Genesis 27:41-46 (NLT)
41 From that time on, Esau hated Jacob because their father had given Jacob the blessing. And Esau began to scheme: �I will soon be mourning my father�s death. Then I will kill my brother, Jacob.� 42 But Rebekah heard about Esau�s plans. So she sent for Jacob and told him, �Listen, Esau is consoling himself by plotting to kill you. 43 So listen carefully, my son. Get ready and flee to my brother, Laban, in Haran. 44 Stay there with him until your brother cools off. 45 When he calms down and forgets what you have done to him, I will send for you to come back. Why should I lose both of you in one day?�46 Then Rebekah said to Isaac, �I�m sick and tired of these local Hittite women! I would rather die than see Jacob marry one of them.�

Rebekah was the mother of Esau and Jacob who were fraternal twins. Esau was technically the older brother because he was born first and would have inherited the blessings of his father. Yet their mother Rebekah preferred Jacob more than Esau and she helped Jacob receive the blessing from his father under false pretense. Isaac was too old to see so Rebekah helped Jacob appear to be Esau, who Isaac preferred. This outraged Esau and he sought in his heart to kill his brother. Rebekah knowing Esau�s intent once again plotted to help Jacob. She planned for him to go to her brother who lived far away and did so by telling her husband Isaac she wanted Jacob to marry a woman from his homeland.

Family dysfunction is seen when family members inconsistently attempt to fulfill their family responsibilities. Isaac, Rebekah, Jacob and Esau were living in a dysfunctional family. There were two parents with different preferences for their children. Esau was what we might call a man�s man, while Jacob was reserved and stayed close to home. There was a constant battle between the two brothers most likely fueled by the parents. Their battle finally led Jacob to unrightfully acquire his father�s blessing (inheritance). This caused bitterness, jealousy and contempt towards Jacob. Many of you have probably lived with some type of dysfunction and did not even know it. You may not have seen your family was dysfunctional because to you the life you lived was normal; well normal to you at least. But normal for one person or family does not mean what took place in the home was really normal or good. It does not mean there were people without flaws, problems and errors. More than likely most were doing the best they knew how, but they were not doing the best they could. Instead they were most likely following generations of dysfunctional behaviors; not realizing there was a problem. God gives us the wisdom to seek out answers and in doing so we can learn to recognize dysfunctional behaviors. We can learn to change those behaviors for the better so future generations can learn from our progress instead of our mistakes. Pray God would give you the wisdom to see the dysfunction of your family and grant you the knowledge to make life better for the entire family.