Parental Favoritism Subverts Love

Dorothy Hostetter

READ : Genesis 25:28

“Isaac . . . loved Esau, but Rebekah loved Jacob” (NIV). The division between Isaac and Rebekah began with their preferential affection for their two sons. It seems both Isaac and Rebekah were to blame, but Rebekah more so than Isaac. Her love for Jacob was so fiercely jealous that it broke loose from any larger loyalty. She wanted Jacob to have the best of everything, no matter how he got it, even at the cost of being unfair to her husband and her son Esau.

Thus Rebekah-of-the-well has become an altogether different woman, scheming for Jacob to steal the blessing, thoughtlessly pushing both Esau and Isaac aside, acting out of unscrupulous disregard because one purpose only obsessed her. It was not that she deliberately wanted to hurt anybody. She was too determined to do what she thought would help Jacob and so was blind to hurts she would inflict on others. All the while she was supposedly acting in the name of love.

It is instinctive and right that a mother should love passionately. But the greatest love must always be to a greater loyalty: to truth, to honor, to relationships to God and all others. Rebekah forgot that. She corrupted Jacob as she tried to cherish him.


Lord, give me wisdom in dealing faithfully with my family, for your sake. Amen.