Have you ever wondered where you learned to respond to conflict in the manner you do? What about how you formed your ability to communicate to people around you? In this series about families and relationships we will consider how influential our family dynamics can be in the formation of our identities. Our hope is that God’s Word will inform the way we live and connect in our families and in our relationships. And that as a community of faith we might join together to consider that God can redeem the way we interact in our homes and change our hearts in our relationships.
August 7: Competition – Living in a “zero-sum” reality
We see very early on in Joseph’s family that things were not going according to the system. Joseph was selected as the favorite son, which sent their family into competition mode. Brothers became jealous of each other and plotted how to ruin one another. Many of the same dynamics are still at work in our hearts today. Let’s learn from scripture how God changes our inherent value so that we no longer need to live threatened in our relationships.
August 14: Conflict
Genesis 37:12-36; James 4: 1-3
Conflict happens every day. Sometimes it is good and it draws us closer together. Sometimes it is bad and it pushes us further apart. Joseph and his brothers had some “conflict”; they wanted to kill him. What can we do when our families don’t know how to fight fair?
August 21: Communication
Was Joseph being manipulative when, instead of being straight up with his brothers about his identity and his plan for them, he hid a cup in Benjamin’s sack and falsely accused him of stealing? While that may have been to a good end in this story, open, transparent communication is almost always preferable to deceit and manipulation.
Genesis 45:1-15; 50:15-21
At the end of the day, what matters most? To be right, or to be in relationship? Joseph put his own pain, and the years of conflict, behind him in the name of mutual reconciliation.