Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Joseph: Genesis 37:1-4 "Poor Parenting?"

Read Genesis 37:1-4.

"Now Israel loved Joseph more than any of his other sons...." NIV
By now you should know that Jacob, Joseph's father had two wives and two concubines. If you don't know that story, it's worth reading. A lot is revealed about Jacob's character and reasons for his actions just based on how he got his wives and children. (Genesis 29-30).

So since Rachel was always Jacob's first love, and she had such a difficult time bearing him children, and that Rachel dies so early in their marriage, Joseph was Jacob's favorite son. Or maybe Jacob saw a glimpse of who Joseph would be as a man through his character. For whatever reason, Jacob showed Joseph favoritism and he didn't bother to try to hide it from the other sons either. The gift of a colorful, ornamented, fancy robe is not exactly subtle adoration. And that very act of favoritism lead Joseph down a very difficult path in his life. 

I can't imagine favoring one of my children over another. I have so much love and admiration for each of them that it just oozes out of my pores. Now I even have room to love my son-in-law with the same capacity. I can appreciate each of them for their unique gifts and talents, quirks, and idiosyncrasies. They each have their own love language and dreams that I can celebrate with them. Placing one over the other would just diminish the value I have for the others. I have four #1 children in my life, and I thank God every day for each of them.

Although damage was done with Jacob's actions and attitude, we will see later how God used the trials that came to strengthen Joseph and fulfill God's plan.

Further Thoughts:
  1. Find Scripture on child rearing. 
  2. How did Jesus treat children?
  3. Why did Jacob need the wisdom of Ephesians 6:4?
  4. What parts of loving described in 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 did Jacob struggle with?
  5. What can we learn about parenting from Jacob?
  6. What harm can we cause in showing favoritism?
Guess this quote describes Jacob for us today. 
"If you can't be a good example, then you'll just have to serve as a horrible warning." Catherine Aird


  1. perfect! "four #1" .... so funny that today's devotional lines right up with the silliness I was having w/my "four #1's", last night.

    I love your writing and insight, Jerolyn. Thanks for sharing your blog!

    Have a blessed & amazing day,


  2. Just too funny how that worked out, Liz. Facebook and Blogspot crossover.