

I find it remarkable that God worked beyond the sinful machinations within the families of the patriarchs in order to create a promised nation, give them a promised land, and covenant with them in a promised relationship. None of them was perfect as a family. Abraham basically pimped his wife out to pagan kings. He also committed polygamy at the suggestion of his wife. Isaac showed overt favoritism to one son over another, fighting with his wife in the process. Jacob was polygamous, eventually fathering the twelve tribes of Israel through four different women. And Jacob’s family was a factious mess, headed up by a neurotic, greedy, deceiving father.

Yet somehow God redeemed this mess in such a way that He clearly is shown to be the powerful provider of grace. God made the covenant with Abram. God kept it with him and his descendents. And somehow there was enough faith to satisfy His faithful love.

Families probably all have some level of dysfunction. It is inevitably the result of sin. The bigger challenge might be to find a definition of truly functional family and see it in real life! So God moves beyond human failures and relationship in ruin. He brings glory to Himself even in the most difficult of family environments. And His Word provides the resources to move beyond our sins and faults to create a home worthy of His glory.

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