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The Word for Today

by Bob and Debby Gass

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‘Isaac…loved Esau, but Rebekah loved Jacob.’ Genesis 25:28 NIV

Parental rejection drives children to two extremes: namely, rebellion and compliance. Children rebel out of their need for acceptance. Esau understood the principle of parentally-approved marriage. But he expressed his resentment against a scheming mother who failed to love him and helped cheat him out of his inheritance, and against an unloving father, by rebelling against the laws of God and family, and marrying unapproved women (Genesis 26:34). Perhaps Esau felt some perverse satisfaction when his mother was ‘…disgusted with living because of [Esau’s] Hittite women…’ (Genesis 27:46 NIV) When our kids drop out of school, run away, get pregnant, abandon church, take drugs, consume alcohol, engage in illicit sex and marry disastrously, in many cases it’s saying, ‘I’ll show you!’ Turning to compliance, Esau’s rebellion didn’t win Mum’s love, so he tried the opposite technique with Dad, hoping that doing it Dad’s way might make him loved. Recognising Dad’s approval of Jacob’s marital choice, ‘Esau…realised how displeasing the Canaanite women were to his father Isaac…and married Mahalath’, Abraham’s granddaughter, but, alas, also Ishmael’s daughter. (Genesis 28:8-9 NIV) A child at any age will do anything, however irrational or self-destructive, to earn and keep the love of parents! Did it work? No! Nothing he did could make his dad love him. The real problem was a self-centred parent who loved when it benefitted him! Certainly, Jacob and Esau were adults, responsible for their own choices. But parents are like potters, with the power to mould their child’s character, conduct, convictions and course of life. Parents, nothing matters more to your children in life than your unconditional love for them!

SoulFood: 2 Kings 10-12, Mark 12:28-44, Ps 132:11-18, Pr 13:7-8

The Word for Today is authored by Bob and Debby Gass and published under licence from UCB International Copyright 2011

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