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Grieving Parents

September 20, 2021

Grieving Parents

Genesis 26:34-35 (KJV) And Esau was forty years old when he took to wife Judith the daughter of Beeri the Hittite, and Bashemath the daughter of Elon the Hittite: Which were a grief of mind unto Isaac and to Rebekah.

Raising a family in ancient times or today is hard, indeed.  There is plenty of opportunity for letdowns, friction, and disappointments, along with the many blessings and camaraderie found in family relations.  Not a parent will say that parenting is a piece of cake! Instead, many will testify of the many ups and downs in relating with others, especially other family members, who know both your best and your worst attributes and expect the best out of you.

Here we read that Isaac and Rebekah were grieving because of the choice Esau made in marrying Judith.  We do not know much about Judith. However, we can think of things today that might cause us to not approve of a relationship. Perhaps you, too, felt disappointment in the individual your adult child chose for his or her spouse.  It is displeasure, not because of their looks, position, financial means, personality, but simply because this person does not personally know God.  The relationship status, or lack thereof, with Christ should place a period on any long-term dealing with another. Still, like in ancient times, marriages among spiritually lost folk do often take place.

God’s Word tells us more than once that pairing in a relationship with another, whether in marriage, business, work, or such, is vital to develop our relationships with another who knows God.  Marriage relationships stand strong and lasting when they are between God, you, and your spouse, and nothing else will complete this intended love triangle.  However, on the opposite front, marriages without God’s presence are at best foul and fleeting and stink to high heaven, indeed!  That is unless God is allowed, later on, to do spiritual work in lost hearts.

This exposed possibility of relational grief in marriage plays out in the New Testament as is found in 2 Corinthians 6:14, where we see a stark warning about an unequal or unyoked alignment in a marriage.  This teaching can and should be applied to other associations, such as a friend or business acquaintance, extended family, etc.

God desires that we take His relational insights seriously, especially when it comes to marriage.  In the end, an adult child can choose to marry whomever he or she wants, sometimes much to the grief of their parents, just like what happens to Issac and Rebekah in this verse above.

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