Jesus taught us that serving God might prove costly in family relationships. Jacob learned that painful lesson when his close family became the immediate source of his greatest problems. His father-in-law Laban cheated him, tricked him, abused him, and even chased him when he left (Genesis 31:23). In another instance, Jacob’s brother Esau appeared to be angry to the point of revenge when he came to meet Jacob with his four hundred men. The outcome in both these situations? God intervened on Jacob’s behalf! Laban was rebuked in a dream: “Be careful about what you say to Jacob!” Esau received Jacob back with tears and kisses (Genesis 33:4).
Jesus told His disciples to decide whether they loved Him or their relatives more. Because the time may come when a relative departs from the Lord’s way, we, too, must choose to follow the “narrow way.” This doesn’t mean that we intentionally ostracize our relatives, only that we are fully prepared to be rejected or misunderstood by them.
God helped Jacob with both Laban and Esau. If you are having a family conflict, He will help you through it as well!