Insight for the Day

Your Child’s Marriage Partner

April 25, 2024 Robert Wolgemuth—Editor

"Look, I am with you and will watch over you wherever you go. I will bring you back to this land, for I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you." (Genesis 28:15)

How are you at making decisions? Over the years, you and I have seen two extremes.

There are the guys who make decisions fast, like sports photographers snap their automatic shutters. They click away, figuring that when they download the photos, they’ll be able to sort the good ones from the bad ones, throwing out the trash and holding on to the winners.

Then there are folks who can never make up their minds. Because of their fear of making bad decisions, they live their lives like used-car shoppers who still buy off the lot, in the middle of tire-kicking, door-slamming, and “no thanks, I’m just looking.”

Jacob was on his way to find a wife—a decision that would change his life. His dad had asked him to look for “Miss Right” in a country that was familiar to the family and sent him on his way. Because the trip was more than a day’s journey, Jacob had to spend the night under the stars. And during that night, God spoke to an awestruck Jacob, promising him children and a blessing. Amazingly, Jacob’s father had prepared him for this experience.

Despite falling marriage rates everywhere, there’s still a solid chance that your children will want to take this important step. They may be a long way from marriage, or they may be right around the corner from making this incredible decision. In either case, believe it or not, you can play a critical role in helping your child avoid foolish carelessness or frozen indecision. Today’s text gives us a few clues.

As Jacob was preparing for this wife-securing excursion (today we call this “going to college”), his father did two wonderful things. First, he blessed him. In Old Testament times, a blessing had two implications. Coming from a dad, it was a prayer, and it was a tender word of encouragement. Because of what Isaac had done for his son, Jacob was assured of God’s involvement in this huge decision, and he knew he had his father’s support.

Then Jacob’s dad gave him instructions. The word command (or charge) has strategic implications, just like a high-school football coach would give to his quarterback right before the kid jogs back onto the field for an important play. Isaac wasn’t afraid to give his son some advice right after he had given him a blessing.

Can you picture this young man, looking over his shoulder at his slowly disappearing homestead? Can you imagine he was a bit frightened by the ominous assignment? But can you also imagine him feeling optimistic? His dad had reminded him of God’s presence and had given his own encouragement alongside some helpful and direct advice.

As dads, you and I have one hope for our children: that they walk with God—that He speaks to them when they’re on their own. Because of what Jacob’s dad had done for him as he prepared to make the decision of a lifetime, Jacob had his own experience with God. And God promised Jacob His blessing so this decision would be right, striking the balance between confidence and carefulness.

Don’t be afraid to be involved in helping your children make this extraordinary decision. Bless them. Direct them. Send them off.