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Faithful In Spite Of An Imperfect Family

Read Genesis 37: 1-36

Pastor David Stoker

The term dysfunctional is used quite often today in regard to families. The word refers to
the sense of falling apart that occurs in a family where there is a lot of hurt. From a Christian
perspective, it is a home that is not functioning as God intended. It could be the result
of divorce, lack of communication, rivalry among the children, self consumed parents,
addictions, child abuse, sexual abuse, spousal abuse, extramarital affairs and the list goes on
and on.

One of the strange dynamics in family life is that when children grow up, they often repeat the
mistakes of their families. The truth is that what we know about marriage and parenting, for
good or bad, we learned in our homes. The end result is that dysfunctional families can create
dysfunctional families, often for generations. But that is not always the case. Joseph is proof
that we can break out of our dysfunction.

Joseph was raised in a home filled with angry, jealous, deceitful people; yet he became one
of the two men whose lives are recorded in the Bible about which there is not one word of
criticism. Joseph was faithful in an imperfect family.

Joseph’s family was so unbelievable that their story could have been made into a soap opera.
He had three stepmothers, ten step-brothers and a step sister all living in the home at the
same time. Just try and imagine the turmoil in this family. Jacob, Joseph’s father, was a weak
and ineffective father. His wives were jealous and insecure. He was the classic passive parent,
who openly showed favoritism among his children. For seventeen years his children had
watched as he played favorites with Joseph. In no way did he try to hide his partiality. Yet, in
spite of all of this, Joseph was an incredible man of God. What are lessons we can learn from
his life?

1. We must learn to look at life in the long term. The decisions we make affect not only
ourselves but may affect our children, our grandchildren, and even our great grand-children.
Jacob’s mistakes with his children had tragic long term effects.

2. We must be faithful regardless of our family situation. It can be very easy for us to look at
our family background and make excuses. “My parents are divorced; I can’t help being this
way; I was abused as a child; my father was an alcoholic”, and the list goes on and on.

3. God specializes in changing us and transforming us into His image, no matter what our
family background. Maybe your parents were not perfect. Maybe your home life was less than
ideal. Know that God wants to help you have healthy families.
DAY 11

P r ay e r
Lord, thank You for the example of Joseph. Help me with the assistance of Your Holy Spirit to
examine and improve my family situation. Remind me that with Christ all things are possible.
May I always turn to You for guidance and strength. In Christ’s name, Amen.

What family issues might be affecting your life?

Do you believe that with God you can address and overcome these issues?

What might some next steps be?

MY Reflections
Does any particular verse (SCRIPTURE) in today’s reading speak to you?

OBSERVE what this verse is saying to you:

How can you APPLY this verse to your life today?

My PRAYER for today is: