Family and Relationships
Greater Than Our Bad Parenting
Michael Youssef, Ph.D.
Jul 17, 2022

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Read Genesis 25:19-34.

There is tremendous grace for believing parents. In fact, the grace of God is so rich and so deep that it can overwhelm and overrule even our worst mistakes. In Scripture, we see an example of this grace at work in the lives of parents Isaac and Rebekah, who failed spectacularly when it came to raising their twin boys.

The grace of God is so rich and so deep that it can overwhelm and overrule even our worst mistakes.

Before Jacob and Esau were even born, God revealed that the way things worked within this family would be unique. While the cultural norms of the day said the younger son should serve the older, God said, ". . . the older will serve the younger" (Genesis 25:23).

Isaac and Rebekah knew God had chosen Jacob to continue the line of God's promise that had begun with Abraham, continued through Isaac, and would culminate in the birth of the Messiah. But in spite of this knowledge, they didn't train Jacob for his role or teach him to wait on God's perfect timing. They didn't tell their sons that God had different plans for each of them—plans they should seek, obey, and rejoice over.

Instead of training their children to know and trust God's revelation, God's will, and God's plans, Isaac and Rebekah followed their own emotions—their own feelings and preferences. Thus, Isaac loved Esau, and Rebekah loved Jacob.

This sinful favoritism led to dysfunction at every level within the family. The brothers were at odds, embroiled in a state of constant competition, and the parents learned to distrust each other (see Genesis 27). For a moment of satisfaction, Esau sold his birthright, making a shipwreck of his life. Similarly, Jacob experienced his own unnecessary trials by taking matters into his own hands. But God's grace overruled in this family's life—their transgressions could not thwart His good, pleasing, and perfect will—but they did suffer the consequences of their choices. Let their story of struggle and strife be a warning and lesson for all of us: Trust in God's grace. Believe in His promises. Take Him at His Word. The sooner, the better!

Prayer: Father, thank You that I am freed by Your grace to live without fear of ruining Your purposes. Help me to walk in obedience to Your will and to turn away from sin for my good and the good of those around me. I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.

"Two nations are in your womb, . . . and the older will serve the younger" (Genesis 25:23).

Learn more in Dr. Michael Youssef's sermon series Fear Deceives, Grace Frees: WATCH NOW