As you read some of these chapters that are geneological records it can be hard to derive meaning from it. I looked up commentary on Genesis 36 and everything I found simply said it was describing the promises of God. Indeed it does. It discusses that Esau and Jacob had so many sheep and cattle that Esau had to move. The land they lived in couldn't accomodate both of their flocks and herds.
But, then today it hit me. It is just as much about the promisis of God as it is about our decision to follow him. It is that decision and the small decisions that we make each and everyday that will have a positive impact on our children for generations to come.
One of the most difficult things in life is to have successful relationships. It takes dedication and hard work. When I think back on my childhood and what my parents taught me about relationships I understand why I struggled so early on. My parents relationship was largely one sided. My father loves my mother deeply. I suppose she loves him too, but she doesn't show it. My father always tries to make her happy and it is a nearly impossible task because she just isn't a happy person.
When I was young I found myself in relationships that followed the same pattern. I had one boyfriend in particular that was very kind, loving and supportive of me. He loved me for me. I once threatened to shave my head (don't ask) and he told me I would still be beautiful, bald. I returned his love by raising the bar higher and higher, I was never satisfied. Eventually I broke up with him. Not once but two different times. Looking back I still hate that I did that. I wish there was some way I could go back and fix it. I wish there was some way I could hold him one more time and tell him how sorry I am.
But, God led me to a different man. My husband is a strong, dependable, steady person. He isn't romantic, he isn't spontaneous, but he is always there. Sometimes when we get lonely the "what ifs" flood us and we find ourselves thinking about the past or what might have been. But I know that God intended my husband for me. God wants me to enjoy my husband. I want my son to grow up seeing a good relationship between a man and a woman. Not a perfect one, because no one has that. I want him to see two people supporting one another. I want him to see partners doing different tasks of equal importance. I want him to see kindness and love.
One of my friends isn't happy in her marriage and threatens to leave her husband all the time. All I can think is, what will that do to their kids? What example does that set? I am in not saying that people should stay in terrible situations. But I am saying that too many people are willing to give up on the promises of God because they aren't happy at the moment. We all go through hard times. We all go through periods of discontent. We all sometimes wish things were different, but in the end if we do what God asks us to do, he will not only bless us but the generations to come.