Genesis 37:3 (NIV) Now Israel loved Joseph more than any of his other sons, because he had been born to him in his old age; and he made an ornate[a] robe for him. 4 When his brothers saw that their father loved him more than any of them, they hated him and could not speak a kind word to him.

The Old Testament character Jacob is one of the most famous in scripture, yet he was cunning, a deceiver, and not a role model as a father. He cheated his brother out of the family blessing and tricked him out of the family birthright. Jacob had loved the beautiful Rachel, but was tricked into marrying her sister Leah. Joseph was born when Jacob was advanced in age, he was also different from his brother, and Joseph had the best characteristics of his mother, while his brothers seemed to have to the worst from their father.

Jacob was a poor disciplinarian. He played favorites among his boys, and it was in this environment that Joseph spent his formative years through 17 years of his life. As a parent, you stand in the place of God in raising your children and are responsible to learn from God how to do it right. Parenting is the most important job on earth. Children are the future, and they do not grow up knowing right from wrong. Whether or not a parent is biological is not as important as whether parents genuinely love and care for the children entrusted to them. (This means Parents, Spiritual parents, Ministry leaders)

Parenting is a huge responsibility. As we know, parents shape nearly every aspect of their children’s lives. Jacob’s life had been shaped by the pain of parental favoritism and chose to parent in the same manner. It was in this family environment of childhood may be the reason for how children grow up, it is not an excuse for children who become troubled adults. Joseph grew up in a family that would be truly classified as dysfunctional, yet nothing in the Bible is ever spoken of him as being negative.

The fact that Joseph grew up so well was in spite of his father Jacob rather than because of him. More often than not, our actions as well as the actions of our children, result from our personal choices in life. We may not be responsible for our heredity, or even our environment of which we are born. Yet we are responsible for our personal choices in this life. How are you parenting? Like you were raised? Or in the manner of which God has assigned you? Have an  Effective Parental day!!

Elder Baker

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