Family Quarrels

January 15, 2023 by  
Filed under Daily Devotions

By Carin LeRoy –

Family quarrels are nothing new. They’ve happened for centuries. Unfortunately, conflict among siblings, parents, and relatives are a part of life. How we handle them can either build or break down the relationship. In Genesis 13, we read about Abram (Abraham) and his nephew, Lot. Both men were wealthy with large families, servants and flocks. As they traveled together through the Negev, arguments soon broke out among their herdsmen. Disputes arose between their workers because the land was not able to sustain both of their herds.

As the leader of the family, Abram made a decision.

“So Abram said to Lot, ‘Let’s not have any quarreling between you and me, or between your herders and mine, for we are close relatives. 9 Is not the whole land before you? Let’s part company. If you go to the left, I’ll go to the right; if you go to the right, I’ll go to the left’” (Genesis 13:8-9 NIV).

He decided to let Lot choose first which land he preferred—land to the left or right. Lot took a long look at the land. He saw the fertile well-watered land of the Jordan Valley to the east and chose the best for himself. As leader of the family, Abram had every “right” to choose first, but instead he gave the decision to his nephew. Relationship was more important to him than his position to choose, and resolving the conflict between them was of greater importance. Peace within his family went before his personal rights and desires. He was willing to sacrifice the best of the land for the sake of harmony with his nephew.

Giving up our rights and desires must happen sometimes in order to create peace within the family. Roman 14:19 says, “Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification” (NIV). We can trust God with the outcome when our “rights” are given away to resolve conflict. Christ gave up his position in heaven to be born as a man to suffer the humiliation of the cross and provide a solution for man’s conflict with God. In our families, sacrifice may be required of us for the sake of harmony. Lot’s selfish decision came back to hurt him later, but God blessed Abram with an incredible promise afterward. We are never the loser when we choose God’s way of peace.

PRAYER: Lord, thank you for my family. When conflict arises, give me a discerning heart to choose how to resolve it—even if that means a sacrifice on my part. Help me to be a leader in creating peace and harmony with those I love the most.

“The LORD said to Abram after Lot had parted from him, ‘Look around from where you are, to the north and south, to the east and west. All the land that you see I will give to you and your offspring forever. I will make your offspring like the dust of the earth, so that if anyone could count the dust, then your offspring could be counted. Go, walk through the length and breadth of the land, for I am giving it to you” (Genesis 13:14-17 NIV).

About Carin LeRoy

Today's devotional is by Carin LeRoy, wife to Dale and mother of three grown children and one almost-grown teenager. She has been a missionary with Pioneers since 1982. Her passions are family, missions, piano, and writing to challenge others to live faithful lives for God.
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