Genesis 33:14 – Let my lord, I pray thee, pass over before his servant: and I will lead on softly, according as the cattle that goeth before me and the children be able to endure, until I come unto my lord unto Seir.
Dealing with a disagreement with others is often one of the hardest things we face. The challenge becomes more complex when you address those situations from a position of authority: as a parent, spouse, professional, or another role as a leader. However, the way we handle those problems seems to become more volatile the closer we get to home. Problems that we deal with logically, calmly, and carefully with associates or friends cause us to be emotionally overwrought and angry when the same thing comes up with family. We repeat the pattern we saw in our parents or display the anger we think will get us the results we want without considering the damage our attitude is doing to our relationship. Husbands are to be the godly leader of the home. A husband and a wife form a team to lead their children to develop godly character. As leaders of the home we must deal with disagreements, sin, rebellion, carnal attitudes and other problems. How can we confront this reality? By leading our families “softly.” To lead softly is to lead without harshness, anger, pride and certainly not abuse.
The text today highlights Jacob and his conversation with his brother, Esau. After many years of tension, an awkward reunion takes place. Jacob has a young family that can only travel so far in one day, and Jacob does not want to push them too far or too hard. He explains to his brother that he is excited about the reunion, but that he will take his time to make sure his children are not harmed.
Jacob isn’t well known for great leadership, but this passage shows us his care for his family. He shows us what we must do as we lead our families: recognize the tenderness of our family, arrange the environment around their needs, and take action to protect their interests. Is this how you handle situations in your home? Let us not only learn the truths but ask the Spirit of God to make them the attitude of our heart as we deal with problems and disagreements that come up in our families.