Part 7 of the Present day Patriarchs series.
Genesis 33:4 – And Esau ran to meet him, and embraced him, and fell on his neck, and kissed him: and they wept.
Genesis is the seed plot of the entire bible. If you pull a string of truth in this book, a page will pucker in the N.T. somewhere. This book births every major truth in the bible.
One of the paramount truths is gleaned in the numerous records of families and their genealogies. To be sure, this is redundant reading notwithstanding, the myriad records of families teach us – God favors the family unit. The bible record reflects this revelation.
God is more interested in blessing entire families than solitary subjects. He worked His plan of new beginnings through Adam’s family, Noah’s, and Abrahams. He spoke of blessing them and their children after them. His intention is to save the world one family at a time.
The Old Testament uses four major words for family: people, clan, tribe, and house of a father. These words speak broadly of immediate and extended family. The relationships these families shared were treasured. Generally, they lived in giant tents; they ate, worked, warred, and worshipped together. The children learned life lessons from aunts, uncles, and cousins. These tribes were close knit and connected.
Jacob and his extended family are anything but a tribe at this point in scripture. Jacob has been estranged from his father and mother for twenty years. He has cheated himself out of a relationship with his twin brother, and nobody in his immediate family has yet to meet any of his wives or children. This isn’t a pretty picture. However, Jacob as a patriarch is realizing what he and his family are missing out on. He is endeavoring to reconnect the tribe. So he does his part.
Jacob kisses and weeps with his brother. Healing is taking place. They are getting reconnected. Jacob then introduces his family to their uncle Esau. They make promises concerning their reunited futures. Jacob is showing favor to the family.
I’m thankful for my tribe. I have been blessed with a great immediate and extended family. This isn’t the case for everyone. Some families have chaos in place of connectedness. Hate instead of love. Absent of trust and honor, they abdicate family for friends. Your best friends should be family (in my opinion). Your most trusted comrades should be those that share your blood and background. The job of every father is to do their dead level best to make sure the family unit is a unit.
Jacob’s role in his family reunion was one of reconciliation. He was the reason there family did not share any history for the past twenty years. He had to do his part to restore the ruin. That is all you as a father can do – your part.
Romans 12:18 – If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men. This calls for us to do all we possibly can to make relationships right. We obviously can’t change others, but we can do our part. Some families may never get beyond broken. But make sure you’ve done all you can.
Jacob favored the family:
- He gave gifts to Esau. Restitution.
- He bowed to Esau seven times. Restoring honor.
- He hugged and wept with Esau. Repairing relationship.
- He introduced his family to their uncle. Connecting the clan.
- He talked of a united future. Securing a generational relationship.
Your children need to have grandpa, grandma, uncles and aunts. They need to have life experiences with family. If restoration isn’t possible, make sure you begin a clan with your children. From this moment on, future generations will have a grandpa and grandma. Do your part.
Favor the Family:
- Plan vacations that include extended family.
- Become a master storyteller. Tell stories to your children about their extended tribe. Great experiences. Funny occasions, etc.
- Speak honorably of your parents to your children.
- Do your part to repair strained relationships inside your tribe.
- Make a big deal of your children being 3rd and 4th generation Pentecostals. Honor heritage.
- Be fair with both sides of your children’s family. Your parents and your in-laws.
- Teach them the importance of family in the story of God.
- Fight like a family.
- Set family traditions that you refuse to break.
- Use the terms: aunt, uncle, cousin, granddad, granny, etc.
- Create for your children, the tribe you wish you always had.
- Break generational curses.