After Isaac finished blessing him, and Jacob had scarcely left his father’s presence, his brother Esau came in from hunting. He too prepared some tasty food and brought it to his father. Then he said to him, “My father, please sit up and eat some of my game, so that you may give me your blessing.”
His father Isaac asked him, “Who are you?”
“I am your son,” he answered, “your firstborn, Esau.”
Isaac trembled violently and said, “Who was it, then, that hunted game and brought it to me? I ate it just before you came and I blessed him—and indeed he will be blessed!”
When Esau heard his father’s words, he burst out with a loud and bitter cry and said to his father, “Bless me—me too, my father!”
But he said, “Your brother came deceitfully and took your blessing.” – Genesis 27:30-35
There are some days that we would like to do over. There are decisions and words we would like to erase. We make mistakes. It is a gift from God that we have scripture to learn from other’s mistakes. Isaac had watched his sons grow through the years as their disdain for each other also grew. Instead of making peace between his two sons, he helped it along by setting Esau above Jacob. It is true that the firstborn son has a position of privilege, but that shouldn’t become a point of division.
Loving our children without favoritism will require discipline. It is usually easy to love someone if they are like us, but different can be difficult. To love the child we contend with, who has a personality that we have a hard time understanding, may require more vigilance. My two daughters are wonderfully and beautifully different from one another. I am learning every day how to love each of them the way that is best for their unique personalities. It is not easy, but no one ever said parenting would be.
I have seen too many fathers and children torn apart by this treacherous weed. Favoritism and family together make for bad blood, hurt feelings and burned bridges. This becomes even more compounded with blended families, and believe me, there is plenty to learn from scripture on that topic. God has called fathers to bless their children, to love them with wisdom and grace. He calls us to love our children as He has created them, not to try and make them fit the way we want to love.
Pray today for wisdom and insight into how you can love your children. Ask God to give you clear vision to see your children’s unique personalities and needs. Lord help us to love our children as you love them, to cherish them as you cherish them and let there be no favorites. Amen.