Have you ever been tricked by a friend? Few feelings are worse than that initial feeling of betrayal when someone you trusted deceives you. Depending on the size of the offense, it is harder and harder to build up trust again with that person. Sometimes these relationships never fully heal, and the effects can be long-term and tragic.
This week we read the story of Jacob and Esau in Genesis 27. Jacob and Esau’s mother, Rebekah, deceived her own husband (Isaac) by having Isaac bless the younger son instead of the older one! Jacob should not have received his father’s abundant blessing, because in those days the firstborn son had the right to the inheritance and the blessing. Rebekah had a favorite son though, and she wanted to be sure Jacob got it. She took matters into her own hands, and forced one of the most tragic “tricks” in the Old Testament. As a result, a family was torn apart for over 20 years, and trust was deeply broken between them all.
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At dinner this week, practice saying the memory verse (Hebrews 10:23) over and over again, then discuss what it means. What does it mean when it says “God can be trusted to keep His promise”? What promises is this verse talking about? How can we know God’s way is best?
While driving in the car this week, talk about the rules in sporting events. Use examples from your own kids’ sports teams, if applicable. How would your child feel if the referees/umpires consistently picked a favorite to win each game? Why is important to be able to trust the referee/umpires when playing sports? Is it important to also trust the coach too? Why or why not?
During bedtime this week, ask your child again if there is anything you have done that has been untrustworthy. If anything comes up, be sure to own your part in an apology, and ask your child for forgiveness. Share with your child that you never want to break trust with them, but if/when it happens, you always want to restore the relationship as soon as possible.
One evening or afternoon this week, play a game with the oldest & youngest kids (or however you can make this work) against each other. You can pick any game that your family plays on a regular basis, or even a brand new game. Keep helping the youngest child with hints, but don’t help the oldest. As soon as the oldest catches on to your hints, stop the game and ask everyone how that made them feel. Apologize, then point out how this is similar to how Jacob & Esau must have felt. Re-emphasize how being trustworthy will be a high value in your family.
Thank God for family and forgiveness. Thank Him for how He’s used you despite your failures. Ask Him to point out where you may need to ask for forgiveness and how you can help leave a Godly legacy in your family.
Next week we will look at a story in Genesis 12, and talk about how God is trustworthy even when we are not.
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