Tuesday, July 26, 2011


Do you know any dysfunctional families?  Are you part of a dysfunctional family?

I used to think they were in the minority, now I'm beginning to wonder if there are truly ANY functional families at all.  It seems everyone I talk to has some kind of issue going on within their family that tears at the heart.  This got me to thinking "What does the Bible say about dysfunctional families?"  So I began to think back through some of the major families we know in the Bible.  Turns out dysfunction in families has been around since the beginning.  Take a look.

Adam and Eve – had Cain and Abel. Cain was rebellious, failing to handle the sacrifice as God had commanded. As a result, God favored Abel’s offering over Cain’s. This caused jealousy between the brothers. Cain killed Abel. (Genesis 4: 5-10)

Noah – Noah had 3 sons: Ham, Shem and Japheth. Ham “uncovered his father’s nakedness” (which some translate to mean he sodomized him) after the flood.(Genesis 9:20-24)

Lot – After God sends Abram out of the land of UR and into the land where HE wants him to go, he and Lot cannot get along. There is always bickering over the land and the wells, etc. So Abram tells Lot to choose which way he wants to go. Lot picks the side he thinks is the most lush and green and ends up in Sodom, a land filled with homosexuality and wickedness. God comes to destroy Sodom, but allows Lot and his wife and 2 daughters to escape. His wife is killed so it is only he and the 2 girls on the outskirts of town, trying to stay alive. The girls get their father drunk and both sleep with him and get pregnant by him. (Genesis 19: 1-36)

Abraham and Sara – Sara offers her handmaiden as a surrogate to  because she is childless. Then gets mad because he does what she asks and he fathers a child by Hagar. Ishmael and Isaac were never close as brothers, but an enmity was between them from the beginning. (Genesis 16; 21: 1-21)

Jacob and Esau – Isaac and Rebekah have 2 sons, Jacob and Esau.  Isaac favored Esau because he was a hunter and a "man's man".  Rebekah favored Jacob and a "homebody".  Jacob cheats Esau out of his birthright with the help and encouragement of his mother. He has to run away from home to escape Esau’s rage. He goes to work for Uncle Laban but Uncle Laban tricks him into marrying the wrong daughter, then makes him work 7 more years for his beloved Rachel. He has 12 sons by the 2 women but he favors Rachel’s children, Joseph and Benjamin. (Genesis 25: 26-34; 27: 1-43; 29-30)

Joseph – Because of his father’s partiality towards him, his other brothers are so jealous they seek to kill him. One of them has pity on him and convinces the others to put him in a well instead, planning to come back and rescue him later. They deceive their father into thinking an animal killed him after they sell him to some traveling gypsies. (Genesis 37)

David – Out of all the sons of Jesse, God picks David to be the next king and to be the line through which Jesus will come. Though scripture does not elaborate on it, I’m sure there was probably quite a lot of jealousy over that fact among the brothers. Then he becomes king, is highly favored of God being called a man after God’s own heart. He has numerous wives but he looks upon the wife of another, sleeps with her and then has her husband killed in battle. He has a son who rapes his sister and another son who plots the overthrow of his father’s throne. (I Samuel 16: 1-13; II Sam 11: 1-27; 13: 1-14; 15-18)

Solomon – One of David’s sons, Solomon, was born to the woman he committed adultery with, Bathsheba. Solomon was considered the wisest man who ever lived yet had took hundreds of women to be "wives" and they turned him away from being obedient to the Lord.  (I Kings 10: 23, 24; 11: 1-4)
These are just a few of the more familiar families of the Bible, but I think it gives a clear picture that families are made up of sinful people. There are no perfect families because there are no perfect people. God Himself was a perfect parent but He only had ONE perfect child, and it wasn't me or you! It was JESUS.

So do we give up our quest for a godly home and a godly family? Absolutely not!! We continue to seek, on a personal level, to be all that God wants each of us to be, to be in relationship with Him, obedient to Him and committed to Him. We teach our children and grandchildren God's Word, we model before them to the best of our ability how to follow Christ and pray for them to commit their lives to Him.

In reality, no family will be truly "functional" til we get to Heaven and sin is eradicated. But, until then, we must contine to "seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness", love each other, forgive each other and pray for each other without ceasing.

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