For example, if a child is born to an unwed mother…the child may go on to repeat the same mistakes. Well, I witnessed that happen in my own family and it made me sooooo angry…because I could have stopped it!
But it turns out that it’s not just my family that’s prone to repeat each others mistakes. It happened with one of the most famous Biblical families in history too: Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. The same mistake–willful deception–was repeated over 3 generations.
I’ll tell you my story first, though. Ten years ago, I was swindled out of $7,500 dollars (a fortune for a recent college graduate!). I was moving to El Paso, TX and needed to find someone to rent my home. So, I listed the property online and someone contacted me about the rental. They sent me a certified check for $8,000, and agreed to lease for one year.
However, two weeks later the renter contacted me and requested a refund due to a family emergency. I agreed to refund their money minus the deposit. I waited for the check to clear and returned the money. Three days later, my debit card was declined while getting lunch at Subway. It turns out that certified check was a fake, and I now owed my bank almost $8,000.
The entire ordeal was stressful and embarrassing. I bounced a check with my favorite stylist (and I still haven’t gotten up the courage to explain what happened). My hair fell out in clumps. And, my credit was in the toilet.
Thankfully, my parents helped me hire an attorney, navigate the legal system, and everything was resolved. But, I was so embarrassed about the whole ordeal that I never told anyone about it except for my husband.
The Cost to My Brother
The problem is that now my brother is in a similar situation. He wants to play professional basketball, but went to a small college and didn’t get much attention. So, he hired a sports agent. That “agent” swindled him out of $2,500. There were sooo many tell-tale signs that his “agent” was shady. I know because I’d been through it! But, my brother didn’t get the benefit of my experience.
And, it pains me to see my brother (a hardworking, college graduate, and single dad) go through this. But the truth is, hiding that failure from my family ended up costing my brother.
Good Ole’ Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob
In the case of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob…the story is long. So, I’ll give you the short version.
Here’s the skinny:
- Abraham lied to Egyptians about Sarah being his wife (Genesis 12:13). He was afraid that they’d kill him, because Sarah was so pretty.
- Rebekah tricked Isaac, her husband, into blessing Jacob. Jacob was her favorite and she simply did not want the family blessing to be passed on to that riffraff- Esau (Genesis 27:8-15).
- And then, Laban tricked Jacob into marrying Leah. Jacob was supposed to marry Rachel, but at the last minute Laban pulled a switcharoo (Genesis 29:23).
In each case, a member of the family was willfully deceitful to get what they wanted! And maybe, just maybe, all of that could have been avoided had Abraham taken some preemptive measures.
What Does This Have to Do with Relationships?
Well, with the help of the Almighty, we CAN take preemptive measures to ensure that generational cycles don’t repeat themselves. So, will you do me a favor?
Take some time to reflect on your past mistakes or mistakes of your family members that you don’t want to repeat. For example, if you are worried that your future marriage will end in divorce like your parents, ask the Lord for wisdom and guidance to address shortcomings.
That’s what I did when I realized that my control/pride issues could destroy me and Morris’s marriage. Be back in two weeks to tell you that story.