The Power of Parental Love (3)
Rejection by parents can drive children to extremes of rebellion or compliance. Children often rebel out of their need for acceptance. Esau understood the principle of a marriage approved by his mum and dad. But he showed his resentment against his mother who failed to love him and helped cheat him out of his inheritance, and against his unloving father, by rebelling against the laws of God and family, and marrying unapproved women (Genesis 26:34). Maybe Esau felt some perverse satisfaction when his mother was ‘...disgusted with living because of [Esau’s] Hittite women...’ (Genesis 27:46 NIV) When our kids drop out of school, run away, get pregnant, abandon church, take drugs, consume alcohol, engage in illicit sex and marry disastrously, in many cases it’s them saying, ‘I’ll show you!’ Esau’s rebellion didn’t win Mum’s love, so he tried the opposite technique with Dad compliance, hoping that doing it Dad’s way might make him loved. Seeing Dad’s approval of Jacob’s wife, ‘Esau…realised how displeasing the Canaanite women were to his father Isaac… and married Mahalath’, Abraham’s granddaughter, and Ishmael’s daughter. (Genesis 28:8–9 NIV) A child at any age will do anything, however irrational or self-destructive, to earn and keep the love of parents! Did it work? No! Nothing he did made his dad love him. The real problem was his self-centred dad who loved when it benefitted him! Certainly, Jacob and Esau were adults, responsible for their own choices. But parents are like potters, with the power to mould their child’s character, conduct, convictions and course of life. Parents, nothing matters more to your children in life than your unconditional love for them!