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“Isaac pleaded with the Lord on behalf of his wife because she was unable to have children. The Lord answered Isaac’s prayer, and Rebekah became pregnant with twins. But the two children struggled with each other in her womb. So she went to ask the Lord about it. ‘Why is this happening to me?’ she asked.” Genesis 25:21-22, NLT

The letters always start the same for the newspaper advice column “Dear Abby.”

“Why is this happening to me?”

And then follows a conundrum someone is experiencing with a relationship. Mother-in-law, fiancé, boyfriend, parent, sibling, wayward child. It’s a slice of humanity that the American public readily recognizes. Apparently, we’ve got a lot of relationship issues.

It was discovered that the writer of Dear Abby, Pauline Phillips, had Alzheimer’s and could not continue. At its height, the column had more than 100 million readers. Pauline passed away in 2013. Her daughter Jeanne Phillips now answers the letters and helps readers with their tricky, ongoing relationship issues.

Isaac and Rebekah also had relationship issues. They had twin boys, and they played favorites right up until the end. I imagine Rebekah writing to Dear Abby, asking how to deal with her always-fighting children. Abby would have written back something sensible and wise, but I’m betting Rebekah would have ignored it. Why? Because we rarely see our part in our relationship issues. We need a different perspective if we’re to ever have hope for restoration with those we love.

It would be decades before Jacob and Esau reconciled. On the eve of their meeting, Jacob spends all night wrestling with God, refusing to let go until God blesses him. By morning, he has a permanent limp, a new name, and a whole new perspective on who he is and who God is.

This is often the shift we need, seeing ourselves in a new light, understanding our identity as God reveals it to us. The things that once mattered drift away, and the people in our lives become much more important. Their good becomes our desire. And that is where hope for our relationships is born.


Do you need new hope for a relationship in your life? Do you sense the need for a new perspective?


Father in heaven, you created relationships as the best way to live out our lives. Give me your eyes to see my part in helping those around me experience Your best by allowing You to transform my heart.


Ask God to show you new relationships to invest in that start with the hope of Jesus.