There must be a universal belief in the world of siblings…parents have a favorite child. While most parents would declare that false, every so often you find one who admits that there is a child that they are deeply connected to…a favorite. This favored child will be the brunt of all the anger, jealousy and hurt that the others feel. At times this can be expressed in cruel ways, other times in subversive ways.
Joseph is clearly the favored child. Afterall, when his father meets up with his big brother, Jacob puts Rachel and her boys last (an act of protecting). Read Genesis 37:3-11. The stage is set…not only is this favored child clearly treated with a special treatment (the coat of many colors!), he dares to share a dream in which the ten eldest boys bow down to him?! In a society marked by your birth order, this ludicrous dream is further confirmation to the ‘big boys’ that this brother of theirs is gloating in his favored status.
The push/pull of family life is often realized in the role we play, or perceive we play, in a family system. This brother of theirs is usurping his role and daring to say that he will rise above the others in power. Think back in your family system…did anyone play the favorite? Or someone step out of their role within the system? It sends a shockwave through the family! The goal is to return the system to a normal pattern. How might they do this with such a favored child? Tomorrow we’ll dive into the destructive nature of jealousy and the lengths some will go!