"Family ties"

Thwack! The sound signaled trouble. With our parents gone, my sister and I had started a mashed potato fight instead of doing the dishes. Chasing her down the stairs with tinfoil box in hand, I was determined she wouldn't win even though I was younger. The strains of victory died, however, when an unseen door met with her glasses. We were going to get it for sure.

Designed by God to give us a sense of our identity, family is one of the first places we discover what we like, what we're good at, and how to relate to others. It's also where we first experience conflict. Even in the strongest of families, we go through hurts that cause us to believe wrong things about ourselves.

In reading the story of Joseph, we often focus on what Joseph suffered because of his brothers' jealousy. While this story is an important lesson in forgiveness (Genesis 50:20-21), it also demonstrates how family issues strike deep at the heart.

The firstborn of Jacob's favorite wife (30:22-24), Joseph was the honored son, and his brothers knew it (v.4). It's one thing to face a parent's disapproval because you didn't do your homework. Imagine feeling as if you're a disappointment just because you were born to the wrong woman (v.2). Believing Jacob had rejected them in preferring Joseph, his brothers retaliated by stripping him of his coat and his dignity (vv.20-24).

From the beginning of creation, family relationships have been difficult (Genesis 4:8). Relational issues are inevitable. Working through the sin nature of man, the enemy pits family members against each other (Micah 7:6). Responding to the hurt by hurting others only continues the cycle. Putting our hearts in alignment with God's, however, allows healing and restoration to begin (Luke 1:17). , Regina Franklin, Our Daily Journey

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