So when her days were fulfilled for her to give birth, indeed there were twins in her womb. And the first came out red. He was like a hairy garment all over; so they called his name Esau. Afterward his brother came out, and his hand took hold of Esau’s heel; so his name was called Jacob. Isaac was sixty years old when she bore them. So the boys grew. And Esau was a skillful hunter, a man of the field; but Jacob was a mild man, dwelling in tents. And Isaac loved Esau because he ate of his game, but Rebekah loved Jacob. (Genesis 25:24-28)
The Lord tells us that children are a heritage and there are so many blessings bound up in their hearts. Everyone was a child at one time in their life growing into adulthood with the experiences and traits of the home. Some families are large with multiple children while others are filled with the blessings of one. No matter the number of offspring from the parents, children are to bring joy and happiness to the home. The Lord created the home for happiness. His design was perfect in allowing a man and woman to experience the power of creation by bringing a child into the world. Each birth is a mark of an eternal journey that will never end. Through God’s hand life is placed within the body fashioned to show forth the incredible wonder of His creation. This is especially evident when a family experiences the joy of siblings.
A sibling is family of more than one child. When two or more children come into a home the parents realize there are marked differences between the children. No two children are alike in their dispositions, attitudes, feelings and growth. Twins share more than others in many ways but still have an identity of their own. Jacob and Esau were twins with Esau being the older of the two. The apostle Thomas had a twin but it is not known if it was a girl or boy. When Jacob and Esau were in the womb there were early signs of the struggles these two boys would have in life. The birth itself was marked by a most unusual event. The younger baby grabbed the heel of his older brother as he was born. They were fraternal twins as they did not look alike. Esau, the firstborn, was red and had a lot of hair covering his body. Jacob had smooth skin. Alike but different.
As the boys grew, an early sign of the difference revealed itself. Esau was a man of the earth. He enjoyed spending time in the fields hunting game. He became a skillful hunter and making a stew his father especially enjoyed. Jacob was more of a man who tended things in the tents. His mind was upon different matters than being a hunter. It did not make him less of a man but his interest was directed towards the affairs of the family. What made Jacob and Esau different were their distinct interest and personalities. A problem arose in the family because of parental favoritism. Esau gave more preference to Esau than Jacob because he was a hunter of the field. Rebekah devoted her love to Jacob. This would become a family tragedy in time to come.
Sibling rivalry is the experience of children being different from one another. God created every human being to be a diverse individual; even within families. An eternal truth of this creation is that every man shall stand judged before God on his own merits. There are certain family traits that are shared within siblings but the greater part remains of the diversity. It is important for every child to realize the worth of their own character. Esau was a skilled hunter and what a blessing that was to the family. Jacob could not be jealous because his brother could go out and hunt down a deer, kill it, gut it and prepare its meat for a meal. Jacob had great talents probably in the business sense that Esau had no time for. In one family a man can be a highly skilled mechanic and his sister can be a skilled brain surgeon. One may get their hands dirty to do their job while the other scrubs every molecule of dirt off of their hands to do theirs. Siblings mean each child is blessed with who they are and what they are. God created the home in that way.
The problem in the home of Jacob and Esau was the unfair devotion given to each child. Sibling rivalry is a common trait in families but parents make a serious mistake when they give preference of one child over the other. One child may enjoy being in the swamps hunting and fishing while the other child spends hours reading books. Praise God for the beauty of each child’s abilities. They can both glorify God in the abilities given to them. Everyone is important to the Lord no matter what their skills are. Consider the men Jesus chose to be His apostles. They would not have been at the top of the Fortune 500 successful business decisions. What Jesus saw in the twelve apostles was not what they were but what they could become. Parents must look at their children for the blessing they bring to the world and encourage their abilities for what they can do for the glory of God. Siblings are a blessing when viewed through the eyes of the One who created them.