Jacob’s family relationships (as we read yesterday) were already a mess. His Uncle Laban did not help relational stability by setting up his own daughters to have discord in their marriage.
The consequence is that sister wives fought over their husband. They also used their servant-women as bargaining chips. From our perspective, what occurred with Jacob’s wives, their servants, and the resultant sons is crazy. We can reasonably condemn Jacob for allowing this. At the same time, sons were the “greatest” wealth. He would do what was necessary to make sure of that. However, his wisdom is deeply in question.
1) What do you think the relationships between the brothers would have been like? How would the relationships between the four mothers impacted the brothers’ relationships between each other and their parents?
2) Blended families bring in the traumas of more than 2 families, and often create more trauma on top of it. What can the church do to help in that? Do you know blended families? How do you related to them?
3) Our modern concept of the “nuclear” family would seem to be in sharp contract to Jacob’s family. What are both positive and negative lessons we can learn from these families?