The “fun” in dysfunctional

I saw a Sam Phillips concert many years ago in which the singer joked that her family put the funk in dysfunctional. In anticipation of this Sunday’s Mother’s Day sermon on Rebekah, my friend Geoff M. made a similar point on Facebook about Abraham’s family in Genesis.

(I still maintain that Rebekah is heroic in her own way—but I’ll explore the question more fully in my sermon. No one’s perfect, after all. 😉 Regardless, we can certainly learn from her (and her family’s) mistakes.)

Not a fan of the whole family. Isaac: waste of space. Only thing her ever did was avoid getting sacrificed. Esau: trades his birthright for a bowl of soup. Moron. Rebekah: sells out one son for the sake of another. Jacob: probably the best of the lot (which isn’t saying much). He either deceived Esau, or at best, played on his stupidity for personal gain.

Oh, then there’s Jacob’s family also. Laban, his uncle, deceives him into marrying Leah who he didn’t love. Rachel and Leah use both Jacob and their handmaidens in a game of natal one-up-manship. Yeah, these two are the ones that put the “fun” in dysfunctional. Then Jacob’s sons sell their brother into slavery, then lie to their father claiming Joseph was dead.

Sorry, Brent, but I find it hard at times to think about these characters in terms of “biblical heroes.” More like cautionary tales, and witnesses to the fact that God often works *in spite* of us.

Leave a Reply