By being obedient to his parents and leaving when he did, Jacob’s life was spared because his brother Esau was plotting to take it. Esau knew that his father, Isaac, had blessed Jacob and sent him to Paddan-aram to find a wife, and that he had warned Jacob, “You must not marry a Canaanite woman.” By this time Esau had already married two Canaanite women and the pagan daughters-in-law made life bitter for Isaac and Rebekah. Esau added another wife to the mix, this one was from his dad’s brother’s family. For the hope of the generations to come, for those who would inherit the blessing of Abraham, a lot was resting on the need for a healthy wife for Jacob. I’m sure Isaac and Rebekah were hoping for some peaceful family reunions too. Just think of how the conflicts grew even more intense for the elderly couple due to the proximity of the tents in which their extended family lived. Family relational struggles can be a hindrance to the joy of living in peace and harmony, no matter what time period. Let’s pray deliberately for those who will one day marry into our families and continue to pray for those who we are committed to through marriage. May we practice loving God now with all that we are, and may God bless our families with people who love and honor Him and one another.