Huck is the oldest of four boys, a typical firstborn who is confident and caring and knows just about anything.
Beck is an only child, comfortable with adults, great with those he’s familiar with, and a little hesitant around those he hasn’t spent time with.
The bonding was quick, and soon the cousins were like brothers.
Family can be easy–or not. Siblings, cousins, aunts, and uncles all add remarkable depth to family relationships–or they can become the thorn in the side of those blood relations.
We’ve been fortunate. Our family enjoys spending time together. There’s a valuing of those who are distant family members that allow our gatherings to be wonderfully fun.
Growing up, our family was around my mom’s family for all the big holidays. Mom and each of her two sisters would host one of the big three–Easter, Thanksgiving, and Christmas.
Family mattered. One of my dad’s favorite sayings was “Blood is thicker than water.” Supporting family is a given.
But it’s not always easy to get along with family members who don’t agree with you or have a conflict with you.
Family issues have been around for a long time. In the book of Genesis, we’re introduced to Isaac’s twin sons, one who was a favorite of his father, the other a favorite of his mother. An obstacle existed between the brothers, so when their father Isaac was about to die, he wanted to pass his. blessing on to his firstborn son, Esau.
Rebekah, the mother of the twins, wanted Jacob, the younger brother, to receive the blessing. So Jacob and his mother conspired together to fool Isaac.
Almost blind, Isaac asked Esau to prepare him wild game the way he wanted it, and he left to obey his father. Rebekah, who’d been listening, knew it would take him a long time to accomplish this, so she told Jacob to get goats from their herd, and she’d prepare them the way Isaac liked them. Because the brothers were very different in appearance–Esau was hairy, Jacob was smooth–Rebekah covered her son’s hands and neck with goat’s fur and dressed him in Esau’s clothes so it would feel like Isaac was actually talking to Esau.
Isaac was suspicious because the voice sounded like Jacob but the smell and feel were that of Esau.
He blessed the wrong brother.
“May many nations become your servants, and may they bow down to you. May you be the master over your brothers, and may your mother’s sons bow down to you. All who curse you will be cursed, and all who bless you will be blessed.” Genesis 27:29
When Esau came in soon after, he was devastated that his blessing had been given to his brother. From that time on, Esau hated his brother and was determined to kill him after his father died.
Family isn’t always easy. Conflicts exist, disagreements happen, and disappointments will always be part of these relationships.
Family dynamics are worth the work. And only God can heal such deep wounds.
Jacob learned from his trickery and reconciled with his brother in Genesis 33. Reconciliation is challenging but well worth the trouble.
Family matters. If you can choose to make things right with family members where disagreements exist, make the effort.
Retribution destroys. Reconciliation heals.