What is it about families? Why are those relationships so tricky? Why do siblings not get along, even as adults? Could it be, perhaps, because families are made up of people, and we are all such stinkers? I’m thinking that could be the problem…
We can choose our friends, and they tend to be closer than a brother. We can choose our spouse, and he or she will usually be our very best friend. But we cannot choose our birth family. God chooses them for us. Why, then, can they sometimes, between the good times, inflict such pain?
Perhaps God wants our character to be shaped in a way that would not happen if life was all roses and rainbows. We are made stronger in adversity. And we are given choices in difficult situations. We can either grow and learn and become a better person, or we can simmer in the juices of hurt and bitterness and stay a victim, whether angry or sad or just plain broken.
Now, some situations are much harder than others. If abuse enters the picture, the damage is so devastating that it can take years to heal. And we cannot make it through as the healthy, whole, healing person God desires us to be without His help- HIS healing and protection and strength.
Remember, God does not inflict the damage, the evil, but He does sometimes allow it. There’s this little thing called free will, and people sometimes choose to be very wicked.
Perhaps you have had a very happy, problem-free birth family. Hallelujah! Just be sensitive to those around you who weren’t so fortunate.
(I’m not sure why I went down this bunny trail this morning. I just know that I asked God to show me what to write, and this came to me.)
I read Genesis 29, about Jacob and his marriages to the daughters of Laban, Leah and Rachel. The deceiver, Jacob, was deceived by Laban. Usually we look at the story from Jacob’s perspective; he reaped what he sowed. But what about the family of Laban?
“Now Laban had two daughters; the name of the older was Leah, and the name of the younger was Rachel. And Leah’s eyes were weak, but Rachel was beautiful of form and face. Now Jacob loved Rachel, so he said, ‘I will serve you seven years for your younger daughter Rachel.'” ~Genesis 29:16-18
The older daughter was not as beautiful as her sister, and she was not desired or loved by Jacob. But Laban tricked Jacob into marrying her, even though he knew that his daughter would not be loved by her husband. He doomed Leah to a loveless marriage. And then he gave her younger sister to Jacob as well, causing vast amounts of hurt and jealousy and envy between the sisters.
Yet God saw, and He comforted Leah. “Now the LORD saw that Leah was unloved, and He opened her womb, but Rachel was barren. And Leah conceived and bore a son and named him Reuben, for she said, ‘Because the LORD has seen my affliction; surely now my husband will love me.'” ~Genesis 29:31-32. Reuben means “look, a son”. But even after bearing him five more sons, Jacob did not love Leah like he loved Rachel.
A warning to the unmarried men and women out there- sex does not equal love! Sex is a part of love, a wonderful way to express love, but it can also be plain, simple and selfish lust, with no intimate feelings or concern for the other person.
The story continues into chapter 30, and it gets sadder and sadder, with the sisters’ maids becoming concubines (like Abraham and Hagar). Oh, what a wicked web we weave…
But God was there, and He used this crazy family situation to bring about the twelve tribes of Israel! God can take our “messes” and make something good out of them.
So don’t fear, God can make anything beautiful, even when we cannot understand His plan.
(KJV) Ecclesiastes 3:11 He hath made every [thing] beautiful in his time: also he hath set the world in their heart, so that no man can find out the work that God maketh from the beginning to the end.