The Family Dynamics


This is a biblical family story that tells about the life of Isaac and his family. The story shows the relationships that existed between Isaac, his wife Rebecca, and their twin sons. There were a struggle, separation and deceit in the family’s model of unity. Isaac, the only son to Abraham, married Rebecca. Isaac was blessed with twins Esau and Jacob after he had pleaded God to give him children through his righteous wife. Isaac and Rebecca prayed to get the blessing of God.

The complexity of all relationships of humans is demonstrated on the example of this family. There was a constant competition in the family of Isaac. It started between Jacob and Esau while they were still in the womb. This led to the chronicles of their conflicts and the family structure deterioration, which developed the murderous ideological conflict in their parental struggle (Gais).

There was a possibility of the premonition of the twins’ rivalry as the verses showed that there existed two models of relationships between them and their sons. These two instances were in existence at the times of their prayers, as it depicted the choice of unity and separation between the family members. Their choices were embedded in their spiritual struggle with God’s relationship. These two models were created in the mother’s condition in the womb and the emptiness that existed between Isaac and his wife Rebecca (Gais).

Sometimes, there is a need to tell the truth as it defines an individual. It is well-known that lie brings destructions in the life of an individual. This calls for turning to God for guidance throughout the life of this family (Gais). This paper will analyze the relationships dynamics in the family of Isaac, him and his wife Rebecca, and their twin sons Esau and Jacob. Esau was tricked of his birthright by his brother. Jacob lied to his father when Isaac was laying on his deathbed.

Jacob received the innermost blessing from his father, pretending to be Esau. In those times, the blessing was only reserved for the firstborn alone. Jacob had placed an animal skin over his smooth hands to deceive his father because Esau had hairy hands (Genesis 25:25). The human nature aspect of lying has been all around. Truth is said to be the seal of holiness as God is in the presence of truth. God has known a foe twisting the truth, and these are the interesting relationships of Isaacs’s family with God.

The story tries to show the relationships that appear between God and His people. The Devine intervention helped Isaac, and he married Rebecca. She was barren, like Isaac's mother, and this was considered to be the only grief of the family. They struggled to bear children for twenty years, but all was in vain. This led Isaac to plead God to give him and his wife such miracle as children.

The desires of Isaac and Rebecca were fulfilled, but it was either a good or bad news. The couple was blessed with two sons unlike Isaac was yearning for the heir son. The children were a double trouble for their parents. These two were causing troubles while they were still in their mother’s womb. It had been foreseen that many troubles would happen in this family and in the lives of its members.

There was a religious and cultural foundation in the review of Jacob and Esau, in the development of their characters. The maintaining of the family order and hierarchy was established by the critical primogeniture. The drama unfolded with the arrival of Esau as the first born. He was entitled to inherit the father’s blessing and a third of his wealth by the virtue of being the first born. These two boys portrayed different characters. Esau was an outdoor son, and all of his time he spent hunting. He became his father’s favorite because his father liked food prepared of the bag. Isaac, on the other hand, was an indoor and a quiet man. He was depicted to be reflective and domestic, and a mother’s favorite. Esau was an aggressor as he liked hunting, but this was not to happen as the family dynamics put it that; Isaac and his favorite son Esau were in the alliance that was against the alliance of Rebecca and her favorite son Jacob.

When parents took the opposite sides, this had adverse effects on the rivalry of their sons. Not many children may be aware of such pairing and competitions. The different nature of these two can be observed by looking at two sides of the person, that determines the way in which these two competed, and the needs of an individual to separate from being twins and becoming a whole individual (Biblegateway, 2011).

The dynamics of Isaac’s family portrays favoritism. These parents singled out children and poured more love to one child than the other. This situation caused inevitable jealousy in the following family. Confusion and trouble mounted in the family due to the crossing of purposes that emerged between the parents and their children. These purposes were the root cause of unmotherly and unnatural way in which Rebecca had the preference for Jacob over Esau (Biblegateway, 2011). This led to her treating Esau as not due to the lack of deep appreciation of her husband's love, which was the union of the spiritual and moral ideas and ideals characterizing a true marriage. This was certain that Isaac loved Rebecca, and she loved him, but she was much concerned with the prosperity of her son Jacob (Biblegateway, 2011).

The favoritism that existed in the family led to the fact that Esau and Jacob fled from their home and parents. The family dynamics showed that, even though there was love between Isaac and Rebecca, she cheated him in two different ways. She cheated that Esau was their first born son but not Jacob. Rebecca had given the birthright to her favorite son Jacob who got his father's blessing. The atmosphere of favoritism grew in their family, and this led to sins to be committed in the future. Esau married ungodly women, and his parents saw the first fruits of the evil garden they had sowed for their family. Esau had no respect to his mother, and thus he did not plead her.

These two twin brothers were biblical personalities. Esau was described to be a robust man who was never happy while at home rather than when he was in the field hunting. He was described to be a generous person, as he was always ready to go along way with the views of others, without insisting on his own way. This made him to become Isaac’s favorite son who liked to be always in the woods, as he was always restless when at home. Esau was a person who never cared about the promises that God made to Abraham and his father that concerned their family thriving and taking a place. He loved life as it was and took it as it came.

