As a kid, I remember watching a TV show titled, “The Munsters.” Lily, the family matriarch, was a housewife who used a vacuum that worked in reverse, thereby blowing dust about the mansion. Her husband, Herman, was a good-natured, green-skinned, 7-foot buffoon, employed at a local funeral parlor. Grandpa, sarcastic by nature, spent his days concocting potions in the basement laboratory and owned a pet bat named Igor. Eddie – apart from being a werewolf and sleeping in a coffin – played the role of a typical American boy. And Marilyn….well, compared to the rest of her family, she seemed almost normal. Her family didn’t view her that way, though. They considered her the “odd one” of the bunch and pitied her. It’s too bad her suitors wouldn’t stick around. I wonder why.
Each character was unique in a strange sort of way, and each believed he or she was normal. In one episode, Lily opened a beauty salon because she thought other women would want to model her appearance. Needless to say, her business fell flat.
I chuckle at “The Munsters” and how, in a spoofy way, it depicted families worldwide. Let’s admit it – many lean toward the weird side. Dysfunction is so rampant that it seems the norm. That was true back in Bible days, too.
Remember Rebekah? This conniving mother encouraged and aided Jacob, her favorite son, in deceiving his blind father so he could receive (a.k.a. “steal”) his brother’s blessing (Genesis 27). Later, Jacob fled to his uncle Laban’s territory and fell in love with his cousin, Rachel. He asked permission to marry her. Uncle Laban said yes, but then he tricked Jacob on the wedding night by bringing Rachel’s older sister, Leah, into the bridal tent. Waking up beside his sister-in-law must have given Jacob a royal shock!
Besides that drama, we find Esau trying desperately to please his parents by marrying a wife who would hopefully meet their approval (they didn’t like his other two wives, apparently – Genesis 28:6-9). And we find Leah feeling rejected and jealous because Jacob obviously loved Rachel more than her (Genesis 29:31-35). Imagine celebrating Christmas or Thanksgiving with this bunch!
You know what amazes me? The fact that God accomplishes His purposes despite our dysfunctional shortcomings. If He used only perfect people, He’d be outta luck. And so, He takes us, as needy as we are, and weaves us into a divine tapestry. And He remains faithful.
Maybe you look at your family and think it warrants a TV show of its own. Dysfunction’s not the easiest thing in the world to deal with, but remember – nothing is impossible for God to fix, or to give you the strength to cope. Let Him love your loved ones through you, and let Him work in their hearts. Keep on praying. Keep on trusting. Keep on smiling. And remember – you might consider yourself as the only normal one of the bunch, but they might be viewing you otherwise!