Ever felt like running away or hiding yourself from the world? While quietly sitting alone in a crowded place, you catch a glimpse of all types of people. The ones that really catch your eye however, are the ones that seem to look so well put together and happy. All you want is a piece of that.
Every so often, people get frustrated and depressed because they tend to compare their lives and their home situation with others and they crave for what seems to be the ideal family life in mind. But the truth is what everyone sees is just the surface of how things appear to be. On the surface, many wear mask in order to disguise their imperfections, their problems, their shame, jealousy and more.
What you observe in your home as imperfect is not new. Family problems have been around for generations. No matter how good it may seem, none of our families are perfect. In one way or another, we all have imperfect families because every one of our families is made up of sinners. None of us are perfect because none of us are sinless.
Living in an imperfect family, which you find hard to come into terms with, can make it very difficult to live for God. But not impossible. Through observation of the Scripture, Joseph is the proof that it can be done. Joseph was raised in a home filled with anger, jealousy, and deceit. Yet what separated him from others was his absolute trust in God. Regardless of what happened to him, he still had the ability to put what God gave him (the ability to interpret dreams) to full use. He was faithful to God despite his imperfect family.
Now Jacob dwelt in the land where his father was a stranger, in the land of Canaan. This is the history of Jacob. Joseph, being seventeen years old, was feeding the flock with his brothers. And the lad was with the sons of Bilhah and the sons of Zilpah, his father’s wives; and Joseph brought a bad report of them to his father. Now Israel loved Joseph more than all his children, because he was the son of his old age. Also he made him a tunic of many colors. But when his brothers saw that their father loved him more than all his brothers, they hated him and could not speak peaceably to him.
Now Joseph had a dream, and he told it to his brothers; and they hated him even more. So he said to them, “Please hear this dream which I have dreamed: There we were, binding sheaves in the field. Then behold, my sheaf arose and also stood upright; and indeed your sheaves stood all around and bowed down to my sheaf.”
And his brothers said to him, “Shall you indeed reign over us? Or shall you indeed have dominion over us?” So they hated him even more for his dreams and for his words. Then he dreamed still another dream and told it to his brothers, and said, “Look, I have dreamed another dream. And this time, the sun, the moon, and the eleven stars bowed down to me.”
So he told it to his father and his brothers; and his father rebuked him and said to him, “What is this dream that you have dreamed? Shall your mother and I and your brothers indeed come to bow down to the earth before you?”And his brothers envied him, but his father kept the matter in mind. (Genesis 37: 1-11)
Joseph had his Family Drama too
Joseph’s family was far from perfect. One could liken his life to a television show due to all the drama that was going on within his family. He had three stepmothers, ten step-brothers and a step sister all living in the home at the same time. His father Jacob was the classic passive parent to the extent that when he learned about his daughter Dinah’s rape, he did nothing. When he learned that his sons were guilty of murder, he did nothing. And when he learned that his own son had committed incest, he still did nothing. Joseph’s father is an illustration of a man who was too busy and unconcerned, which meant he was too passive to deal with what was happening in the lives of any of his children. At the same time, Jacob’s wives were jealous, insecure, and unhappy. Joseph’s family was in a state of turmoil.
It didn’t make his life any better that Joseph’s brothers despised him and was envious of him. Joseph himself was at the very least naive and possibly a little arrogant. He was known to his brothers as their father’s favourite. Due to this, his older brothers conspired against Joseph and sold him to slave traders, while telling their father that Joseph had been mauled by an animal. Now, Joseph had been given dreams of God’s plan for his life. So, with confidence and strength, he endured all that life threw at him. And time and time again, God proved his presence and protection throughout Joseph’s life.
Do Not Lose Faith in God, Be Encouraged
Certain situations in life are inevitable. Nevertheless, in order to come into terms with our imperfect family, it is important that we are faithful regardless of our family situation. It can be very easy for us to look at our family background and swim in our own self-pity. Nonetheless, we need to look beyond our excuses and see what we can do for a change. God understands our particular circumstances and He wants to help us rise above the negative influences in our lives. He specializes in changing us and conforming us into His image, no matter what our family background is. All He asks for is that we put our trust in Him. Regardless of our past or our current situation, we can know the love of the Heavenly Father when we surrender to Jesus as our Lord and Savior.
Perhaps your parents are not perfect. Perhaps your home life is less than ideal. And perhaps you have made the mistake as a teenager or even later in life. But God can help you start over. Learn to look at life in the long term and seize the possibilities God has for your future. You can’t change your past, but the choices you make today will have a tremendous impact on your future by moving forward in deep, abiding trust. Apply God’s principles along the way.
The general direction of the world’s morality is headed away from God. But the situation is not hopeless. It can be improved, one person at a time, one family at a time. God wants you to be overwhelmed by His love. He wants you to experience His kind of love in your family relationships.
“And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit” (Ephesians 5:18)
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