If you have more than one child, you are no stranger to sibling conflicts. There are all sorts of reasons why siblings often disagree, but the impact of handling their conflicts poorly during childhood can weaken their relationship as adults.
So why not have fun making dinner and discussing the relationship of the famous Bible siblings Jacob and Esau? Grab your Bible and gather your kids. You will find the story of Jacob and Esau in Genesis chapters 25 and 26.
As you tell the story, have your kids help you make some lentil stew. We don’t know for sure what sort of stew Jacob was making that was so good (or Esau was so hungry!), Esau was willing to trade his birth right for it. Most likely, it was some form of lentil stew. (Here’s one recipe you can try.)
While the stew is simmering, have a discussion with your kids about sibling relationships. With older children, begin discussing some of the dynamics that can cause siblings to dislike and/or take advantage of each other. Ask them to think of scriptures that could remind them to treat each other with love and kindness. Brainstorm ways to help them break bad habits and develop a more loving relationship.
After simmering for enough time, serve the stew and some rustic or pita type bread. Share with them the rest of the story, when Jacob and Esau finally reconciled years later (Genesis 33). Point out that Jacob not only asked Esau for his forgiveness, but he did so humbly and offered to make amends by giving him gifts. Talk about the ways they can truly heal their relationship after conflict.
Have fun with your kids cooking dinner and learning about Jacob and Esau. Who knows? The devotional might be the beginning of better sibling relations in your home!