Now Israel loved Joseph more than all his children, because he was the son of his old age. Also he made him a tunic of many colors.
There are a lot of dysfunctional families in the Bible—and the family of Jacob (Israel) was no exception. Joseph was Jacob’s favorite child, born of his favorite wife (Genesis 29:30; 30:22-24)—and everyone knew it! Gifts like this multicolored coat, especially in a time when colored dyes were precious, made it abundantly clear to all the sons of Jacob that Jacob played favorites, and Joseph was the favorite!
As we will soon see, this blatant favoritism led to some serious fissures within Jacob’s family. While God ultimately worked everything out for the good, it’s possible that Joseph’s story could have taken a less distressing route if Jacob had taken a more balanced approach to parenting.
This account should be a lesson to parents. Even though each child will have his or her own unique needs, a parent should never favor one child over another.
To learn more about cultivating a healthy family, read our article “Building Strong Families.”
Tomorrow on the Daily Bible Verse Blog: “Dwelling in Unity.”