"Israel loved Joseph best of all his sons." —Genesis 37:3
Israel, also known as Jacob, deserved the "Good Housekeeping" seal of disapproval. He was a terrible parent. He favored his son, Joseph, and made him a special robe without giving his other children anything comparable (Gn 37:3). Jacob let the communication break down in his family to the point that Joseph's brothers "hated him so much that they would not even greet him" (Gn 37:4). Jacob was so out of touch with his family's feelings that he unknowingly sent Joseph into a situation in which he was almost murdered by his brothers (Gn 37:13ff). Even if you've made mistakes as a parent, you probably haven't been worse than Jacob.
The great news is that the Lord had mercy on Jacob and his family. After Joseph was sold into slavery by his brothers, the Lord orchestrated the events of the next thirty-nine years to restore Jacob's family. After Jacob's death, his family was reconciled. Likewise, the Lord is "making history" to restore your family — no matter how bad its condition. If you give your life and family to Him, "they shall call you, 'Restorer of ruined homesteads' ", "Repairer of the breach" (Is 58:12).
During this Lent, fast and pray for your family. Confess your sins. By faith, thank the Lord for what He is doing in your family. This Easter season, celebrate the Lord's resurrection and His resurrection of your family.
Prayer: Father, may bad parents repent and form holy families.
Promise: "The Stone Which the builders rejected has become the Keystone of the structure. It was the Lord Who did this and we find it marvelous to behold." —Mt 21:42; Ps 118:22
Praise: Dan was drawn to follow Jesus more closely when he observed the love and joy of God in a fellow teen. Shortly after, Dan started an anointed ministry to young adults.
Reference: (For related teaching, order our leaflet, Healing the Family Tree.)
Rescript: †Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, September 13, 2012
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