Genesis 42:38 But Jacob replied, “My son will not go down with you. His brother Joseph is dead, and he is all I have left. If anything should happen to him on your journey, you would send this grieving, white-haired man to his grave.” Emphasis mine.
All he has left? He has ten other sons! And he’s willing to let one of them rot in jail (sidenote: How long did Simeon have to stay in Egypt? Does anyone know?). Having grown up in a family where his father played favorites, you’d think that maybe he’d be a little bit more intentional about loving all his sons, not just the ones borne by his favorite wife. But Jacob isn’t. He passes along the toxic relationship that encouraged him to take advantage of his brother and deceive his dying father by playing favorites. But he merely passed on what he had already learned, continuing the legacy established by his grandfather, Abraham (who favored Isaac over Ishmael).
Makes me wonder what I’ve been passing along to my children? Have I been teaching my son the right way to love his wife? Have I been showing favoritism among my children? What legacy am I leaving with them? What traits will they carry with them and pass on to their children and their children’s children?
We have a sign posted in our house that’s similar to the one above. Am I really displaying those qualities with my kids and Christy (aside from doing loud really well – that’s a given)? Or am I teaching them habits and encouraging character traits that I’d really rather not see as part of my legacy?
Man, it was so much easier to sit and point out Jacob’s flaws. Stinks when I point the mirror back at myself…