His brother Jacob was an entirely different person. He was strong willed to his mother and always careful about the promises of God. This led Jacob to take the shortcuts in trying to fulfill the promises of God. For his family to prosper in the world of God, Jacob did everything he could in order the descendants of Abraham to realize the promises of God. The characters of Esau and Jacob are depicted in two instances. The first instance is when Esau returned from his hunting mission and finds Jacob who had prepared a pot of stew (ChristianBoardofPublications, 1995). When Esau smelt the aroma of stew, he thought that he would die if he did not have some.

He was supposed to pay a certain price to get a bowl of stew, and that was his birthright. His nature of being ruled by appetite and acting on impulse led him to refuse the family heritage to get a bowl of stew. Jacob did not hesitate and took this advantage of his brother’s weakness. He knew that the promises which had been made by God would fulfill well under his care than his twin brother Esau. Thus, he bought the right of the firstborn from Esau who did not care about it.

The selling of the birthright by Esau depicted his contempt for his position in the family, but Jacob, on the contrary, treasured the position very much. This saga is criticized, but Jacob followed the way of God as he cared His promises. Jacob required his father to bless him after he had acquired the birthright from his brother Esau, and the words of blessing were to be pronounced upon him, as they were thought to influence the outcome of future events. He gave his father a good meal in order to be able to gain the strength, insight, and efforts special to his words that would have power of shaping the future (ChristianBoardofPublications, 1995).

Two sons wanted their father’s blessing, and this is where Esau was little concerned about their family’s future, while Jacob was concerned and cared about it. After Jacob had been blessed, Esau arrived and cried out of pain for his father’s blessing. It was impossible to reverse the blessing, because it could turn out to be a curse. This was caused by Esau who was destined to serve his brother and to work harder for his livelihood. This made him start planning on ways to dispose his brother. Jacob’s mother rescued him and God’s promise to Abraham’s family.

Jacob was to leave his home in order to let Esau’s anger to cool down; otherwise, the family could lose their two sons in that. Esau was prepared to eliminate Jacob, and as a custom, Esau would be eliminated by people to murder his brother (ChristianBoardofPublications, 1995). These two brothers were struggling with each other while they were still in their mother’s womb, but Jacob was much caring the way of God, even though he tricked his brother to acquire the birthright. The promises made by God to Abraham and Isaac were supposed to make them stand firm in preparing for the fulfillment of the promises.

Parents were the people who were worth of honor, so that their children could not be hindered in to keep the command of Honor. These parents were supposed to be of a sound character, which they were to follow in good intentions and courage that was strong (Versteeg, 2010). This courage is the only thing that keeps commitment even when there are difficult situations. All children must in any way obey and respect the relations that exist between then and their parents, even if they are imperfect.

The command of honor must apply to the whole family, and failure to keep by this command must be the dynamics of the parents and the children. Sins that have been committed by fathers greatly affect the next generations, and children begin acting in a sinful manner with their children. The dynamics of Esau depicts this command;

 “See to it that no one misses the Grace of God and that no bitter roots that grow to cause trouble and harm many. See that no one that is sexually immoral, or is godless like Esau, who for a single bowl of meal he sold his inheritance rights as the elder brother. Afterward, as you know he wanted to inherit this blessing, he was rejected. He could not bring about no change of mind, though he sought his blessing with tears” (Heb 12:15-17).

This showed how actions that were tearful and decision that followed the generation of Esau and all this was started by the family that was not worthy of honor leading to a child responding in bitterness. The favoritism in the family led to the rivalry of the sons as this created a division in the family (Versteeg, 2010). The father loved Esau due to the game meat that he provided, and not for anything else. But for meat Isaac would not probably love Esau that much.

There was a clear contrast of how these parents expressed their love. Esau sold his spiritual and material blessing to his brother due to the fact that he wanted to satisfy his hunger than the heritage of his parents. He did not respect his parents, and he even went further by marrying women whose customs were contrary to theirs.

Esau needed to resolve his anger within, as this allowed bitterness to take roots in his life missing the Grace of God.  After Esau learned that he was hurting his parents by marrying heathens, he made up his mind to marry a woman from his community, but it was too late as he had already caused more harm to them. His need to inherit the blessing he had already sold was on condition that he would give his father another meal. This depicts that Isaac’s love to Esau was not complete (Versteeg, 2010).


There was a need to realize that the command to honor our parents is given by God. It is known that a person must honor those who are in authority over him or her. The well-being of a person was given by God, that helps move forward well in the world which is given by Him. Honoring parents is achieved through hard work forgiving the imperfect ways that they use in handing power over their children. Harboring of anger and bitterness can have adverse effects in the lives of the future descendants, as anger has power to shape the life and character that influence decisions making.

This will automatically set to follow destructive ways that hurt many people in their lives. God gives freedom to His people to communicate with Him, and this leads to development of characters that are of good intention. The roots that are developed through bitterness are bound to make decisions that are foolish.  For instance, Esau did not choose anything that emanated from his father. The results of bitterness are the destruction of life, and thus there is no need of giving way to bitterness to shape the way of life.

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