Harmony at home

‘A house divided against itself will fall.’ Luke 11:17

They say, ‘The apple never falls far from the tree,’ and Jacob certainly proved that. Nearing the end of his life when he should have been preparing to bless his sons Simeon and Levi, he told them, ‘I place a curse on you because of your fierce anger.’ (Genesis 49:7 CEV) But their behaviour should have come as no surprise.

The fact is, Jacob had already shaped them by his own example when he deceived his father (see Genesis 27) and his father-in-law (see Genesis 30). And his mother facilitated the deception.

Behavioural patterns are passed from generation to generation. Your attitudes and actions will either blight your children or bless them.

The Word of God says, ‘Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.’ (Proverbs 22:6 KJV) Your children inherit more than just your looks.

They end up with the values you taught and the emotional disposition you displayed. Don’t involve them in your marital disputes.

The Bible says, ‘Anger lodges in the heart of fools’ (Ecclesiastes 7:9 ESV), and kids are easy targets for misdirected rage. Even when your outbursts aren’t aimed at them, they still suffer the effects. For example, your boss disciplines you at work and, because you can’t retaliate, you come home like a bear with a headache and make everybody around you walk on eggshells. Lower the decibel level! Don’t let your anger become a nuclear explosion.

King David shone on the battle front but struggled on the home front. Perhaps that’s why one of the last psalms reads like this: ‘Help me to guard my words whenever I say something.’ (Psalm 141:3 CEV)

SoulFood: 2 Kings 10–12, Mark 15:1–20, Ps 132:11–18, Pr 13:7–8.

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